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Christmas

What is your opinion?

(50 Posts)
Maywalk Wed 05-Dec-18 21:50:24

I very often think that technology has taken away family life as it used to be.
Its marvellous for many things including medicine and being able to SEE and talk to family that lives far and wide and I have benefited from it in many ways BUT
I wonder how many families will spend Christmas Day together all glued to their phones or I-pads.
My own family are guilty of this.

I like my computer or I-pad BUT NOT when I have company.
I wrote the poem below some years ago but it is a darn sight worse now.

Christmas nowadays seems TOO commercialized now to me but maybe its my age.

What is your opinion?

Christmas Of Yesteryear.

What happened to the old-fashioned Merry Christmas of yesteryear
When we made our own paper trimmings and Santa’s only big fear
Was getting his behind burnt from the chimneys he had to descend
When children believed in Santa and thought he was their friend.

Because he had left a carved wooden train and a storybook too
A china tea-set for a little girl and possibly a kaleidoscope to view.
Perhaps a drum or trumpet and a bright new shining three-penny bit
Excited youngsters waking the house because they could not sit

Where did the family Christmas go that we knew of so long ago
When everyone went to one house for lunch including Auntie Flo
Someone playing the Jews harp and another playing the drum
Dinner was cooking in the kitchen, what about poor old mum.

After sating their appetite everyone would listen to the King
Telling of the years events and of hopes the New Year will bring.
It’s a different world we live in now from what it was many years ago.
All glitter and tinsel before the season and pricey presents on show.

TV advertising to brainwash children into pestering Mum and Dad
Many parents go into debt to satisfy their children’s latest fad.
NO! things are not the same any more, its too commercialized
Nowadays it seems as though everyone is being pressurized

Into buying the most exotic and expensive gifts to give to family
But the gift of love and a great big hug will certainly do for me.
Ok so I am looking back to Christmases of many years ago.
But they seemed to be full of meaning then, not all glitter and show.

Somewhere along the way the true spirit of Christmas went astray
So may I wish everyone a good old fashioned Merry Christmas Day.
May you be with your loved ones and in touch with friends and family
And A Peaceful and Happy Christmas to you all is the wish from me.

Copyright….Maisie Walker 2001.…All rights reserved.

SueDonim Wed 05-Dec-18 22:56:59

There'll be 14 of us for Christmas here, Maywalk, and it'll be pretty traditional! Things will be more modern, of course, but the basics will be the same. No one will be on technology, they'll all be arguing over the contents of selection boxes and who gets to eat the last pig-in-a-blanket or pinching their siblings present because it looks better than theirs.

We don't get together very often due to distance so they love to make the most of it. I'm not allowed to make any changes to anything. 'But we've always done it this way!' is th chorus that goes up if I suggest anything different.

annep Thu 06-Dec-18 03:05:13

Christmas dinner is stilll the same with everyone chatting around the table but no one wants to play games any more. My teenage grandchildren would laugh at the idea.

Baggs Thu 06-Dec-18 05:00:41

Were newspapers published/sold/delivered on Christmas Day in the far distant past of our parents and grandparents? Perhaps one had to buy them the day before.

Anyway, my point is that I expect people have read newspapers and books on xmas day forever, not to mention sitting digesting huge dinners in front of the telly. Is this so different from "being glued" to one's tablet or phone (which complaint is, I think, overstated).

If you don't like what your family does on xmas day don't share it with them. Do your own thing. Go for a walk with a bunch of ramblers, for instance.

BlueBelle Thu 06-Dec-18 06:18:35

You can’t look back you can only look forwards
Each generation thinks theirs had all the answers
Accept it for what it is or change yourself I remember as an only child after the presents and dinner nan being in the kitchen cleaning and washing up grandad asleep in his chair mum and dad listening to the queen on the radio and me being bored 😂 or reading one of my new books
Nothing really changes

Grammaretto Thu 06-Dec-18 07:23:35

Well Santa is coming to our town tomorrow!
We must be an odd family but we always play games like charades on Christmas day.
We may use the internet to find the words to songs .
Our DC love the traditions. It's us old folks who want to take a nap after overeating and drinking.

Marydoll Thu 06-Dec-18 08:05:02

Baggs, I remember being sent buy a newspaper on Christmas Day, but there were none on New Year's Day,

lemongrove Thu 06-Dec-18 08:05:57

Maywalk that’s a really nice poem, well done.smile
As you are somewhat older than a lot of us ( from what I remember on other threads in the past) your childhood Christmas experience is slightly different ( though not much) from mine.Since then much has changed, and yes, it’s a far more commercial world and Christmas now, the expectations are so much higher in every way.
It’s worth remembering though that it’s often parents as much as the children who over strive at Christmas.

lemongrove Thu 06-Dec-18 08:08:06

No buses used to run on Christmas Day where I lived, so unless a family member had a car ( mine didn’t) you didn’t see the relatives in Christmas Day.

