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The simple things you remember most about Christmas

(451 Posts)

MNHQ have commented on this thread.

crochetmonkey74 Thu 16-Nov-17 12:00:37

I'm not one to judge - each to their own - but the juggernaut of Christmas 'extras' now seems mad and got me to thinking about my memories of Christmas- none of which were present based.
Things I remember most are : starting to see tangerines in the grocer, all stacked up next to the shelled nuts and with those boxes of dates. The grocers looked all lit up on the walk home from school- and it would make me feel really Christmassy.
My other big one is the feeling of a heavy stocking on the bottom of the bed- it was always filled with tiny things that I can't remember- but always a chocolate Father Christmas sticking out of the top!
We had a set of Christmas tapes from Readers Digest (just found a set on Amazon for way too much but bought it anyway)
also, we used to listen to the St Winifreds School Choir 'Christmas For Everyone' record and light our very cheap cinnamon smelling candle - even now any cheap christmas candle (the ones that smell of burnt plastic cinnamon) makes me feel all Christmassy

What are your simple festive memories?

RhiannonOHara Wed 06-Dec-17 17:02:10

Those jelly sweets shaped like orange and lemon slices


That was a proper Proustian moment, that picture. smile

Cagliostro Wed 06-Dec-17 17:59:24

grin I think I actually posted on here once asking where I could get them

Seahorsesandunicorns Thu 07-Dec-17 04:34:24

Love this thread- made me cry and think of loved ones past.
I remember my poor Mum struggling to make everything perfect for me and my 5 siblings, my dad was a hard grafter too but my mum was a worrier. Our house smelled of tangerines and after eight boxes.
I loved my nana and aunties and uncles coming over, my uncle would give me snowballs and shandies on the sly. He smoked like a chimney and nobody cared that the house smelt of smoke. I also remember my dad playing tricks on the older generations giving them 'fart' sweets or the ones that turn your mouth blue and my absolute delight when they would ask for more of said fart sweets. I remember the games of pictionary and trivial persuit and how my mum and uncle would be at logger heads. One year my mum cheated and when everyone was in bed she shouted down to my uncle (trying to sleep downstairs on a camp bed) that she'd cheated. Those days were so fun and care free, I really hope my kids have the magic in their tummies when they go to bed.

festivedinosaur Thu 07-Dec-17 05:42:43

So many feelings reading this fgrinfgrin

Monr0e Thu 07-Dec-17 10:41:02

My DM rang me last night to tell me she has picked up a bottle of Schloer and box after eight mints for Christmas day.

She always bought a bottle for Christmas, I felt really grown up drinking it with my meal on Christmas day

nickEcave Thu 07-Dec-17 12:35:27

I was little in the late 70s/ early 80s. Every year my mum would make her own advent calendar on A1 card with pictures of things that had happened to the family during the year or little jokes behind each door. When I was very small, she also made big containers to put the Santa presents in. One year it was a papier mache snowman whose head came off and another year it was a dolls house made out of a cardboard box. The best every christmas was the year I got a Wendy House as my main present with the other presents inside it.

YoungYolandaYorgensen39 Thu 07-Dec-17 17:17:58

Posting Christmas cards to school friends in the little postbox and getting the chance to be the little elf that delivered them to the classes.

Going to the Christmas fair in the Catholic Church hall and seeing Santa in his grotto.

Getting the box of decorations down from the loft - and just the slightly musty smell of it.

Putting up real holly and ivy on top of the picture frames and mantelpiece and hanging mistletoe in the porch.

Going out for pop and crisps on Christmas Eve and thinking it was really late when we came home when in reality it was probably no later than 9pm. My mam always used to say she could hear the bells on Santa’s sleigh which would make me desperate to get to bed and get to sleep.

Waking in the night, wondering if he’d been yet and then that moment when you feel and see something at the foot of the bed and the happy anticipation of opening it.

Christmas Day morning at grandparents house with so many aunts, uncles and cousins. Pure chaotic joy.

The clip-on robin with a feathery tail on Nana’s Christmas tree.

