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  • Christmas When You Were Growing Up

    Here's a list of stuff that I think of when remembering Christmas when I was young.

    Being amazed by an impressive department store display of toys (normally a massive model railway layout), even though you know your parents would never buy it.

    Having a doughnut shaped box of mint crisp chocolates for nibbles, with the contents arranged in a swirl like the orange & lemon crystalised slices also purchased some years.

    Parents rationing out the chocs so that they last until mid January, with most of the ones on the tree being consumed after it's removed from the lounge.

    Boasting at school about what presents I was expecting, & in the new year the ones we actually got.

    Dads having to rush out late on Xmas eve to buy something overlooked or suddenly broken, also having to go out early on the 27th to get a replacement broken present, or materials to fix one.

    An alternative school Xmas play as at my primary only the infants did the nativity & the juniors did stuff like The Tailor Of Gloucester.

    Odd family things to on Xmas day that can get a funny look, like having coisants & Bucks Fizz for breakfast & playing Phil Spector's Xmas Album while opening presents.

    Parents getting a bit drunk & saying daft things, a good laugh if it's a slip up when asking for a Buck's Fizz.

    Getting a hamper of goodies from your Dad's company in place of an Xmas bonus.

    Having all adults (apart from parents) asking what you're getting for Xmas from December 10th to Xmas Eve, & what you got from Xmas Day to January 10th.

    TV Specials for Childrens TV shows made years before & repeated for many years afterwards. Record Breakers & Playschool guilty of this.

    Getting a postal order from a distant great aunt you've only seen twice.

    Being sent a card from a total stranger for a few Xmases in a row, as well as one from someone you met on holiday years before.

    Having a different friend of your parents dropping in for a drink almost every night from 19/12 to new year's day.

    Getting a large amount of sweets & eating a lot on Boxing day morning, & getting in trouble when you can't eat any breakfast.

    The BBC1 Xmas logo being previewed on Blue Peter or Newsround.

    Getting phonecalls from a relative in the middle of the special of your
    Dad's favourite show, because the caller forgot it was longer than 30 minutes.

    Going away for a few days to visit relatives between Xmas & new year, & only being aloud to take presents that are portable & less likely to be damaged in transit & by younger cousins.

    The largest family present being labelled "To the Smith family, from Santa", always opened last.

    Parents insisting that everyone plays a game regardless of physical & mental state, often leading to arugments about which set of rules (home or proper) to be used.

    Getting adult cosmetics for the first time, & the slightest sniff since causing flashbacks.

    Seeing a great one-off drama with an all star cast, that is almost never show again.

    At least one compilation of a long finished comedy show with all the Xmassy sketches along with the all time favourties. A Carry On compilation fits into the catagory.

    Knowing someone at school with a birthday in the Xmas period, who has a "present day" in the summer.

    Shouting "can we get up now?" from 4:30 on Xmas morning to about 7:30.
    Your Dad falling asleep on the train back from his xmas do & having to be picked up my your Mum or older sibling at somewhere in the middle of no-where.

    Ticking all the stuff you want to watch over the xmas period in the listings mag. Also having an argument about what to video when there's a clash.

    Having a games day on the last day of school, along with an hour of cartoons shown on TV in the hall & a "bring & share your own treats" party for lunchtime.

    Noticing the TV ads on Boxing Day are for sales & holidays, as well as trailers for the New year season.

    Your parents buying some cheap crackers that don't bang, having awful jokes & tacky toys. Often someone trys to pull the banging strip at an unexpected moment & almost gives someone a heat attack, & if you have a bald Dad he'll often fall asleep with a paper hat on that will soak up loads of sweat.

    Having your first alcoholic drink & wondering what all the fuss is about.

    Seeing an Xmas special that tries to drag out less plot line out than a normal episode to an extended length.
    The Trickster On The Roof

  • #2
    Re: Xmas When You Were Growing Up

    That's a huge list,not sure if my memory is as productive as your's but my xmas was full of the smell's of the tree (real one) and a few particular tree decorations,(cheap white plastic lantern with some foil inside)good music playing in the house(spector) and most of all my dad was home for at least 10 days.(He was a long distance lorry driver)
    Frame.
    "poor is the man who's pleasures depend on the permission of another"

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Xmas When You Were Growing Up

      I cheated slightly by jotting down all the things that came to mind over a day or 2.

      The Xmas tree smell is pleasent when fresh, but not too pleasent after a few days in the house with the central heating on. I came up with the term Treeo to discribe it one year after a pine got very pungent.
      The Trickster On The Roof

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Xmas When You Were Growing Up

        I remember always feeling tired at Christmas as a child. Early rises, late nights and so much excitement. And all the wonderful food, it never ended, my mum would fetch out a plate of goodies, nuts, crisps, cake, mince pies, sandwiches at the drop of a hat or a knock at the door as well as the huge dinners we had.

        Just before Christmas Dad would swear a lot trying to untangle the Fairy Lights, I put them all back in boxes nowadays and they generally work perfectly when I get them out but weren't they expensive years ago and so cheap now?
        The people of Oman don't like the Flintstones but the people of Abu Dhabi do!

