Thursday, 16 December 2010

A blog of Christmas Past

I loved Christmas as a child  (well I still do but the presents were better then) There was always the same pattern for Christmas, I suppose made easier by having a small family. Christmas day at home with Nana and Grandad  (Dad's ) and Boxing day at Granma and Grandad's (Mum's).

Decorations would usually go up on the first Sunday of December, early but it worked well as a bribe to get me to go to 'Church parade' with the Brownies. I always helped Dad with the decorating of the tree while Mum put tinsel round the room. When I say 'helped' I put the hooks on the ornaments and passed them to Dad, I may have sometimes insisted on putting one on the tree but I'm fairly sure it would have been moved if it didn't look right - the tree was always a work of art.

Me at 15, still hadn't grown out of Christmas
There were important traditions to the decorating, first you needed the Christmas Carols LP and a glass of whiskey along with the suggestion from Mum that it was maybe a bit early to drink. (Never too early when it's Christmas was always the reply!)  Then you had the obligatory swearing at the fairy lights which never worked first time.

The best bit of 'doing the tree' was the lametta at the end, throwing randomly at the tree, (and probably then watching while Dad evened it out!)

We used to put presents from other people under the tree but mine would be brought by Father Christmas and left in a pillow case at the bottom of my bed on Christmas morning.

Obviously I left a drink out for Father Christmas and a mince pie. Not brandy though as most people did - apparently he would be fed up with brandy as he got to ours and would rather have a whisky. I never noticed what a coincidence it was that Mum and Dad were whisky drinkers, how strange :)

I was a bit concerned one year when I woke up to see Mum putting the pillow case full of presents at the end of my bed. I asked her what she was doing. She looked a bit surprised but in a heartbeat explained that Father Christmas was in a bit of  hurry so he gave it to her at the top of the stairs and she was just helping. One year after opening all my presents I was a little disappointed to find that he hadn't brought something (can't remember what unfortunately) that I was really hoping for, I was sent on some errand taking me near to the patio doors where I found one more present that he had dropped on his way out.  (we didn't have a chimney - he had a magic key).....guess what, it was just what I wanted!

I was allowed to open one present in the morning when I woke up and the rest had to wait until Mum and Dad were up and we could open all our presents together. Oh, and of course once the dog had been walked and Mum had basted the turkey. I loved the fact that back then Mum used to cook the turkey overnight so it really smelt like Christmas in the morning!

After presents I used to go with Dad to collect Nana and Grandad, it was always exciting as it was the only time in the year they came to us. Neither drove and Grandad wasn't that well so the rest of the time we went to them.

I seem to remember that every year I got a board game from them, always something I'd wished for. (Mum used to shop for them) One year I got a magic show, I played with that for hours!

I loved Christmas dinner, although probably not as much as I do now, I may have even had tomato ketchup on it back then. I certainly wouldn't have appreciated the effort gone into preparing it.

I don't think we generally watched the Queen's speech, as this was usually when we ate. I do know however that every year I wanted to watch Top of the Pops, and every year I wasn't allowed! Thank goodness for the video recorder!

Every year it seemed, at some point during dinner Grandad would knock over his drink, it was a standing joke in the end, and the first year after he passed away somebody else did it. I think it was still blamed on Grandad bless him - just a way of letting us know he was still around.
Grandad - if you're reading from up there, maybe could you let us know you're with us without spilling wine this year xxxx




We didn't really watch television on the day, it went on a few times for Dad to check his taping was going ok. When the Christmas edition Radio Times (and TV times - remember when you had to buy two?) came out we sat down with a pen and ringed round the things we wanted to watch and tape. Dad had a little notebook and numbered videos (in cases which looked like books) and everything taped was written down, it's something that AJ thinks is hilarious now but it was a great idea - very organised!

A much loved present - Violet
I loved my Christmases as a child and hope Leo and Louka grow up with as many happy memories.


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20 comments:

  1. What wonderful Christmas memories. I have many that are simillar, especially the fairy light swearing! We used to have lametta on the tree, but had to stop due the the cats eating it. As a child it was never really Christmas unless the cats had lametta hanging out of their bottom and they had chewed the turkey whilst defrosting. I still smile at those memories now.

    It's those memories that make me want to build a frim foundation of Christmas memories for my children.

    Brilliant post!

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  2. A lovely memory post!

    Nice to 'meet' you! :)

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  3. So many Christmas memories, all truly wonderful, don't forget that magic key only worked on Christmas Eve, it's no wonder I had to help Santa on his way!!

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  4. What a lovely post with some great memories. x

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  5. Enjoyed your memories and the photos illustrating your post very much!

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  6. Fab post, I wish I had thought to use a piccie of me from when I was a kid! Clever you. Mich x

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  7. This is a truly wonderful posting,it brought back my own memories (I have just bought the Radio Times, and highlighted all of the programmes I want to watch, despite having Sky +!) It was a lovely blog, and I enjoyed reading it very much indeed. Thanks for sharing.

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  8. So lovely! You had me right there with you...that's quality writing!

    Hope your Christmas this year is as lovely as those of Christmas past.

    :) Karin

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  9. Thank you for your lovely comments.

    @Herding cats - I'm still chuckling at the image of cats with lametta hanging out their bottoms!

    @Mum - I did remember Santa's key only worked on Christmas Eve, was I worried that a strange man with a beard (not dad!) was going to come in on another night?

    @Emmylou - I miss being able to buy a tv guide and do that, anything good on UK tv over Christmas?

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  10. I really loved reading your story. I think your mum was very quick witted to think of a great excuse like that off the cuff! Very impressive.

    Cheers to your Grandad. x

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  11. I loved reading your Christmas story as mine was very similar...except my dad was a one sherry at Christmas dinner type of guy! The game I loved getting one year was the "Mary Poppins" game...except the pole in the middle never worked properly!

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  12. What a wonderful collection of memories! Funnily enough, I never remember leaving anything out for Santa, but I had the pillowcase at the end of my bed as well. TFS!

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  13. Gorgeous post and gorgeous pics. Sincerely hope Grandpa doesn't spill the wine this year...

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  14. What a gorgeous post, great to see the old pics. Your mum sounds lovely.

    Kirsty

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  15. What a lovely post. I think I might have to setal the 'Santa dropped a present' idea.

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  16. I smiled all the way throught this, thank you so much for linking it up to Festive Friday! It reminded me of my own childhood, carpet and all!

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  17. I actually welled up at the part about your grandad. I really wish mine was still here too. Christmas is superb but it does make you moss loved ones. Lovely post :) x

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  18. Lovely post and pictures. We had a Christmas Carols LP too, think it was from Readers Digest or something, had loads of records in one pack and our videos were all numbered and kept in a book. Sounds like you had lovely family Christmas' :)

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  19. this is sooooo funny because my Dad also had a book with all his numbered VHS videos listing all the programmes./films recorded onto each one! He had about 75!! lol I used to love getting the bumper edition of the Radio Times and also circling the things I wanted to watch! i had forgotten that one!
    i love this so familiar x x

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  20. I love all of the photos on this post!!

    I still get the TV magazines to ring all of the programmes and films I want to watch, then go through Sky Planner to find them to set to record. xx

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