Life Other

12 Days of Christmas – Christmas of My Childhood

I’ve been wanting to do a post about my childhood Christmases all season but I just wasn’t sure how to do it. However I saw this tag on Kate on Thin Ice and decided to turn it on it’s head by answering about past Christmases rather than how we celebrate now, which is something I have often shared on the blog. So here we have The Christmas Tag, reflecting on Christmases of the past.

Just a note. I won’t be tagging anyone as this isn’t the real tag. I have changed it to fit with my post. If you follow the link abobe to Kate’s blog you’ll find the orginal tag.

So I hope you enjoy some photos I’ve dug out from Christmas past!

What was your favourite Christmas movie?
Growing up my favourite Christmas movie was Muppet’s Christmas Carol, why? Because it signalled the start of the holidays. I had it on VHS and the first Saturday in December my dad would pull all the boxes of Christmas decorations out the loft, pop this on the TV and we’d put up the tree. We would all sing along and it’s probably the fondest memory I have of the festive season from my childhood, no arguements, just the four of us all getting into the Christmas spirit.

Have you ever had a white Christmas?
I’ve experienced a few. In fact when I was a kid we often had snow on the ground over Christmas. I remember one where we weren’t sure my Grandparents would make it on Christmas morning but they pulled up in their white Sierra in front of the house, and I just remember my Aunty who was a goth standing out against the white snow in all black.

Where did you usually spend your holiday?
Growing up I never ever left the house on Christmas day, this went on until I was 23 and spent my first Christmas away from home. To this date that’s the only Christmas I haven’t spent with my parents. My grandparents and godparents used to come to us. On Boxing Day my when I was really little we went to my Dad’s parents for dinner and then to my Mum’s parents for tea and then when I got a little older we went to my Aunts for a party. Nowadays we do leave the house and visit my Nanny as she’s on her own on Christmas day and Boxing Day we do sales. But I think 22 Christmas days confined to my parents was pretty impressive!

What was your favourite Christmas song?
As a kid it was Driving Home for Christmas. Strange, right? But my dad worked away from and on Christmas eve we’d play it as he’d be driving home for Christmas. I still remember lying in front of the fire and hearing the back door going about 6/7pm and it being my Dad home for the holidays.

Did you open any presents on Christmas Eve?
Nope. My parents were really strict on this and we got absolutely nothing on Christmas eve. All presents had to go under the tree and I remember spending ages sorting them. Now LM gets a Christmas Eve box.

Can you name all of Santa’s reindeer?
Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Commet, Cupid, Donner and Blitzen.. plus Rudolph. As a kid I always though Vixen, Cupid and Donner were the girls, but apparently they’re all female!

What holiday traditions did you look forward to?
Obviously as a child I loved getting gifts, but I think I just enjoyed the day with my family. My sister and I would go get into my parents bed about 7am. Then my dad would go downstairs, turn on all the Christmas lights and the radio. Then he’d shout up “I don’t think he’s been” to which we would reply with running down the stairs to check. In the afternoon we always played board games, watched Disney movies and ate nibbles then my Nanny & Grandpa came for tea. I miss that tradition the most as it’ll be 3 years in January since my Gramps passed away.

Was your Christmas tree real or fake?
Always fake. And filled with Disney decorations. I’ve taken that tradition with me.

What was your favourite holiday food/treat/sweet?
This is so hard! Is it bad I don’t even remember what I used to love to eat from my childhood? I would guess fighting my mum for the pink rose sweet from the Roses tin would be up there. I’ve always loved my mum’s Christmas dinner, especially the little sausages which we don’t have wrapped in bacon. It’s my favourite meal of the year.

Be honest. Did you prefer giving or receiving gifts?
As a kid, receiving. I was so incredibly lucky that my parents worked hard and saved harder to give us an amazing Christmas. As my dad worked away from home there wasn’t that many chances throughout the year to spoil us unless he was on holiday. So at Christmas he went over the top but visiting the Disney Store and buying bag full after bag full for not just me, but my sister and my mum too. Everything was a surprise as we didn’t have the net or visit the store enough to know what stock they had. Nowadays I much prefer giving and receiving actually makes me feel really uncomfortable!

Look at those My Little Pony pants!

What’s the best Christmas present you’ve ever received?
My Granny and Grandad once bought me this huge Barbie house. It was amazing and must have cost a lot of money. When I came downstairs it was all set up. I loved that house and wish we still had it for LM. It was 100% the best gift I ever received. A close second was the year I got Pokemon Yellow on my game boy and spent the whole school holidays completing it.

What was your dream place to visit for the holiday season?
It was, and still is a dream to spend it at Disney. However, having spent the worst Christmas of my life away from home, it reminded me there is no place like home.

Were you a pro present wrapper or did you fail miserably?
When I was really little I remember wrapping up gifts in my mum’s tea towels. NO LIE! I used to give my parents things they already had out their bedroom because I had no money. I have such a vivid memory of this.

From about 10 onwards I helped my parents with the gift wrapping. Being the big siser I obviously figured out the Santa Claus truth first and because of this I was able to help wrap. To this day, I still help wrap. This year I wrapped all my dad’s gifts along with helping my mum and sister with theirs. It’s safe to say i’m a pro.

What’s your most memorable Christmas memory?
Definitely the year I got my Barbie dream house. I remember my little sister taking all the furniture out and sitting in it. I was so mad! One year my Grandpa also put my mum’s lacey underwear my dad gifted her on his head after a few shandys. One of the last Christmases I spent at home prior to LM my mum bought my sister and I 100 piece Disney jigsaws, we were in our late teens so we found it hilarious. She then pitted us against each other to see who could put them together fastest.

What made you realise the truth about Christmas?
Quite late I think, 9/10. Or maybe I knew earlier but just didn’t say anything. I don’t remember when I stopped believing. It wasn’t a huge deal, I didn’t hate my parents for lying. I just kinda went “oh well” and enjoyed Christmas for what it was, time to spend with my family.

What made the holidays special for you?
I think as a kid everyone else makes the holidays special for you. Everyone considers it as a time for kids. I remember all the festive stuff you’d do in school like making cards and calendars, school plays, singing in church and carolling for the local old people. Then there was the Christmas party. Of course now as a parent myself I’m experience it all again with. All the Christmas TV shows, the special food, cards, presents, trips to see Santa. As I got older I loved Christmas dance shows, being in the local pantomime, playing in the school band with a little piece of tinsel tied to the end of my flute.

Looking back now I realise I lived a very privilaged childhood and have a wealth of wonderful Christmas memories thanks to my parents, family, friends and the school I went to. I was blessed that every Christmas I got a pile of presents, that the cupboards were full and I ate two Christmas dinners, that I got a new party dress to wear and would have a hot bath on Christmas eve. I know not everyone gets that, and I feel so lucky that I did. I hope when LM is my age she can look back and feel as blessed I made her Christmases feel as magical as mine were.

What did you love about Christmas as a child?

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