A festive stroll down memory lane

Reflecting on fond Christmas memories

This year at SBW we’ve been reflecting on fond Christmas memories! We had our Mums, Dads and relatives digging up old festive photos and we found some great ones we just had to share with you – they’ve even made it as this year’s e-card feature.

It was hard to choose our favourites, but here are our team’s best Christmas memories and they’ve been getting everyone into the Christmas spirit. We hope you enjoy and are preparing to make your own wonderful memories to cherish in years to come!


‘It was all about the quiet anticipation’


I remember the quiet anticipation for me, my brother and sister as we waited outside our living room door for our parents to come downstairs. All you could see through the frosted glass at 6am were the tree lights, and only Santa knew how many presents we’d get to open that year... and we were never disappointed, always a final present, usually the best, would arrive last.

‘Household items disguised as gifts, wrapped under the tree’


Because I didn’t want to use my pocket money for gifts, my favourite memory was watching my family open gifts and pretending to be delighted with objects I had just found from around the house and wrapped up and put under the tree. I think I gave my mum the same clock 3 years in a row…

‘My family together in Carlisle’


Having a family that has settled all around the UK, we always used to travel for Christmas celebrations. Some of my favourite Christmas memories are held in Carlisle, visiting my Aunt, Uncle and cousins. My fondest memory is waking up one morning to find Father Christmas’ glittery footprints leading a trail to our presents (although this ended up all over the house, we could not get rid of that glitter!).

That cricket bat joke’ 


One year I asked for a cricket bat. My parents decided it would be really funny to not only buy me the bat that was on my Christmas list, but to also buy a bat from Poundland and give it to me first. Obviously, as you can imagine, on opening the gift although it wasn’t the one I was after I was extremely grateful and couldn’t wait to try it out - but with one hit of the ball it shattered into pieces. As soon as the handle flew off, everyone was in stitches and then presented me the real gift.

‘Starting the day at 5am’


I clearly remember my brother and I waking up earlier on Christmas day, like 5am, sneaking into the living room and staring at the gifts, then picking them up and shaking them trying to guess what they were whilst we waited for our parents to wake up!

Presents, chocolates and pillowcases!’


I remember pulling the chocolates off the tree and opening selection boxes. With two sisters and a brother, and often grandparents staying with us, Christmas was always busy, exciting and full of fun. We always had a pillow case full of presents at the end of our beds when we woke up, which was normally at about 5am.

‘Long, beachy walks’ 


On Christmas Day, before we could open our presents, my parents would insist the whole family go for a long beach walk, normally when there was a huge storm! It would normally be so windy that there was lots of white sea foam flying off the waves, like it was snowing! After our blustery walk, we would get home and open our presents, eat chocolate for every meal, and watch Christmas films for the rest of the day.

‘Christingle services and birthday parties’


Every Christmas eve the whole family would go to a Christingle service, followed by a trip to our local pub. Afterwards, we would celebrate my Grandad’s birthday which fell on Christmas eve, which was a lovely way to start the Christmas celebrations.

‘The Christmas Sleepover’


My younger brother would always have a sleepover in my room on Christmas Eve. We would both make beds on the floor (for some reason this was more exciting than sleeping in a bed!) and laugh at our parents and their friends singing Christmas songs downstairs. We would wake up at about 4am to find our stockings, always with a satsuma and monkey nuts inside, then woke our parents up by jumping on their beds.

‘Outrageous Christmas tree decorations’


For me, I remember all the excitement of getting the decorations down from the loft and helping to decorate the tree with outrageous Christmas decorations. In those days my mum and dad didn’t mind displaying my handcrafted artwork on the tree, along with the abundance of scattered tinsel. I have so many memories of happy Christmas times, which I love trying to recreate for my own children.

‘Nursery Christmas parties’


At Nursery we would have a big Christmas party where we would dress up, play and receive a visit from Santa. Dressing up was so exiting and even more exiting - Santa coming with a big bag of presents. He would never come straight in, we had to call for him really loudly, and oh god we did!

‘Roasting chestnuts on an open fire’


Looking back, I remember the whole family gathering round the fire on Christmas eve to roast chestnuts – a typical Christmas tradition back then! Then waking up early on Christmas Day to find a stocking hung above the fireplace, of course with a satsuma in the bottom!

‘Discovering a year-old, mouldy tangerine!’


Thinking back to my childhood Christmas memories, I remember the weight of the red stocking on my feet as I pretended to sleep on Christmas eve, and then one year finding a mouldy tangerine from last Christmas at the bottom of the stocking! I also remember my parents bickering every year over what Father Christmas’ preferred tipple would be.

‘When Santa wrote me a letter’


I remember one year I started to doubt whether Santa was real, so decided to write him a letter to see if he would reply. To reduce my suspicions, Mum asked her friend to reply to my letter, signed from Santa. I recall reading the letter and thinking Mum could have written it, but when I compared the handwriting and realised it didn’t match, I was convinced he must be real after all!

We wish you all a Merry Christmas and New Year full of memories to cherish and look forward to sharing more Good Stuff with you in 2019!