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Christmas with Jasmine Harman... her blowout vegan dinner and tear-jerking tradition

The star of A Place in the Sun enjoys a full-on vegan meal

Jasmine Harman has shared a glimpse into her traditional Christmas Day traditions, as part of our Christmas Digital Issue guest-edited by Martine McCutcheon. The presenter of A Place in the Sun tucks into a blowout vegan meal with her family, starting with smashed avocado with grilled portobello mushrooms on a toasted bagel for breakfast. Healthy!

READ: Martine McCutcheon reveals the other Christmas film she was almost cast in

Like some self-restrained families, Jasmine also gradually opens presents throughout the day and not in one mad rush. She reveals the one rule she has for her kids on Christmas Day, plus the bittersweet tradition she ends the festivities with. 

Martine McCutcheon stars on our Christmas Digital Cover

We usually spend Christmas at…

Either at home with family visiting, or at my or my husband's sister's homes. We take it in turns to do Christmas Day and alternate years we're with my side of the family or my husband's side of the family.

Christmas in our household is…

Pretty exciting! With an eight-year-old and a six-year-old, the magic of Christmas is very much alive! Plus, there are usually lots of family dogs so it can get quite chaotic!

READ: Strictly's Dan Walker reveals his very quirky Christmas family tradition

READ: Prince William and Kate's royal photographer reveals how to take the perfect Christmas photos

We wake up on Christmas morning at…

Dawn! We do have a rule that we don't start opening presents until 7am (usually because Jon and I will have been wrapping late into the night!!) Nothing like a bit of last-minute wrapping!

For breakfast, we eat…

Smashed avocado with grilled portobello mushrooms on a toasted bagel with roasted tomatoes.

For Christmas dinner, we eat…

A full-on vegan Christmas dinner with all the trimmings. We always go massively overboard, so there's plenty left for round two later in the evening. We start with spiced sweet potato and coconut soup.

The main will often be a gorgeous home-made pie. Although last year I bought a fantastic vegan Wellington from our local bakery, Coughlan's. We'll also have a nut roast, or a lentil bake, potatoes, Yorkshire pudding, roasted parsnips, carrots, creamy leeks and mushrooms, plus broccoli, peas, and of course Brussels sprouts with chestnuts! Lashings of gravy and all the other usual condiments.

A selection of desserts usually includes mince pies, Christmas pudding, chocolate pudding, with a choice of vegan custard, ice cream or cream (or all three… it's Christmas after all!) I usually buy a vegan cheese board from Kinda Co who make the most sensational vegan cheeses. I never feel like I'm missing out because we don't have animal products. Our Christmas food is very decadent, delicious and satisfying.

READ: James Martin's Christmas Eve dinner recipes you have to try

We usually leave all the cooking to…

Jon, my husband. He is absolutely amazing when it comes to cooking a special meal like this. His roast potatoes are legendary. I'll be his sous chef and do all the chopping and peeling etc. Although this year to give him a bit of a break, I've ordered a Christmas feasting box from The Brook, which we're planning to have on Boxing Day.

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Jasmine and her family have a full-on vegan Christmas dinner

After our big meal, we like to…

Open the presents from under the tree together. We usually open the kids' stockings in the morning and save the rest of the presents until after lunch as it gives everyone something to look forward to later on. Plus, they get time to play with their new toys all morning.

RECIPE: Gordon Ramsay's alternative dessert to Christmas pudding 

My favourite Christmas film is…

The adaptation of Julia Donaldson's Stick Man. It brings a tear to my eye every time.

We normally open presents at…

Presents from Santa in the morning and the rest all together in the afternoon. We open them one at a time so everyone can see what each other has received and it's nice to savour the unwrapping.

The best Christmas present I've ever received was…

When Jon and I first got together, we bought a flat, and I was actually away filming when we completed. So Jon put a lot of effort into getting everything ready and when I came back to London just a few days before Christmas, everything was lovely and Christmassy. It was so special to be able to wake up on Christmas Day on our first Christmas together in our own place.

There's usually an argument about…

Running out of forks!

READ: Trisha Goddard solves your most common Christmas dilemmas

My most memorable Christmas is…

I think the first time we went to Lapland UK with our children. What a magical time we had. I was so fully immersed into it. Meeting the elves, visiting Mother Christmas's Kitchen, and of course an audience with Santa himself; neither myself nor my kids will ever forget it.

The quirkiest Christmas tradition we have is…

We don't watch TV. There is so much going on that we never even have time to switch the television on. I like it that way as we can enjoy the time with family.

We end the day by…

Lighting candles and raising a toast to those loved ones who are no longer with us. We have sadly had a few bereavements very close to Christmas and we always have a time to remember them and cherish the memories.

If I had to pick just one thing I love about Christmas, it would be…

Seeing the look on my children's faces when they realise Santa has been.

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