Indulge me! This post is all about me wallowing in nostalgic memories. But if Christmas isn’t a time for nostalgia, then I don’t know when is. I’m letting my brain wander down memory lane, and pretty typical for me, that lane leads directly to my bookshelves. And all the way back to my Bookish Christmas Memories.
My Christmas memories are wrapped up in books. Literally. When I was young, I got my fair share of toys and dolls, but my favourite presents were always books. Lots of books, but the most exciting was the Christmas Annuals, as they only appeared every December. I’m not sure if they were as big in America, as they were here in Ireland and England. But, to me the Christmas annuals WERE Christmas.
Bookish Christmas Memories
From early morning, once all the presents were ripped open, you’d find me snuggled up on the couch, basking in the heat from the fire, probably with a sleeping bag on top of me for extra warmth. Don’t judge it was the early 80s and we didn’t have central heating yet! And I’d be surrounded by all the annuals – Mandy, Bunty, Judy – happily reading, and simultaneously munching my way through my selection box.
I lapped these books up. The stories were picture strips, about 5 pages long, and were definitely no literary fiction! But, I didn’t care; I gulped down every overly sensational page, as eagerly as I chewed away on my chocolate Christmas treats.
The stories were pure melodrama, and boarding schools featured highly. As did starving orphans wandering around foggy Victorian London, princesses in thinly veiled disguises, and so many other crazy plotlines. In fact I clearly remember one story about Angel, a rich girl who was dying of some vague disease. She deserted her family to spare them the pain of watching her die, and dedicated her final painful days to caring for unloved street orphans. The drama!
If I just share the names of some of the stories, you’ll get a good insight into the sensational type stories that I spent my Christmas day, crying, and laughing over.
• Father must go Free!
• Slaves of the Ballet!
• Carries Magic Cookbook!
• Wee Slavey!
It seems hilarious to me now how much I treasured these books, how frequently I reread them during the year, how much I anticipated a fresh batch every Christmas. But, it is such a lovely, innocent memory, and I’m so thankful for my parents for indulging my bookish wishes. Money wasn’t plentiful, but my memories are priceless, and isn’t that what Christmas is all about?
Talk to Trish! What are your favourite Christmas memories? Do books feature?