Christmas at 14 Backworth Street, Percy Main

A few days before Christmas we wrote our notes for what we wanted and threw them up the chimney for Santa.

Despite the war and shortages, Christmas was a magical time for us.  Our parents kept the myth of Santa Claus alive for many years.  We put out a carrot for his reindeer, a glass of sherry and a piece of cake for Santa. We hung our stocking on the mantelpiece and a few days before we wrote our notes for what we wanted and threw them up the chimney.  We did not know there was a ledge someway up and the notes obviously landed on it.  We were convinced Santa had got them.  We would make streamers out of coloured crepe paper, put bits of holly up with a few toys.  We did not have a tree until years later.

I was always the first awake on Christmas morning and would wake my brothers (we all slept in the one bed) and ask, “has he been?”  We would then go through into the kitchen and there would be our presents, but first we took our stockings down.  They always had a few nuts, an apple and orange, and a bar of chocolate.  We thought we were so lucky.  How our parents managed to satisfy our wishes we will never know.  Those Christmases will live in my memory forever.

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