For me it was the last shop before christmas, when, this being in the early 1970s, the shops closed for a whole two-and-a-half days! In those days, things that we take for granted now, such as carbonated fizy drinks, were a once-a-year luxury; in fact, way back then, dry roasted peanuts were a new and exciting taste! My parents used to come home laden with shopping as if preparing to ride-out a siege or natural disaster, and we kids used to watch, eyes wide, as the christmas goodies were brought out.

At least we didn't lack for toys on christmas day, my father's connections in the toy industry (he used to work in a factory that made wooden toys) providing plenty of them.

How time moves on! Now as adults we can appreciate the sacrifices that our parents made to ensure that christmas was a great time of year, and even the times when it didn't quite work out as it should, for example when one year the turkey turned out to be an inedible, cardboard textured, tasteless, faliure, we could all laugh about it.