Tuesday, 11 November 2014

BY INVITATION ….. BEST DAY OF YOUR LIFE !! … **** WARNING **** ….. PHOTOGRAPHS OF ME AS A CHILD !!!!!!!!!!!!!

When we were given the subject for our ' By Invitation ' post this month, I was not a happy bunny !! How on earth can you choose ' the best day of your life ' ?!! Surely, by rights, it should be ones wedding day, the days that our children were born, a special family and friends get-together, a wonderful holiday, our son and daughter-in-law's wedding or the birth of our grandchildren, shouldn't it ?



I doubt very much, if we only have one ' best day of our life ' but, the day that was SO special for me was Christmas as a child.


It was the most exciting and magical time …..

I can remember my Mum, buying a tree at the greengrocers and dragging it back to our house { I'm not sure why she had to do this and not my Dad !! } and then our Dad, my sister and I would turn that dark green pine tree into a sparkling, twinkly tree of magic { along with a few arguments as to where to place a bauble or who would have the honour of putting the fairy on top of the tree !! } My Mum would make a Christmas cake, mince pies and the Christmas pudding, along with bread sauce and oodles of other things { there wasn't a Waitrose or M & S in those days !! } Then, on Christmas Eve, we would place an old limp, white pillowcase at the end of the bed  which, by morning, was brimming over with, board games, chocolate coins, paints and paint brushes and that chocolate toolkit that tasted like soap but was delicious at the same time because we could eat chocolate at 7 a.m in the morning and, I always had my fingers crossed that my favourite would be found in my pillow case …….


Jacks !! I LOVED Jacks ….. 

None of it was overly expensive but, in those post war years, there wasn't an abundance of things and our parents would have to save up for the presents and food. Our Dad went to work all week and then, at the weekends, he played in a band. In the months leading up to Christmas, he would take an empty gin and whisky bottle with him to gigs and, whenever he was offered a drink, he would pour it into his empty bottles and, by Christmas, they would be full !!!!

Then, when our relatives had arrived, it would be time for the presents under the tree. I belonged to the Swimming Club and swam in galas { that's me on the right } and one of my best presents was the Swimming Club track suit. They were pretty expensive and I can remember being so excited to have it !!

 Another year, my present was a leather netball { as you can see, I was in the netball team …. that's me, sitting on the grass on the left }


….. and, one of my favourite presents of all ….. my Jaco skates. I would play on these all day, all year, until the leather strap broke and then they would go on my Christmas list again. 
Unlike today, we would only get one of these presents each year from our parents, along with a present from Aunts and Uncles and Grandmothers and Grandfathers, all of which were quite modest by today's standards. 

I hope that we managed to make our own children's Christmases as magical as ours were because they are certainly up there as one of the best days of my life.









To read about others ' best days of their lives ' go and see Marsha { although, at the moment, she is having computer problems so, you might just have to read mine again !!!! }









image 1: via via zsa zsa bellagio, images 2 & 3: via the gifts of life, image 4: via etsy, images 5 & 6: via ME, image 7: via jacabug, image 8: via pinterest

Jackie

70 comments:

  1. Is that you pinning up the stocking by the fireplace as well? If so, I bet you haven't hanged a bit - in certain respects.

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    1. I'm old Tom but, I'm not THAT old, although, my derriere has stood the test of time, I think !!!! XXXX

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  2. danke für die bilder und inspirationen!!! iebe grüße von angie aus deutschland und einen schönen dienstag

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    1. Danke Angie und glücklich Dienstag auch für Sie. XXXX

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  3. Love this Jackie. What a lovely story about your Dad saving the nip of Gin or Whiskey. Xx

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    1. My Dad was very enterprising Flora !!!! XXXX

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  4. This is really lovely Jackie, I loved reading it. Those roller skates are wonderful, the old days were the best!!

    Lovely photo, I could recognise you immediately:) Love the one of your bare bottom too ;) Xx

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    1. Thanks Simone ….. I could do a whole post on the presents that we got as children and I loved them all. I think that children are just as excited nowadays too …… I can remember our children being so excited that the couldn't sleep and kept coming downstairs ….. I expect that our grandchildren will be the same ! XXXX

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  5. Dear Jackie,
    thank you for this inspiring post! And the lovely pictures. Yes - when I see today's Christmas lists, I wonder - (and look what the merchants propose for feasts like Easter!). I believe that Christmas was then as good as today - the idea is the idea of joy, not (only - of course I love gifts too) of getting things.

