I remember very well, the weeks leading up to, and just before Christmas.
I can recall the preparations of going to the beach to get the sand for the yard, weeding around the house, washing down the house inside and outside, (I hated that part) scrubbing the floors with whitehead bush or with the skin of an old-wife fish. Then there was seeing Mum go to town to buy cloth to make new curtains, buying artificial flowers made from crepe or plain paper from the sellers in the bus stand and around other areas in Bridgetown, and buying Christmas cards to send to relatives and friends.
As for decorations, we could only afford balloons and colourful streamers or picture cards of Father Christmas, as we called him in those days – very few of us called him Santa Claus back then. As for toys, we got things like mouth organs, crickets, flutes, windmills on a stick or very small toy cars; the girls got small dollies, doll babies as they were called at that time.
As for presents, well handkerchiefs, socks, shirts, mostly short pants and maybe shoes not forgetting the comforts, toffees and nuts. I can still hear those hawkers around the bus stand with trays on their heads shouting: “comfort, toffees and nuts, who calling, simma hay.” Oh, for the good old days!
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