I’ve always loved Christmas but this year it feels different, I’ve not experienced that Christmassy moment and not for the want of trying. My decorations are up, I’ve watched Christmas films and Christmas specials and I’ve listened to some classic Christmas tunes and yet I still can’t seem to feel festive, so I thought I’d share some of my childhood Christmas memories with you to see if I can recapture some of that magic.
Every Christmas I can remember was always full of presents, my brother and I were always spoilt (we still are if truth be told).
Each year our Christmas decorations would go up on the night that Mum and Dad attended Dad’s MOD Christmas Party. My Grandma and Grandad would babysit and then we’d put the decorations up. Grandad would untangle the lights and lay them in a long string up the living room, he would then proceed to check they all worked whilst standing on and breaking as many as he fixed. Once the tree went up my Grandma would let us put on the baubles before she rehung them in a more aesthetically pleasing place. We’d then string the cards along the living room wall, Dad’s big scary staple gun would be used and we’d hang all the cards on string. The living room has been redecorated in recent years and the many staple holes from the card stringing have been filled in and covered over, but I can still remember them well. In this picture of me and my brother and my Grandma and Grandad you can see the cards on the wall behind us. I always remember there being so many cards.
Grandma and Grandad were always there at Christmas, before Peter (my brother) was born I would hold my Grandparents hostage as obviously they only came to see and play with me. I’m told that I would often take them into our front room and keep them in there so I would be the centre of their attention.
I did notice that my nightdress matches my parents curtains in the last picture, so thats a real treat. My Dad’s mum – Granny Lu made me the nightdress along with others that seem to feature in Christmas photos of me as a child. Also in the fourth picture I’m opening a present from Granny, she was a fantastic seamstress and the gift I am opening was a doll complete with an entire wardrobe of clothes she had made for the doll. I have the pattern book she made the clothes from still and one day I will recreate one of the outfits.
I can vividly remember the presents I got in these pictures and some of them are still kicking around now. The blackboard in this picture was around for years and I can remember my brother inheriting it. The big red box of Lego is in our back bedroom, I played with it so much and then Peter played with it when he was a kid and then it made it’s way back to me.
There’s a huge boxing glove shaped beanbag in the corner of the picture – I can remember the day that it popped and spurted it’s beans all over the bedroom floor.
Alot of my presents over the years are still so recognisable and I remember them lovingly. The first picture you can see my Webster the Spider, he was this big plastic spider that you pulled along. I had Spirographs and Stickle Bricks, Thomas the Tank Engines, Playdoh and plastic tea sets over the years.
In the first picture, I got a My Little Pony, I’ve still got her, she’s on a shelf upstairs and she still have sparkly hair – I was never that kid who destroyed my toys, I still apologise if I drop a stuffed animal on the floor.
I still have the Sweep and Sooty in picture two and the dog in the background of the third picture I think was originally my Mum’s and is still in the house today. He walked along, sat on his hind legs and barked. I loved him.
One year I remember there a book left on the bed by Father Christmas, I read the book and it was a story all about me and Father Christmas and it ended with Christmas Fairies leaving fairy dust behind when I was dropped back home by Santa. I went downstairs to discover that all my presents were indeed covered in fairy dust. Hands down one of the best moments of my life.
When my brother was born, we shared Christmas, I don’t remember getting less presents although I was convinced I would and often he would get presents that we played with together – we used to always play with his Brio wooden train set together.
He did get this Karaoke cassette tape thing one year, it came with this tape that had the most irritating songs on it, like that one about the pink and the blue toothbrush, We’re Going to the Zoo, Little White Bull. It would play the song with the words and then it would play just the music and you sang along. He played the cassette over and over.
We always had stockings to open. We would wake to find that Father Christmas had left us a stocking each on the end of our beds, I think most of our Christmas’s saw Peter sharing my bedroom, Grandmad and Grandad and later just Grandma would have stayed over. Peter would always wake so early and he would go into mum (I’m sure with a push from me) to ask if we could open our stockings. It was 2am, she would say no so he would head back to my room and we would quietly feel the stockings trying to guess the contents. A while later he would head back to mum to ask again and she would relent and say we could open our stockings but we couldn’t go downstairs until 6am. We would then open the stockings together – they’d have lots of little bits in, we’d always get really cool and quirky things from Hawkins Bazaar, little gadgets and toys. We’d then impatiently wait for 6am when we were allowed to wake my Grandma up, we’d then have to wait for approximately 10 hours for everyone to get downstairs so we could finally open our presents.
The day would be spent playing with our gifts and watching something not at all Christmassy on television – especially if Dad was home!
Often, Christmas was just us, Mum, Dad, Grandad, Grandma me and Peter. Occassionally other people would be there, I remember Granny Lu sometimes came and I remember one year my Godparents and her mum and Daughter came.
More recently, Neil has joined our family although I expect our family Christmas is very different to his!
From when I was a little kid to now as a much bigger kid, I love Christmas.
I love the memories I have of Christmas and although I have missed my little brother at Christmas since he moved away and my Grandma and Grandad, Christmas has always been a wonderful time in our house. I am truely thankful to my Mum and Dad for always ensuring we were so happy.
What are you favourite Christmas memories? Get in touch below.