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The simple things you remember most about Christmas

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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?

Johnnycomelately1 Thu 16-Nov-17 12:45:10

Just the absolute excitement and magic of waking up and seeing your stocking at the end of the bed. It wasn't what was in it that was the thing, but the possibility of a world with magic in it.

The smell of the After Eights box.

Christingle. and carrying my orange really carefully. And hoping I'd be picked to put Jesus in the manger.

The grotto at Hanningtons in Brighton and going down in the elevator (it wasn't real- the pictures moved).

DrCoconut Thu 16-Nov-17 12:47:42

If you've never seen it look up "a child's Christmas in Wales" on YouTube. It's an adaptation of the famous Dylan Thomas work and it has so much of the kind of thing this thread is about. I watch it every Christmas Eve without fail. I've threatened to do a commercialism free Christmas several times and one year I will do it.

DinaCaliente Thu 16-Nov-17 12:55:22

My mum's christmas LP that she'd play every christmas morning
I remember it had "I saw 3 Ships" on it.

RedBullBlood Thu 16-Nov-17 13:14:43

When did we stop calling tangerines tangerines?
Nuts in shells, for some reason we never had a nutcracker and relied on Dad and a hammer. He always got bored with cracking long before we'd had as many nuts as we wanted.
Chocolate pennies that used to taste nice and advent calendars with just pictures. My mother never getting all the food cooked at the same time.

Smarshian Thu 16-Nov-17 13:17:01

One of my best memories of Christmas was every Christmas Eve in the afternoon while the adults were prepping food etc we put on a Christmas film and decorated plain white pillow cases with our names and whatever pictures we wanted which then acted as stockings. Will definitely be doing that with my dd when she is older.

crochetmonkey74 Thu 16-Nov-17 13:18:10

DrCoconut- I LOVE that programme, I am Welsh and grew up in the 80s so it is a carbon copy of my experience- down to the houseproud mum and even the accent is so similer to my much missed Mum's!

Also- tangerines in tissue paper- Yes! I loved those

Allhallowseve Thu 16-Nov-17 13:23:01

I have strong memories of all my family being round at ours and my nan bringing a Sherry trifle. This was the only time we had everyone over and I remember it vividly!
Christmas adverts coming on to the tele.
Selection boxes were such a treat having all that chocolate all to yourself . I think my kids are a bit spoilt and don't see it like that.
Shopping in Rackham's and seeing all the beautiful toys.

PrivateParkin Thu 16-Nov-17 13:25:00

I was so pleased when I saw this thread title OP, because I knew it would have loads of lovely things in it! I remember when my mum or dad used to drive us across town to our grandparents' in the run up to Christmas, and my sister and I would sit in the back seat of the car counting how many Christmas trees we saw. I also remember my auntie used to always do a Christmas Eve tea for us and she had an open fire, so we used to send letters up the chimney to Father Christmas. And watching The Box of Delights or the Children of Green Knowe BBC Christmas adaptations. Very happy times smile

Justmuddlingalong Thu 16-Nov-17 13:28:30

The mention of Christmas trifle reminds me that if I got the cherry from the tinned fruit used in the trifle, I always gave it to my DDad. <blub>

AvoidingDM Thu 16-Nov-17 13:31:06

Counting Christmas trees the number would naturally increase every day from Dec 1st.
Christmas parties at school & church
Playing Trivial Pursuit in teams although not being able to answer the questions.

CannotEvenThink Thu 16-Nov-17 13:38:34

Love that others sent letters up the chimney. That is how my children send theirs still. Except we moved house over the summer and the new fireplace isn't quite ready for use yet so the younger 2 are getting a bit worried that Father Christmas won't have enough time to make their presents! Should finish getting it sorted this weekend.

One of my own making rather than a childhood memory is that where I live there is no really good deli to get candied peel and I can't stand the ready chopped supermarket stuff so I make my own. In the run up to Christmas every year my kitchen starts to smell of citrus as I make it and then all the surfaces are covered in trays gently dripping syrup as the peel dries and crystallises. I love it.

BoomalakkaWee Thu 16-Nov-17 13:38:43

The one thing that really made Christmas for me was a circular container of jelly orange and lemon segments.

Fond memories too of my parents stocking up with big glass bottles of Corona. I loved Corona cherryade, nothing else tasted quite like it: it was the true flavour of Christmas.

We always received a little netty-bag of chocolate coins each in our Christmas stockings - you never even saw them on sale at any other time of year. There was never exactly the same mix of coin sizes in any two bags, but my DB and I were expected to exercise restraint and "Eat just three of the medium ones after your dinner."