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    1. You are so right Britta …. the amount of presents that some get is verging on the obscene !! Everything seems to be in excess nowadays……. don't get me wrong though, I love a present !! XXXX

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  6. Dearest Jackie,

    You are so right. Christmas is the best. I've always loved it. You make all your stories magical.

    Yes, isn't it wonderful to think our some of the best days of our lives haven't happened yet? I'm sure that's true.

    xoxo,
    Tish

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    1. Christmas is wonderful, whatever age we are isn't it Tish ?
      Here's to many more ' best days '. XXXX

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  7. I wrote a similar piece a couple of years ago, and finished by saying that if I could go back in time, it would be to 9am on the 25th December 1952; I would have been 5, and life would have been PERFECT.

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    1. We are of a similar age Cro so you would understand….. Christmas was obviously the same for you as it was for me. XXXX

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  8. I have such precious feelings about Christmas, it truly is the most special day of the year.

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    1. It really is, isn't it Francine and, it will soon be here !!!! XXXX

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  9. Hi Jackie,
    You have really got me excited for Chritsmas!
    What a magical and exciting time for you and your sister.
    I love the look of those skates. And I love all the pictures.
    I know that you made Christmas a magical time for L & D and are now doing the same for H & M! You are an expert at making things look fairytale like. I could really do with some tips!
    We plan to keep presents to a minimum as to not overwhelm E. I most look forward to spending time with family, eating, singing and being merry - I can't wait!
    Thanks for getting me in the spirit. It's never too early right!?......
    Lots of love xxxxxx

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    1. Hi Amy ……. it was a very magical time for me and my sister. She has a lovely memory when she was about 5 when she and my cousin slept under the tree { I was only 1 at the time and so was my other cousin so, we missed out on that special moment }
      I hope that D & L had magical Christmases and I will try and make it special for H & M.
      E will love it all, if his birthday is anything to go by …… you made it so special.
      …… and my skates were my most prized possession !!!
      …. and, no, it's never too early ……. start getting in the Christmas mood.
      Lots of love back. XXXX

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  10. Jackie, this is perfect - you always come up with a completely unique take on the theme. :) And thank you because in reading it I was immediately transported to some of my favorite Christmas mornings myself...yes, those definitely were some of the Best days ever. Am feeling a little sheepish as my post is so basic while everyone else really went for it...but I just couldn't decide what to choose!
    xo
    Heather

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    1. It sounds as if a lot of us have similar memories Heather ….. and, your BIO post was lovely. Basic it was not. Lots of love. XXXX

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  11. What a lovely post, J! I had skates similar to those - loved them! But they had a key to tighten them to your shoes (not straps like those) and I was very proud about not losing the key. So wonderful to see photos of little you.
    Was the pillowcases (instead of stocking hung up) a regular thing in the UK?
    I also think that holidays in general have gone overboard - simpler is better in my humble opinion.

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    1. Hi Carol,
      Our skates had a key as well but we had the straps too.I think that my Dad looked after the key !!
      I think that the pillowcase is a British thing, as many of my friends had a pillow case too { perhaps us Brits are greedier than you Americans !! XXXX

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  12. Your reminded Christmas is so magical, dear Jackie, what a joy to give this feelings to children and grandchildren! Have a wonderful time before christmas,

    hugs Jade

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    1. Hopefully, I gave our children some magic at Christmas and now will try to give our grandchildren similar memories Jade. XXXX

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  13. Jackie---this post was so, so cool to read today! First of all, I LOVED seeing the darling photos of you as a child. What a darling girl!!!!!!! Your Christmases mirrored my own and just brought back so much joy that I felt when I thought back over them. I too got skates at Christmas almost yearly as my sister and I would wear ours to bits throughout the spring, summer and fall. I was awful at keeping track of that darn skate key though. I also love that you loved to play jacks...it was my favorite game and I once became the jack tournament champion of my grade school. I thought I was pretty cool about that time :-)))))). If you and I ever met in person I would definitely want to have a game of jacks with you. How fun would that be?????

    You got a pillowcase full of fun stuff and all I got was a little stocking full of treats, but of course I won't hold that against you---but your beautiful legs (in that photo of you in your swimsuit) I just may. I would kill for those legs!!!!
    much love...