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Xmas When You Were Growing Up

          Christmas in the early 80s is probably unbeatable for any other decade for presents. Most kids had ONE main present that would be probably a bike or a computer and then about 10-15 others that were usually board games/dolls/footballs or rollerboots, and we were more than happy...we would go out in the streets on xmas day showing off our bikes and prams etc.

          Christmas tv was the only time we could all sit and watch the blockbuster movies like Chitty chitty or Wizard of Oz... and the movies kept coming until around the 2nd of january which then told us xmas was over.

          Aunties you saw once a year would bring you a present (usually a selection box) but still it was another thing to unwrap.

          "C" size batteries were used in EVERYTHING and the blue ever ready ones were somehow different to the red ever ready ones even though i didnt know why.

          Decoration wise there was health and safety rule breaking everywhere...cards on string hung over the fireplace,cellophane xmas tree decorations with letters spelling merry christmas on each tree pinned through the plaster on the wall regardless if there was any live wires behind it. - Christmas tree lights that were plugged directly into the light socket itself...no fangly functions like flashing or music...just static lights.

          Neighbours from doors and doors away would "call in" after midnight to wish us all a happy new year...it saddens me to think now that (a) half are no longer with us and (b) the sentiment never transpired through the kids who witnessed it year after year.

          There was no "toy of the year must have" in them days...nobody cared as the toys were usually well made and you would end up sharing and playing together.

          These days and im saying from 1990s onwards unless that teddy bear walks talks reads stories while dancing holding a tv showing a dvd of said teddy in cartoon learning form...then kids today dont want to know. There must be a list of presents that every kid wants and expects and complains if there is anything missing from the list.
          They say whose to blame? Its us...we are now the parents of these kids that demand such stuff and give the kids hope that there maybe a chance they will get that thing they wanted.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Xmas When You Were Growing Up

            A some ones I can think of are:

            My sister and I sitting with the Kays catalogue, and later with the Argos book, writing our xmas lists.
            Writing a letter to Santa, sometimes we posted them in the post box, and other times my Dad took them as he worked for Royal Mail.
            Laying out our stocking at the end of the bed, waking up early in the morning, in the dark trying to feel for a filled stocking. Then I'd go to my sister's room so we could open our stockings together.Then we'd wake up Mum & Dad for permission to go downstairs to see what Santa had left us.
            Eating Turkey sandwiches for Boxing day tea, as we'd usually have a Boxing day lunch similar to xmas day dinner.
            Having to go to church after our xmas day full cooked breakfast, then getting to open the presents from Relatives that were still under the tree.
            Ripping open our presents as fast as we could, usually starting with the sack, then going onto the pile sat on the couch.
            When sales started at New Year. None of these Boxing day sales, unless you were after a new sofa or piece of furniture. Remember having to wait a whole week to spend any xmas money or vouchers I had to spend.
            Writing out our thank you letters to relatives for presents they'd given us.
            Getting excited when we got delivery of our hamper from 'Family Hampers', the boxes of chocolates would get hidden away, so my sister and I wouldn't scoff them.
            Circling the programmes in the Radio & TV Times (yes we got them both, no idea why) that we didn't want to miss.
            Having xmas Top of the Pops on and then my Mum wanting to watch the Queen's speech when it came on.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Xmas When You Were Growing Up

              Creeping over to the living room door on Christmas morning. It had a typical 70's full glass panel made of 'stripey' glass that you couldn't see through. All you could see was a big blur of all the lights on the tree through it and I'd be sooooo excited in those seconds knowing all my pressies were there.
              1976 Vintage

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Xmas When You Were Growing Up

                In the run up to Christmas, my primary school used to have a post box in the form of Santa's face, in which you used to post your Christmas cards to children in other classes through the mouth, then specially trained 'postboys and girls' from the fourth year juniors used to sort through them, and come round each classroom during registration and hand them out. It always made you feel important getting 'post' like adults did every morning.

                Sometimes, even children sitting at the same table in the same class would use the post system to send cards, which was a bit silly but still fun anyways. And if a boy got a card from a girl in another class, he'd get teased all morning about his new 'girlfriend'.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Xmas When You Were Growing Up

                  Originally posted by stockportyears View Post
                  In the run up to Christmas, my primary school used to have a post box in the form of Santa's face, in which you used to post your Christmas cards to children in other classes through the mouth, then specially trained 'postboys and girls' from the fourth year juniors used to sort through them, and come round each classroom during registration and hand them out. It always made you feel important getting 'post' like adults did every morning.

                  Sometimes, even children sitting at the same table in the same class would use the post system to send cards, which was a bit silly but still fun anyways. And if a boy got a card from a girl in another class, he'd get teased all morning about his new 'girlfriend'.
                  We did this too and had a proper plastic pillar box set up in the foyer. It was always a competition to see who got the most cards each day.

