It’s a special time of year and so, to celebrate it, I wanted to do something special on I’m NOT Disordered for Christmas. I have decided to bring back the Christmassy Q&A I put together last year with the questions being from a YouTube video and have posed them to many different people from all of the country and doing all sorts of jobs, in all sorts of roles, living all kinds of lives!
So let’s kick off Day Four of 12 Days of Christmas with I'm NOT Disordered with the answers of Chief Officer Dale Checksfield from Durham Special Constabulary

1.       When do you start getting excited for Christmas Day?

Normally on Christmas Eve, but coming from a family with German heritage we celebrate St Nicklaus Day on the 6th December with a tradition that sees the children place one of their boots outside the door, if they have been good they get sweets, if not they have a few weeks to behave before Santa arrives.

2.       Do you still have an advent calendar? If yes, which do you have and if no, when did you stop having them?

I still have an Advent Calender, although I regularly find my children has assisted me in ensuring its kept up to date. 

3.       What are favourite Christmas movies?

I’m not a big movie fan but I do enjoy watching Home Alone, the slapstick humour provides an opportunity for a laugh.

4.       Do you have any funny Christmas stories/memories?

One Christmas, many years ago, I received a pair of roller blades for my Christmas.  They were awesome – shiny, with chunky buckles and lightning fast wheels.  The first few rides resulted with my spending most of my time on my bum, within a few days I was rocketing around – right up to the point of hitting a small pothole in the path, smashing my kneecap – a trip to A&E later and I never roller bladed again. 

5.       What's your typical Christmas Day?

I work rotationally so I’m not always home at Christmas, like this year where I am working away for the most of December. When I am home we have a typical Christmas Day with an early call from our eldest daughter, presents, breakfast and family focussed fun. Again, with the German heritage we begin celebrations on Christmas Eve with the opening of a single present, a family meal and Christmas pyjamas!

6.       What do you eat for you Christmas dinner? And what is your favourite part of it?

A traditional Christmas dinner with Turkey is usually on the menu.  I’m a big fan of stuffing – It’s a family joke that I can eat a whole packet of stuffing to myself – and its probably true!

7.       Do you have any Christmas traditions?

Nicklaus, Christmas Eve pyjamas and each year we buy a glass bauble for the family tree – although they haven’t been on display for the last 2 years – toddlers and glass baubles don’t go well together!

8.       What are your favourite Christmas songs?

Silent Night has to be my personal favourite – both the English and German versions.

9.       What has been your favourite Christmas present?

Wow, that’s a tough question – I’ve had some incredibly thoughtful gifts from my family – my wife particularly is good at knowing things that mean much to me. This year she got me a framed set of handmade models of my family which reflects the things important to each of us – I’m in my Police Uniform, My wife in her business uniform, my eldest daughter in her diving kit and our youngest in her favourite dress. Its something simple that symoblises so much. 

10.   Do you prefer a real or fake Christmas tree?

I like the idea of a real Christmas tree but not the reality so its fake for us.  We are currently using a lightweight pop up tree that’s safe for our toddler.

11.   This year, do you think you'd be on the naughty or nice list?

That’s a matter of perspective.  Some may feel I should be on the nice list, others on the naughty. I try to live my life on the nice side, doing things for others so let’s wait and see!

12.   Do you prefer giving or receiving presents?

I prefer giving, particularly to children. I feel Christmas is for the kids.

13.   Where would be your dream place to spend Christmas?

Having spent many years of my life working away at sea, I’ve spent Christmas in the Caribbean, South Atlantic, Scotland, England and Northern Norway, each of them has been enjoyable in one way or another. These days my dream place to spend Christmas is in the same place that my family are. Christmas this year will be done by video calling! 

14.   Are you good at wrapping presents?

If they are square or rectangular I’m your man for wrapping presents – if they deviate from a purely straight form then I’m going to need some help!

15.   What time do you usually get up on Christmas morning? Is this different from when you were little?

 Whenever the children wake me up.  I tend to be an early riser anyway and last year I was the first awake in the house having been on nightshift baby feeding duty!

16.   How old were you when you found out that Santa wasn't real? And how did you find out?

I honestly don’t recall, however this year is the first that my eldest knows the sad truth! She is excited to be able to carry on the magic for her little sister.

17.   What is your dream Christmas present?

I’m fortunate in that I don’t want for much – I’m at the stage in my life where my family means more to me than material things. It would probably have to be a winter holiday to see the Northern Lights in the hotel in Scandinavia that has glass roofed sleeping pods – with my family of course.

18.   Have you asked for anything this year? If yes, what?

I haven’t asked for anything this year, I got some thoughtful presents from my family which I’m delighted with (we did Christmas early before I headed away with work) – and I have a couple left to open on Christmas day.

19.   If you could spend Christmas with anyone - living or dead, celebrity or someone you know - who would it be?

My grandfather was my guide in life, my best friend, my counsellor, my teacher and at times my lecturer – and not in an education sense! My Grandmother equally so – losing them has been a big dent in my life.  If I could spend Christmas with anyone it would be them, I’d literally sell my house to have that chance.
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