It used to be that we’d find chocolate in our Christmas stockings, maybe a tube of Smarties or toffees, or some chocolate coins, and always a sugar mouse! Sweets and chocolate were a treat then, not an everyday thing as it seems today. My favourites were dolly mixtures, I wonder if they still make them? After rifling the contents of our stockings, and after presents from under the tree we’d have breakfast, just an ordinary breakfast and maybe we would be allowed to eat a little more chocolate, maybe a figure from the Christmas tree.
Lunch time must have been later than normal; the chicken, a large chicken was cooked in the baker’s oven – Dad would have taken it down early and then would have gone to the pub and waited with all the other dads for half an hour and a pint before collecting the cooked bird. Chicken was a real treat then, not the ubiquitous meat it is now. Along with the chicken we would have vegetables and roast potatoes, stuffing and gravy, followed by Christmas pudding, brandy butter and a mince-pie… or two!
After lunch, after the washing up we’d go out for a walk, then back home for games, Christmas cake, more mince-pies and eventually bed. Boxing day we would have cold lunch, and then in the evening we got together with the neighbours, taking it in turn from year to year to visit. The adults would play cards, we would play our own games and their would be a cold spread of meat, cheese and pickles.
Today we also have a lovely family Christmas, but there is just more of everything, much, much more! Thinking back, we enjoyed what we had it was so different from everyday meals, now we are so fortunate and eat so well all the time – and sweets and chocolates are just an ordinary part of life for many people.
We had a lovely day today, but it used to be so much simpler, and perhaps even more special! I wonder if our children will say the same looking back to these days?