We are told that, in the past, 25 December was a popular day on which to marry, it being a holiday. I decided to go through my various family trees on my RootsMagic program and create lists for the 25 December: there were a number of deaths occuring on that day, but I was quite surprised to find only three weddings.
On Christmas Day 1836 David George and Mary Burrell married in East Dereham. In 1871 Henry Wakefield married Elizabeth Coleman at St Mary’s Finchley, and in 1890 George Wakefield married Sally Smith at Holy Trinity East Finchley. None of them would have experienced the weeks of commercial build-up that we have to endure these days! I wonder what Christmas presents they gave and received?
I remember the year I had a scooter for Christmas: it seemed huge, shiny and red and was parked just inside my bedroom door when I woke on Christmas morning. Perhaps I was 6 or 7 years old? There was always a Blue Peter annual to look forward to. Sometimes a new game or doll. I still have my Tiny Tears.
We never had a big Christmas tree, but two decorations on it always fascinated me: a bell and a pink bird. They had come originally from the ‘big house’ where my great grandfather worked – West Grinstead Park in Sussex. I think the family occasionally gave their employees items they no longer required. These two decorations are on my parents’ tree again this Christmas. They must both date from around the 1890s and are made from painted glass.
One more item from Christmas Past is the Father Christmas figure which is always on Mum and Dad’s Christmas cake. He is as old as my Mum as he came on a Christmas cake which my granny bought the year my Mum was a baby as she didn’t have time to make one. He had a coat of paint the other year, but is otherwise still going strong.
It’s good to remember that the simple things can be the most enjoyable at this time of year, and it’s a time to create good memories as well as remembering Christmas Past.