Imagine the world without Computers, Mobile Phones, Game Consoles, the world where only half of the population had a TV Set, with the same amount of Cars, a Telephones. Then you have, for the first few years, a Nation still buying rationed food and kids who got six of the best at School if they weren’t performing. This sounds centuries ago when it actually was the 1950s.
For families, Christmas time was much the same as now, except your Aunty and Uncle, arrived on a Train rather than a car. Christmas Cards were sent not like now, just to make a gesture that you remember someone, but it was for many the only form of communication; a note would often be attached and rest assured it was not the only note you received during the year.
On Christmas Eve children would go to their Grandmother’s house. They would arrive at the smell of burning logs and the right old Grandfathers Pipe. The walls would be decorated solely with Holly, and the real Christmas Tree stood aloud lit by candles, as in proper one’s (the Fire Brigades were busier then!).
In the evening families would sit around the Grand Piano with the Candelabra and the Grandparents would lead in festive music. This time was so much fun, small surprises meant so much. Communication was a lot more open as no mobiles were at hand to distract you. While this was all happening, the Yule Log would gentle glow itself away.
Christmas presents were strewn around the Christmas Tree, and children would look on inquisitively at the shapes wondering what they would find the following morning. The feeling and atmosphere was remarkable for each every individual.
All the little ones would venture up to bed and sit there for quite a while listening for Sleigh Bells. Of course, they always heard them, but looking back if you ask many, it sounded remarkably similar to the existing Bells in the home.
The morning would come and here starts more of the differences. If the children were very lucky, they might get just one each present from the immediate family. Through the decade, bearing in mind children didn’t get older so quickly then, some usually would get a Rupert Annual, an addition to a Meccano Set, etc. Some people recall the biggest present of all during the 50’s was probably a Brownie Camera – in a Gift pack!! Young sisters would get the usual Dolls, and other girlie things like Hair Grooming sets and pretend Cosmetics, etc. For weeks after, the girls would go to bed and neatly stack their new things next to their beds, always putting things back in boxes and in constant fear of a burglary!
Christmas Day has remained much the same as in the food you ate etc., the big difference being that the vegetables would have always come from your own Garden. Even the Milkman called on Christmas morning, and you would be surprised that he saw the end of his Round, it was quite reasonable for him to have a tipple at every house.
Although there was TV, it was only in the late 1950’s that ‘Christmas Specials’ started, these being mainly imports from the USA such as the Perry Como Show, Andy Williams, etc. From the UK came Tony Hancock and very early Six Five Specials (traditional music with Lonnie Donegan, Cliff Richard and others). Much to the enjoyment of Grandfathers, you would get a Laurel and Hardy slot, maybe Buster Keaton and a Cartoon. Christmas was so different in the 1950s; however the significant difference was the world delivered plenty more love and snow back then. Warmth and kindness was unlimited.
Merry Christmas from Premier Housekeeping Ltd!