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What was your favourite thing about Christmas as a child?

(83 Posts)
ellentree Mon 28-Sep-20 23:45:10

Mine were:

Getting the radio times and highlighting everything I wanted to watch.

Decorating the tree and putting the presents around it while checking the labels to see which were for me!

Christmas Eve sitting in front of the fire with my sister watching tv while our parents did last minute preparation, then opening a present after midnight mass (a teenage happy memory).

As a younger child, being allowed the portable tv in my room on Christmas Eve so I could watch early morning cartoons and not wake anyone. And the best thing, finding my filled stocking (I don't recall remembering Father Christmas, so my memories are knowing it was my parents) and feeling everything in it before going into my parents' room to open it! I never unwrapped anything but used to feel all the gifts!

I also loved handing out the gifts from around the tree.

I still love Christmas, and having young children makes it even more amazing! We stay at home every year so we can do Christmas our way and pass down our happy memories to make new traditions with them.

OP’s posts: |
Smallsteps88 Mon 28-Sep-20 23:47:48

Just the whole excitement about the magical night when the presents would appear by morning. I wish I could feel that feeling again.

ellentree Tue 29-Sep-20 00:00:37

@Smallsteps88 me too, it was amazing. I had a decade or so if not being particularly bothered either way by Christmas but back into the spirit now.

OP’s posts: |
Smallsteps88 Tue 29-Sep-20 00:02:56

I’m feeling really sad this year as my youngest worked out that Santa isn’t real earlier this year so we have no more magic in this house sad it used to be so much fun getting my eldest to play along but he won’t now obviously.

AdaColeman Tue 29-Sep-20 00:13:42

The school nativity play.

Singing & listening to carols.

Going to Midnight Mass, walking home afterwards in the cold, black night, we used to have home made egg flip with sherry and warm mince pies, then fall into bed!

RepeatSwan Tue 29-Sep-20 00:19:30

I think the anticipation felt amazing. I remember some really exciting presents too.

I love it more now as an adult though as my parents weren't super Christmassy, but now I am in charge grin.

Smallsteps88 Tue 29-Sep-20 00:36:26

I have a very large family and every year we would go to midnight mass and then all squash into my nana’s house for supper. When we would leave she would gasp and say “did you see that? I just saw the lights on on the sleigh!” And we’d spend the drive home with our eyes locked on the sky in the hope of seeing them. Goodness knows how many times in the night she had to pull that one as there were so many of us kids and she did it for us all as we left. grin

Bikingbear Tue 29-Sep-20 00:47:16

As a young child Santa and the massive countdown. Miles of paper chains made at Grannies.

As I got older into my teens midnight service, TV, baking, I hated the fact exams were in January.

Finfintytint Tue 29-Sep-20 00:49:16

We had “ Jingle Bells” where we’d use my brother’s Action Man tank driven by his teddy and a trailer to deliver pocket money presents to each of the siblings, singing Jingle Bells as we did so. We’re in our fifties now and parents long dead but still call Christmas small gifts to each other as Jingle Bell gifts.

myhobbyisouting Tue 29-Sep-20 01:32:44

My brother used to come into my room and we'd sit there excitedly staring at the clock until 8 when we'd burst into mum and dads room.

Christmas Day with all of the family including my grandparents (all of whom are now sadly gone sad)

Playing games and the Christmas music.

God, I just love it all!!

ifigoup Tue 29-Sep-20 04:29:06

For me:

- Presents. This makes it sound as though I was really spoiled, but actually it’s precisely because I wasn’t spoiled at all, and never really got bought or given stuff unless it was Christmas or my birthday, that it was so special. My mum always went to town on stockings - we had whole pillowcases full - and always a really nice tree present.

- Carol singing. From when I was about 9 or 10 I used to go round with the singers from church. I loved being old in the cold, and people offering us mince pies. Then at secondary school I was in a joint pupil and staff Christmas choir and we used to go and sing for the old people at the community centre. I loved belting out the descants. I never get to do that now.

- The tin of Quality Street. We weren’t allowed to open it before Christmas Eve, but once we had, it was a free for all.

