Yep, welcome to Christmas in the 1980’s! Ah memories…
When I was little Christmas was magical, to be honest I still find it magical at 37. Mum loves Christmas and shes passed that on to me and the little sister. Throughout our childhood mum always made Christmas as magical as she possibly could, even when mum and dad didn’t have a lot of money to spend.
Every year we had a real Christmas tree and we would visit the local forest to pick it out. It was a Christmas tradition until the fake trees took over.
The most annoying thing however about a real tree is not, surprisingly, the number of pine needles which get stuck in your feet, but waiting until the week before Christmas to put it up, arrgghhhhh.
Each year when we got home with the tree dad would take it out to the greenhouse and stand it in a bucket of water for a week. We had to endure a week of staring out of the window at our Christmas tree in a bucket.
Once we were allowed to put the tree up however, Christmas was finally upon us.
We would listen to Christmas music and carols, and usually went to a church service, we’d bake biscuits and cakes and go with mum to do the 2 trolley food shop. There were lots of family visits, Grandma and Grandpa, Nana and Grandad, Aunts and Uncles. Our family lived within a few miles of each other so we were lucky that we saw everyone.
Where we lived in Cheshire we would also get an annual visit from Santa. This happened a few days before Christmas and was ran my the local Rotary club. Santa had a sleigh and he would come around and we could sit in his sleigh and tell him what we’d like for Christmas, the fact that his sleigh was pulled my a car never even occurred to us.
This Santa also didn’t give out presents, he gave out the most delicious spearmint chews, these are still one of my favourite sweets. Mum and Dad would let us stay up to see Santa when he came around and I can remember a few times when we actually had a sprinkling of snow around.
Christmas itself started on Christmas Eve, when I was very small my Grandma and Grandpa used to have a party but I can’t remember these, I think mum said they were Christmas eve, I’m sure she’ll correct me when I see her if I’m wrong. Once I was old enough to remember we used to go to my Aunts and we would have Christmas with Grnadma and Grandpa and out Aunt, my dads sister.
Christmas day was always spectacular. We always had stockings, which Santa (aka mum) had packed so full you never knew what was in them. We were not allowed to wake mum and dad up until 7am, I think we probably woke them up about 6 most years though, and we weren’t allowed to open presents without them.
Little Sister and I would always wake up at stupid o’clock in the morning and of course wouldn’t be able to get back to sleep. We would empty our stockings and feel everything in them, then we couldn’t get everything back in of course.
Once everyone was up, dad would go and light the fire in the living room and make a cup of tea and then it was present time!
I’ve always loved any present anyone gives me but once I was old enough to give my own presents I loved that even more.
Then we would have Christmas lunch, either at home or at Nana’s, if we didn’t see Nana on Christmas Day we would see her on boxing day and we always had a boxing day walk.
Ah childhood Christmas, I loved it so much. I love my Christmas traditions now but there is always something a little more special about a family Christmas.