Marydoll Thu 06-Dec-18 08:17:04

We did have buses on Christmas Day, but not on New Year's Day. Christmas wasn't such a big thing, as it is now.

My father was an ambulance driver, who always worked New Year's Day in order to get Christmas Day Off. He hated New Year and it worked out well, as many of his colleagues preferred New Year off.
I remember him having to walk in all weathers to get there.

annep Thu 06-Dec-18 09:09:20

And yes Maywalk I agree. It is much more commercialised now and expectations are higher. Its the world we live in. But we can choose not to join in. Thank you for your poem. I hope you have a lovely Christmas day. (You could have a no phones rule for dinner.😊)

Anniebach Thu 06-Dec-18 09:18:41

Things move on, my parents went to Church on Christmas Day, as did I, as did my daughters, not my grandchildren.

PECS Thu 06-Dec-18 09:39:13

Everything evolves! Often for the better though not always! Nostalgia is is OK but even that's not what it used to be!

MawBroon Thu 06-Dec-18 09:42:19

Ah but that was Scotland Marydoll
In my early childhood Christmas Day was not a holiday although my granny’s paper shop did shut early (late morning I think)

Telly Thu 06-Dec-18 09:45:07

Ah! The good old days! I remember saying to my mum 50 years ago when she said something similar, that one day these will be the good old days. I think it means we're just old.shock

Blinko Thu 06-Dec-18 10:07:42

Telly absolutely!

annodomini Thu 06-Dec-18 10:13:28

Ah yes, I remember those days 70 years ago when we all piled round to Granny's house for ginger wine and mince pies on Christmas afternoon. She played carols on her out-of-tune piano and we all got slightly tipsy because my uncles had laced the non-alcoholic ginger wine with brandy.
Yet it's not so very long ago that we had that memorable game of charades which my GC will never let me forget, when I was crawling round the floor trying to be Tom and Jerry. That was a year or so before they got into computer gaming!

PECS Thu 06-Dec-18 10:18:08

I think what many older people 'miss' is the shared experiences eg..listening to the same radio show, watching the same TV programme . Now we have the facility to each do our own thing on tablets , phones and multiple TVs. This makes us feel more disconnected. I am sure families can make up their own set of expectations.. e.g no screens when opening gifts/ at table etc etc. to agree on so there is a mix of shared time and own timetchsmile

GrannyGravy13 Thu 06-Dec-18 10:35:16

We are going to one of our AC for Christmas Day along with our D and GS, also there will be DIL's parents and DIL's Uncle, Sister and BIL.

We are already planning what games to play after dinner, the GC are 4,3 and 20 months so,they shall be playing with their,new toys. In the past we have played, pictionary, balderdash etc, something fun and not too cerebral.

Boxing Day is at another AC's and we shall be 10 adults and 4 GC, second round of games commences. 🎄🤶🎅🏻🎁

marionk Thu 06-Dec-18 10:36:49

I think the biggest change to family Christmases was probably the TV

Kim19 Thu 06-Dec-18 10:48:00

I remember going to work on Christmas Day. No, not essential services, an office. That's just how it was.

newgran2019 Thu 06-Dec-18 10:49:20

Maywalk, I agree completely. Isn't it really about good manners?

RustyBear Thu 06-Dec-18 10:51:48

Of course, technology also means my sister can talk to both her sons together on Christmas Day, even though one lives in the US and the other is in Hungary with his in-laws.

Now my children have left home, I know far more about their daily lives through Facebook, Instagram etc than my parents ever did about mine through phone calls and occasional photo prints sent by post.

nipsmum Thu 06-Dec-18 10:55:41

Since none of my family look at phones while eating and have never been obsessed with them while in family gatherings I can't see it being a problem his Christmas either.

