Christmas-Memories-headerSpring Chicken

Long before Morecambe and Wise took over the TV Christmas schedule, the 1950s festive season for children was all about decorations, eating and the anticipation of presents from Santa Claus. Why not let us know your childhood memories of Christmas in the comments section below!

 My wonderful childhood memories of Xmas revolved around the build up to the big day - making paper chain decorations by licking the glued ends and cutting the crepe paper until one's fingers hurt (but the result was spectacular when twirled).

 Decorating the Christmas tree was another of those defining moments, colourful baubles, painted fir cones (still in service from austerity times), some more recent plastic novelties, the candles and the fairy doll as the crowning glory at the top.

Then there was buying the presents for everyone and wrapping them up, and hoping that Father Christmas was not going to forget to fill your stocking.

 Christmas day was the magic moment. Waking up to see a full stocking with a cracker peeping out of the top and an apple or tangerine at the toe end. The excitement of opening lots of little gifts, and coming downstairs to see more presents set underneath the decorative tree.

Opening time had to wait till after the Queen's broadcast.

 

Lunchtime - turkey, bread sauce and Brussels sprouts, a flaming Christmas pudding and the hope you get the slice with a sixpenny piece. Now it's time to pull the crackers. Stuffed!

 

and finally we are all stuffed full of memories.

Let us know your memories of Christmas' gone by in the comments section below, we'd love to hear from you. 

Hope you have a Merry Christmas. 

 Header Image courtesy of The Museum of Brands (Robert Opie)

'50s1950sChildhoodChristmasMemory laneNostalgia

1 comment

Veronica Haynes

Christmas was a magical time in the 50s which was a dull, beige and gloomy decade. The anticipation of things to come made us all impatient for the Big Day.
But first we had to immerse ourselves in the preparations. Mother would order the cake from the local artisan bakery – a wondrous confection (to our eyes) of roughed up icing with little trees, robins and santa, with a festive red frill around it. And, oh, the joy when, one year, Uncle Ray lit the the candles that had been inserted on the top, and the frill caught fire! We children thought it was enormous fun!
Throughout December we made our decorations – chinese lanterns cut out of wallpaper samples that seemed so festive to our eyes, but were, I expect, pretty dull, in truth. But they fluttered from the overmantle like manic origami washing on a line as the heat from the fire rose to give them life.
And we made silver bells for the tree – milk tops washed and saved and then placed over a lemon squeezer with your thumb running down the ridges for form crinkly bells. Strung together about four or five at a time, they hung from the tree, twisting in the light and tinkling when our cat decided to bat them and play with them.
Oh, the tree! We would go to the local market, taking my old pushchair to bring it back home. A lorry would pull up at one end of the market, the tailboard would drop to form the selling platform. It was pure theatre! “Who’ll give me ’alf a dollar (2/6) for this ’un?” would shout the seller. Thump! The tree would be banged on the tail gate to display the branches, and housewives would jostle to get their favoured specimen. Sharp elbows were needed to push to the front – and mother would bide her time and then snap up what she was certain was the best of the lot!
Balanced on the pushchair with me standing on the footrest and leaning over the tree to keep it in place (and being fairly prickled in the process) she would wheel the prize back home, and the pain of the needles was as nothing against the seductive smell of the pine!
The joy of the decorations, the wonder at the tree lights (all twelve on a circuit, that father bought for 17/6 for the coronation: Osram, and my brother still has them – and they still work!)
Come Christmas morning, the presents under the tree were a joy to behold. Luckily, we had lots of aunts and uncles, so we had lots of presents – pretty basic by today’s standards: colouring books, paints and pencils, new sets of dolls’ clothes for me, planes and steam engine models or Dinkie cars for my brother.
It all comes flooding back – simple pleasures that brought pure joy and made it a really special time of year!

Leave a comment

All comments are moderated before being published