Christmas and New Year

It’s nearly time to say Happy New Year! After a bit of a break from blogging I’m back with some thoughts on Christmas and New Year in the 50’s and 60’s.

I have spoken on here before about toys and games from my childhood so there will be some overlap. As always, I want to point out that these are my recollections of the 59’s and 60’s. Other people’s memories will be different but I hope the following bring back memories for some of you.

. Our toys and games rarely needed batteries, had lights or screens. Movement of any sort was clockwork or some other mechanical device.

. There was always an apple and an orange in the toe of the stocking.

.  Our stockings were long brown knitted ones which had been made for my dad to wear at work out in the forests .

.  Chicken was considered a luxury in the early 50’s and that’s what we had on Christmas Day.  Turkey came in a bit later.

. We had Father Christmas not Santa.

. A large proportion of our presents were things to be made, assembled, painted, sewed, woven or otherwise constructed. Role play toys such as dressing up outfits and doctor’s sets were popular too.

. We always had a selection box each, usually Cadbury’s. They were wonderful items which were never spotted at any other time of year.

. There was always circus on TV on Boxing Day

.  We made a lot of our own Christmas decorations by glueing stripes if coloured paper into paper chains, gathering holly and blowing up balloons.

. We wrote ‘thank-you’ letters to all relatives before we returned to school in January.

. Naming a new doll or teddy was very important. We had very few and they were real to us. I still have my first teddy and my first baby doll who is ceramic and extremely lucky to have survived all these years, especially as I played with her for many years.

. We wrote our New Year’s resolutions on the first page of our new diaries. The diaries were for recording what we did rather than noting forthcoming events. Some years I filled mine in until September or October, other years I didn’t make it past February. I still have a few of them. As for the New Year’s resolutions – I doubt if many lasted until the end of January!