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Friday, 28 November 2014

Black Friday Mayhem

 
I have just been watching news footage on the mayhem of so-called Black Friday shopping.  What the ....??  Grown men and women fighting over a TV or some such, sleeping outside shops to be the first over the threshold then battering each other to get their hands on a prized item.  One poor woman was hit on the head with a TV.  How can it be worth all the hassle.  It's yet another tradition that has come from the US along with Trick or Treat and school proms and which I heartily wish had stayed Stateside.  Look at the proms, parents nagged or on a guilt trip to buy their daughters a dress costing, in many cases, a couple of hundred pounds and which will only be worn for one night.  It's total insanity.

It got me thinking about my own schooldays and Christmases past.  I was the middle one of 3 children, my sister being 10 years older and having left home by the time I was 6. We each had a pillowcase hung on the bottom of the bed on Christmas Eve.  When we woke and excitedly unwrapped our presents we had things like an annual, some chocolate (one year I had a chocolate shaped like a record wrapped in gold foil...wow! ), a scarf, gloves and one good toy like a doll for me & a Meccano set for little brother.  The other gifts in the pillowcase were given by family members but made to look as if Santa brought them (crafty eh?)  One year our paternal Nan had knitted me a yellow cardigan with two pockets in and in one she had tucked a little bottle of scent in a bear shaped bottle.  I really thought I was the bees knees then!  I never felt deprived but I always felt that something was missing because the family spent Christmas day alone.  No other family members visiting and no telephone so no calls either.  As I reached around age 10 or 11 my maternal grandparents had moved to a bungalow around the corner from our house.  They were getting on a bit so mum would cook some extra Christmas dinner and I would get the task of carrying four plates (one plate plus one inverted on top to keep the dinner warm times two)  Many a time I carried those precious dinners through the snow, never once dropping anything :)  Nan & granddad were always pleased to see me and made a lovely fuss, then I would trudge back through the snow to eat my own dinner.  By then, of course, the rest of the family had eaten but mine had been kept warm in the oven.  Boy, did it taste good after being out in the cold!

The first thing I did when we got married was to invite family members to celebrate Christmas with us in our new (to us) home.  This was often on Christmas Eve or sometimes Boxing Day and my Sister and her family, Brother and his family plus both sets of parents would come.  Food would be simple, usually a buffet and we would have games like bingo with cheap prizes.  It was lovely.  We didn't have much money and no car for the first year of our marriage but it created some happy memories.

Does anyone else have happy memories of simpler Christmases past? Or do you wish you had done something different?  I would love to hear about it.

Thanks ever so for popping in x

6 comments:

  1. I had a pillow case at the end of the bed too - Family always came to us at Christmas - my Gran (Dad's Mum) on Christmas Day and my Nan and Grandad (Mom's parents) on Boxing day - it certainly felt more like a proper Christmas in those days then it does now - I saw the news reports too seems like madness to me xxx

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    1. It certainly seemed less mercenary then, didn't it, Trudie. Happy days...

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  2. Hi Angie those scenes on the new really annoyed me, they were like a bunch of savages, its just crazy at the end of the day if you shop round you can always find a good deal, I felt sorry for the poor checkout operators. I am one of three girls and came from a single parent family, my mother would stay up late and sneek in the bedroom and leave the presents at the end of our beds, of course we were usually awake and pretending to be asleep, but it was so simple and exciting then. When our son was little most of his toys came from the carboot, he usually has some money now and a few stocking fillers, but we know he appreciates everything we do for him, he is such a lovely boy, very polite and caring, have a great weekend x

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    1. Yes, SL, I felt sorry for the staff too. It seems the shops were taken by surprise and were totally unprepared. It sounds as though you have a lovely son, bless him x

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  3. The scenes in the news yesterday were absolutely shocking & an absolute joke that people are willing to sink so low & behave like that. My nan & grandad always spent Christmas day with us & I quite possibly got my taste for Advocaat from my nan who always sneaked me a quick sip of her drink. I have lovely memories of family at Christmas & it is something my sister & I try to replicate to this day.

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    1. Oh, yes, I remember Advocaat, Joanne! It was the height of sophistication then. How things change...we were happy with the simplest of things. One year my big present was a plastic hoola hoop but I loved it and got many hours of pleasure from it.

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