There was a glass of sherry, a mince pie and a carrot placed on the fireplace and Father Christmas was on his way (despite the several naughty things I’m sure I had done that year). I remember that giddy thrill of going to bed on Christmas Eve and trying (pretending) to go to sleep while listening out for Santa and his reindeer driven sleigh jingling overhead and landing on the rooftop.
I woke stupidly early and crept downstairs to be greeted with colourfully wrapped presents of all shapes and sizes under the tree. Being an only child had some benefits. Some were in huge festive sacks (stop giggling) which would be taken upstairs and dumped out all over the bed by my father while I sat with my mum and excitedly ripped the paper off everything while completely ignoring the labels. Aunty who? This was my Christmas for several years until Star Wars, Action Man, Matchbox Cars and Arifix Soldiers made way for socks, shaving kits and soap on a rope.
These lucky kids know exactly what all this feels like as parents have been documenting this occasion since cameras were readily available for home use. These retro Christmas morning photographs are a snapshot in time that also remind us of the toys and games from our youth.
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