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Thread: Christmas When You Were Growing Up

  1. #191
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    Default Re: Christmas When You Were Growing Up

    Quote Originally Posted by Arran View Post
    Was it true that these post boxes came to an end because bullies posted razor blades to kids that they didn't like?
    I have never heard of that one, but if one gets to the age where one starts to shave then it could be their way of trying to tell you something...
    I am now in my 40s (just in case anyone asks).

  2. #192
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    Default Re: Christmas When You Were Growing Up

    So...black friday and cyber monday, does anybody wait to do xmas shopping on these days and are there substantial savings to be had? Some circles are saying that its all a con and that the prices being offered on many goods can be found at most times of the year. Its also being blamed for the death of the high street and one of the main reasons so many shops are shutting down. if so i am guilty as charged because i buy most things online at christmas.
    ANYTHING CAN HAPPEN IN THE NEXT HALF HOUR.

  3. #193
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    Default Re: Christmas When You Were Growing Up

    I think that one of the biggest differences between Christmas in the 1990s and Christmas now is that people bought gifts in shops but increasingly buy gifts online now. Town centres used to be packed out with shoppers in the run up to Christmas but in more recent years crowds have noticeably dwindled. Thousands of kids would descend on Toys R Us every December to pick out toys they wanted. More often than not, parents bought the toys at times when their kids weren't with them and it was commonplace for popular toys to sell out. One year desperate parents were buying Thunderbirds Tracy Island off other parents in shopping centres and the Toys R Us car park at more than twice the price when shops had sold out. Toys R Us is no more.

  4. #194
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    Default Re: Christmas When You Were Growing Up

    I don't think that Black Friday really works in Britain - in this country shoppers are (or should be in a stereotypical way) calm, friendly and are very good at queueing - well, around 50 years ago at least. Black Friday indicates the opposite - people getting hurt, security guards having their work cut out, police being called etc. In recent years I have tried to avoid shopping on those days. We just cannot adopt American traditions like that - it just doesn't work very well over here. And I would stay away from Oxford Street in Central London on those days as well.

    Around 10 to 15 years ago, Black Friday (now Mad Friday) meant the Friday before Christmas (17th to 23rd December) where people get drunk and legless, and all that sort of thing. In Wales, Black Friday means something different like that:

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/uk-wal...riday-in-wales

    I prefer "Back to normal Monday" (4th to 10th January) which is the week before Blue Monday.
    I am now in my 40s (just in case anyone asks).

  5. #195
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    Default Re: Christmas When You Were Growing Up

    Quote Originally Posted by Arran View Post
    I think that one of the biggest differences between Christmas in the 1990s and Christmas now is that people bought gifts in shops but increasingly buy gifts online now. Town centres used to be packed out with shoppers in the run up to Christmas but in more recent years crowds have noticeably dwindled. Thousands of kids would descend on Toys R Us every December to pick out toys they wanted. More often than not, parents bought the toys at times when their kids weren't with them and it was commonplace for popular toys to sell out. One year desperate parents were buying Thunderbirds Tracy Island off other parents in shopping centres and the Toys R Us car park at more than twice the price when shops had sold out. Toys R Us is no more.
    Victoria Centre in Nottingham (which I affectionally think Nottingham's answer to London's Oxford Street) is often packed during the Wednesdays before Christmas - sometimes you can't move forwards because of shoppers going in both directions. Don't get me wrong - an atmosphere where so many people are going to purchase Christmas presents feels like a high spirited environment, but you do feel that the reason why they are there in the first place is due to commercialisation. One of my nephew's birthday is a week before Christmas, and so I had to get a birthday present for him while most were getting Christmas ones, and of course, the birthday cards in Clinton's and WHSmith were incognito because of Christmas cards on display.

