Friday, 9 December 2011

Christmas Begins At 7 A.M.



Those of us participating in the 12 days of Christmas Reading list have been asked to post a short memory or tradition of our Christmas.  I have so many memories it was difficult to chose but this one is still after all these decades clear as spring water in my mind.   I believed in Father Christmas - believed in the warnings of be good or. . .  and lived in a time when we did exactly as we were told and didn't really discuss much with our parents!! the tail end of  'children should be seen but not heard' and sometimes not even seen:)  I had a  happy childhood and used to enjoy Christmas very much,  maybe this is why this small incident was so shattering at the time and has remained so long. I think I was about five at the time.


Christmas began at 7.00 a.m. in our house, sixty five or so years ago.  If we woke before then we had to remain quiet, in bed and not turn on the lights.  Dad would tell us when the time arrived.  There was no ban on feeling Santa’s sock (one of Dad’s old naval socks) and guessing what Father Christmas had left us.  Now there never were any real surprises – goods were not that plentiful in Britain just after WW2.  We always had a banana, a mandarin, an apple and a coin, usually a half crown – riches back then!  Also one or two of the following: pencils, plain or coloured, chalks, colouring books maybe a comic or a pad of paper to draw on.  We had other presents too left on the end of our beds from relatives who lived to far away to join us.

One dark Christmas I woke first and carefully leant down the bed to find Santa’s sock.  Nothing!  The relatives presents?  No.  Unbelieving I crawled, feeling the floor all around and under my bed.  Nothing!  I suffered increasing panic, mentally counting up all the times I had been naughty during the year.  Surely, I thought in despair, I hadn’t been that bad.  Had I?  Creeping back under the covers I silently sobbed myself to sleep.  No noise before 7.00 a.m.  Besides, what would I have said if I had called to my parents?  Look how bad I am?  They probably knew that already.

Before I knew it my sister was waking me, excitedly telling me it was time to open Santa’s sock and the parcels.  I remembered I had none and wouldn’t sit up.  Until, that is, she pushed my sock onto my bed.  Flabbergasted I sat up.  Not only a sock but the other presents also on my bed – waiting for me.  I had been forgiven.

Of course years later, when I knew about these things, I plotted the time line.  I had woken before my parents had gone to bed, before they had laid the filled sock and parcels on my bed!    

If you click the 12 days of Christmas link you will find other memories and the reading list complete with give aways.  Try a new author for Christmas or the latest from a favourite.


  1. The days of believing was wonderful and I still try to keep it alive for my little man. I think this will be our last year. Have a lovely Christmas.

  2. Bless your heart! I can imagine how I would have felt if it hadn't been there too!! But its so great that when you woke up the next morning, it was there! What a great story!! Thank you so much for sharing it! I hope you have a very Blessed Christmas!!!

  3. Truly devastating :) I'll bet you were a better good kid the following year, lol.


  4. I don't know how long I was 'good' for the next year - never really came naturaly to me:) but it was the following year I discovered Father Christmas didnt exsist -another story!!! growing uo is hard sometimes!!!!!