"The most magical element of my childhood Christmases was the tree. It was always real – my dad would bring it into the house on Christmas Eve. After I’d gone to bed, Mum and Dad would decorate it so that when I came down on Christmas morning it was a mass of lights and sparkly decorations, with presents underneath.
Presents were never opened until Boxing Day – after all, it is the traditional day for opening your ‘boxes’. Then my maternal grandmother would come to stay, so it was a big family celebration.
To this day, our tree is still decorated on Christmas Eve, or thereabouts. And if anyone's wondering how I managed to leave my presents unopened until Boxing Day, my ‘Santa’ presents always appeared at the end of my bed and were opened VERY early on Christmas Day!
My mum, Jean, remembers a special childhood Christmas. She said, “One of my most memorable Christmases came when my younger sister and I were given a doll’s house, which had been made with such love and much hard work by my father."
"We came down on Christmas morning to find the doll’s house sitting on the sideboard, complete with brick patterned wallpaper on the outside, lights in every room, powered by a battery in the loft, windows and doors that opened and closed, a staircase and miniature furniture. A a quite remarkable present.“