Teacheranne Thu 06-Dec-18 10:57:54

We are still very traditional on Christmas Day. My nephew (12) and niece (16) will undoubtedly get technology gifts, in fact I have bought them both an Echo Dot! But after 14 of us have sat down for a very lengthy meal, the "children" still insist on us playing board games. We have our favourites from years ago but if someone gets a new one, we always give it a go.

moggie57 Thu 06-Dec-18 11:01:23

i am like you. i told my daughter off at sunday lunch last week for looking at her mobile. she said she put something on facebook for sale.i said so what ,having a mobile at the lunch table is bad manners ,.i said ok can gc have the ipad at the table .asnd she said of course not .!!! so i said but thats just what you are doing only its a mobile. red faced daughter put it on the arm of the sofa....me yes i'm old fashioned. told my brother off for putting his arms on the table too!! ..call me old fashioned..but there are certain things that should be respected. like gc sitting on the chairs at the table not kneeling up.they are high enough to reach the table sitting down .my daughter said to me she didnt know how she would cope without her mobile phone.??? ok i know they are handy to have to contact someone. but not to look at 24/7..another crazy word. (all hours /every day.)when i go out i admit i do take my mobile when i remember it (haha)!! say a visit to a seaside resort i take it and turn it to silent or even off.i want a day away from technology..

Irenelily Thu 06-Dec-18 11:03:40

Your poem brought a tear to my eye, Maywalk! Mostly over the years we have been fortunate to have “family Christmases” This year, my first without DH, half the family will be at my eldest daughter’s farm and the others will be there for New Year! My son and family with me will be there all the time. Very special as at New Year we shall have my first great grandson (6weeks old!) also my eldest grandson back from a year teaching in China!
Happy Christmas everyone!

moggie57 Thu 06-Dec-18 11:14:01

i will be at my daughters for christmas day this year .we usually play board games after lunch or anything else the children want to do. i will try and persuade my daughter to put her mobile way. that will be her christmas present to me. i want to see if she can do it.christmas wont be a very happy affair but we persevere for the gc. as my daughter husband passed away age 37 last sept. its been a really trying year (ss )have been hard on her to clear her home of clutter (for want of a better word.)and the threat that if she doesnt her c will be taken into care.so we/church people have been helping and removing tons of clutter.and d been having counselling for grief and hoarding .slowly we are making progress with ss breathing down our necks .told ss it would be a tragedy to remove c as they been though so much.so hopefully by christmas things will be ????? .still so sad at the way sil died ....my d is an angel and has coped oh so well....so technology doesnt really matter does it ,more thought to family and friends. maybe set aside an hour for technology after christmas dinner/lunch and then some games.

sarahellenwhitney Thu 06-Dec-18 14:32:43

annodomini .In the words of the late Maurice Chevalier
'O yes I remember it well'.
However myself, like many, grateful for technology. Without it I would not be able to keep in touch with my family, twenty four seven and watch how they are spending xmas day on their side of the world.So for anyone bemoaning the fact xmas isn't what it used to be count your blessings if fortunate to have your family around you regardless of whether they want party games or glued to ipads /tv.

Nonnie Thu 06-Dec-18 15:15:44

Our Christmas will be traditional in the sense of what our family has done for the last 47 years. Nothing much will change although we will use technology to Skype distant relations. I very much doubt anyone will spend much time on their phones, we will all be making the most of our time together and getting to know a guest that most of us have never met. DS has a colleague who can't get home so invited him to join us all. Quite proud that he didn't feel he needed to ask us, just assumed it was OK.

Esspee Thu 06-Dec-18 15:58:48

I remember when the shipyards first closed for Christmas Day and my dad didn't have to go to work.

Does that make me very very old? sad

M0nica Thu 06-Dec-18 16:13:27

Christmas is what you make it. It is entirely up to you whether it is commercialised or not.

I have been fortunate to have had family Christmases for most of my life and yes, it has changed, we can spend more on gifts, and the food on Christmas day is the best quality I can afford but, overall we eat and drink less than we did in the past.

There will be no phones on the table at mealtimes. Neither children nor adults will be glued to electronic devices for most of the holiday. We will even watch very little television. (The schedules published so far look rubbish anyway). We will sit around and talk a lot, There will be bitter fight-to-the-death games of Scrabble.

We will go to the panto, go for long country walks, some in the dark. DGS will be doing Lego with his Grandpa and DGD will do a lot of sewing (she is getting a sewing machine for Xmas).

All told it will be our family Christmas, spent the way we want to spend it.

Jalima1108 Thu 06-Dec-18 16:31:35

You can’t look back you can only look forwards
I think you can look back and feel nostalgic but in fact the reality was probably different to our perception of it.

Whatever you're doing I hope you have a lovely Christmas Maywalk and that you get well looked after tchsmile

grandtanteJE65 Thu 06-Dec-18 18:37:13

In Scotland newspapers were published and sold on Christmas Day in my childhood but not on Ne'erday (New Year's Day) which was and is a public holiday in Scotland. Christmas Day wasn't in the 1950s, I don't remember when that changed.