    As I said before, the Friday before Christmas is one of the biggest Christmas shopping days - when Robot Wars was on BBC 2, the Sir Killalot toy was on sale in Argos, on that day in 2001 and I spent around 165 on getting two of them for my nephew and getting the batteries that weren't included (there were three batteries as there was a "buy two get one free" offer on them). Along with seven bags of Tesco shopping, I had to get a taxi back home (although I felt that I needed a removal van!) When it came to, I had got the wrong Robot Wars toy, and so the following day, they had to go back to Argos in the boot of a relative's car, whilst I ended up playing Hide and Seek on Friday evening and trying to find where I put the damn receipt that I put down somewhere. I tell you, Christmas shopping can be frustrating in itself, even if the end results come the 25th can be rewarding.
    I am now in my 40s (just in case anyone asks).

  6. #196
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    Default Re: Christmas When You Were Growing Up

    Is Christmas still a religious celebration? It was in 1800 but by 1900 it had started to become commercialised and take on customs that were unrecognisable in 1800. I can remember learning about Christmas past at primary school.

    In the 17th century Christmas was banned in England by the Puritans because they thought it was a decadent Catholic celebration that early Christians did not recognise. In Scotland the Presbyterian Church once discouraged people from celebrating Christmas and did not recognise it as an official Christian celebration.

  7. #197
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    Default Re: Christmas When You Were Growing Up

    Quote Originally Posted by Arran View Post
    Is Christmas still a religious celebration?
    I hope that no one from the Church of England has read that! Any vicars or clergymen on here please feel free to officially answer! I am a bit surprised that such an obvious question has been asked!

    We still have the Midnight Mass and the Christmas morning service on BBC 1 each year - churches have Christmas morning services, etc. I think that Christmas will always be a religious celebration for a long time to come, hence the fact that it is still celebrated - the commercial side of things have sidelined things certainly in the past 50 years or so. When I was younger (as a six year old back in 1984 for example), my first thought of Christmas was receiving presents and having new toys to play with, rather than the thought of the birth of Jesus - the Nativity play which is performed in Primary schools is a reminder of the religious side of things - that and the carol services are there as reminder to youngsters that it is not all a "bargain basement" fest.

    As an adult, (and I am talking personally here in a way), we think of having a sip of sherry from a pony glass and a few After Eight mints as soon as midnight arrives, and wondering whether we will be sober enough to get to the nearest DFS on Boxing Day and buy that sofa which was advertised during the commercial break of Coronation Street. Christmas means different things to people of different ages (and often different generations as well). In true Mr Bean style, I tried to retain the child's aspect of Christmas for myself when I got older, but I think that it is nostalgia doing that rather than keep traditions alive.

    Also, which side would you think that Father Christmas would take on this? Would he represent the religious side because of the traditional aspects of the character, or would be on the commercial side - after all, as we have mentioned earlier on, his red coat was as a result of Coca-Cola's advertising, and also the fact that he delivers presents to children in the middle of the night - he seems to be very much of a consumer person considering that he appears in advertisements, gives children Mars branded chocolate etc - perhaps he should be an employee of Tesco or WHSmith rather than the Church of England? He may represent the role as "postman" because of that - after all, what is religious about delivering parcels?

    Another point is that in this country at least, Jewish and Muslim festivals are understandably not celebrated like that, although Hindus do a great Diwali celebration when it comes around each year. I know that there are still people and families who think of Christmas as a religious from the outset.
    I am now in my 40s (just in case anyone asks).

  8. #198

    Default Re: Christmas When You Were Growing Up

    Like it or not, I think Black Friday/Cyber Monday is here to stay. I agree that we don't want to see the chaos that sometimes occurs in the US being duplicated here in the UK. Personally, I would not go out shopping on those days, but I have made purchases online, mainly for Christmas presents. I do think that there are genuine sales out there, but of course it always pays to keep your head screwed on. I saved between 30% and 50% on the items I bought, but I want to stress that these were gifts that I would have had to buy anyway; I would not spend on Black Friday just for the sake of spending.

    Yes, online shopping is seriously denting many high street shops sales nowadays. Although I don't like to see shops close and people lose their jobs, I can't really see what can be done about it. If people prefer to sit at home and shop online, then that is what they will do. It's just how shopping is evolving.

