Monday, 20 December 2010

Granny Bloggings has a visit from the ghost of Christmas Past...

My dad believed in Christmas in a big way and this required DECORATIONS! He was the village school master so first he used to make sure the whole village was decorated – a veritable rival to Oxford Street! Then came our house which he turned into an Aladdins cave – oh yes he did, - look behind you! We had tinsel on our tinsel, we had whirly things hanging all over the ceiling, we had mistletoe and holly hanging at every conceivable angle, yet the Christmas tree was never brought into the house until after I was in bed on Christmas eve. I wonder now if that tradition was not born from his desire to decorate it himself. Anyway, once up, it threatened the national grid with its’ strands of coloured lights – yes dear reader, coloured lights – I never claimed any of it was tasteful did I!

We always had a party at Christmas and there were certain elements to said party which could never be omitted. Sausage rolls, cheese and small white pickled onions on sticks stuck, hedgehog style, into a potato covered in silver foil, trifle decorated with stiff cream and garish glace cherries and cold sausages wrapped in bacon – well this was the 1950’s. Then there would be games, mainly charades and then followed by my fathers’ Christmas Treasure Hunt.

Ah, The Christmas Treasure Hunt! All the children in our family have spent countless happy hours racing round the house looking for ‘clues’, wooden spoons tied to chair legs, hairbrushes standing amongst the Poinsettias, old shoes taped under tables. My father would sit in a comfortable chair whilst children and adults tore back and forth whispering their answers in his ears and being given the next clue. It must have taken him days to type out all the clues and gather all the objects and I don’t remember there ever being a prize at the end of it, although as a treasure hunt I guess there must have been, but the fun was in the tearing about and the whispering, we loved it!

My father died recently and whilst clearing out his attic I came across a box filled with hundreds of small, yellowing pieces of paper – the Christmas Treasure Hunt! Of course I had a little weep before transferring the box to my own attic so that when CK is a little older I will be able to give her the joy of The Christmas Treasure Hunt – some traditions should never be forgotten!

Have a good one and a happy and healthy new year!

Granny Bloggings


  1. Oh, that is simply wonderful. What an amazingly cherished memory you have of your dad; he sounds like a very lovable and well respected man. And decorating the tree by himself? Absolutely!

    CJ xx

  2. Thanks CJ - you are absolutely right. We'll be missing him this Christmas.

  3. How fantastic! What a lovely thing to have and how wonderful that you can share it! Thanks for linking this lovely story. x

  4. What a lovely tradition, wonderful that the memories live on in that box of clues. You Dad must have been a magical man.

  5. I love traditions like this! We have something similar at our house. My father-in-law tapes a clue on one of the ornaments on the Christmas tree and after all the presents are open, we have to hunt around the tree to find it. We're not allowed in any other room in the house besides a designated bathroom and the living room all morning until after the clue is found, then we rush into the room on the clue to find even more presents. This is definitely a tradition I want to keep going.


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