Memories of Family Christmasses

Beautiful-Christmas-decorMy earliest Christmas memories involve a white tricycle and a budgie.  I think I was 4!  I’d received the budgie for my 4th birthday from my nan and it was the 1st year for my mum, dad, brother Fred & me in our new flat.  I don’t actually remember much before we moved to the  flat, so it was obviously not the best living  in 2 rooms at my grandmother’s house, where we all shared a bedroom!

My first Christmas memory then,  is the White tricycle & the budgie, Tommy,  sitting on the handlebars on Christmas morning.  I remember being dressed in a new red, winter coat with a white fur collar & a white muff on a string round my neck (It was always a new coat for Christmas :))

Dad carried the tricycle down the 7 flights of stairs and I discovered that I was expected to ride it all the way to nan’s house.  Suffice to say I didn’t! Don’t think I actually rode it much at all 😉

It was a traditional day that was to continue until I reached my teens & had boyfriends.

After we had opened our gifts at home Dad, my brother & I would all don our best clothes and go off to nan’s to exchange presents with other members of the family whilst mum tidied the lounge & prepared dinner.  Dad would then go to the pub (I joined him once I was old enough) but I was usually back off home to mum to help get Christmas lunch ready.

Lunch was always around 2:30 and then it was a lazy afternoon of TV & snacks and of course we always watched The Queen’s Message!

Tea was always at nan’s and always consisted of tinned salmon & ham with salad & was followed by Mince Pies, Christmas Cake & Aunt Rose’s yummy trifle.  Oh and copius cups of tea – no alcohol until the party later when everyone else turned up & the tea-table (a huge billiards table closed up for the purpose) was cleared & dragged by about 5-6 men to the corner of the room to be loaded up with bottles of beer, spirits & glasses.

Once I was a teenager, I had the pleasure of choosing all the music with uncle George and we would spent the weeks leading up to Christmas recording from his 78rpm records onto the reel to reel tape recorder ready for the party on Christmas night.

The adults would go to the pub after tea whilst the children were expected to play nicely, the older teenagers watching over them,  until the adults returned ready to party.

I remember many years of being carried home by my dad until I was old enough to stay awake all evening.

I remember my granddad or rather ‘step’ granddad (known as uncle Tom) drank brown ale, my nan drank whiskey & orange (it’s where I got my liking for whiskey) and my mum drank gin & tonic (hate gin ….yuck yuck yuck!)

They were the good old days, but then I suppose my grandchildren will remember Christmases with their nannies & granddads as ‘the good old days when they are my age (not to be spoken aloud).  But they seem to have a different kind of Christmas each year so there is no tradition building for them to remember.

I just hope they have a happy Christmas, just as I used to with all my family, and that they have some beautiful memories to hang on to.

Happy Christmas everyone.

The Wonder of Christmas

52695_441677179228158_1557653790_oHow do you keep the magic going for your kids at Christmas?

Do they really believe in Santa?

My kids did until about 8 or 9 I think – will have to ask my daughter.  I do know that we tried to keep the magic going for as long as possible.  In fact there was the year we bought a garden slide & got a friend to dress up in a Santa suit & slide down it whilst I woke the kids up and showed them out the window of their bedrooms!  My daughter looked & then went back to sleep and my son panicked saying he mustn’t wake up because Santa would take his toys away!  They believed though 😉

We never used to put labels on their presents because they were from Santa, and the big presents, like bikes, were never wrapped of course!

We would even go so far as to remove labels from other people’s gifts sometimes to make things more authentic on Christmas morning.  Or we would say that nanny & granddad had asked Santa to bring a particular toy and that’s why it said it was from them.

When a child is small, why do people bother putting their name on the present? The child doesn’t really care where the toy came from, just that it’s for them.  Is it for the child or for the parents? “This is for your child from me – look how much I spent on them” is what a label says to me.  It also says ‘I will expect a ‘thank you’ from you on their behalf”.  I don’t expect a ‘thank you’ because when Santa sends a toy to a child, he is thanking them for being good so why should they thank the giver?

Am I being very picky here? Am I a bit too cynical? Why have I just put labels on the gifts I’ve bought for my grandchildren and said: “from nanny & granddad”!?!  Oh I feel like a hypocrite now!

When do kids stop believing? And why do they keep up the pretence when they don’t believe anymore?

Is it because it’s the parents who really want to believe in Santa?  Are we all trying to get back the magic from our childhood?

What do you think?  I know I’d love to, but at my age that’s going to be a bit difficult.  Even more so now that mum & dad are gone, my kids are all grown and left the nest.  I make the most of the magic we can make for my grandkids.  Watching them on Christmas morning gives me such a great feeling.  Who cares about labels? They’re never read anyway!  Might take mine off now 😉

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