Please take a moment to review Hachette Book Group's updated Privacy Policy: read the updated policy here.

Jo Thomas’ ode to the most divisive of Christmas veg

It really wouldn’t be Christmas without Brussels sprouts! What I love most about sprouts is the way they bring my family together. I love the fact that my husband has one sprout, once a year – it’s tradition. I love remembering the time my daughter thought she was being really cool and loaded her plate with them and, like the Vicar of Dibley on her third Christmas dinner, ate them all. I love the fact that my Labrador will eat all the leftovers, but leave the sprouts.

One Christmas, when the children were younger and chaos was breaking out all over the house as presents were opened and paper strewn everywhere, I have a clear memory of walking into the kitchen where my brother stood by the sink trimming the sprouts, and singing along to Robbie Williams’ ‘Mr Bojangles’.

‘Do you remember this? It was one of Dad’s favourites.’

He handed me a glass of bucks fizz and a knife and the two of us stood side by side, listening to the song, trimming the sprouts’ outer leaves, cutting crosses in the bottom and remembering our Dad on Christmas morning. It was a moment of happy contemplation away from the madness.  It is one of my really happy Christmas memories, and that’s why sprouts will always have a place at my Christmas table.

Jo’s latest novel THE OLIVE BRANCH is available now in paperback and ebook.

In case you missed it, read…

…about Kathryn Hughes’ Christmas traditions

…what Team Bookends are hoping to receive from Father Christmas this year