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    • MSE Sally
    • By MSE Sally 27th Nov 12, 6:34 PM
    • 56Posts
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    MSE Sally
    Spill the beans... on your happiest childhood Christmas memory
    • #1
    • 27th Nov 12, 6:34 PM
    Spill the beans... on your happiest childhood Christmas memory 27th Nov 12 at 6:34 PM
    Spill the beans... on your happiest childhood Christmas memory

    'Tis once again the season to eat, drink and be merry. But we'd like to know what was your most special moment at Christmas (or other winter-time festival) from your childhood? We hope by sharing, you'll spark ideas for a new generation of parents.

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    • zaksmum
    • By zaksmum 28th Nov 12, 4:16 PM
    • 5,325 Posts
    • 7,253 Thanks
    My parents had very little money but my dad was brilliant at turning his hand to anything.

    One Christmas when my little brother was 5 dad presented him with a pedal car which he'd made himself out of scavenged old offcuts of metal from work - dad was a shiprepairer. He'd spent long hours welding the bits together and painting them and the end result was quite amazing.

    The look of sheer delight on my little brother's face and my dad's quiet, weary pride...and the love and admiration on my mother's face as she gazed at dad... that was one of my best childhood Christmases.
  • nevamissatrip
    Happy memories
    I apologise in advance, this might turn into a long post.

    I'm going back a fair few years here, to the mid 70's when I was but a young girl.

    In the many weeks leading up to this Christmas, my mom and I would gaze longingly at all the new foil decorations that seemed to be in abundance in Woolworths Christmas section. They were all shiny and glittery and were so new. My mom said one day we'd have some, but not this year......

    Christmas was nearly upon us, and our house was about as festive as a gnat bite. Mom and dad had brought out the boxes of decorations from the loft, but on close inspection it was decided that the rolls of crepe paper streamers were just too tatty to hang that year. So, all we had was a small Christmas tree, with half the amount of decorations on it than we'd normally have.

    Christmas Eve, off to bed I went, an excited little girl, scrunching my eyes up tightly; and wishing myself to sleep.

    I don't know what time I woke on Christmas morn, but it was still dark. I can remember creeping downstairs, to see if Santa had been. Halfway down the stairs I stopped, (not sitting like Kermit) but curious as to what the glow was that was emitting through the glazed door of the hall into the lounge. I'll never forget the sight that greeted me when I opened the door. Bless my mom and dad, god knows how much they must have gone without, and how long they'd saved for. But the lounge looked spectacular. New, glistening decorations adorned the room, hanging prettily from corner to corner and draped over pictures, were some of the decorations that I'd gazed at over the previous weeks. Gone was the small tree, replaced by one that towered over me, shiny new baubles hanging amongst ones we'd had for years. Fairy lights twinking, smiling at me. Do you know, I can't for the life of me remember what presents I had that year, but I will never, ever forget that Christmas. I don't think I stopped looking at the tree all day... Just wonderful. I just wish I could tell my parents now, just how much that Christmas meant to me. God bless em.

    Thank you Mom and Dad, for such a wonderful, wonderful memory. Merry Christmas.
    Originally posted by JJ.
    Thanks for sharing , as a new comer I just had to comment on this , made me feel all Christmassy , wishing you a very Happy Christmas with lots of new memories
  • sweetpea123
    Extra present
    We always had a Santa boot on the table which held each name on a piece of folded paper. After dinner, we passed the boot around the table, each took a name out. The paper would state things like "uncle Jack, look in the bookcase, third shelf". We all had a present hidden somewhere in the house- and had great fun finding them!

  • KDC
    Back in the late 60's before my parents divorced is my fondest Christmas memory. My grandfather came to the UK from Sicily. We were told that he was the co-owner of The Brompton Grill in London and each year close to Christmas the restaurant would have a very posh Dinner Dance. My Gran would take my sister and I up to the restaurant via train during the day. We would see all the chefs and waiters and all the other staff. They were mostly Italian and always had time for us and made lots of fuss of us. We saw the tables laid out with more than 1 set of knives and forks which amazed us!!

    There must've been a flat above the restaurant as I remember being up there, watching the original Sinbad and the Golden Fleece film on the tv and being treated to a huge bar of Bourneville chocolate. There were in fact 2 thin bars in the one package!!

    All the guests at the dinner dance received gifts like a powder compact for the ladies - very posh, expensive gifts at the time. We went there for several years and the staff always remembered us and it felt so wonderful.

    I still remember it so clearly and it always makes me smile
    • flizzy
    • By flizzy 28th Nov 12, 7:27 PM
    • 85 Posts
    • 52 Thanks
    Every year my brother and I would leave our letters for Father Christmas under the front door mat on 1st December as we didn't have a fireplace and our parents told us he had a special front door key for all the houses without chimneys! The next day Mum would have sprinkled glitter under the mat to make it really magical :-) I remember that feeling of excitement going to check under the mat in the morning for the glitter - such a simple idea but really special for us.

