I was lying in bed this morning thinking of Christmas when I was at home in the 50's.
Christmas didn't start in September like it does now, I think people had other things to worry about to get worked up so early.
Our Christmas didn't really start until about 2 weeks before Christmas.
We were not a wealthy family but had enough to live comfortably with enough food and heating etc.
My Mum used to save all year round in various Christmas clubs.
The Butcher, Newsagent, Green grocer, Off license and Grocery store.
She had a card for each shop and put a little money on each card every week throughout the year.
2 weeks before Christmas she would go to each of these shops and order the food for the two days of Christmas.
It was then delivered a day or two before the event to the house and I can still remember the smell of the box of fruit as it sat in the front room untouched until Christmas day.
Dad had two days of, Christmas day and Boxing day and went back to work after this, unlike today when most people are off work for a week.
Our tree never went up until Christmas Eve and this added to the excitement as we all looked forward to dressing it.
Today, I think the wonderful feeling has gone to some extent mainly through the greed of the shops to make as much money as they can out of us. I'm usually thoroughly sick of Christmas adverts and jingles by the time Christmas is actually here.
Back then it was anticipated and a joy.
Back then the anticipation was as exciting as the day itself. All gifts were surprises, we didn't know what we were getting in advance. Everything hidden until we had gone to bed on Christmas Eve. Waking up on Christmas morning to three piles of brightly coloured wrapped parcels. They were joyful times.ReplyDelete
I agree with you one hundred percent, Christmas was magical when we were kids the Christmasses of today just can't compete, it's totally overdone so ceases to be special, I'm always glad when it's over.ReplyDelete
My mum would never put anything out until we went to bed on Christmas eve, it was always magical to see everything, we were a big family so our Welsh dresser was always over filled with lovely things.ReplyDelete
Oh yes. Same here. We didn't have presents under the tree for weeks before the big day. They were kept well hidden until Christmas Eve when we were in bed. It was all so exciting back then.ReplyDelete
I was born 1956 so I do have some memories of the 50s and early 60s. My brother who is 11 years older celebrates his birthday on Christmas eve, so nothing was put out until Christmas day to respect his birthday. My brother and dad had the 2 days off and that was it, and even went to work on New years day with a hangover as it wasn't a bank holiday until more recently. Money was tight and mum would go to the market late to get bargains but we were happy.ReplyDelete
Yes. Two days off. And if they fell over a weekend then they might allow you one. And New Years Day wasn't a holiday, either.ReplyDelete
Absolutely, I even had a Christmas savings club as a child and loved when it came out so I could go and buy my little presents for the family.ReplyDelete
Great Christmas memories Briony. Thanks for telling us about them.ReplyDelete
I like the idea of the savings clubs in shops, little savings all year to prepare for a splurge at Christmas. Nowdays I guess folk take out a loan! And then pay next year for this Christmas.ReplyDelete
I have similar memories. Christmas does seem to come earlier each year, I do like to see all the decorations but once Christmas is over that's it I want them gone, lol. I still save for Christmas, I don't think it would be affordable without saving.ReplyDelete
I believe the anticpation was more back then because we had so little. these days everyone has more than they need. our presents were needed items, it was the time we got new shoes for school, and socks and underwear and new flannel shirts or a coat if we out grew it. we got toys, but not a lot, just very few. a gift was something we could not buy for ourselves because we had no money. we put our tree up 2 weeks before Chrismtas, and took it down on NY day. we had 3 weeks of excitement... I don't know when they played of if they played Christmas music in the stores, i rarely got to go in a store. we went shopping one time, all four of us, we hit the woolworths dime store with a little money to spend for presents. I went straight to the perfume and bought mother a tiny bottle of Evening in Paris to be from my brother and I... a big difference from today when people spend 100.00 on a blow up snoopy for the front yard. on their charge card of course. there were no charge cards back then.ReplyDelete
You reminded me of one year when I was eager to unwrap a gift and it was a leather satchel for school, can't tell you how disappointed I was. I hated school. lolDelete
It has definitely become way too drawn-out. In the states, Thanksgiving acts as a sort of barrier to starting the Christmas season too early -- traditionally it doesn't begin until Thanksgiving (last Thursday in November) is past. But in the UK there's no barrier and Christmas seems to start even earlier!ReplyDelete
I was born in the 60s but I have similar memories. We're living in different times now where everyone wants things now, they don't save for what they want, it goes on plastic so that they can get it there and then and when it comes to Christmas the presents aren't as cherished as they were when we'd waiting for something all year.ReplyDelete
And the 'now' thing is exacerbated by the 'click purchase' culture. Think it, click it. There doesn't even have to be a 'review the idea' period while you wait for the Friday night shopping trip. We lived in rural NZ in the days when shops did not open on Saturdays, but stayed open until 9pm on Fridays. So much junk gets purchased by my OH simply because he has a fancy and can click purchase it before he has even completed thinking the idea.... Apart from one 'special' present (I got an alarm clock one year!), all our gifts were homemade; usually clothes, sometimes toys or a book case,Delete
I remember having actual candles on the Xmas tree!We have put our lights in the window up earlier this year because I think we all need a bit of brightnessReplyDelete
You know, you are right. I never thought of it this way. But each year, it starts earlier and earlier. I was going to ask your best guess as to WHY. But I guess you are right, wanting more money in retail.ReplyDelete
I agree wholeheartedly. Halloween is barely over here in the US and the day after Halloween the Christmas candy and decorations are out in the stores. You don't get a chance to enjoy Thanksgiving. Way too commercial. Its exhausting and it really takes the pleasure out of Christmas.ReplyDelete
I remember growing up that Christmas was never in the stores until the day after Thanksgiving. It was a much happier time back then. Today there is too much emphasis on the money and the gifts.ReplyDelete
Commercialism has changed so much. It's the same with Easter, Halloween, Guy Fawkes Night.ReplyDelete
I have much the same memories as you. My Mum is a crafter and made so much which she obviously worked on throughout the year but we never saw it. Wonderful times.ReplyDelete