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Have a Merry Memory-Making Christmas!

By Sarah
21st December 2016

Getting a doll’s bath from Father Christmas, The Wizard of Oz and the overwhelming site of presents under the tree are my favourite festive memories.

Despite writing about Christmas since July, I still love it - and the build up. Christmas is a magical time to me.

Growing up in the 70s, we used to have a real tree and I remember covering it with tinsel icicles - you would still find them behind the sofa in July! I had three mice which I was allowed to put on the tree and I still pop these on our tree today. We have fairy lights in our homes and gardens year round now, but in 1977 the tree lights going on was so exciting, except for when they didn’t work and lots of bulb twiddling commenced. I also remember pine needles everywhere and my mother having to frequently hoover them up.

My present wishlist was a Scalextric, Jaws game - and a pony. I got one of the three. And it didn’t have teeth, if you’re wondering! Something else which was wow was a chocolate selection box - we certainly didn’t have chocolate in the house the rest of the year and the fact that I could tuck into Buttons before 8am was mind blowing!

TV got better at Christmas and the big Christmas Day movie was always one you hadn’t seen before because it used to take seven years for films to come off the cinema and be shown on TV. I kid you not. And pre video-recorder days, never mind Sky Plus, if you missed it, that was it. You had to wait another year. For me, there was a feeling that the whole nation was watching it together. That’s probably because there were only three channels to choose from. Back then it was Wizard of Oz or Bond. Today, we like to kick off the Christmas film season watching Elf and for me, National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation is a must.

TV got better at Christmas and the big Christmas Day movie was always one you hadn’t seen before because it used to take seven years for films to come off the cinema and be shown on TV. I kid you not. And pre video-recorder days, never mind Sky Plus, if you missed it, that was it. You had to wait another year. For me, there was a feeling that the whole nation was watching it together. That’s probably because there were only three channels to choose from. Back then it was Wizard of Oz or Bond. Today, we like to kick off the Christmas film season watching Elf and for me, National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation is a must.

My mum grew up in the Fifties and she says hanging a stocking on the fireplace, have a capon for Christmas dinner and her sister and her getting up very early and have lots of small presents and one big one like a doll’s pram are her fondest memories. They played games as there was no TV and her father, who never drank the rest of the year, got a little merry at Christmas!

My daughter’s a teen now but we still uphold our own family traditions of putting out magic reindeer dust (oats and glitter) on Christmas Eve to guide the sleigh, and a mince pie and sherry for Santa - and a carrot for Rudolph. My husband’s is to not let anyone touch the Christmas edition of The Radio Times until he’s poured over it with a highlighter pen, tipple in hand. When we get together with the rest of the family, we enjoy Secret Santa where you challenge each other to buy a gift for less than £5 - and enjoy a Sevens card-game tournament. I like that we’re making new traditions.

My daughter’s a teen now but we still uphold our own family traditions of putting out magic reindeer dust (oats and glitter) on Christmas Eve to guide the sleigh, and a mince pie and sherry for Santa - and a carrot for Rudolph. My husband’s is to not let anyone touch the Christmas edition of The Radio Times until he’s poured over it with a highlighter pen, tipple in hand. When we get together with the rest of the family, we enjoy Secret Santa where you challenge each other to buy a gift for less than £5 - and enjoy a Sevens card-game tournament. I like that we’re making new traditions.

A recent survey by Three Barrels Brandy reveals the happiest point of Christmas Day is 1.55pm, when the turkey is on the table, presents unwrapped and we can look forward to a festive and fun afternoon and evening. It seems most adults spend their day being more concerned about creating a happy day for everyone else.

There are some things even I don’t like about Christmas: gingerbread and that sinking - almost back to school - feeling you get on Boxing Day night that it’s all over. Then again, that sinking feeling could be because I’ve eaten way too many mince pies!

Ho ho ho to happy times.


Browse our winter gifts and enjoy this festive season.

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