As the former Daybreak presenter returns to co-host the second annual Text Santa – ITV1’s marathon evening of entertainment for charity – Christine Bleakley tells us why she loves this time of year…

Have you made any Christmas plans yet?
“Yes, and they will definitely involve my parents, my sister, mates, Frank [partner, Frank Lampard] and the children. It will be a big, crazy mash-up of Irishness! Lots of food and drink, let’s put it that way!”

Do you spoil your family with presents?
“I do! At Christmas, I go back to feeling like a little kid. I just love it! It is the one time of the year when all my family are together. I love buying presents, opening gifts is very exciting but I prefer giving presents and seeing their reaction.”

Have you bought any pressies yet?
“I’ve had a few ideas. I think I know what I might get Frank and I’ve got a couple of little gifts for my sister.”

Do you think you are easy to buy for?
“I think I’m easy to buy for, although my sister disagrees. I’m very grateful for anything and I’m very practical. One of my favourite presents ever was a new hoover, which sounds really boring but those things really excite me. I’m a bit of an OCD freak when it comes to housework.”

Do you have any Christmas traditions?
“On Christmas Eve all my family go to the local pub and then afterwards we go to church. On Christmas morning, my sister and I can’t go downstairs until mum and dad have gone down – even though we’re 30 and 33! This goes back to the Santa days, we don’t want to risk it!”

As a vacuum cleaner was your favourite present, what could possibly be your worst?
“Anything that creates a mess. I got this lovely jewellery kit years ago with all these little beads and glue. As much as I liked it, I can’t be dealing with it anything that creates mess, although I have to say I’m very grateful for anything.”

Do you watch a lot of telly during the festive period?
“Another Christmas tradition in my family is getting hold of the TV Times. Once you have the TV Times with its festive scene on the front, you officially know it’s Christmas season! We’re massive TV people at Christmas. It’s just a wonderful thing, watching everything on the box and my mum spoiling us with food every five minutes. She is like Mrs Doyle in Father Ted, a total feeder!”

What are your favourite Christmas films?
“I love the old traditional ones like Santa Claus The Movie. One of my all time favourite films is National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. It’s amazing when he pulls out the lights from the garage and they’re all in knots, we all know that feeling!”

Do you make New Year’s resolutions?
“No, I’ve given up on them. They don’t last, you never stick to them and you’re only left feeling disappointed. So my New Year’s resolution is to do nothing and carry on. Maybe if I say eat and drink loads, the opposite might happen!”

Text Santa started for the first time last year and raised four million pounds for charity. Apart from asking the public to give generously, is there a message you’d like to get across viewers?
“Christmas is a vulnerable time for people who are on their own. Our message is a special one – at Christmas it’s important to get back to basics and let people know that they’re not alone and that there are people out there willing to listen. If you have anything to spare at all and would very kindly put it in our direction, it will be going towards a good cause.”

Text Santa is on Friday December 21 at 8pm on ITV1.