Christmas - now and then!

Christmas. Such an exciting time of year for any child. But do our darling offspring realise how lucky they've actually got it nowadays?! If only they knew what it was like to be a child at Christmas in the 80s...

Then. Your Christmas stocking was handmade by your mum and had your initial sewn on the front at a wonky angle. In it, you got a satsuma EVERY YEAR. And, even more randomly, a toothbrush. To be honest, you thought both were a bit weird at the time but you kept quiet. Just in case it resulted in the confiscation of your Cadbury's variety pack - the only thing in your stocking actually worth keeping. 

Now. Your White Company cashmere stocking that you bought on the birth of your child hangs daintily off the fireplace, and you spend most of the time telling the same child not to touch it with their sticky jam fingers. You fill it with a selection of beautiful keepsakes bought at a local craft fair, knowing full well that they will all be discarded on Christmas Day in favour of something cheap, plastic and made in Taiwan. 

Then. You were given a crummy old advent calendar every year with some religious icon behind every window. You had heard on the nursery grapevine that there was such a thing as a CHOCOLATE advent calendar but your mum told you that that was just a vicious rumour, at the same time trying to get you excited about yet another picture of Jesus behind door number 10. Door 24 created a frisson of anticipation every year, but only because the paper door was twice as big as the others. 

Now. Advent lasts not just 24, but 31 days, at least according to the CBeebies advent calendar your child has insisted you download onto your iPad. It would be cool, were it not for the daily tantrum that ensues when your toddler discovers he can only open one door at a time. In addition, you have to come up with a decent daily gift for your Notonthehightstreet handmade bunting advent calendar that seemed such a good idea at the time but now fills you with rage. And don't even mention Elf on the f-ing shelf...whoever decided it was necessary to come up with a daily activity scene for an inanimate object that looks like Chuckie just to keep your child amused for ten whole seconds really should be shot. 

Then. You left out an old mince pie for Santa, along with a glass of sherry and a couple of anaemic looking carrots. 

Now. Santa gets a slice of panettone from Carluccio's and every reindeer has an initialled slice of carrot cake. Santa also gets a glass of whisky, but only so you have something to down at 4am whilst you unsuccessfully attempt to build a full replica kitchen for your 2 year old. 

Then. Every year your dad had a tantrum when one bulb out of the 200 lights on the Christmas tree blew. Resulting in the whole lot going out until he identified the offender. Your house was awash with a chaotic display of tinsel and balloons, none of it colour coordinated. The Christmas tree was a health hazard - every time you touched a needle, it drew blood. And if you so much as coughed near the tree, it rewarded you by shedding its load all over the carpet. But at least you were allowed to help with the decorations. The house couldn't have looked more ridiculous anyway.

Now. You start putting up your decorations at the end of November because otherwise you are unlikely to complete the display in time for Christmas Day. Each room is carefully themed and resembles a Christmas window display at Selfridges (complete with animatronic elves). Despite the fact you invested a great deal of money in a non-drop Norwegian blue spruce and spritz it every day with a carefully mixed sugar/water solution, it still drops all of its needles by Boxing Day.  And whilst your child is allowed to help decorate, that's only after checking your decorations conform to current Heath and Safety legislation. And in the full knowledge you will redecorate the tree after they have gone to bed. 

Then. You were allowed to ask for one present from Father Christmas and were expected to be grateful. And you chose it by going painstakingly through the Argos catalogue every day from the beginning of October. 

Now. Your. Child. Wants. Everything. The only problem? Your child already has everything. 

Then. Your Christmas nativity costume consisted of an elaborately tied bed sheet and a piece of tinsel around the waist.

Now. It's all about Amazon. You aren't entirely sure how you lived before it existed. If your child is a shepherd on a Wednesday, you don't even need to think about it until 1pm on the Tuesday. 

Then. Turkey was dry. Christmas pudding was homemade and as tough as an old boot. Brussels were boiled. Gravy was Bisto. Ah Bisto. Unless your mum was a Delia fanatic - then it might be homemade. And things like Brie and smoked salmon were posh. What's more, as a child, you had to eat it all. Although your dad might cut off the Brie rind if you asked him really nicely. 

Now. Thanks to Jamie, Heston and those annoying blokes from Masterchef, Christmas dinner is required to impress. Cue slaving over homemade stuffing and basting several birds simultaneously with organic goose fat. Now you're even expected to make your own fruit cake thanks to Mary Bloody Berry. And the best bit of all? Your child will stab at everything you present them with their fork in a luck lustre fashion and declare they aren't hungry. And then request a bowl of Cheerios. 

Then.There was no such thing as Sky. The only argument was about whether to watch Coronation Street or Eastenders.  You did enjoy circling programmes in the Radio Times though. Which you then weren't allowed to watch because they clashed with Antiques Roadshow and the Six O'Clock News. 

Now. Your children rule the television schedule and pre-select several dozen films that they want to watch over the Christmas period. Heaven forbid a programme you want to watch is on at the same time. That said, you are too tired to argue with them anyway. You try to suggest a family viewing of the Sound of Music, but that is rejected in favour of Frozen. Which you are then made to watch on Sky several hundred times, even though you already have it on DVD. 

Almost makes you wish you were back in the 80s doesn't it? The Christmas songs were better then anyway... 

Merry Christmas from the Rock of Feather team! 

Do you have a teething baby or toddler? Visit our site www.rockoffeather.com and purchase some of our utterly delectable (and fashionable) silicone jewellery. Perfect for your little teethers. 

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