Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Christmas Nostalgia - 1971

I am feeling a bit nostalgic at present - for the times when Christmas was simpler.  I find all the shopping, stressing, commercialism, and consumerism too much to bear. 

I get flustered and grumpy about "overseas" posting which, in the 30 odd years I have been living in NZ is still a major event.  How come there are now e-books, e-cards and e-gift certificates but it still takes a week to send a parcel to the UK and costs a small fortune (often more than the cost of the carefully chosen NZ goodies enclosed??)  Why can my carefully chosen "Aroha" tee shirt, from Postie + costing less than $10 not be sent via teleportation to the my primary school friend??  You know like the cool transportation thing in Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory??  In thirty years or more so many "time saving devices" have been invented and refined, why not the postal service??

When I was a child I was totally oblivious to all the stress associated with present-buying, food preparation and decorating.  I was about 9 years old, I think when I woke up one Christmas Eve night to see my parents putting the stockings at the end of my sisters and my beds.  I pretended not be awake though!!  Now I am the mother, and I know its a total waste of time to say things like "If you are naughty/don't eat your broccoli/ forget to clean your room etc then Santa won't be delivering any presents!!" because I will be answered back with "Muuuuuuummmmm, I KNOW that Santa does not exist".  

Her Christmas stocking is a MIC one, purchased from the "red shed" aka The Warehouse.  My "stocking" used to be one of a pair of socks, and contain an orange, nuts and small gifts like chocolate coins and pencils.  Oh, and the other sock!!  My daughter looked at me in stunned amazement when she reached in and pulled out an orange -  "Mum, why is there an ORANGE in my stocking!!

This is a photo of me and my baby sister, sitting on my Nana's knee, at our house in 1971.  My blow up Rudolph Reindeer, a gift, possibly from my other Nana, sits beside us like a guest of honour.  Rudolph is totally to blame for my love of all things to do with Bambi and other deer like creatures.  Can you see the orange angle lamp in the background on the right side of the TV?  I still have that lamp - it does not really fit any where in my house at the moment but when I have a new lounge, I will find a spot for it.  The chair, is a bentwood one, part of the Swedish dining set my parents still use daily.  My Nana bless her, was probably minding her grand-daughters while my mother was in the kitchen.  We would alternate Christmases at their house in Yorkshire, and ours in Lincolnshire.  Nana came to NZ with us in the 1980s and was part of our family Christmases right up to the mid 1990s.

For me Christmas is not about spending lots of money and struggling with the masses to the 30% sales, it is about spending time with family, at home, eating good food, possibley too much food, and being thankful.


  1. I love that pic. I love the telly, the curtains, the lamp, the tree, Rudolph etc etc

    I have spent a small fortune sending pressies overseas! Alot of them bought from op-shops so the cost of postage is frequently three or four times what I've spent on the lovely, op-shopped stuff inside! I find it frustrating, but what can you do? (I'm not organised enough to do the sea mail thing)

    I agree with your sentiments on Christmas x

  2. I so covet your blow up reindeer and that lamp!!
    O,yes indeedy,Christmas has no magic anymore,does it.It's become the anti christ!
    I just avoid the bollocks as much as possible, and not having any kids,am usually quite successful!
    House is slowly getting there!

  3. Oh how I would love for the post service to be cheaper/faster. I agree totally.
    Love the picture. Bring on the family times!

  4. That is the best Xmas thing EVER!!!!!! Oh oh I love the reindeer. Love Vanessa

  5. I always get nostalgic this time of year too, them were the days, in that fabulous-in-everyway-retro photo, wern't they! Maybe it was a Yorkshire thing but I always got a stocking with an orange, nuts and choclate coins too, and was greatful for it too!
    Do you still have the curtain in the photo? Theyre very, very cool too x


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