A few years ago I wrote to my Aunt (moms sister) and asked her about Christmas when she and mom were kids. Mom never really talked about Christmas as a child. This is her response.
Sorry to take so long to reply , -- about Christmas. Yes we always had a tree, a real one of course since the artificial variety hadn't happened yet.I can remember coming home from school, stepping inside the back door and yelling "I smell Christmas tree". Mom had bought it from someone who came around door to door through the day and put it in the basement thinking she could surprise us later. But the nose knows. The tree went up just one week before Christmas & came down on Jan.2nd. There were always gifts - about 3 each if I remember correctly, also, usually, balloons fastened to the tree that morning just to make the occasion more festive. Helen & I didn't sleep much that night & had to wait until the alarm went off before we could get up. We then rushed down, collected our gifts & went back to bed. That was necessary because the house was cold.
Grandma & Grandad Black usually came for the day. We usually had our dinner at noon , which was chicken with all the trimmings including Christmas pudding for desert. [I still make that every year as well as the sauce & give some to family & close friends] After dinner Helen & I would go outside to play , maybe sleigh ride, depending on circumstances..The adults settled in to a few games of cards. The candies, nuts and oranges weren't brought out until a reasonable time after dinner so we were back in for that. Then all the goodies were put away in good time to preserve our appetite for supper, never to be seen again until New Year's day.
Yes, Christmas was a good time as I remember it as a child, but for the life of me I can't remember much about it as we got older. There was no gift exchange between Mom & Dad & the Grandparents that I remember . I know Mom must have saved all year just to provide what they did. Money was tight in those days. We were all poor but didn't know it
Do you have an older relation you could ask about what Christmas was like in their day?