Betty and Mary, who live at Bethany Christian Home in Plymouth, share their Christmas memories

“When I was young, we relied on candles and oil lamps to light the house. One Christmas, our tree had been decorated with cotton wool and candles and I noticed wax dripping down. I called to my parents to tell them, and my mother said it was all right. My teacher Miss Page had strongly advised not to use cotton wool as snow on our Christmas trees and I had protested to Mother, however she insisted on using cotton wool. Then the tree went up in flames. Mother ran past me and outside shouting, ‘fire, fire!’. Shortly afterwards, a fire engine arrived.” – Betty

        

           

              

“Our Christmas was very traditional. Every story of Father Christmas was believed. It was hard to get to sleep on Christmas Eve with a stocking waiting at the end of the bed. This was wartime so often it did not have what I ‘wanted’ in it! After opening my stocking in a cold bedroom it was downstairs to a warmer room for breakfast then off to church where we were invited to take one present.

"Then it was home for a chicken dinner, often donated by a farmer member of the congregation, followed by steamed pudding which I did not like. There was always a guest, often somebody on their own. After a ‘rest’ (the King’s Speech!) we opened presents from aunts and uncles with Mother trying to make sure she knew who sent what. In the evening we listened to carols on the radio or played board games, before bedtime at 7pm." – Mary

Read more Christmas memories from family members at Bethany Christian Home