When our son and family comes for a visit we have to insist on no phones, ipads or computers at meal-times, otherwise all three of them would be glued to a screen all day and half of the night.

paddyann Thu 06-Dec-18 18:39:08

My Dad worked on Christmas morning when we were weeMarydoll it wasn't retail or hospitality so I think it was normal for offices and factories to be working.
Never worked on Ne'erday as far as I remember.It was always a cooked meal at midnight to"soak up the drink" laughable really as two pints and Dad was a goner and if Mum had a "wee sherry" that was her limit.Granny did like her claret though and told great stories after a couple of glasses .

oldbatty Thu 06-Dec-18 19:42:35

My Grandfather worked in Clydeside on Christmas Day. Nothing special really for all concerned that day.
Strange isn't it?

Cherrytree59 Thu 06-Dec-18 20:13:07

Oldbatty My family (grandparent's generation) worked either at Clydeside (John Browns) or Singers.

My Gran held the big family Christmas dinner, I don't remember any family members working Christmas day (60s,70s).

Does any GNer remember when Christmas day in Scotland became a public holiday?

oldbatty Thu 06-Dec-18 20:17:17

It would be 1940's I think?

Marydoll Thu 06-Dec-18 20:22:56

Christmas Day in Scotland only became a public holiday in 1958, and Boxing Day in 1974.
So my sources tell me! grin

Greengage Thu 06-Dec-18 20:28:59

We've always had big family Christmases, all ages. Lots of eating, drinking and playing games. Everyone mucking in to help. Lots of laughter. Sometimes a little technology creeps in but never takes over. We just all love spending time together. Uncles, aunts, cousins, brothers, sisters, grandparents, grandchildren, and a few others besides!

M0nica Thu 06-Dec-18 20:40:15

There are many, many workers who have to or choose to work on Christmas Day. Not just the expected emergency services. DD is having a work free Christmas for the first time in 12 years. She was a television subtitler. Disability access legislation requires 95% of all television output to be subtitled so subtitlers work through the Christmas bank holidays.

She usually managed to get most Christmas days off because she was willing to work until midnight or later on Christmas Eve. She has also worked every New Years Eve and New Years day for 11 years.

This year she made a major job change and now works for one of those companies that close down from Christmas Eve to the 2 January. She intends to enjoy every second of it.

PECS Thu 06-Dec-18 21:41:17

We don't do family games but we usually have a holiday jigsaw set up so anyone can have a go!

glammagran Thu 06-Dec-18 23:28:41

We are a family immersed in tech, nearly everyone worked/works in I.T. Even the 3 month old gets excited by In the Night Garden as soon as she hears it. However, it never puts in an appearance on Christmas Day (except for FaceTiming abroad and one teenager)

stella1949 Fri 07-Dec-18 06:43:10

Our old family Christmas consisted of Mum getting really hot and bothered and angry in the kitchen, BUT never accepting offers of help. Then she'd dish up the dinner with not a scrap of care or attention, so the meal always looked as if the food had been thrown onto the plates. Then she'd sit and criticise everyone's table manners. Then I'd escape to read in my bedroom.

Thank heavens that everything is different now ! We have a casual meal where we all contribute something, and everyone has a happy day.

Sometimes the old days were not the good days.

M0nica Fri 07-Dec-18 07:42:28

My DF was an army officer so was always 'working' for several hours on Christmas Day serving Christmas lunch to the soldiers in barracks.

We didn't get our lunch until he returned.

Telly Fri 07-Dec-18 18:13:18

Years ago when the children were small I had a friend who worked in a large store that started the sales on Boxing Day. She always told her family she had to work. Not true, it was optional. She just wanted to get out of the house, away from the in-laws and their smelly dog. Christmas of yesteryear!

overthehill Sat 08-Dec-18 17:19:36

Our DD is hosting Christmas day in her spanking new huge kitchen. Our SIL often cooks the dinner and lovely it is to. I haven't had to do it for years now and the GC get tons of presents which will take hours to open as opened one at a time. Our son will be there along with SILs dad and partner and brother so 10 all together.
We've stopped buying presents for the adults. We put all names in hat and draw one out then spend £50 on a present for that person and that's it. Takes all the stress and expense out of it.
I was an only child and things at home weren't great so I never look back in fond rememberance and treat Christmas as something to be dealt with in an organised fashion.

oldbatty Sat 08-Dec-18 17:23:23

Oh spanking.......oh its a kitchen you're talking about.

overthehill Sat 08-Dec-18 19:22:51

Now now Oldbattywink

M0nica Sun 09-Dec-18 17:00:05

I am afraid when I read poems like this. I just feel queasy and reach for an sea sick tablet.