Wednesday, 28 December 2016


It was 1972 or '73, getting on towards Christmas.  I'd
just acquired two different Santa 'cake toppers' from a shop
called W & R HOLMES, which was one of the absolute best
shops in my local town centre.  One of the Santas was on skis
and was identical to one once given to me by a neighbour
(ROBERT BAIRD) two or three years before when I
lived in a different house in another area.

The second Santa was smaller and, unlike the other,
was more of a 'cartoon'-type figure.  I had them both for a
relatively short time before they vanished into the limbo that
inevitably claims most items from our youth.  In 1977, a mere
4 or 5 years later, but seeming like a lifetime (after all, I'd gone
from schoolboy to working man in that time), I obtained a
replacement for that second Santa in a local shop (RS
McCOLL's) across from where I worked.

When I was in Portsmouth in 1978 to be best man at
a then-friend's wedding, I saw the same Santa in a news-
agent's and bought it for my pal.  Why?  Because he'd been
with me when I got the two Santas from W & R Holmes on
that Saturday morning back in the early 1970s so it somehow
seemed fitting.  Whether he kept it or not I have no idea, but
I still have my 1977 replacement and it's been part of the
Christmas decorations every year since then.  (That's
40 Christmases in case you're counting.)

So, in yet another self-indulgent fit of sentimental
reminiscing, I decided to give you the backstory so's I'd
have an excuse to show a photograph of that little Santa.  As
you'll have guessed by now, that's him at the top of this post.
Takes me right back to that crisp Saturday morning in the
early '70s just looking at him.  Long may it be so.

Have you got an old Christmas decoration that
  you'd never part with?  Go on - tell us all about it.  


Colin Jones said...

Not exactly a Christmas decoration but I mentioned recently that I have an unusual-looking, round tea-light holder - I bought it in October 2008 and took it with me when I went to stay with my mother at Christmas. My mother died in 2009 so 2008 was her final Christmas and also my final Christmas in the house I'd grown up in from the age of two. So my tealight holder is now a link to that Christmas of 2008 which I'd never part with - I only burn tealights in the period from Guy Fawkes night to New Year's Eve so it's kind of a Christmas decoration as I don't have any other kind of festive lights or a tree.

Kid said...

That's quite a sad story, CJ, but it's nice to know that the tea-light holder is a link to your mother and the house you grew up in. Having a link to earlier times can often be a comfort as we get older and frailer. When I look at my Christmas tree, I think back to previous Christmases in every house I've ever lived in, as it's been in all of them.

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