There were seven of us in our family, including Mum & Dad - two boys and three girls. Dad had come back from the war all in one piece, but only just. He didn't earn very much and I suppose we were only just above 'poor', but everyone else seemed to be the same, as it was only a few years after the end of World War 2, and so much was either rationed or simply unavailable - even more financially better off people had to do without - rationing was a great leveller lol!
I don't remember doing without, we were well fed and well clothed - and what you've never had - you never miss!
I remember the Christmas when I would have been about 4 or 5, Dad had made 3 cots for us girls, in three descending sizes, Mum made all the cot sheets in our favourite colours - blue for Mavis, green for Barbara and pink for me. We all had dolls, with moveable joints, so that the dolls could 'sit' and they had eyes that closed too - we were so delighted with them! Mum also made clothes for our dolls, and they were well played with, we didn't need anything else. The boys had train sets, which I loved to play with as well - I was a real tom-boy!
In later years, the boys had huge meccano sets, they were only made of unpainted metal, but I so loved playing with them - I made a crane that hooked underneath the car I'd made and you could wind up the crane so that it picked up the car - I found that fascinating. But I had to let the boys play with my bagatelle in return - the whole family wanted to play with my bagatelle :-(
Books were a 'must' for me at Christmas - Lucy Atwell's Annual and Film Star Annuals (which I still have), also jigsaw puzzles and new white ankle socks. You've no idea how wonderful new ankle socks were - socks had to last until they were too small for me and consequently had many darns in the heels and toes - not very comfortable. New socks felt lovely and I was proud of the sparkling whiteness of them.
The good part of Christmas past, was that it didn't take much to make us happy - a skipping rope, a whip & top, a home-made gollywog and an orange - I don't remember having chocolate in the 1940's, but Mum used to make toffee apples as a special treat and she would put silver threepenny pieces in the Christmas pudding - one lucky person would find the solitary shilling!
But my very favourite plaything was a book of cardboard dolls, which you either cut around or pressed out, along with a variety of dresses, tops, skirts, slacks (no jeans then lol!) hats and gloves, even dogs and umberellas, and I loved interchanging their outfits. And all my cardboard dolls had names - my favourite was called Grace, and they would have to do 'lessons' - I made tiny school books for them lol! They were my children and my freinds and I loved them dearly!
We three girls would take part in the Christmas Concert in the local Church Hall, dressed as angels, our dresses and wings made from Mum's net curtains - which had to go back up at the windows afterwards lol!
Somehow I have managed to put in a photograph of myself aged 6 and one of my Mum & Dad in their younger days - may even have been an engagement photograph. Now off to see if I can do it again and add photos to my other entries lol!
Hope you had a lovely Christmas here in 2004 and I wish you all a fantastic 2005!