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Memories from Christmas past

(71 Posts)
Jaffacake2 Sun 12-Nov-23 11:03:19

As we get older maybe nostalgia creeps in and we remember past times with tinted glasses. I was thinking about the fun of going Christmas shopping with my mum when I was a child. I had my pocket money saved and would wander around Woolworths looking for presents for brothers,granny, mum and dad. Not much but still exciting. Now I am online trying to find something the toy grandchildren want,although they have so much anyway.
I wondered what Christmas memories you all cherish ?

Grandmabatty Sun 12-Nov-23 11:08:18

I remember saving up my money to buy mum a pink necklace when I was about eight. It was in the local co-op. I was so pleased although she never wore it.

Damdee Sun 12-Nov-23 11:13:22

I thought that was sad Grandmabatty that your mum never wore the pink necklace. She should've done, just to please you - even if it was only in the house when you were with her.

vampirequeen Sun 12-Nov-23 12:13:44

My dad was a Christmas fanatic. When we were small and poor he would make decorations with bits of coloured paper and cardboard boxes. As we got older and his income had substantially improved he took decorating to the extreme. When my eldest DD was 3 he turned the conservatory into Santa's Grotto and, using the stop start on his video camera, he made the pile of presents magically appear. He told DD that Santa didn't appear on the film as he was magic and the film couldn't see him. Bless her, she was so excited to see a film of her presents arriving even though she didn't see the big man himself.

vampirequeen Sun 12-Nov-23 12:14:55

These days he'd have lit the outside of the house so much it would have been visible from space lol.

Caleo Sun 12-Nov-23 13:02:53

My brother was sent to drive to Woolworth's to buy paper chains for Christmas decorations. I was seriously impressed by them.

Grandmabatty Sun 12-Nov-23 13:08:48

Damdee thank you. She kept it for years though, so it obviously meant something to her.

Calendargirl Sun 12-Nov-23 17:06:43

Dad was a smallholder, always busy even on Christmas Day looking after the poultry and the pigs.

But after tea on Christmas night, when he had finished for the day, we would all be sitting round the living room fire (only lit at Christmas or other special occasions). That’s when we all opened our presents, (apart from our pillow cases in the morning). Nothing big or fancy, but oh, how lovely it all seems looking back 65+ years ago. ‘Chestnuts roasting on the fire’, tangerine oranges in tissue paper, eat-me dates in the long box….

How simple it all was, how basic, but oh, such happy memories of family time.

Dempie55 Tue 14-Nov-23 11:31:28

I remember being taken into Glasgow city centre on the bus to see all the Christmas lights, they were spectacular. All the big stores had special Christmas window displays which were magical.

Granmarderby10 Tue 14-Nov-23 11:37:10

Yes so many memories. I swear Christmas itself had a smell .. perhaps it was the real tree we had plus the mince pies, puddings tangerines (in tissue paper) etc - all very special.😊

Emerald888 Tue 14-Nov-23 11:48:30

There was a beautiful big bride doll in the window of a hardware shop in the Main Street near where I lived.,I had admired it so much!
Was overjoyed to get it from Santa that year. Took it with me when visiting my cousin and her family. Was a bit miffed she had an even bigger doll. Was huge!
Dad had to work many Christmas days on shift at the local Power Station for the overtime to pay for it all. Eight children to provide for. Often had to wait for Christmas dinner till he got home after the 6am-2pm shift.
Very happy days and fond memories of board games: Monopoly (arguments!), Totopoly and many others.

sweetcakes Tue 14-Nov-23 11:52:47

I remember when I was about 8 and we had just arrived back from seeing my nan in Wales we always went to see her before Christmas, my dad opened the front door and omg the most biggest tree I ever did see. My siblings were all older than me and as a surprise got a real tree and decorated it with anything and everything I loved it don't think my parents did though! But I'll alway remember that tree 🎄

Fae1 Tue 14-Nov-23 11:54:56

I remember the Christmas tree on the window sill in the huge bay window. It had proper miniature candles on it for lights - placed in candle holders that clipped on to the tree's branches and we lit them with matches. It was a real Christmas tree from our large garden - but what a fire hazard it must have been.

Granny23 Tue 14-Nov-23 12:00:01

It was the week before Christmas and we were being quiet as mice as Dad had come home from the Night shift and gone straight to his bed. But Mum encouraged us to shout up the chimney (which was shared by the 2 adjoining bedrooms) to tell Santa what we would like for Christmas presents. It was quite magical as we heard Santa calling us (big sister and I) by name and promising to do his best to fulfill our wishes. Then with a hearty laugh he was gone. We were sorry that Dad had missed this visit but He was sound asleep in his bed and later told us we must have dreamt this.

Foxyferret Tue 14-Nov-23 13:09:22

My aunt playing Xmas carols on the piano and all of us singing along. Those dangling strips of coloured foil that use to hang above the fireplace and twist in the heat. My big present was my Girls Crystal annual.