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    1. Dear June,
      You say the nicest things ! It is a bit of a British thing to have a pillowcase I think. Even though it was bigger than a stocking, nothing in it was very expensive but we loved it all. We really had to look after that skate key, didn't we ? Those skates usually lasted a couple of years and we had to make them bigger and bigger as our feet grew .
      ….and, believe me June, you wouldn't want to play Jacks with me ………. I was a really bad loser !!!! I am so amazed that we had the same things June. XXXX

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  14. It's always nice to have a trip down memory lane, thanks for sharing. :-)

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    1. I do love to share childhood memories Deb. XXXX

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  15. I too LOVED and STILL DO LOVE CHRISTMAS..........It is a MAGICAL DAY!Beautiful POST.......XX

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    1. It certainly is and it's just as good, the older I get……. do you know, some people don't believe in Father Christmas ?!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! XXXX

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  16. Your photos are so much fun! And JAX! Love, love, love... I grew up playing with my dad, and also my grandmother. (I was pretty good at it, too. But so were they!)

    Delightful post!

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    1. I was pretty good at Jacks too but, I'm afraid to say I was a bad loser !!!! XXXX

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  17. My daughter gave me jacks for my 55th birthday because she knew I'd loved them as a child. We sit on the floor and play when she comes to visit...I usually lose!
    Lovely post, Jackie!

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    1. I LOVE that your daughter gave you Jacks for your 55 birthday ….. it sounds as if we all loved playing with them Sherry. XXXX

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  18. Owww what a Nice post.....love it.....have a Nice week.....live Ria....x!

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    1. Thanks Ria …… have a lovely week too. XXXX

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  19. Hello Jackie
    Don't let Tom Stephenson bully you into doing anything you do not want to do!!! Ha Ha.. he is wicked!
    You were beautiful as a young girl too. How enterprising of your father to find a way to have Christmas drinks to offer. The expression "where there is a will; there is a way" comes to mind.
    Loved your special gifts too.
    Helen xx

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    1. Hi Helen …… well, if Tom shows me his, I might just show him mine !!!! haha
      My Dad was very enterprising. When he was at a gig, so many people offered him a drink so, he would fill up his bottles !! …. he had a great thing going there !! XXXX

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  20. You always show such wonderful pictures, love the little girl with her bare b.m ! Wow sharing your memories of Christmas as a child really took me back. I always wanted skates, but never got them, I borrowed my friends. I remember putting the pillow slip at the bottom of my bed and did the same for my daughter & son my daughter has carried the same tradition on here in France with her sons who are now 17 & 15 and yes they still put their pillow case at the bottom of their beds. Lovely times, I also played Jacks but was never lucky enough to have proper Jacks, we used pebbles and called it 5 stones, I sound like a deprived child, but I certainly wasn't. It was just the way things were back then.

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    1. I am quite amazed that we all seemed to have the same presents Barbara. Our children had pillow cases but our grandchildren have special hessian sacks with their names on that I bought them !! My older sister played 5 stones … I sometimes played it but preferred my Jacks !! XXXX

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  21. Very nice post. You look so shy, were you? Glad to hear your body is holding up, wish I could claim the same!

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    1. Hi James,
      How lovely to hear from you ……. I don't think that I would say that I was shy but, I wasn't overly confident either …. just ' normal ' I think !! XXXX

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  22. I'm glad you have happy memories.

    Love,
    Janie

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    1. Hi Janie ……. I hope that you do too. XXXX

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  23. What lovely memories. Thank you for sharing these and your wonderful photos!

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    1. I do have some lovely memories ….. I shall have to dig out some more photos and bore everyone !!!! XXXX

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  24. Lovely post . . . filled with your best times of your life . . .
    and stirring my memories of my best times in my life.

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  25. I'm glad that I brought back some lovely memories for you Lynne. XXXX

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  26. Thankyou so much dear Jacqueline fir this post,full of Beautiful nostalgie time....
    Love all these images above:)
    And your always touching me style to write- smile and really heartwarming!

    Wish you Beautiful November,
    Hugs from Holland,
    V.

