Remembering an English Christmas

Remembering an English Christmas

I now live in the States, but this is how I remember an English Christmas:

It would start with my mother making the Christmas cake, early November if I remember right. It had to sit a few weeks before we iced it. It would smell so good. Then it would be letter writing time to Father Christmas, but the best was to sit on Father Christmas’s lap and tell him what we wanted, and hope we’d been good enough that year so he’d come.

I remember going to bed on Christmas Eve so excited. My sister and I would leave Father Christmas a glass of sherry and a mince pie. It was hard to go to sleep and we would keep looking out the window for him to come, but we knew if we weren’t in bed and asleep he wouldn’t come. And I swear we heard bells so we would jump as fast as we could back into bed. Then at around 6:00 am we would wake to find our stockings overflowing at the foot of our beds. We’d be so excited. We carefully took out everything and spread it all out on our bed and we got some really good stuff. Then we would run and wake up mum and dad. We always had to follow my dad down and he’d peep around the living room door to make sure Father Christmas had been, and that he still wasn’t there. When the coast was clear we’d run into the room so excited, we’d each have our own pile of gifts on separate chairs. Father Christmas didn’t have time to wrap presents. Our main present from Father Christmas was in the middle of the room.

Once we’d opened every thing it was time for tidying and breakfast. We’d play with our new toys till it was time to eat again. We always had my mother’s family over for Christmas day and had a huge dinner: turkey, roasties, sage and onion stuffing and then it was time for Christmas pudding. We always pulled Christmas crackers too and we’d sit there with our party hats on during lunch. After, we’d all sit or sleep and watch a film. I remember one year we got writing desks for Christmas and, when the Wizard of Oz came on, we never moved all through the film. For tea we’d have a buffet with more turkey and ham, followed by mince pies and Christmas cake.

It was just as hard to go to sleep that night as the night before (leaving all those presents) but it was Boxing Day the next day so we did it all again but with my dad’s family. I love Christmas and I hope it’s as special for you.

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