                  I also remember individual decorations we had made being fixed on single strings to the ceiling of the corridor. There were loads of them and it looked really pretty. We used to try to jump up and touch them. When I went back to my primary school in the last year of high school they were still doing it and I was hitting my head on them!
                  Last edited by Trickyvee; 01-12-2010, 17:28.
                  1976 Vintage

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Xmas When You Were Growing Up

                    Originally posted by RetroAEROSMITH View Post
                    Christmas in the early 80s is probably unbeatable for any other decade for presents. Most kids had ONE main present that would be probably a bike or a computer and then about 10-15 others that were usually board games/dolls/footballs or rollerboots, and we were more than happy...we would go out in the streets on xmas day showing off our bikes and prams etc.

                    Christmas tv was the only time we could all sit and watch the blockbuster movies like Chitty chitty or Wizard of Oz... and the movies kept coming until around the 2nd of january which then told us xmas was over.

                    Aunties you saw once a year would bring you a present (usually a selection box) but still it was another thing to unwrap.

                    "C" size batteries were used in EVERYTHING and the blue ever ready ones were somehow different to the red ever ready ones even though i didnt know why.

                    Decoration wise there was health and safety rule breaking everywhere...cards on string hung over the fireplace,cellophane xmas tree decorations with letters spelling merry christmas on each tree pinned through the plaster on the wall regardless if there was any live wires behind it. - Christmas tree lights that were plugged directly into the light socket itself...no fangly functions like flashing or music...just static lights.

                    Neighbours from doors and doors away would "call in" after midnight to wish us all a happy new year...it saddens me to think now that (a) half are no longer with us and (b) the sentiment never transpired through the kids who witnessed it year after year.

                    There was no "toy of the year must have" in them days...nobody cared as the toys were usually well made and you would end up sharing and playing together.

                    These days and im saying from 1990s onwards unless that teddy bear walks talks reads stories while dancing holding a tv showing a dvd of said teddy in cartoon learning form...then kids today dont want to know. There must be a list of presents that every kid wants and expects and complains if there is anything missing from the list.
                    They say whose to blame? Its us...we are now the parents of these kids that demand such stuff and give the kids hope that there maybe a chance they will get that thing they wanted.

                    yes i had a few aunties back in the eighties who id see once a year.
                    normally i got a selection box or a few quid.
                    my mun took the money then gave it to me on christmas morning.

                    my uncle still sends me 1 hundred quid very christmas.
                    has done this for over 20 yrs.

                    yes normally one main present i got.
                    sometimes a toy like a scalextic set,or a star wars toy like the at at.

                    then id get other things like annuals,and sweets.

                    we where not allowed down till the parents got up.
                    sometimes it could be nine in te morning.

                    thing is with kids now there main present is more expensive that the ones we got.

                    and i feel that kids are less grateful than we where.
                    not in all cases though.
                    FOR THE HONOUR OF GRAYSKULL

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Xmas When You Were Growing Up

                      I loved Christmas in the 80's! Got some great presents! My best one was in 1986 when I got my 'Ghetto Blaster'! I thought I was the dogs things!! I hate bragging but I thought it was better than anyone else's My sisters boyfriend picked it out for my parents to buy and he was a breakdancer!! What more can I say! LOL
                      Heaven knows I'm miserable now.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Xmas When You Were Growing Up

                        Originally posted by sandie76 View Post
                        Circling the programmes in the Radio & TV Times (yes we got them both, no idea why) that we didn't want to miss.
                        Because right up to about 1990, the Radio Times would only tell you about BBC programmes and the TV Times would only print ITV! Presumably each side wouldn't tell the other about its schedules.

                        The Christmas double issues were the only editions of the magazines we would ever get, as for the rest of the year, page 3 of the Manchester Evening News told us everything we wanted to know. Anyways, the double issues were always packed with adverts for summer holidays. On the back, Butlins would usually have a cartoon featuring 'Toot and Ploot', green aliens sent from another planet to find out what earthling holidays were like. Later on there were Toot and Ploot TV ads as well.

                        The Radio Times was black and white printed on cheap 'newspaper' type paper, and the ink would come off on your hands. The TV Times was of far better quality paper, with glossy colour photos of the tv stars, I disctinctly remember cutting out pics of Terry and Arfur from Minder and Hayley from Metal Mickey and sticking them up in my bedroom when I was about 10, lol.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Xmas When You Were Growing Up

                          I used to deliver the Radio and TV times Christmas editions with a mate for extra money. We did it on a night. It was always really cold and just made you feel like Christmas was just round the corner! Fond memories.
                          Heaven knows I'm miserable now.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Xmas When You Were Growing Up

                            Originally posted by stuckinthe80's View Post
                            I loved Christmas in the 80's! Got some great presents! My best one was in 1986 when I got my 'Ghetto Blaster'! I thought I was the dogs things!! I hate bragging but I thought it was better than anyone else's My sisters boyfriend picked it out for my parents to buy and he was a breakdancer!! What more can I say! LOL
                            My Panasonic one was better, it had red and green lights along the front that lit up in time to the music. I mean, come on, you can't beat this example of 1983 high technology!

                            (Unless, of course, you had the same one!)

                            Click image for larger version

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                            • #15
                              Re: Xmas When You Were Growing Up

                              Thats a bobby dazzler!! Mine was a 'Sharp' one with a 'proper' graphic equaliser and 100w output! I loved it! It only stopped working about 5 years ago!
                              Heaven knows I'm miserable now.

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