RISHIKA PATEL, aged 6, nativity-play Mary at St Bartholomew's School, Sydenham: Father Christmas doesn't come to our house, but I get presents anyway. I hope I don't get another Barbie doll because I've got two already. We don't have a Christmas tree either but my childminder does. I'm glad to be Mary and I like it that she was poor and just a normal woman and saw an angel who frightened her. I wouldn't be frightened if I saw an angel because they are quite nice really. I went on a very exciting school trip this year but I've forgotten where.

TOM COSTELLO, aged 7, her counterpart Joseph: When I think of Christmas I think first of Jesus, then Father Christmas. Some children in my class don't believe in Father Christmas but I do. My grandma is lucky because she lives in Stevenage and she gets two visits from Father Christmas, once for her, and once when we come and visit. This year I've learnt joined-up writing - not whole words, just little bits, like NE or TH. I learnt to do my five times table up to 100. This has been the nicest year I've had so far.

TAMARA COETZEE, Office Angel temp: This Christmas will be my first away from my parents: I arrived from Zimbabwe in May on a working holiday. In spite of the heat, my parents will be roasting a turkey with all the trimmings, eating mince pies, Christmas cake, the lot. I'll miss them but I'll be in Dublin with friends, so I won't be lonely. I may even get my first white Christmas. I've had a wonderful year. I've been homesick, but it's all part of growing up.

BARRY LLOYD, innkeeper, The Holly Bush, Little Lea, Cheshire: The Holly Bush is one of the oldest inns in the country. We bought it just a few weeks ago, so this will be our first Christmas. It's been quite a traumatic year. I can understand that some ofthe locals don't want to see the pub change its character but if we don't do any work on it there's a chance it might fall down. Christmas is always really busy. We've started putting up our decorations and we're getting the menus prepared now - full Christmas lunch, all the trimmings. There'll probably be a bit of a sing-song as well. The only time we'll be closed is Christmas Night when we'll be putting our feet up.

HUW MEYRICK, shepherd: I prefer a quiet Christmas because once January comes I won't get a day off until after lambing in May. This past year hasn't been that good. March was trouble - the rain and wind really knocked the sheep for six. You can get your management all fine but you can't fight the weather. This year we'll be home with our six sheepdogs. My wife Carole has made cakes to give as presents and we'll have a turkey and Christmas pud like always. We've ordered the turkey from a friend of mine who fattens them up. I think we'll get a tree, but looking at the size of our cottage I don't really know. You'd have to peer round it to watch the telly.

GARY GLENN, Elvis ("The King") impersonator: I've got Christmas gigs this season in wine bars and pubs and I'm doing a special Elvis gig in Camberwell. We'll be spending Christmas Day at my mother's miniature Graceland in Croydon. She's got pictures of him everywhere, and stones and grass from his grave. We'll turn on an Elvis video after dinner - probably King Creole this year, it's my favourite. We always burn a candle for Elvis on Christmas Day. My wife is a great cook and makes dinner with all the trimmings. I'll probably be putting on a stone or two but that's all right for my act.

LEO, KING OF REDONDA (alias William Gates): Redonda is a rock near Antigua. Columbus discovered it on12 November 1493, a date we Redondans always commemorate. The title King of Redonda has been passed down since then, although impostors have appeared as well. I love a traditional family Christmas. I'm taking my wife for a Christmas lunch in the White Lion pub, and we're also celebrating our 24th wedding anniversary. I am just sorting out my annual Redonda Christmas card. It features the royal coat of arms with red and gold leaf. Most of the people round here in Norfolk have absolutely no idea that I have a crown in the cupboard - they think I'm an ordinary neighbourly helpful sort of type.

JOE KENNEDY, Pearly King: Christmas is a busy time for us Pearly Kings. I'll be performing at old-age pensioners' clubs and local pubs with some of the other Pearlies. We give them a few songs: old cockney numbers such as "The Old Bull and Bush", "MotherBrown" and "My Old Dutch". On Christmas Day, we'll have lunch with the family, listen to the Queen's Speech, and then I'll nip out for a quick drink at the Legion if I can. I hope my son will take the button when he gets older. The Pearly Kings and Queens have been going since 1875, and the titles have been handed down through the families. My son doesn't seem too interested but he's not yet 30 so there's time. It's in your blood, being a Pearly.

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