"But Daa-aaa-aaad, I've only got two medium ones in my bag and he's got five in his!"

allertse Thu 16-Nov-17 13:40:08

the absolutely overwhelming feeling of excitement in bed on xmas eve knowing that father christmas was coming and feeling sure that I would never be able to sleep with excitement.

opening stockings in my parents bed

sip of my dads sherry as relatives arrive (until i was old enough for my own glass!)

always sharing a cracker with my gran and sitting next to her at christmas dinner

swapping a rubbish chocolate bar from my selection box for the crunchie from my brothers as he hated them grin

candlefloozy Thu 16-Nov-17 13:42:12

I loved going in to wake my brother up on a Christmas Eve morning.
The decorations.
The music
Playing games with everyone and arguing over who lit the Christmas pudding

missyB1 Thu 16-Nov-17 13:45:06

Midnight mass on Christmas Eve. My mums amazing Christmas dinner, pudding with custard, and of course Christmas cake at tea time!
Oh and Tins of biscuits sent from Ireland by Granny!

I love my food as you can tell grin

ShatnersBassoon Thu 16-Nov-17 13:49:24

The tin of Quality Street so big you were up to your elbow trying to get all the best ones.

Frith1975 Thu 16-Nov-17 13:51:35

Does anyone else remember the sleigh rides in large Coop stores?

You sat in a “sleigh” and the scenery panels moved (I believed the sleigh was moving until I was about 7!) Mechanised reindeers moved in front.

CuppaSarah Thu 16-Nov-17 14:03:22

Finding the one unwrapped gift in the Christmas stocking, being made to eat breakfast before presents, despite being so excited I wanted to be sick. Setting up santa traps with my sister.

Playing video games on the downstairs telly. The jovial debates over the tv guide and what to watch. The extra present dad had bought in secret and hidden away till after lunch, every year he surprised, we somehow never knew it was coming!

Trottersindependenttraders Thu 16-Nov-17 14:04:28

The large tins (actual tins) of foil wrapped Roses being opened signalled that Christmas was here. Along with those packets of dates that we used to buy in for my Nan to eat, noone else would go near them!

Ddad making everyone Snowballs, he still does this now. I was allowed a weak one.

The first time I watched Santa Claus the Movie, I thought it was magical not so much these days.

Mum listening to Carols from Kings on Christmas Eve and to the pp who mentioned the LP upthread that had "I saw 3 ships" on it, I think we had the same one too grin

Love this thread. 80's Christmastastic

GoldInTheAirOfSummer Thu 16-Nov-17 14:09:21

I feel quite teary reading these - such lovely memories. For me it is:

the smell of the (fake) Christmas tree and the box of decorations when they came out of the loft
the absolute excitement when the rotary club carol wagon and sleigh made its annual trip up our road
making paper chains with my sister to put up in our bedroom
my grandparents drinking sherry
a boxing day buffet
Christmas Day Top of the Pops
selection boxes
that feeling in your stomach in the couple of days before hand

Little things really when you look back on them. Really hope that my children remember the simple things when they are older too.

AtlanticWaves Thu 16-Nov-17 14:12:36

Decorating the tree with my mum with Christmas music blazing. Then standing back and checking the overall distribution of decorations was ok, with the occasional ajustment.

The excitement as the pile of presents round the tree grew and grew in the days running up to Christmas --> reading the label of every new present to see if it was for me (we never opened them in advance. Ever)

Sitting in the dark in the living room with the christmas tree lights on and just hugging myself with excitement that tomorrow it was Christmas.

Elizabeth Shaw mints. I live abroad now and really miss them at Chrismas sad

Getting up really early and going into my brother's room to compare stocking presents - without opening them....

Going to visit our best friends on Christmas morning whilst the dinner was cooking and discovering that once again we had a lot of the same presents! (our mums swopped tips and sometimes even went shopping together to buy us all the same stuff!)

PinkSquash Thu 16-Nov-17 14:14:10

Christingles and the shiny foil stars hanging from the ceiling.

PrivateParkin Thu 16-Nov-17 14:15:44

Santa traps grin what were they, CuppaSarah ?!
I loved the Rotary sleigh too Gold
This is an emotional thread!

crochetmonkey74 Thu 16-Nov-17 14:20:17

Sitting in the dark in the living room with the christmas tree lights on and just hugging myself with excitement that tomorrow it was Christmas.

This has made me well up - god I miss my Mum and that lovely feeling.

Add to mine: Me and my sister making our annual list of Christmas Eve and Christmas morning plans and discussing at length how cute the reindeers are in Santa Claus The Movie and how we would love a bed in the wall like Mr and Mrs Claus

onlyonaTuesday Thu 16-Nov-17 14:23:22

Sneaking downstairs to look through the glass panel door to see “if he had been”

Eating chocolate for breakfast

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