We always paid for a Christmas good hamper throughout the year to spread the cost. It was always so exciting when it arrived and we unpacked everything with loads of ‘oohs’ and ‘ahhs’.

Carol singers at the door.

The smell of the cake baking. The taste of the marzipan.

Mam having a snowball. Dad having a cigar.

Watching The Snowman.

Boxing Day trifle.

tiredvommachine Sat 16-Dec-17 22:00:21

Born mid 70's, I recall a wiry, spindly Christmas tree with some of the decorations on it being Christmas paper wrapped matchboxes.

Every Christmas eve, trying to squeeze my eyes shut to make the morning come quicker on a camp bed in my brother's room, whilst being roundly wound up and over excited by said brothers rushing to the window to say they could hear sleigh bells!

Late 80's, spraying that tinned fake snow on the inside of the windows, trying to recreate a scene a la Dickens, but not quite pulling off the desired effect and it being a bugger to shift in the new year.

Yes to balloons in the room corners, and a garish gold banner, like one of those fly screens hanging across the window saying MERRY CHRISTMAS AND A HAPPY NEW YEAR written in red.

One year, when I was about 7, my mother got a job making crackers at home to earn some extra money and the sheer delight of large bags of cracker presents in the lounge. Oh!

Paid about 2p a cracker, mind.

Halcyon days.

EastMidsGPs Sun 17-Dec-17 12:50:44

The 60+ year old green and silver bell from DH's childhood.
Always first thing on the tree and always the first taken off and wrapped so carefully.

Excuse tree we don't decorate, merely bung everything on !!

Roomba Tue 19-Dec-17 10:59:00

I remembeer trying not to laugh at my Grandothers, who took it in turns to host the whole family each Christmas. Secretly weren't very fond of each other. They were very polite though and would never drwam of falling out with the other one, and Christmas was usually they only time they had to see each other apaert from an odd wedding or funeral.

So you;d hear lots of passive agressive remarks and snarkiness, which sounds awful but was actually hilarious watching them both trying not to be offended by the other too much

'The food was lovely, Mary, thank you'
' Well, I've not poisoned anyone yet, Ruby'

That sort of thing. Also they'd buy each other a small gift always seemed to subtly point out the other's failings, so a cookery book for the Grandma whose cooking was dreadful, a tasteful ornament for the one whose interior decor was too 'tacky' for the other. It was so funny to us kids and I miss watching them both and exchanging knowing looks over the table with my siblings.

tiredvommachine Tue 19-Dec-17 22:09:17

Roomba, that sounds awesome! fgrin

TheBadgersMadeMeDoIt Tue 19-Dec-17 22:38:16

I learned to gift-wrap by helping my dad wrap all Mum's presents. He'd always leave it until the last minute, so we'd end up shut away in one of the bedrooms on Christmas Eve surrounded with mountains of paper and boxes. I was generally much closer to my mum growing up, but those epic wrapping sessions were fun father/daughter bonding opportunities. I remember laughing. Like, a lot.

He was quite self-deprecating about his own wrapping abilities. He'd say things like, "Right, next...I'll wrap this book. Here you go, you can wrap this...frying pan."

I guess you had to be there. Anyway, very fond memories. And my subsequent wrapping skills are not to be sniffed at.

OneOfTheGrundys Tue 19-Dec-17 22:44:26

The Box of Delights.
The first mince pie.
Playing with the Christmas tree-finding little homes for my toys and making it like the Ewok village.

Ebayaholic Tue 19-Dec-17 22:51:40

@DownTheChimney I'm off to Coventry on Saturday to go on the original coop sleigh ride, which went to the transport museum when the coop closed. It's exactly the same as when we were kids, I always get on with the dc and get a lump in my throat

Tisfortired Tue 19-Dec-17 22:54:22

Being so excited all day Christmas Eve and going to bed at about 18:00 but being so buzzing not sleeping at all.

Feeling for the heavy stocking with my feet at the bottom of the bed.

Helping/watching my mum prepare the turkey on Christmas Eve.

The abundance of food in the house.

Going to my nans house for Christmas dinner with our entire family - about 15 of us sat around my Nanna's made for 6 people table.

