Christmas in the 80s and 90s: was it better than now? – One Thing or a Mother

Paul McCartney’s Wonderful Christmastime came on the radio as I was driving my son in the car the other day and, unexpectedly, he started singing along.

I had no idea he knew the words, but it was such a sweet moment and got me thinking that the simplest of things, these little magical moments, are often the best parts of Christmas.

There are so many to be had – and we certainly have plenty of amazing treats lined up over the festive season – but it got me thinking about Christmases of my childhood, and the simple joys my children will never know and it made me feel all wistful...

Was there anything more exciting in the 80s and 90s than the release of the Radio Times Christmas double-week edition? Not in my house there wasn’t. I was a literal kid at Christmas when my mum brought it home and let me go crazy with a pink highlighter, marking up all the festive specials we were going to watch.

Christmas in the 80s –when it was ok to just throw tinsel at your tree. Although Katherine and her teddy didn't seem to mind. yl9VS9MDGByS5gHL3ohh

And on that note, my children will never know the planning that had to go into watching TV then. There was no hard drive to schedule digital recordings on to. If you wanted to watch something, you had to be at home at the time it was on (unless you could work out how to schedule your clunky video recorder, but did anybody really do that except my nan?!). Sometimes tough choices had to be made. You couldn’t miss the Only Fools and Horses Christmas special, so whatever was on ITV would have to be skipped.

But the absolute pinnacle of my Christmas viewing was the Top of the Pops Christmas special. This was in the days when I would sit next to the radio for three hours as Bruno Brooks (really ageing myself here) revealed the Top 40, and I would record all my favourite songs while hoping he didn’t crash the intros too much and ruin them. Seeing these tracks performed live in a poorly decorated studio was almost more excitement than I could take.

This all seems to have ended up TV-related, but I could also have mentioned my nostalgia for rubbish Santas with felt hats and scraggly beards, ringing instead of texting people and so, so much more.

I loved Christmas then but I still love it now. And to make sure I soak up all the special moments to be had, I’m taking a little break and will see you all in 2022!

Katherine still loves Christmas. Especially when she has a Bailey's in hand and Quality Street on tap.