Thursday, 21 September 2017

Remember Christmas from your childhood & you'll realise it's not all about the presents

At this time of year, it is all too easy to get sucked into consumerism. Endless toy adverts, pressure from Social Media to have the 'Perfect Christmas' and big-ticket items often costing the same as a small car can all lead to a lot of pressure on us to spend more than we can afford. I am certainly guilty of that. I've been thinking about my own childhood though and apart from the year I was surprised with a bike, it's not the big gifts I remember at all. My memories are filled with lots of special family times and today I'm going to remember these and come back to them when I feel a pang of guilt for not adding another 'must-have' gift to the kids' present pile this year.

My Favourite Christmas Memories

1 - Putting the Christmas Tree up

This was always a family event and we'd usually put our tree up on the first Sunday in December. We pretty much had the same tree and decorations for most of my childhood and I loved seeing the same decorations year after year.

2 - Lying in bed on Christmas Eve

Is there anything more exciting than lying in bed on Christmas Eve and trying to get to sleep so Santa Claus can visit?

3 - A Fancy dinner with crackers and a decorated table

My mam would always decorate and set our table on Christmas Eve and it always looked so beautiful! There was definitely something special about sitting down to dinner fancy tableware, proper napkins and crackers. Sharing cheesy jokes around the table is just the best.

4 - Going to see Fenwick's Window in the dark

This is a big thing in the North East and when you are taken into Newcastle to see Fenwick's Window, you know that Christmas is on it's way. In the 80s and 90s we'd always visit on a Thursday night (late night shopping back in the day) after school. We'd park in Civic Centre, fight the crowds to press our nose up against the window and check out the theme for this year, take a ride on the Helter Skelter that was always along the street and then head to McDonalds on Northumberland Street which was a real treat for us.

5 - Big family get-togethers

Christmas always meant big family get-togethers. I loved our big parties on Boxing Day at my mam's aunt's house. We'd all sit around the table for a buffet, I'd get to play with my cousins and we'd play a song or two on the piano.

6 - Chocolate for breakfast

Christmas Day is the only day of the year that I'd be allowed such an indulgence and sample a couple of chocolate coins from my stocking before breakfast. What a treat!

7 - Body shop gift sets

When I was around 10/11 I was obsessed with Body Shop gift sets and products. I remember one year being so excited at the fact that I received not one but two bottles of Dewberry bubble bath. Sometimes the most inexpensive presents are the best.

8 - Advent Calendars

It's September and my children have already started asking about advent calendars. I love this part of Christmas - both enjoying a chocolate every day AND sharing with your friends at school the picture behind the door.

9 - Christmas lights

Another part of Christmas I distinctly remember is being taken out for a drive in the evening and visiting a few streets that went all out with Christmas lights. As a child I had never seen anything like it. Magical!

10 - Shopping for gifts

There were 5 of us in my friendship group at school and we all used to spend a couple of £ on special gifts for each other. This might have just been a door plaque, bubble bath or friendship bracelet but buying and receiving these gifts was always super special.

My own Christmas memories aren't the times I received an over-priced toy or the latest electronic device and I bet yours aren't either. This is something I'm going to keep at the front of my mind over the next few months as I start my Christmas shopping.

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  1. I remember those Body Shop Gift Sets! Fuzzy Peach was my favourite.

  2. Christmas is almost certainly not about the things, it's an entire way of life and it's in your heart, Christmas is like the very best experiences all rolled into one and for me it's about my tiny family and my friends, it's about going places and doing things together, I love decorating the house, that's my favourite part.

  3. I loved the smell of Christmasas a kid, the Satsumas, tinsel & the red shiny apples. I would love my kids to remember the simple things when they are older x

  4. Aww I love this post. takes me back! I miss being a kid especially at Christmas. Can I just stop "adulating please". Its not the same now, I cant wait to have my own little family to do this with

  5. I love this. It got me really nostalgic with us being the same age so many of these apply to me too. You are, of course, so right and I'm going to try and remember this too.

  6. Imagine a scenario in which it was extremely conceivable to change your body in 11 days. pizza heaven okeechobee fl


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