Apart from the Scrooge’s and Grinch’s out there, the majority of us all love the mince pie and tinsel season. Christmas in terms of buying presents has evolved so much over time. Nowadays, my friends who have children of their own are buying their kids iPad’s, iPhone’s or X Box’s. Every present they get now seems to involve a plug socket and a hike in your electricity bill.
When I was growing up, the most my presents would need to make them work were batteries. Other than that, 95% of my presents didn’t come with wires or involve anything electrical. It makes me melancholic to think how Christmas has changed so much over time.
Even when it comes to buying presents, we all don’t bother to walk around the shops grappling with other shoppers to let you have the last Dove set you need to buy for your Aunty. It all happens at the touch of a button online. It’s all become so commercial now, eg Black Friday. I love going into shops to buy Christmas presents, I like to physically see what I want to buy on the shelf, it gives me a better idea of whether I want to purchase said item or not.
Thinking back to when I was a kid, I miss the innocence of believing in Santa and putting out cookies and carrots for Santa and his reindeer. The excitement of running downstairs to see if Santa had left you a note and a sack of presents (praying he’d sent you what you had asked him for). Ah, those were the days.
Talking about traditions, here are the one’s (particularly 90’s kids) miss around Christmas time:
1) USING THE ARGOS CATALOGUE AS YOUR PRESENT WISHLIST SOURCE
Remember when you used to grab a pen and circle the items you wanted and “accidentally” leave the page open for your Mum and Dad to see? Sometimes I’d be less tactful than that and cut out the items I wanted and conveniently put them somewhere where they would DEFINITELY see it. I do miss scouring through an Argos catalogue at Christmas, it used to be one of the highlights of my Christmas.
2) HANDING OUT THE CHRISTMAS CARDS IN YOUR CLASSROOM LIKE YOU WERE POSTMAN PAT
I used to get so unbelievably excited when handing out my Christmas cards to my friends in my class. However, it involved a lot of grafting prior to handing them out. Writing down a list of your classmates (and always forgetting one person’s name). Then it was the hard task of picking a multipack box of cards (usually from Woolworth’s) then going home to write them all out until your hand was in excruciating pain. If you ever forgot somebody’s card, then that friendship basically ended there and then.
3) THE FIGHT TO BE MARY IN THE NATIVITY
Did I ever play Mary I hear you ask? No. Unfortunately, there aren’t enough Mary, Joseph, Angel Gabriel or Wisemen parts to go around. So someone was going to play cattle, sheep or the donkey. You drew the short straw when you got given the part of an animal that doesn’t speak, except moo’s or baa’s. I suppose one positive thing to look back on, I never had to wear a tea towel wrapped round my head with a piece of rope keeping it there. What did I used to play? I was an angel in the chorus of an angel choir. I always used to position myself at the back so my Mum and Dad wouldn’t take a snapshot of me to embarrass me on for years to come. Kids aren’t completely stupid you know!
4) THE LAST DAY OF SCHOOL BEFORE CHRISTMAS
Without a doubt the best day of the school year calendar. The day you literally did jack shit and just did whatever you pleased. Colouring Christmas pictures and fighting over the red felt tip pen to colour Father Christmas. Your teacher not limiting the noise decibel level as it’s the last day before Christmas. Wheeling in the TV on the trolley to put a Christmas film on or belting out Mariah Carey on the CD player. Also clearing out your tray underneath the desk to take all those Christmas cards home that you’d stuffed in there from days before. Good times.
5) CHRISTMAS ARTS AND CRAFTS
Pritt sticks at Christmas go racing off the shelves as there never enough to go around the classroom, particularly during the festive season. Lots of glitter, glue, silver/gold pens and paper get used and destroyed in December. From making paper chains using umpteen amounts of strips of paper to making paper snowflakes and sticking them up on your classroom’s windows.
6) HAVING A SHIT NIGHT’S SLEEP ON CHRISTMAS EVE
If you tell me that you had a slept right through to Christmas morning on Christmas Eve when you were a kid – you’re lying and I can’t respect you as a human being. I always remember being too afraid to go for a wee at night in case Santa caught me and would tell me off. Well, I knew he couldn’t tell me off for needing a wee, but you know. How you would function on Christmas Day on like 30 minutes sleep was beyond miraculous.
7) PAPER ADVENT CALENDARS
I’m quite a traditionalist when it comes to Advent Calendars. I love the paper/card ones. Opening the little window every morning up until the 24th to see what the little picture was. Remember when the 24th window used to involve opening two little flaps?! Ok, I need a better word for flaps there. I need to stop saying fla.…ok, let’s move on (quickly)
8) HANGING YOUR STOCKING UP ON CHRISTMAS EVE
Putting my stocking on the edge of my bed ready for Santa to fill up with presents was the best. It always had to be a red stocking, nothing more traditional than that! In Christmas films, they always hang their stocking on the fireplace, the adult me now sees it as a fire hazard. I am definitely maturing, which is quite sad.
I could name god knows how many other established Christmas rituals, I know that you had have some unique ones of your own too.
Let me know your favourite Christmas traditions as a child!