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    1. Hi Violetta,
      It is nice to visit the past sometimes, isn't it ? Enjoy November and keep warm !! XXXX

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  27. this post is so charming, jackie! what lovely memories and photos. :)

    sharon xx

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    1. Oh Sharon …… we just LOVED Christmas as children { and still do }. I really do have such happy memories. XXXX

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  28. You are so right!
    Christmas when we were little is really difficult to top.
    Pure magic.
    xoxo

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    1. Dear Pamela,
      I really do believe that our Christmases as children are difficult to top ….. and they were really quite modest as well. XXXX

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  29. I had those skates too, and you were a very goodlooking young sportswoman, and what a wonderful father and a heartwarming post and I am lost in admiration that you sit on printers too.

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    1. Oh Mise ……. I hope that you know that I don't really sit on printers ……. I was just helping Tom out !!!! …. did you really have those skates ? I thought that it was only oldens like me who had them !! XXXX

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  30. Hi Jackie
    I got here at last. Looking at your pictures on my phone just wasn't good enough! I loved it all and it was so like my Christmases and my school days, except for the swimming which I didn't do. And a bit like Cro said, and I feel all far away and dreamy now. As you say, we didn't have much money but there was plenty of magic and little things meant a lot. It is something you never forget. xxxx

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  31. Hi Rachel ……. us bloggers of a certain age seem to have all had very similar Chrismases and have the same or similar happy memories. It just goes to prove that you don't have to spend zillions to make the magic happen !!
    It must be a hive of activity at Father Christmas's place at the moment !!!! XXXX

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  32. I love everything about this post, Jackie! That bit about your dad saving up all the drinks in his bottles until Christmas is especially wonderful and sweet. And I feel lucky to have grown up in a time when the gift part of Christmas was much simpler. Like you, I always received my one special present, and then lots of magical little gifts in my stocking. My candy equivalent to your chocolates was the Lifesavers Sweet Storybook, shaped like a book and full of rolls of lots of different flavors of Lifesaver candies. I can still taste the butter rum. :) And I owned those same exact kinds of roller skates! They were fantastic. Thanks for sharing these wonderful Christmas memories! xoxo Gigi PS I love the photos of you!!!

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    1. Seems as if we all had similar Christmases Gigi, whichever side of the pond we live on !! …. and, my skates were the best thing that I owned … I loved them and was out on them every minute possible !! XXXX

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  33. Oh Jackie, I feel your best days of your life, this is such a deep question. Similar sentiments as yours in the way I have no certain best days but days that lead up to a best day, life in general.
    I think a day earning money when I was 13 to go buy a pair of boots, and saving up to buy gifts for family also was pretty best, love your dad story, and like your family we to cut back in areas to make holidays special.... My mom at the sewing machine sewing up rag dolls, my dad cutting wood making stick ponies for the boys and doll house for us girls. Simple gifting built and made by hand were I think the best days.
    Your story put things really in perspective to what best days are like.

    Thank you beautiful for sharing and allowing us to share, and more thank you for visiting me adding joy to my best days with a beautiful comment left from you.

    Xoxo
    Joy to your holidays.

    Dore

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    1. Thank you for your lovely comment Dore ……. it seems that we had very similar experiences and, although there wasn't lots of money, we still had the most magical time…. it's lovely that your mum sewed rag dolls and your dad made little wooden ponies.
      I love reading your blog and I always come away inspired.
      Wishing you a wonderful weekend. XXXX

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  34. this post brought so many memories. I had those skates too but always wanted some with rubber wheels with ball bearings in them. Why do photos of that era always look the same - they could have been any number of photos of me with friends at school.

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    1. Hi Elaine,
      Seems like the world and his wife had those skates !!!! I guess there wasn't that much to choose from way back then !!
      … and, you are so right ….. all of our school photos looked the same didn't they ?!!! XXXX

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  35. What a great post Jackie ~ love hearing about your Christmases as a child! Things were so much simpler back then and I think everyone was happier ~ more connected for sure. Hugs to you xoxo

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    1. Thanks Lori ….. I usually hate it when older people say that everything was better years ago but, I really do think that a few things were !!!! Hugs back. XXXX

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  36. So sweet.. I loved the photos of you...so bright and beautiful even then...

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    1. I'm not sure about the bright and beautiful bit Cynthia ……. I used to be such a tomboy and usually looked a right mess !!!! XXXX

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  37. What magical memories of the best day of your life!!! I so enjoyed reading and seeing your old photos. Such a wonderful life we live isn't it? As we get older those memories fade but are the joy we carry into the best days of our life that like you said"haven't happened yet".

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