- Christmas Day Top of the Pops and finding out what was Christmas number 1.

- From about 11, doing my own Christmas shopping for friends and family with pocket money I’d saved. My abiding memory is being in Woolworths and buying the obscenely massive giant bars of Dairy Milk that they used to do. Body Shop gift baskets, or the fruity glycerine soaps, were other popular options.

- Making our own Christmas cards, and decorations like paper snowflakes for the windows.

- Blu Tacking up the (literally) hundreds of Christmas cards we’d receive, back when people still sent them. (I wonder whether people will again this year?)

thelegohooverer Tue 29-Sep-20 06:13:47

The lights. They were completely different in the 80s, much softer and the outdoors ones were more special for being rare.

Going into town to see Switzer’s window and queuing for ages for Santa watching the display of moving elves.

The incredible anticipation of Christmas Eve.

When I was a bit older, tiptoeing downstairs in the cold with my little brother and feeling the magic vicariously.

Holding up a chocolate digestive from the USA tin to the fire, until I could lick the chocolate off.

Outfoxed Tue 29-Sep-20 06:27:28

Christmas morning, stupidly early, all my siblings used to get our stockings, and creep around waking each other up and gathering on someones bed, and opening it all up trying to be super quiet, and probably being loud as hell. As we got older we all woke up later and later, and certain siblings started to go out xmas eve so were in no state for early morning shenanigans, so the tradition died off, but it's still one of my most treasured sibling memories!

lunalulu Tue 29-Sep-20 06:35:24

A massive sack of gifts ...... all for me .....

Thehollyandtheirony Tue 29-Sep-20 07:02:55

Driving around spotting Christmas trees in windows and looking at the lights.

Decorating our own tree, although it was always so close to Christmas by the time we did it. I’m very grateful for the no drop trees we get now that last a lot longer.

Stockings! It arrived at the foot of my bed in the middle of the night and I was allowed to wake up early and look in it by myself. I would take everything out carefully in wonder and then put it all back and repeat the whole process later with my parents.

ktsc89 Tue 29-Sep-20 08:42:56

Pantomine every Christmas Eve. It was so magical when walking out of the theatre with a proper Christmassy feeling. Later that evening my dad, brother and I would all crowd on my bed and read the same story the night before Christmas.

On a few occasions my parents let me grab a mattress and sleep on my brothers floor so that was exciting as we could sometimes open a present at midnight.

Waking up incredibly early the next day. Sometimes being told to go back to bed but after 7 it seemed to be acceptable to wake up. Then me and my brother would wait at the top of the stairs whilst my dad would go downstairs and would check that Santa had been.

Wherearefoxssocks Tue 29-Sep-20 08:47:43

- going to see Fenwicks window then going round their toy floor (anyone in the north east knows what I mean!)
- the school nativity play
- Christmas eve. Picking up the turkey with my dad, wrapp8ng presents, making a chocolate log. Once my nana arrived, that was it, Christmas had officially started. It's still my favourite day of the year
- my The Snowman bedding HAD to be on my bed
- waking up with my stocking heavy on my toes and going into my parents room, then going downstairs to see if Santa had left anything there.
- my aunt arriving with a HUGE bag of presents (it wasn't really. She just bought multi packs of sweets, socks etc and wrapped them all up separately, with maybe one proper present in there somewhere. It wasn't expensive and there was no tat, so nothing went to waste. I loved it
- as a teenager, singing at midnight mass and exchanging presents with my friends in church

speakout Tue 29-Sep-20 08:49:37


There is always room for Santa magic!
My youngest is 20- we still bake christmas biscuits and mince pies to leave out on christmas eve.
Santa lives in our imagination- the most amazing place of all- where aything can happen.
I had a gentle transition with my kids from santa real to santa myth- over several years, and although they ended up knowing there was no physical santa they still knew that santa is conjoured up at magical times.

But then I am a pagan - and every day is magical in my house!

