Coastal artist Jessica Hogarth’s work features on the cover of Yorkshire Life for December 2023. She shares her favourite festive memories

'I must admit I love the build up to Christmas more than the day itself and from early December I start to feel festive. This year will be extra special as we adopted two cats as six-month-old kittens in May and I can’t wait for festive cosy nights in with our ‘lads’ watching the Vicar of Dibley box set, like we do most years! I’m sure the cats will take a liking to the Christmas tree and the baubles so we will have to see how it goes with regards to that!

My favourite Christmas that I can remember from years gone by was in 2010. I was only a few months into my graduate job working in Manchester and it was cold and rainy but we had very little to no snow.

In contrast, my Dad was having to dig out his work van every morning for weeks to get through the rural little roads from my parents cottage to his work. I love ‘proper snow’ and we have far fewer snowy times now than we did when I was much younger.

Great British Life: Yorkshire Life December 2023 coverYorkshire Life December 2023 cover (Image: Yorkshire Life)

I was counting down the days to finish for Christmas and couldn’t wait to get back to my parents' cosy cottage with its open fire. The time spent at home that festive season was everything I wanted it to be. I had festive drinks with friends in the Bay Hotel in Robin Hood’s Bay, sledged on Christmas day in the field next to Mum and Dad’s and watched my brother take part in the Boxing Day dip in Whitby.

It was freezing and there was frost on the beach as he and lots of other people ran into the sea! My brother is an excellent guitar player and I got to see various musical gigs he took part in over the Christmas period too.

This Christmas I will be shopping local at the Whitby Book Shop, Wild Hart in Sandsend and of course the shops (including ours!) in Robin Hood’s Bay. Getting wrapped up and taking a walk on Sandsend beach followed by some hot food at Sandside Café is a lovely way to spend an afternoon, as is wandering around the east side of Whitby after having a tasty brunch at Mr Coopers. We go here a lot and this festive season will be no exception. I am sure we will make time for a meal at Pizza West and also The Postgate in Egton is a firm winter favourite too.