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|
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!
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.
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|