December 2020

‘Christmas is coming!’  Well, I suppose it always is, but this year preparations seem to have started earlier than ever. In the last week of October, St Ives switched on its Christmas lights and when Father Christmas made an appearance he socially distanced and stayed behind glass to wave at the children!

With many restrictions placed on us at the moment there will be no large Christmas gatherings this year, but our Memory Cafe members, like many of us, will have fond memories of happy and exciting seasonal parties in their younger days. Local organisations, churches, schools and employers would arrange Christmas events which were such a central part of our celebrations: trestle tables loaded with party food and crackers to pull, games such as musical chairs, postman’s knock and pass the parcel, perhaps a visiting magician or clown, and best of all a visit from Father Christmas who called everyone’s name in turn and gave wonderful presents – how did he know exactly what each of us really wanted?

For the girls best party dresses were the order of the day – if you were lucky with sparkly sandals and new white socks.  For the boys your best short trousers, shirt and tie and even a blazer – no jeans and tee shirts then!

Our photos capture one such happy event, held in Crantock in the 1950s – clutching their presents and balloons it looks as though this little crowd are preparing to go home and Father Christmas certainly looks as though he’ll be glad of a rest!

Perhaps you recognise some of these faces or better still are in one of the photos yourself. Maybe you can recall attending similar gatherings when you were a child.

Even before this year’s restrictions, events like these seemed to have faded into the past but the memories live on.  Let’s hope we can all adjust and have a very happy and healthy Christmas this year and we look forward to a time when we are all able to meet up again.