Christmas is for kids 32



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I wonder if the kids of today realise just how well off they are, compared with the time when I was young in the late 30s and early 40s, or in even earlier times!

Today there are iPhones, iPods, iPads, Xbox’s, thousands of downloadable games, push bikes made of carbon fibre, dolls that walk and talk, and many other choices to be made – a child’s paradise to be sure!

One fairly ironic point I’ve noticed over the years though (to interrupt my train of thought), is that children, especially the younger ones, seem to prefer playing with the boxes all this expensive equipment arrives in – very frustrating for a parent who has spent the next month’s housekeeping on the presents!

But to get back to where I was and the point I was making. The children of today are thoroughly spoiled because we now live in a world, where computers have taken over. They design most of the toys available today; with very little help from humans and they turn out more and more exciting stuff at a rate no mere person could possibly match. Add to that the massive profit making mentality of the supermarkets and department stores, so that they swamp us with powerful advertising from mid October onwards and it’s understandable that things have gone the way they have.

What worries me is that today it is all too easy. Kids just sit around and it all comes to them. But I have noticed that the children don’t remember much of what they are presented with, there is too much of it and too little effort has to go into making or using anything – it’s all there, in a massive pile, under the Christmas tree.

When I was young, and for hundreds of years before I’m sure, a child considered him or her self very fortunate if he received more than two or three presents, all of them simple, some handmade at home, carved lovingly out of wood by Dad, or knitted by a loving mother to dress a cheaply made little doll. There were rarely piles of presents under the tree, just a few small gifts hung among the branches, or hidden inside one of Mum’s old stockings over the hearth.

The main thing about Christmas, (apart from the religious experience a lot of families enjoyed), was the fact that often it was the only time of the year that everyone got together, to enjoy each other’s company and the festivities of the season, simple as they may have been.

There wasn’t the desire to impress with massively expensive presents as there tends to be today, there wasn’t the desire to spend the whole holiday in a drunken state, unlike today when many family get-togethers or pub visits end in brawls and often serious injury for some unfortunate.

I remember most of my Christmases as a young child and I think it is, as much as anything, because I had to create it myself. I was given toys like Meccano, and wooden kit sets of sailing ships that I had to build and paint myself, books to read and activity-materials like balls, bats, etc. I had to use my brain and because of that it was all locked in my sub-conscious, part of the experience that made me what I am today.

I actually feel a little sad for today’s youngsters and I worry about how they are going to turn out, given the lack of respect and discipline in their teaching today, and the all too easy way everything comes to them. I just hope that I am wrong – but however it eventually turns out, I wish ALL children a very happy, electronic Christmas!

What are the biggest differences you notice in Christmases for children today compared to when you were growing up?

Brian Lee

  1. Yes we made our own decorations and dad got a real tree to decorate it was exciting and we only got a small gift but was so happy,once it was a secondhand bike dad did up and I was so happy.

    1 REPLY
  2. I was a child in the 40’s. And we had the most wonderful Christmas’s– Santa was so generous ,lots of beautiful dolls ,dolls houses ,new clothes. Xmas stockings in those days were full of beautiful presents ,,– no iPhones of course But iam loving my Iphone and IPad now. ,our Christmas dinners were as good as today ,

  3. It was our childhood so it was magical. There were plenty of drunks and fights in my family but lots of love too. My grandchildren appreciate what they get and live Christmas.

  4. Nooooo…..children are not missing out, well hopefully they aren’t.
    Life as it is today is their time and all going well, they will enjoy and use their time well and enjoy it.

  5. So do l because l feel a lot of young people are so spoilt but so unappreciative which is such a shame . Every generation is different but sadly it is such a greedy world

  6. Oh please.. Christmas is just as magical for kids today as it was for us, their toys may be different but it’s still a wonderful day with fun, family, & friends, why can’t oldies get over the fact that times have changed but that doesn’t make things any less enjoyable today, & stop comparing the past to the present.

  7. It must be a right of passage with age that every generation says the next generation has no idea of what fun is, what tough is, what life is and how they are all missing out and how spoilt they are? and the young generation think the older generation is mostly out of touch with their time always banging on about the good old days…which must sound really miserable to them. The truth is.. it was our time, now is their time and for each one of us the memories are relevant because of memories and experience of each person. My young adult children tell me of their memories as children celebrating xmas and how they will do it for their future children, I smile, because nothing will change, because we all create magic for our children and ourselves. So the jokes on us all because all generations will say and do the same… and so will our children and then so will theirs… Noone does it better .. we do it different but the outcome of joy, fun, excitement peppered with magic is the same for us all. Merry Xmas everyone.

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    • You are so right Beri im a little tired of ” how better we had it, and how better we were” it’s a sounds a little conceited, bit sad to. Merry Christmas to you and yours.

    • I’m with you Christina, why can’t we just enjoy this wonderful time we live in & be thankful we are still here to share it with those we love.

    • Again, well said and I totally agree with your sentiments….I witnessed today the carrying on of traditions – like you say just different time and place but this generation of young people making excitement for their own children – wonderful memories which are their own…not ours. I still cherish my own memories of Christmases past though.

  8. Definitely agree with what you said. We didn’t get a hell of a lot when we were kids but more then some other kids in the neighbourhood.We would wake up to our pillowcase that was left out the night before under the Xmas tree with a book, a doll, colouring book a lolly Xmas stocking and think it was amazing! But just the whole Xmas thing I loved,, the Xmas cakes, Xmas pudding, hot baked lunch, the watermelon in the old concrete tub in the laundry getting cold on ice for after lunch. Dad used to buy a whole crate of small bottles of soft drink so we drank ourselves silly! Just loved that time of the year when we were kids. The presents have certainly changed these days, as I know from my grand kids, and partly our fault as we have more money then what our parents did, and spoil them more. As long as the family are safe and well that is the most important thing! I have lovely memories of Xmas from my childhood that will never leave me! Merry Xmas everyone!🎄🎉🎁🍷🍻

  9. I have experienced the generosity of a lot of young people. Ready to help and give. They are more in touch with their world than I was. Praise them

  10. I know I’ve told about it before but the very best Christmas gift I ever received came to me when I was five years old. It was wartime and we were as poor as church mice (bet you haven’t heard that for a long time!) My father carved out a model of the Bristol Beaufighter aircraft. It made my Christmas so ver yspecial. It is still in existence, that model aeroplane, passed on a number of generations and still very special. Merry Christmas.

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