MumOfDiamonds Tue 29-Sep-20 09:01:07

As children me and my siblings (6 of us altogether) would find a small toy (maybe about an inch in size) and one of us would hide it on the Xmas tree and the rest would have to try and find it. Our tree was a very over the top silver tree with a ton of tinsel and baubles. DM wouldn't be best pleased by the mess of it afterwards!

Although we weren't religious, we went to a CofE primary and it was brilliant on the run up to Xmas. Church visits, crafts and the nativity! I've always loved the carols and stories.

DM & DF were definitely in the very poor category when I was younger. So presents weren't a major thing for us, so we made a lot of things around Xmas. One thing I remember making was an advent calendar from lined paper. Loved it....,but now I make sure everyone in my house has a chocolate calendar to open.

I loved the simple magic of Christmas back then. We only had our family (no extended family that cared) so it was amazing just being with my siblings.

evilharpy Tue 29-Sep-20 09:04:28

We never put our decorations up until after my mum's birthday in the second week of December and the waiting was like torture, so when my dad finally went up to the loft to get it all out it felt like the start of all the excitement. We had a little twig of an artificial tree that sat on top of a coffee table, with Pifco lantern-shaped coloured fairy lights, the ubiquitous foil garlands, various Santa figures and a little plastic church that you could wind up and it played Silent Night. I loved it all.

All the Christmas specials on TV. And the Christmas films and blockbusters that were always shown on Christmas Day and Boxing Day - going through the extra fat edition of the Radio Times with a marker.

The smell of my mum making the Christmas cake, and "helping" i.e. licking the bowl.

All the visitors in the few days leading up to Christmas, bringing presents, getting to see family we might not have seen all that often. My auntie in England sent a huge box to us containing presents for all of the extended family which we were in charge of distributing and the arrival of the box really meant the start of Christmas.

My mum's lovely friend (now sadly no longer with us) bringing us a batch of her amazing home made mince pies which had icing on top, I would nearly sell a kidney for one of those now.

Going through the Kay's catalogue toy section to decide what to write to Santa for.


I could go on all day, I loved Christmas as a child.

When I was a teenager/early 20s there was always some sort of massive club night on Christmas night to go to, those were some brilliant nights out.

FreeGlib Tue 29-Sep-20 09:14:42

The decorations. 80s decorations, foil and colours and posters. These tasteful grey and silver bits from Next etc that you get now are very beautiful and stylish, but in our house it's foil garlands, coloured lights and tinsel.

OccultGnuAsWell Tue 29-Sep-20 09:29:44

Alternate years we undertook a regular journey of over 40 miles on Christmas Eve after dark to stay with relatives. I insisted on counting as many Christmas trees in or outside houses on the way and announcing the exact number to the (probably less than impressed) relatives.

On the years we stayed at home we had to bedroom share when the rellies stayed with us. I was on the floor in my parents room. One year I woke at 4am to find my stocking full of presents. Pestered to open them and one was a book of short stories. Managed to read the entire book whilst promising my parents I was only reading one story (speed reading little munchkin I was).

We always had more people than proper dining chairs and as the youngest I had to be accommodating and sit on what was available. For the first few years I had a stool that was too low and the entire meal was positioned at my eye level. In latter years there was a new kitchen step stool that was too high so I sat way above everything.

In fact I was a grown adult with my own place before I saw a Christmas meal from the correct height.

ellentree Tue 29-Sep-20 09:32:53

Wow I love these and it's making me so nostalgic and also excited.

@ifigoup your shopping description brought back so many memories - my experience sounds so like yours. Used to love it!

@Finfintytint love that, these little traditions are so memorable.

OP’s posts: |
Aposterhasnoname Tue 29-Sep-20 09:39:03

Listening for Santa. I remember lying in bed too excited to sleep with my sister and we actually heard --DF in the loft--the sleigh landing on the roof. We we beyond excited, but in our house Santa left the presents in the lounge and they had a magic spell on them that meant if you went downstairs without your parents they disappeared, so we sat up most of the night beside ourselves with excitement for the morning.

Aposterhasnoname Tue 29-Sep-20 09:39:32

Damn, strike out fail

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