No Tree, no big deal!
There was no tree, but we did have Christmas decorations in our
home. They we called
paper chains and came in strips of different coloured paper.
My mum, my sister, my nan and I would sit at the kitchen table a couple
of weeks before
Christmas and lick the sticky ends before joining the
strips together in a chain. We’d then
hang then on the walls with a few balloons sellotaped between
them for effect.
My dad would go to the open market in the East end of London to buy
He always went alone and came back with huge cardboard boxes full
of fruit, chocolates,
nuts and biscuits. There was always a couple of boxes of ‘Eat Me’
dates that nobody ever
My nan made the Christmas cake which weighed a ton and had a
sixpence inside. It nearly
broke your teeth if you weren’t careful. Finding it was supposed
to be lucky.
On Christmas morning I always woke up to find a present at the foot
of my bed. This was a
cunning tactic employed my mum to keep me occupied so as not to
wake my parents too
early on Christmas Day.
Presents were divided into groups. My sister and I had the most and they
arranged around two large armchairs. Smaller piles
belonged to my Parents, my nan and my
sister’s boyfriend, if she had one that year.
Mid-morning Champaign with the neighbours was followed by me
playing with my new toys
and games before the traditional lunch of dry turkey and all the
trimmings. The Queen’s speech,
dad sleeping in the chair and a special film on the TV all helped to
make Christmas an u
nforgettable experience. It never once occurred to me that there
might be something missing,
not even a tree!
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