Our teenage Christmas memories

With some of our favourite products designed to safeguard the memories our teens are making, it’s inevitable that we spend quite a lot of time (okay, too much time!) reminiscing about what we’d have kept a record of, back in the day. Right now, it’s all about what we remember from the Christmases of our teenage years – and yes, that does mean Christmas in the 80s.

Here are a few of the highlights from us and from the men in our lives – we hope they spark a fond memory or two!

Anna’s up first:

 “Today’s teens might find it hard to believe but one of the big, big things about Christmas back then was The Christmas TV Wars. There were only two TV channels until C4 launched in 1982 and both BBC and ITV would often ‘premiere’ a film on Christmas Day or roll out a series of new Christmas specials. We’d wait anxiously for the TV guide and fight over it when it arrived to ring our choices in different colour pens…

What’s really scary is that when we were talking about this, we found a website where someone has uploaded years of Christmas TV listings (yes, really, you can find it here: http://ukchristmastv.weebly.com/) and, looking back, our fond memories of a new Bond film every year turned out to be totally rose-tinted and instead it was all Mike Yarwood Christmas specials… we’re still reeling from the shock! If only we’d had a Teenage Years Memory Journal back then, to keep it real ????”

Louise adds:

“My fondest memories are of Christmas Eve. Dad would turn all the lights out apart from the tree lights, light a fire and put a classic film on. I’d vaguely wonder why Mum never joined us and why there was so much rustling from the spare room… I didn’t realise then that there was ‘Mum Christmas’ and ‘everyone else Christmas’ but I certainly do now!

Of course, the Christmas treats were a huge part of it. I remember drinking snowballs (with the proportion of Advocaat to lemonade growing as the years went by!) and eating every single one of the toffee pennies from the Quality Street tin that nobody else liked (all the more for me!). Oh, and being able to eat crisps and nuts for breakfast, left over from the endless parties (although this might still happen today….!).”


We loved this from Jason:

 “I’ll never forget the Christmas that Grandad Jack lovingly handmade us a table tennis table. He drove it from Norfolk to London with it on the roof of the car, only for it to fall off just as he was pulling up outside our house. No Amazon deliveries in those days!

We used to play a card game every year called ‘Grab Your Nuts’*. We had a walnut for each player apart from one (in those days, kids, Christmas just wasn’t Christmas without bags and baskets of nuts and a nutcracker – no one liked them much – or at all! – but they were found in every single house across the land). You earned nuts by collecting a set of cards – say, 4 kings – and when anyone got a set, it was a free for all to grab a nut and not to be the player left nut-less. Total mayhem – clear the room in advance!”

*Google ‘Grab The Nuts’ to find out more – but we like our name better!!

David’s mostly about the music:

 “I remember the build-up to finding out who was going to be Christmas number one – the Top 40 charts were huge and the whole family listened to the Sunday countdown (entertainment was much sparser in those days!) so for a band or solo artist to get the coveted Christmas top spot was massive. And of course the predictions every single year as to whether Slade would make the top 10 yet again…

The Christmas day Top of the Pops special was not to be missed. It always featured the top hits of the year and the fact that it was recorded in about August so missed out anything current didn’t seem to bother anyone!

So many Christmas memories but the one that stands out is going to Old Hunstanton every Christmas Day morning to watch the charity swim. It just wouldn’t be Christmas without seeing those, let’s call them ‘brave’, swimmers running in and out of the North Sea in the biting North wind.”

(*shameless plug* just shows how right we were to include a page for music memories in our journal…)

And finally, back to Anna:

 “Count your blessings, today’s teens. No personalised sacks in our house – every Christmas Eve my mum would cut a pair of her tights in half and we’d put a leg each at the end of our beds. Mind you, they were incredibly stretchy, packed a massive amount in and they were so thin that it was perfectly possible to work out what was in them by feel in the dark of a Christmas night; I can close my eyes and go right back to those moments. It might be that these memories are so vivid because my brother and me made our poor mum fill a stocking for us until our late twenties though!”

We hope you enjoyed our little ‘remember when’ journey. We’d really love to hear your teenage Christmas memories – the good, the bad and the you wouldn’t believe it today – so please do leave us a comment and share your stories.

Louise & Anna x


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