Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern hopes baby Neve will one day take on her Christmas tradition making marshmallow balls while National Party leader Simon Bridges' neighbours might want to put noise control on their speed dial - he's hoping for an electronic drum kit from Santa.

It will be baby Neve's first Christmas, and Ardern said there were a few traditions she hoped Neve would grow up remembering.

"I would like her to be brutalised through repeat runs of Mariah Carey's All I Want for Christmas, as I was as a teenager. Over, and over, and over again. It was something I loathed as a child but now I view quite fondly.

"Also, my sister and I every Christmas Eve make marshmallow balls. And that's something I'd like to pass onto her."

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Ardern said they carried that on even when in different countries. Her sister, Louise, used whole marshmallows while Ardern trimmed hers down.

"That way you get more biscuit ratio to marshmallow. So I would say mine [are better]. I'm worried this is being filmed and she is going to see me talking smack about her marshmallow balls. Don't ruin Christmas for the Arderns."

Bridges said there was no specific tradition in his house beyond an unfortunate tendency for lunch to be very late because of turkey cooking time miscalculations.

Simon Bridges answers Claire Trevett's Christmas questionnaire.

"Just wake up, open the presents, eat lots of lollies and things, muck around, take too long making lunch, have lunch, children break toys, there is crying, hopefully you get an afternoon nap, eat leftovers, watch a movie, go to sleep."

Bridges is possibly on his mother's naughty list - she publicly upbraided him for his bad language after he described his MP Maureen Pugh as being "f***ing useless" in a secret recording of a conversation between Bridges and Jami-Lee Ross.

Bridges said she would get "my enduring love" and a card with his family on it. "Possibly a little gift, maybe a little bit of jewellery because she likes jewellery. She'll do alright out of me."

Asked what they wanted for themselves, and banned from giving an answer such as world peace, and end to poverty or more sleep, Bridges said more time with his family and an electronic drum kit.

"I'm going to get one too even if I have to pay for it."

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Ardern said her family's system was to draw a name out of a hat and gift that person. She hadn't even been able to come up with a suggestion for her gift-giver.

"I don't really need anything other than sleep. I don't really want for much either. I know it's boring, but I couldn't even answer this for a present buyer let alone the Herald. So sorry. Sleep."

Clarke Gayford and Jacinda Ardern are keen to pass on the recipe for marshmallow balls to baby Neve.
Clarke Gayford and Jacinda Ardern are keen to pass on the recipe for marshmallow balls to baby Neve.

Ardern said she has exchanged Christmas cards with the royal family and several world leaders though she had not yet had time to read them all.

"I always look forward to the royal family's because they always do something different every year. I think last year the Queen might have sent a card of her feeding an elephant, which was pretty cool."

They include British Prime Minister Theresa May, Canada's Justin Trudeau, several Pacific leaders and Ireland's Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar.

Her Christmas card list reflects the leaders she has met on her international travels this year such as Europe, the Pacific and the United States to attend the UN General Assembly, although US President Donald Trump is not mentioned.

Bridges said there were no famous people among those who sent him cards.

"No. Meghan [Duchess of Sussex] didn't send a card."

Both leaders will have some time off and return to work in January.

Ardern said she had a long 'to-do' list. "Probably quite high on the agenda is the Zero Carbon legislation [a law to set a target of net zero carbon emissions by 2050]."

Simon Bridges is dreaming of an electronic drum kit. Photo / Andrew Warner
Simon Bridges is dreaming of an electronic drum kit. Photo / Andrew Warner

Bridges said 2019 would see National doing more to put forward its plan and new policies including discussion documents to get feedback on those in development. Resource management planning was one area - although the more sensitive policies would be kept in hand for election year.

"There will be other areas as well because we want to create a real contrast between a government of working groups and not a working government, and, on our side, a party that is doing the work. New Zealanders will see that coming to fruition next year."

Bridges chose Holy Night as his favourite carol and Ardern went for the Pogues' Fairytale of New York.

Neither would sing a few lines.

PM Jacinda Ardern's Christmas Eve marshmallow balls.

100g butter

1/2 cup (90g) brown sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla essence

1/2 tin condensed milk

2 teaspoons cocoa

2 cups malt biscuit crumbs, about 1 1/2 packets. Any sweet biscuit will do.

1 packet large marshmallows

Coconut for rolling

Method:

Place butter, condensed milk, sugar, cocoa and vanilla essence together in a pot over a low heat. Stir until butter is melted then add crushed biscuits. Scoop a tablespoon of mixture and roll it around a marshmallow to form a ball. This is easier with wet hands. Finish with coconut.

Refrigerate overnight.