    I also remember one Christmas Day, the first after my Grandma had died, we had our presents in the morning as usual and had Christmas lunch, then Mum and Dad got out more presents. We weren't spoilt as children and would usually get one main present and then some stocking presents, so more presents coming out in the evening was a real surprise. It turned out they'd got us a second big present each - a Playstation 2 for my brother and a digital camera for me - bought by some of my Grandma's inheritance money. It was like one last present from her even though she wasn't there to see us open it.

  • madasahatter7
    Spill the beans reply
    I still remember the excitement I felt on Christmas day 1943 when I was 4 and a bit ...not just getting the china doll I had craved for so long but a rag doll made by my mothers friend, beautifully dressed in a smocked dress and lovely brown plaits (Hair?) made from knitting wool carefully sewn on to the head and complete with shoes and socks painstakingly made while the friend had spent the nights in the air raid shelter listening to the fighter planes low overhead. I kept that doll for many years while the china doll lasted but a few weeks before I dropped it and broke the head!
  • JJ.
    There are some wonderful memories here, it's heart warming to read them. Thank you also to all who've commented and thanked my memory post. I'm glad it brought a smile to you all.
    • soba
    • By soba 28th Nov 12, 9:00 PM
    • 2,117 Posts
    • 6,464 Thanks
    I remember me and my sisters getting bikes for Christmas that my dad had got from the scrapyard and done up for us. And a very vivid memory of having one pair of roller skates (the kind that you put on over your shoes and laced up at the front and you could alter the length of them by pulling a metal bar underneath!) between the three of us. We never did get to wear a pair - only ever one at a time. It was a very exciting Christmas spent biking and skating round the back room on the lino!

  • bev jj
    My happiest memory was when I found a present on the bed then a trail of presents leading down the stairs to the tree. My Mum told me father Christmas must of had a hole in his sack
    • Baking Mad
    • By Baking Mad 28th Nov 12, 10:34 PM
    • 375 Posts
    • 1,162 Thanks
    Baking Mad
    There are some wonderful memories here, it's heart warming to read them. Thank you also to all who've commented and thanked my memory post. I'm glad it brought a smile to you all.
    Originally posted by JJ.
    It was amazing and incredibly inspiring. I'm still in tears. I have to say I'm sooooooo tempted to recreate this for my 8 (going on to 18) year old daughter who is starting to have little doubts about "his" exsitence this year! Thank you very very much, JJ and thank you to everyone for sharing such lovely memories.
    • Baking Mad
    • By Baking Mad 28th Nov 12, 10:48 PM
    • 375 Posts
    • 1,162 Thanks
    Baking Mad
    I grew up in Russia and have some wonderful memories of New Year celebrations (Christmas wasn't celebrated during soviet times). We used to live in the block of flats and celebrating New Year always felt like a huge family affair. We would spend the whole night migrating from one flat to next wishing the neighbours Happy New Year, dancing, singing traditional folk songs round the table and playing games. People didn't have much in those days but there would always be an abundance of food at New Year. Every child would always get a goody bag filled with walnuts, chocolate sweets and mandarins. The smell of exotic mandarins which you could never find at any other time of year still triggers memories of New Year in my head!

    One Christmas, when my daughter was almost 3 my husbands brother got dressed into Santas outfit and came down the driveway to wish her a Merry Christmas and gave her the present. She was so excited she never recognised him and still remembers that Christmas day very vividly.

    My husband too has a few fond memories of Christmasses. The one he remembers most is when him and his brother went playing football in their brand new football boots at 2 am! That wouldn't have made them very popular with neighbours! When he was slightly older, one Xmas him and his siblings found all the presents hidden around the house and were convinced they knew what they were getting. How big was their surprise when on Christmas morning they got completely different presents. It turned out his mum and auntie swapped the kids presents so everything they'd found before Christmas was actually meant for the cousins.
    Last edited by Baking Mad; 28-11-2012 at 11:04 PM.
    • lollipopsarah
    • By lollipopsarah 28th Nov 12, 11:45 PM
    • 1,244 Posts
    • 1,612 Thanks
    What a fabulous thread thankyou OP, I'm so overcome by some of the replies that my mind has gone blank but I do remember my lovely brother used to make amazing decorations using cereal boxes and tinfoil.
    Please keep them coming folks - I may yet get in the mood for crimbo.
  • sisbod
    my most outstanding memory was when it all went wrong!!!
    I must have been about 10 and it was just my mum and 2 siblings living in a crappy flat! Church mouse and all that
    We made paper chains and had stored them to put up nearer the time -only all the chains had lost their stickiness that we had to sellotape each ring before we could hang them.
    It was also the year that the chicken went off - my mum just sobbed but we had steak pie for Christmas dinner. I loved it!
    I cant remember any presents really but do remember the love that we had 40erm years later.
  • joolimac
    Mum making the Christmas cake weeks ahead & getting us to make a wish whilst we stirred it - i have continued this tradition with my children until last 2 years when I haven't made one as I tend to eat most of it

    My Dad always cooked the turkey slowly overnight - getting up to baste it. Getting up on Christmas day the house smelled wonderful

    Getting an ironing board & iron and a Sooty annual when I was 5 and being overwhelmed

    Merry Christmas everyone
  • chattyviki
    For my children.
    I had to come out of lurking to post on this thread, there are so many great ideas for xmas, I'd like to share some of my own.

