Nigella Lawson has told how she once made her children give away their Christmas presents to charity.
The domestic goddess, whose husband is wealthy art collector Charles Saatchi, wanted to show daughter Mimi, 14, and son Bruno, 12, how lucky they are.
The daughter of former British chancellor Nigel Lawson told her children they could only keep one gift each and the rest went to the Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children in London.
“I don’t want to turn Christmas into a thing about shopping,” Lawson said.
“One year, I was incredibly nasty and strict, and made the children choose a present that they wanted to keep and take the rest to Great Ormond Street.
“I wanted them to think about how lucky they are.
“Of course, they roll their eyes every time I start.”
Lawson was speaking to 'Red' magazine, of which she is a guest editor.
She also told how she prefers home made gifts and ones that make her laugh.
The 48-year-old said: “My husband, Charles, and daughter, Mimi, once got me an extendable fork with a telescopic handle.
“It reaches up to two feet away and you can graciously take what you want from a distance or, even better, pinch food off other people’s plates, when they’re not looking.
“Charles once gave me earrings for Christmas but, when I put them on, he said, ’I hate you in earrings!’
“Usually, though, he’s very good at shopping for me. In fact, he’s much better at it than I am.”
Lawson added: “I like to make my own decorations, but I’m very cack-handed.
“The difficulty is, I make them and then I have to pretend the children have, because they’re so bad.”
The celebrity cook has sold millions of books since becoming a household name in 1998 with her first cookery book, 'How to Eat'.
In February, Lawson said that while, of course, she had no intention of leaving her children destitute and starving, she believed that “you have to work in order to learn the value of money”.
She said: “I have always said of my children that once they have finished university or training, whatever education they choose, they have to support themselves through work, as I did...”