Wednesday, 9 December 2009

Why my Christmas's will always be stuck in the 70's




When I was growing up Christmas was a magical time.  It usually started after my Birthday on December 20th when we would put up the tree and the decorations.  Now this was no mean feet as my parents lived in a Edwardian house with very high ceilings and we would string paper chains from each corner to the ceiling rose in the centre of the room.

The tree would also be placed on a table in the bay window and would be about 8 foot tall. My Granddad, who lived with us would always take me and my little brother out for a couple of hours Christmas shopping whilst my mum and dad finished all the decorating and then we would come home to snowballs and Babysham (although I am sure ours was non-alcoholic)



Like lots of other children of the 70's, I used to leave Father Christmas a mince pie and a drink of Whiskey and lie awake listening out for those jingling bells that meant he was on his way. 

I dont know how they did it, but mum and dad managed to make Christmas morning really special, we always got something off our list, out mince pie was always half eaten and the Whiskey all gone. 

Christmas Day was always spent at home.  We always started with our stockings, which  were pillow cases really and would usually have chocolate coins and oranges in them, in addition to a new hair slide or bobble for me, then it was breakfast, before we moved on to the larger pile of presents.



And what of those memorable presents, well we have a Sindy House and Horse one year, (no Barbi for this girl, I was Sindy through and through) a Grifter bike in green, A petite typewriter, a Simon says, a Sorry game,  a Bontempi organ and a Girls World.  These were mostly pre-loved, but I didn't care.


My Dad and Granddad would always pop down the pub for a swift one before Christmas Dinner was served and this was the one day of the year we were allowed chocolate before dinner!!  We always watched top of the pops and always pulled their crackers in addition to our own and we always had new nightwear to go to bed in on Christmas Night,


Boxing Day was spent at my Aunty Christine's, (my mum's eldest sister), her brood and my maternal Granddad.  We all went to the local working mens club and played dominos.  I distinctly remembering drinking the dregs out of peoples glasses off all the tables one year!!


We would then all pile back for the most wonderful meal of cornbeef  and potato pie and propper chips.  The children all ate in the sitting room, whilst the adults all ate in the dinning room.  We would then all retire round the coal fire (which would be stacked with sea coal cones) and eat the best ever ginger parkin in the world and play parlour games.  It was always my favorite time.  


I loved my Aunty, granddads and cousins more than anything in the world.  My Mum and Dad would always get my Maternal Granddad a boy of chocolate cigarettes and cigars and pipes and my mum would open them and pop in £20 notes.  This was how they got him to accept anything off the family.  He always refused presents, so all his children clubbed together and this became his pin money over the year.

My Aunt was a super crocheter and we always ended up going home asleep in the car wrapped in one of her blankets, with my paternal granddad driving, as he will not have drink that day.  She used to make those toilet dollys and soap swans for months for everyone for Christmas.

I am sat in tears as I write this as my Aunt died as I hit my teens for the dreaded curse of cancer which effects my maternal line so hard.  With her died a part of my mother and all the family really.  She was the eldest, the glue that held them all together.  The one that refereed her siblings arguments and put everything in to perspective.

So for me my Christmas will always be stuck in the 1970's and you know what it isnt a bad place for it to be and the more I thing about it, it is where I want my boys Christmas to be too.



This started out as a post about prompt 3 in Sleep is for the weak writing workshop “Have you ever had an epiphany, when you realized that something you’d long believed wasn’t really true?”, but transformed in to something else!!!

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13 comments:

Heather said...

I loved Sindy too! she came with brown hairt and her arms weren't bent in that stupid robot pose, so much better!

Snowfairy said...

Wonderful memories to treaure.
I was a definite Sindy girl too. My mum kept my Sindys and now my little girl loves playing with her too.

bad penny said...

this is a lovely post.

I had a tressy with the growable hair & inherited my cousin's Sindy.

Mum used to put our stockings ( Dad's khaki uniform socks ) with the toes peeping out from under the settee as some socks were longer than the others ! we'd all pick one to put on the end of our beds.

A magical thing was early on Christmas morning an elderly villager walked around playing carols on the cornet - it was eerie as you woke & wondered if you were really hearing it. Then stocking opening - always gold chocolate pennies a satsuma & nuts in the toe .

(Don't forget to email me your address !)

dottycookie said...

I was a Sindy girl too!

We didn't leave out treats for Father Christmas, but my children now do, plus reindeer food (oats and glitter) on the lawn. My husband was a little slow off the mark one year and we discovered that not only had FC eaten his pie and drunk his sherry, he'd put the glass and plate in the dishwasher! Try explaining that one ...

Floss said...

Very special memories. I wasn't allowed Sindy, Barbie or Girl's World (feminist/puritan mother, basically) although our neighbours took pity on us when we moved to the USA and bought us each a Ballerina Barbie!

turtleturtleturtle said...

Ah, whiskey for Santa.He got Christmas cake in our house. And a carrot for Rudolph, which was left half chewed on the sitting room floor, bits of carrot everywhere. "That Rudolph has no manners!", you know. I'm not sure Santa'll get any whiskey or Christmas cake this year. Cookies and milk seem to be what he gets over here. Must be boring for him. Safer, but boring.

Diney said...

I was a Sindy girl, but always wanted a Tressy to see how her hair grew! We left brown ale and mince pies for Santa (being from Newcastle area!) and a carrot for Rudolph which was always left half chewed when we came down in the morning. Santa always drank his brown ale, though!

Itch2stitch.com said...

I was a Cindy girl too! I had a cindy wardrobe and a bed, also a dining table complete with plates and tiny knives and forks! I also got a petit typwriter too!
We have always spent christmas day at home, and still do! I loved your post, it was cosy and warm, and I could just imagine being wrapped up in a crochet blanket, and I know the pain of losing relatives to cancer too, just awful.
I also like a christmas to be cosy and nostalgic! Suzie. xxx

Josie @Sleep is for the Weak said...

This reminded me so much of my Christmases growing up. We didn't have much money to go around but a hell of a lot of love, and my parents always managed to make every Christmas so special and memorable. We used to do the whole extended family Christmas thing on Boxing Day too. So many happy memories - thank you for bringing them all back xxx

Geriatric Mummy said...

Sounds like a lovely traditional family xmas - perfect. I didn't like dolls of any description though, cars and trains for me...probably explains alot !

A Modern Mother said...

What nice memories and tribute to your aunt (as I wipe a tear away).

claire said...

That was a lovely read :)
The sindy photo's really took me back

Sandy Calico said...

This is my favourite post of yours, beautiful. What a lovely childhood you describe, very similar to mine. I had a Simon, a Sindy, a Bontempi Organ, a Petite Typewrite AND a Girls World too! x

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