    Christmas Eve after I have laid out presents in the living room I cover the entrance of the room in wrapping paper. The children think it's done by Santa, they love bursting through it! It also means they can sneak down to see if he's been but are not tempted to open presents. (Score the middle with a knife, like perforation marks, or the paper just pulls off at the sides)

    I stick numbers on each present and I lay cards face down on the floor with the same numbers on, eg 1-15. Each child takes a turn to turn over a card then they both open their present with that number. I have done this for the last 6 years but this year will be slightly different. My eldest has asked for Maths questions and the answer is the present they get to open and my youngest (5) has asked for them to be hidden around the room so they have to find them first. (I'm always aware when numbering the presents what each child will open at the same time and I will buy inexpensive nik nak gifts to even up the numbers)

    I really look forward to Christmas :-)

    My childhood Christmases were very rushed, I think that's why I try and be so creative with my children and draw them out all day. I was 1 of 4, I remember we all used to go down together, spend 10mins unwrapping our presents, not seeing what any of my siblings have got, and then spend the rest of the day bickering with them whilst dad slept on the sofa and mum spent 2 hours in the kitchen cooking Christmas dinner.
  • laineygirl
    still believe
    It was in the 50's and we were coming home from my Grandmas Christmas Eve party at about 2 a.m and it had snowed. Everything was magical and quiet.
    I was eight and my brother was four. My cousin, who was 10 had just told me Santa didn't exist. My father had heard him and had tried to assure me he still did but I was very upset
    We got to the top of our road and my dad picked me up and pointed to our roof.There was 2 track marks on the roof up to the chimney and the snow on the chimney pot had been dislodged.
    'Come on, we might just catch him' he shouted as we ran down the hill. ' 'Who' I asked.
    'Santa' he said.
    Well we got in the house and all our presents were around the tree, the sherry had been drunk, the mince pie eaten and the carrot for Rudolph had gone and there were wet puddles from the chimney to the tree which my dad said were his foot prints My brother was dumbstruck just staring and smiling his face was a picture and then we heard jingle bells fading away into the distance.
    'Quick you might just see him' as we rushed outside but we didn't, he'd gone.
    I found out later that my father had come all the way home instead of going to the pub with the rest of the men, got a ladder out and marked the tracks on the roof with the clothes pole, put out all our presents, marked out the footprints on the carpet and removed the sherry and mince pie. Whilst we were downstairs looking at the evidence my mum was hanging out of the window upstairs with a ring of bells shaking it to make it sound as though it was sleigh bells receding into the distance.
    Father Christmas did exist and it was magical that year because we had sleigh tracks on our roof and we'd heard the harness bells and Father Christmas had definitely been to our house. I was a believer for 1 more year
    Cheers Have a good one.
  • AnnieB129
    I'm certainly going back a few years now, when coal fires were the norm (even in the bedroom). One Christmas morning I awoke to see a small pile of soot on the hearth (the fire wasn't alight), and just showing a little way up the chimney, was.....could it be? A present which Mum and Dad said Father Christmas must have dropped on his way out! Well this present was for me the best ever, just one of those liquorice selection boxes, you know the ones I mean.... a pipe amongst other things.

    To this day my love of all things liquorice manages to transport me back in time to that bedroom, and the magic that truly was Christmas.
  • AnnieB129
    [QUOTE=flizzy;57575627] "sprinkled glitter under the mat to make it really magical :-) "

    This is something I always used to do to try and keep the magic of Christmas alive for as long as possible for my son, I'd sprinkle some glitter, here and there, leading up to the Christmas tree (we called it pixie dust - dropped by Santas' little helpers)

    All too soon, the Santa magic fades, especially when the children hear stories at school, you know the kind of thing "how can one man go to every child" etc., but you see I always said that Father Christmas is much like the Chief of Police, there's only one of him, but he has thousands of helpers, who all wear the same uniform, but they all do the same job, and so it is with Father Christmas (I can even believe that myself)
  • jilltoon
    special memory
    When I was little my nan gave me a present I will never forget. She bought a small red vanity case and filled it with all sorts of goodies a little girl would love. hair slides /bands felt tip pens barbie doll etc. It was such a nice surprise as she never had much money . Also I was amazed as I thought the present was just a case. R.I.P nan miss u
  • moneysavingmumofone
    What wonderful memories, thankyou all for sharing.
    I can still remember the delicious excitement I felt all snuggled up in bed waiting for Father Christmas, too excited to sleep but worried if I didnt go to sleep he wouldnt come! Every creak in the loft caused another rush of excitement. Could it be?? I can hardly remember the presents, except for a tv/video combi I got one year, the Spice Girls cassette album I got in my stocking (have got a One Direction album for my DS' stocking this year to carry on the tradition! ) and the Barbie aeroplane that had a million tiny pieces on those sheets of plastic and my stepdad spent all afternoon untwisting all the teeny knives/forks etc off the sheet. What I remember most is us all being together and the exciting, magical atmosphere. Oh I am even more excited about Christmas now!
    'They only had one cow!'
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