NotSpaghetti Tue 14-Nov-23 13:14:53

I really love your memory.
Thanks for sharing.

cc Tue 14-Nov-23 13:43:32


I remember saving up my money to buy mum a pink necklace when I was about eight. It was in the local co-op. I was so pleased although she never wore it.

I bought my mother a bracelet in Woolworths, she still had it when she died so obviously treasured it.

Gin Tue 14-Nov-23 14:30:00

After waking at the crack of dawn to discover what Father Christmas! had brought us, we would scamper downstairs where Dad would have lit the fire in the front room, a once a year occurrence. After a big breakfast of home cooked gammon with poached eggs, we would be off out to see what all the other children had received, skates and scooters, a new coat or a set of fives. After lunch granny would come and we would open family presents and play games. The fire cracking, the smell of pine needles, the paper-chains falling down as the heat melted the glue and me retreating into a corner to read the new book my big sister always bought me. The joy of a new Jennings book by Anthony Buckeridge or best of all, a Malcolm Saville ‘Lone Pine Five’ story.

Kandinsky Tue 14-Nov-23 14:49:44

Advent calendars with just pictures.
Not a chocolate in sight! but I loved opening the doors each morning.

harrigran Tue 14-Nov-23 15:02:25

Washing the foil tops from milk bottles and making them into bell shapes to hang on the Christmas tree.
Making our own streamers out of red and green crepe paper.

Witzend Tue 14-Nov-23 15:03:26

Waking at still-very-dark o’clock, and crawling to the end of the bed to see whether Father Christmas had been - oh joy! Yes! And having a feel of all the bulges in the stocking or pillowcase - but we wouldn’t have dreamt of opening anything until we knew our folks were awake, though.

Besides the rest, there was always a tangerine (a rare treat then) a pink sugar mouse, and some chocolate coins.

For a few years our stockings were the thick, grey, sea boot socks knitted for my father by my mother, when he was in the Royal Navy on the N Atlantic convoys. They eventually wore out but my younger sister told me not long ago that she’s still got one!

When I was a bit older I adored the carols we sang in school assembly - always starting right after the beginning of Advent with O Come O Come Emmanuel.

I still really love traditional carols, when sung by proper choirs and not mucked about.

grandtanteJE65 Tue 14-Nov-23 15:04:29

I don't remember how old I was when I bought my mother a novelty candle in the shape of a black cat, because she had a black cat, called Sixpence, who I absolutely adored. He was two years older than I and it took him the first seven years of my life to accept that I was a valuable addition to the family and not just an ummitigated nuisance.

The candle was still in the house when my father retired and the house was put up for sale approximately 25 years later, and my mother actually asked me if I would mind dreadfully if she did not take it with her to their new home. (Sixpence died when I was 14).

My mother absolutely adored Christmas and put money aside every week of the year for Christmas presents, decorations, the tree and the food.

Believe it or not: we were allowed to eat sweeties every day between Christmas Eve and 12th Night! The rest of the year the ration was what sixpence bought a child on Saturday!

One of my earliest memories is my 18 month old sister being found in her party dress and a pin striped red and white apron happily munching a piece of coal out of the coal scuttle right before Christmas Dinner.

Summerfly Tue 14-Nov-23 15:09:18

My parents weren’t very well off, in fact I suppose we were quite poor. They tried their hardest to give us three children a special Christmas though, a stocking each to wake up to and a present each when we all went downstairs. Nothing elaborate but still exciting to open. We always had a good Christmas dinner. It was so special back then and our parents gave us children a wonderful day.
My children had mostly what they asked for within reason. A real tree with lights and all the trimmings too. Always a house full of family and friends. Happy, happy days.

Bella23 Tue 14-Nov-23 15:29:33

There is a tradition where I come from people would come to your house for a mince pie and their Christmas drink in the days leading up to Christmas.
I loved meeting all the men my father worked with and we had heard stories about. One year one called "Danny Mesh" called and he was legless. My father had recently got a car and learned to drive, he was so proud to take his friend home.
Unfortunately, my most vivid Christmas memory is not a nice one. My father often had to work over the Christmas period and family get-togethers went on without him. There was a knock on the door when mum opened it a policeman said my father had had a serious accident at work and was in hospital. Luckily my grandparents were there to support her.

Madmeg Tue 14-Nov-23 15:32:13

I recall a Christmas when I was about 3 or 4 and waking up early to see the vague shape of a doll's pram at the foot of the bed. It was second-hand of course, with a pot doll, but best of all my auntie had knitted two outfits (one blue, one pink). How I loved dressing that doll. That auntie sadly died the following year, but I never forgot the outfits.

My mum worked at Woolworths before I was born 72 years ago and I still have six of the glass baubles she bought, as well as the little fairy that perches on the top of my tree. She has had to have a new pair of knickers since then (the fairy, I mean). I wonder what my mum would think.