Have you been following Sarah Reed’s super advent series, posting Christmas reminiscences from some of her friends and colleagues? If not, have a browse, because it is lovely! I was delighted to be featured this week remembering my very simple Christmas stocking.
It has also brought back memories for me of looking after Betty, my Mum-in-law, living with dementia, and a story I wrote about writing her Christmas cards together. I made an audioboo for the Department of Health that featured in their ‘Time to Remember series – with David Cameron on Day 1!
Well, some of Mum’s Twitter friends were keen to hear Mum’s Christmas memories, including Saffy from Australia …
With all that is going on about Christmas, all the carol services and concerts etc, I have
been reminiscing about what went on years ago.
Well, of course, it was all very much simpler then. There was no TV, not a lot on radio, and the radio had to be fiddled with and, as I remember, tuned in. But people made their own entertainment and got together more – probably round the piano, which was fun and lively.
I remember one Christmas particularly, because my father was home; unusual in itself because he was in the Merchant Navy and away a lot. My parents had bought me a doll’s pram. Now somehow I knew this, although I wasn’t supposed to, and they had put it in the front room, which wasn’t much used. One evening when it was dark, I took my courage in both hands and crept in to look at it! Talk about state of the art! It was a mini Silver Cross with all the trimmings! In fact when I took it out shopping later, Mum used to put me in it, when I got tired, and wheeled me home! I was just under four years old at that time, so wasn’t very big.
I don’t remember church services as early as that. But in later years they were very much part of Christmas (as, of course, they should be). I do remember other presents that I and my brother (10 years older than me) got. Mainly annuals (do they still have these books?) and probably sports equipment a bit later. I loved books and could never have too many.
One year my brother had a Hornby Train Set. And, little sister, I was a right pain. We had a big hall and the boys laid the tracks all over it. Little sister usually tried to walk in all the wrong places. I was not popular!
We got together with relatives and played games and charades. I think that still goes on and is enjoyed just as much now. Nice to think that some things persist.
I think my Mum used to put a threepenny bit in the pudding – which cooked for hours – but I never found one. The pudding was lovely though. Don’t have threepenny bits now, of course, they wouldn’t be worth much but they augmented pocket money in those days. We didn’t get a lot of pocket money. Most things were just bought for us. Money was different, of course. In fact it shows how different in the fact that for my first job, at 17, I got 17 shillings and sixpence a week. Not even equal to a pound now!