Today I thought I’d share some memories of Christmas from when I was a kid! Because really, we do tend to lose some of the magic of Christmas as we get older, but these memories are always precious, and this time of year always reminds me of when it felt like hours and hours before we could start opening presents! (In reality it was likely twenty minutes, maybe half hour, tops)
This will sort of be a mish mash of various Christmas memories, but I hope you enjoy this glimpse into my past!
Christmas always meant being up early for me, and it wasn’t something I could help. I’d wake to find a stocking placed gently at the end of the bed, but rather than tear it open, I knew I had to wait. Specifically, wait for my brothers to wake up. We were allowed to open these before my parents, but until I was around 10/11, my stocking had to wait until the three of us could open them together. The year that sticks out in my mind was the year I woke up at something like 4AM, crept into my brothers’ room and asked them “can I open my stocking yet?”
The answer was no, it was too early, but the boys didn’t even attempt to send me back to bed. Instead, they just sleepily told me to be quiet, turn their TV down, and play on the N64. I spent the next four hours playing Golden Eye, until their clock told me it was 8AM and I dutifully woke them up.
“Can we open our stockings now?”
One thing always remained consistent – the waiting between waking the parents, and getting to open our presents. There was a good reason for this. See, Christmas Day is also my brother’s birthday. So before we got started on anything for Christmas, he had to open all his cards and presents, and he dragged it out, often frustrating my other brother and me, but looking back I can’t really blame him – the moment he finished reading every single card, once we’d all eaten breakfast and his cards were put into a pile ready to put up in the living room, his birthday was, essentially, over. Luckily, his absolute favourite meal has always been Christmas dinner, so at least he’s guaranteed that pretty much every year on his birthday!
Once his birthday cards and presents were open, we gathered outside the living room door until my dad ‘checked if Santa had been’ and let us in. There would be three piles of presents, and normally we’d end up at the wrong ones, cue one of my brothers going, “Ellie, these are yours.” One particular year however, it was clear which were which, as we stumbled in to find a bike beside two of the piles of presents. I remember jumping onto the sofa where the third pile waited, looking as my brothers – both ill with chicken-pox – summoned up just enough energy to study the bikes. Until one of my parents mentioned I hadn’t looked at what was in front of the sofa – a bike of my very own!
A much earlier year, the year when my brothers got their SNES, I got a doll house. A Playskool dollhouse, which I only just found out by checking on Google for ’90s dollhouse’. Go me! The dollhouse meant a lot to me, but more than that, I latched onto the figures. The leg fell off the dad figure at some point, so my dad replaced it with wood. And this figure is actually still with me, because no matter what was happening over the years he always managed to remain in place.
After presents there were trips to see family, more presents from grandparents, then back home for dinner, and an afternoon of playing, reading, watching – usually while the parents slept on the sofa! Then, to their great relief, it would be over for another year.