As a child on Christmas morning, my presents would always be at the bottom of my bed in a pillowcase. If I woke up during the night, I would chose one of the presents to open and snuggle down in bed again till the morning, although I wanted to open them all, I would have hated to have nothing to
open when I got up. I always had a selection box, normally books or games from my Aunts and Uncles, things that could be made or drawn and usually something doll related.
My Dad was always the last to open his presents and did so with the use of his penknife. In memory of those days every Christmas Dad’s penknife is still put on the unit and if it is used we always thank him.
Mum and Dad always made Christmas exciting, Chicken was always on the menu (turkey was not a traditional dish then), and to have chicken was extra special! The three of us would have Christmas dinner and then the rest of the family, the Kennedy's, the Littlefield's, and the Barrett's, would all arrive for tea and the evening, which included party games, with Mum or Dad playing the piano, everyone would have a good singsong and Dad's accordion would also make an appearance which everyone enjoyed.
Until the age of nine, when we moved house, the Christmas parties were in the big front room which was also my bedroom. My bed was also a large settee so it was just folded up out of the way giving more than enough room for everyone. The room always looked very festive with decorations stretching across the ceiling, some of which I would have made from coloured strips which with a good lick,would be joined together to make a chain. The Christmas tree was always placed in front of the window with the lights twinkling away.
A silver cigarette lighter would always make an appearance as it was a custom for it to be passed alternately between my Dad and Uncle Wally. It was quite a challenge to achieve this sometimes without the receiver realising that it was back in their possession, but it worked every year.
On Boxing Day the celebrations continued with Christmas tea and the evening at Aunt Alice and Uncle Tom's and the first Saturday after Christmas,everyone would go to Aunt Bab's and Uncle Wally's. I used to love the time when the Snowman was opened, each person would have a raffle ticket and receive the corresponding present from inside the large Snowman. Their house was very large, upstairs was a massive room which would always have an enormous Christmas tree in it, here we would spend the evening having fun and games, after having tea downstairs.
I have many happy family memories to look back on over the years.