Margaret, who lives at Evington Home in Leicester, shares fond Christmas memories
“I always used to help my mother. We used to make our own mincemeat. We had a mincer that we borrowed from Auntie and we used to mince everything and put it in jars to keep it. We made our own Christmas puddings, they were put in a large white bowl, covered with cloth and tied with string. Mother made about five and she put them in the copper to boil. It was always done in good time, I had to keep pushing her because she was like Ruth, always the last minute. ‘Come on mother,’ I used to say, ‘Get on with it!’
“We made Christmas cake too. During the War, you couldn’t get the stuff so we often put carrots in to make the cake look a bit darker. The Christmas cake was a large one and we put almond paste on that we made with ground almonds. You had to do everything yourself then. And then we iced it and put pretty little knickknacks on, little Christmas things on top, and I think we were ready then.
“We always had a Christmas tree, with candles and a fairy on top. Father climbed up into the loft and got the Christmas tree down. I was a fairy on top of a Christmas tree once at school. We had the dining room, the lounge and the hall decorated with Christmas decorations.
“We always played table tennis, that was always kept in the loft, too. It came down on Christmas Day and Boxing Day. We always played Ludo and another game at night. Dad saved the best coal for Christmas, shiny coal, and he would make big fires. We had one in the dining room and one in the lounge.
“We all sat round the fire at night, we always had family come, you see. Dad’s sister came always and we often had other people round. Mother never saw anyone on their own. If she saw anyone on their own, she would say, ‘come’. She was a very kind lady.
“We always had chicken, that was a nightmare in case you didn’t get your chicken. The lady used to bring the chicken from quite a way, she used to come on Christmas Eve. We had proper chicken and stuffing and of course Christmas pudding and custard and I think that was it.
“I received a lot of presents because I had a lot of good Aunties. Dad had very good sisters and because we were the youngest two in the family, we did have a lot of presents. They were very kind to us. He had two sisters who never got married and they always sent us nice things. I had good grandparents, my mother’s parents were lovely, I was spoilt horribly! I had a doll’s house, a doll’s shop. I had a lovely pram. And a lovely cot as well.
We had Christmas later at Rupert and Hazel’s. Rupert had a church. Hazel always invited us to a dinner. They used to hire a church hall and have a dinner and she always invited us. Good church people - she was a very hospitable lady, was Hazel, so we always went there at Christmas.”
– Margaret, 95
Read more Christmas memories from Isabelle and Audrey
In the December issue of The Pilgrim's Magazine, we feature a collection of Christmas Memories from around our homes and schemes. Sign up for the magazine here. It's free!