  9. #199
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    Default Re: Christmas When You Were Growing Up

    I believe that Woolworths and MFI were victims of that sort of thing ten years ago - in their 1970s and 1980s heyday they were very strong on the High Street with Christmas advertising and sales - nearly everyone got their baubles and Christmas fairy lights from Woolworths (Woolco). Online shopping has given that an extra dimension in which some can't quite keep up with. How many times have we heard of "Acme Stores Limited goes into administration" in news reports? With the Credit Crunch of ten years ago we heard of it several times in a week.

    I saw this cartoon in Private Eye a couple of months ago, showing how methods of shopping has changed in the past 20 years - in 1998, the caption was "they've got a website", where in 2018, it was "they're got a High Street store".

    I use Tesco for online shopping, only because there isn't a big store in the area I live in - I believe that Tesco will be the survivors in all of this. Look at the Sainsbury's - Asda proposed merger from earlier on this year which has seemed to have cooled down as if late. There is an Asda and a Sainsbury's so close to where I live, and it would be interesting which one would close if the merger or takeover goes ahead.
    I am now in my 40s (just in case anyone asks).

  10. #200
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    Default Re: Christmas When You Were Growing Up

    Quote Originally Posted by George 1978 View Post
    I hope that no one from the Church of England has read that! Any vicars or clergymen on here please feel free to officially answer! I am a bit surprised that such an obvious question has been asked!

    We still have the Midnight Mass and the Christmas morning service on BBC 1 each year - churches have Christmas morning services, etc. I think that Christmas will always be a religious celebration for a long time to come, hence the fact that it is still celebrated - the commercial side of things have sidelined things certainly in the past 50 years or so. When I was younger (as a six year old back in 1984 for example), my first thought of Christmas was receiving presents and having new toys to play with, rather than the thought of the birth of Jesus - the Nativity play which is performed in Primary schools is a reminder of the religious side of things - that and the carol services are there as reminder to youngsters that it is not all a "bargain basement" fest.

    As an adult, (and I am talking personally here in a way), we think of having a sip of sherry from a pony glass and a few After Eight mints as soon as midnight arrives, and wondering whether we will be sober enough to get to the nearest DFS on Boxing Day and buy that sofa which was advertised during the commercial break of Coronation Street. Christmas means different things to people of different ages (and often different generations as well). In true Mr Bean style, I tried to retain the child's aspect of Christmas for myself when I got older, but I think that it is nostalgia doing that rather than keep traditions alive.

    Also, which side would you think that Father Christmas would take on this? Would he represent the religious side because of the traditional aspects of the character, or would be on the commercial side - after all, as we have mentioned earlier on, his red coat was as a result of Coca-Cola's advertising, and also the fact that he delivers presents to children in the middle of the night - he seems to be very much of a consumer person considering that he appears in advertisements, gives children Mars branded chocolate etc - perhaps he should be an employee of Tesco or WHSmith rather than the Church of England? He may represent the role as "postman" because of that - after all, what is religious about delivering parcels?

    Another point is that in this country at least, Jewish and Muslim festivals are understandably not celebrated like that, although Hindus do a great Diwali celebration when it comes around each year. I know that there are still people and families who think of Christmas as a religious from the outset.
    It's a bit more complicated than this.

    At one end of the scale are Christians who do not celebrate Christmas - they are few in number but they do exist. Next are Christians who celebrate Christmas but don't do the commercial side of it or Father Christmas because they see it as an innovation not in the Bible. Father Christmas would have been unrecognised in Britain in 1800 as the custom appeared some time in the mid 19th century when kids would hang up a sock then find an orange inside it on Christmas morning. At the opposite end of the scale are staunch atheists who celebrate Christmas as one big decadent party and do the Father Christmas malarkey simply because it's fun or they see it as a national celebration rather than a religious celebration.

    Did you know that the UK is one of a small number of countries that does not have a national day. Therefore Christmas probably substitutes it for millions of people who aren't religious.

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