Enjoying some Christmas-time memories

Christmas school dinners in 1986.
Christmas school dinners in 1986.
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As we, the lucky ones, prepare to enjoy Christmas dinner, and all the associated seasonal trimmings, how about casting your minds back to festive mealtimes from the past?

In days gone by, everything was done at home, no ready-made, pre-packed, snip and serve gravy or custard to be taken from bulging shop shelves.

Stamps Newsagents at Christmas-time in December 1976.

Stamps Newsagents at Christmas-time in December 1976.

The Christmas turkey (I don’t remember the heydays of the traditional goose) was ordered at the butcher’s weeks before the 25th, then collected shortly beforehand, to be readied for the big day – if the stuffing wasn’t home-made it would most certainly have come out of a packet of Paxo.

Why was it that sprouts were always soggy in those days?

Now I don’t know about you, but there is a bit of a difference of opinion when it comes to Yorkshire puddings, do you serve them on Christmas day with the bird or keep them for Boxing Day?

What did you used to do?

China Craft shop.

China Craft shop.

And talking of puddings, how many of you used to put an old fashioned sixpence in the Christmas pudding mix?

Having said that, we never ever got a sixpence in the Christmas puddings served up as part of our school dinners. Mind you, I’m not sure that the meat doled out in the days before we broke up for Christmas was actually turkey!

Nevertheless, I seem to remember that we did get bigger than normal portions.

Christmas time at school was always better than the rest of term time, with a suspension of maths, English and all the other every-day subjects. Instead, we were treated with quizzes (educational, of course) and were even allowed to take in LP records to play on the big, box-shaped gramophone which never seemed to get used any other time of the year.

I remember hearing Led Zeppelin’s debut album for the first time on just such an occasion.

Needless to say, most of the teachers weren’t too keen to indulge in seasonal jollity, and suffered the run-up to Christmas with a Scrooge-like scowl (or so it seemed to most of us lads).

Everyone has their own special memories of Christmas time, what are yours? Be it meal-time, the presents or just good company, please let me have your thoughts.