I went and saw my Nanny (my Dad's Mum) today and we went out for lunch. My Dad visits her twice every week, and so whenever I come back here, I go with him at least once. Of course, I will be seeing her on Christmas day as well.
I asked her about what she remembers Christmas to be like. The main reason was just because I'm curious, and I love Christmas so am always ready to soak up any new information about it. But also, I think it's a shame that so many memories disappear as we age and pass, so knowing what she said will keep them alive a little bit longer.
There were two main points she brought up. The first was that when she was very young she remembers that the 'sitting room' (or perhaps it's better to say a 'drawing room'?) was only ever used on Christmas. Just in case you're not familiar with the term 'sitting room', it is similar to a living room, but it is where the best furniture is kept and therefore only used on very special occasions I don't believe many (if any) people still have these types of rooms that are never used and many of the old houses have had that room converted into an extra bedroom (particularly in student accommodation) or a study. Anyway, my Nanny remembers that Christmas day was the only day in which their sitting room was used. She also said that she didn't really enjoy Christmas day that much as she was the only child in a room full of adults (who apparently went to sleep after the Christmas dinner).
The second point was that she remembers Boxing day (the day after Christmas) to be what she actually looked forward to. They would visit her cousins and, especially during the way when both families had evacuees living with them, this meant that she could play with other children. I found this really interesting as I know that in some places Christmas Eve is full of the best celebrations, but I've never known Boxing day to register that highly for someone (except, of course, for servants when it was first introduced as it would be their day off).
Have you ever asked relatives about their Christmas pasts? Please share anything about Christmas that you remember, or that you have been told.
P.S. I also asked my Dad and he said he remembers his Day (my Grandad) dressing up as Father Christmas. This led to a bit of a discussion between him and my Nanny as she thinks it was one of my Grandad's brothers that usually did it.