As a teenager I thought we had Christmas dinner ridiculously early. No-one sat down to eat turkey at one o’clock; cool people had theirs at three or four. But by then the adults were asleep and only once they woke up could we have the main present-giving.
This was the order of events which hardly varied until I left home – and possibly after.
We were not allowed TV on Christmas Day, so when the presents had been unwrapped (this was a ritual in itself: we each took turns to pick a present from the pile and give it to the person on the label, who had to unwrap it before another present could be chosen) we had tea and Christmas cake (also made months before) and then the evening set in.
In the evening my mother, aunt and grandmother would change and put on long dresses. And then we would play games: either card games (my Granddad was very fond of cribbage) or board games like ludo, scrabble or monopoly – plus, my mother loved parlour games such as ‘Squeak, piggy squeak,’ where a blindfolded person would be spun around three times (to disorientate them) and then pointed to sit on someone’s lap. The person thus sat upon would give a squeak, and they would have to guess who it was.
I’m sure there were loads of other games we played, but I can’t remember them. I never heard of anyone else who celebrated Christmas Day the way we did.