After Christmas dinner I would go up to my room and make a start on my books while the adults got drunk and ate after eights (I was/am a big bookworm and would get so many new books at Christmas!)

Crash out at about 18:00 again after being wide awake all night, curled up with my mum watching a Christmassy film.

I miss Christmas as a child.

LunchBoxPolice Tue 19-Dec-17 23:28:24

My little boy made one of those calendars which is a painting/drawing that has a little tear-off calendar stuck at the bottom. I remember making them in school, and when he proudly brought his home from nursery yesterday I cried.

My Nanna smiling as we watched the Queen's speech.

On Christmas morning, my Dad would go downstairs first to put the kettle on. We weren't allowed in the living room until Mum was downstairs and had her cup of tea.

I always had wonderful Christmases with my parents and brother. I'm a single parent to an almost 4 year old ds now, and while his experience of Christmas will be different to mine growing up, if we have each other on Christmas morning, with chocolate coins and whatever awful film ITV have put on, then we'll be just fine.

Have a fantastic time making new memories, everyone wine

PrivateParkin Wed 20-Dec-17 16:50:14

Feeling a bit flat this year, so having a little re-read of this thread to try and get my festive mojo back!! To the PP that said about kids having that magic feeling in their tummies, that's exactly it!! Don't think I could ever recreate that though fsmile

Mrstwiddle Sun 24-Dec-17 22:04:04

Watching Anne of Green Gables and wishing I could have a Christmas in snowy Canada, plus meet Gilbert, usually the first episode was shown on Boxing day I think...

BitOfFun Sun 24-Dec-17 22:16:06

Writing letters to Father Christmas on your best stationery (that you probably got the previous Christmas).

BBTHREE76 Mon 01-Jan-18 04:41:08

Not read the whole thread but the main thing I remember was the complete lack of co-ordination in Xmas decorations and colour schemes. We had various things attached to the ceiling and running across the room from corner to corner and we put balloons up (always in 3s) which started off fine but ended up shrivelled messes by the time Xmas was over. I absolutely loved it - and have to remind myself not to be such a princess when my DD and DS want to put an ornament on our tree now which doesn’t match my colour scheme. blush

salsmum Mon 01-Jan-18 05:31:41

The Salvation Army playing on the street corner then collecting for charity by knocking on doors, my jackie annual, the smell of a real tree, my mums little wind up church with lights inside, a large Santa or snowman with raffle type tickets on the bottom, when you opened the bottom of the figure they'd be a toy inside with your ticket on, balloons in all four corners of the room ( some resembling a penis with two round balloons either side) blush my relatives visiting. My mum not being at work on Christmas Day and snow. Selection boxes with peanut treats inside, Mir one &wise on the tv. also the smell of the dinner cooking,Christmas pud with a sixpence and tinned fruit cocktail or birds trifle for afters.

salsmum Mon 01-Jan-18 05:36:16

Whoops forgot to add going to the green shield stamps shop with books to buy yardley gift sets, tweed or Denim for the menfolk.

Triglesoffy Thu 14-Nov-19 19:16:18

It’s time to resurrect this thread. I know there is still 6 weeks to go but I am so meh about Christmas this year. I hope to get some inspiration from new posts 🎄

crochetmonkey74 Thu 14-Nov-19 21:34:27

I’ve just re read too as I’m feeling flat (started another thread about that)
Have decided to reinstate cards and a homemade cake for us, with little ones for family and friends as gifts

thesuninsagittarius Wed 11-Dec-19 14:48:53

Does anyone agree it's time to resurrect this thread? We're living in what are very unhappy times for a lot of people. As OP said, Christmas seems to have become about spending and getting as much as possible, and it's good to remember when times were a bit simpler.
I'd be hard pushed to remember the presents I got as a child, but I've never forgotten the excitement and anticipation, the smell of the tree and tinsel and tangerines. The feeling that something really special was going to happen and you could feel that expectation everywhere. Like a PP so brilliantly put it; 'not so much the presents etc, but the possibility of a world with magic in it.'

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