Rather than sit and scorn at our 80s hair and ridiculous shoulder pads, we have taken a look back to Christmas in the 70s and 80s and discovered it was better than today…want to know more?
Here are just a few reasons why Christmas was so much better than Christmas today
Why Christmas was better in the 70s and 80s
- 10 reasons Christmas was more fun back in the day
1. Family memories to keep
The 70s/80s way: Christmas was one of the days of the year the nice camera would come out and everyone would pose for a family pic with paper hats and new Christmas jumpers.
Today’s way: Everyone is on their own smartphone taking selfies with their new Christmas gifts, in years to come even if the pictures survive, you will have no recollection who you spent Christmas with as you didn’t bother getting photos of anyone but yourself.
2. The build-up…
The 70s/80s way: An advent calendar was how you counted down the days till Christmas, and not because it had chocolate, (it didn’t) but because it was an exciting way to cross of the days through December and behind each door you had a little image that reminded you what Christmas was all about, ahhhh.
Today’s way: TV adverts start in October, the shops are filled with their Christmas stock sometimes earlier and you will probably have heard a Christmas song on the radio in the car before Halloween. By the time December 25th comes round, you’re over it.
3. Christmas TV
The 70s/80s way: Christmas TV was the centre point of your day in the 70s and 80s (once you’d opened your presents and had your dinner). In fact, even if you didn’t on a regular basis, you would always buy the Christmas TV Times and getting a big red pen to circle all the things you want to watch. As you only had one TV in the house then, it was a family decision of what you would watch when and what you would record on your VHS (remember those?)
Today’s way: Most programmes on our 1,000s of channels are repeats, so the excitement of what is on for Christmas is lost. Plus a TV in every room, means the family don’t decide what to watch together, as everyone watches what they want, where they want, and often whilst playing on their smartphone or tablet at the same time.
4. Christmas Top of the Pops
The 70s/80s way: A highlight of Christmas morning, on around 11am and it counted down the top songs of the year, month by month, ending with the big revelation of who had made it to the Christmas number one spot (based on who had bought the single, not downloaded it to their phone).
Today’s way: There is no Top of the Pops let alone Christmas special (sob sob!) and no Christmas themed number one. Just check out who won the X Factor the previous week and that will tell you which non-Christmas themed song is number one.
5. The big movie
The 70s/80s way: (TV wasn’t the centre of our world, honest!) The Christmas Day movie was a big deal. After everyone had eaten their body weight in turkey and chocolates, it was time….the movie, the one everyone wanted to see and importantly, no one had seen, so it was exciting to sit with the whole family and finally watch it.
Today’s way: Which film? There’s one on every channel and most of us have seen already and some may have downloaded it before it was even released!
6. Christmas food
The 70s/80s way: leading up to the big day the house was filled with bowls or satsumas and bowls of walnuts and Brazil nuts that you never saw in the house other than Christmas. Half the fun was trying to break into the nuts with the funny nut cracker that again only ever appeared at Christmas. A home-made sherry trifle always appeared after your traditional turkey Christmas dinner, and if you were really lucky, it would have Dream Topping! Yum! And don’t forget that huge tub of Quality Street or Roses.
Today’s way: Often Christmas dinner doesn’t even include turkey in many houses, it might be some Nigella recipe for lamb with apricots, why? Desserts will be some delicious pre-made supermarket offering that the entire street is trying this year because it has been advertised on the TV since October and has absolutely no Christmas tradition whatsoever.
7. The day
The 70s/80s way: Christmas Day was a proper holiday which meant pretty much nothing was open. The roads were quiet, the shops all closed so you had to entertain the kids at home. The most you would see of the outside was a family walk or the kids out the front trying their new bikes while the roads were empty.
Today’s way: Many pubs, restaurants and even shops open on Christmas Day now so eating out is just like any other day. Shouldn’t Christmas Day be the only day you can’t do everything?
8. The weather
The 70s/80s way: In the 70s and 80s there was always a good chance of snow at Christmas, adding to the Christmas feel and being able to go in the garden and build a snowman on Christmas Day and drink hot chocolate afterwards.
Today’s way: We’re lucky to get a flake fall on Christmas Day!
9. Carol singers
The 70s/80s way: It wasn’t uncommon in the lead up to Christmas to have carol singers knock on your door and sing a lovely rendition of Silent Night that made you go all tingly and that bit more excited for the big day.
Today’s way: Who’s knocking at the door? Carol singers? What are they? What do they want?
10. Boxing Day
The 70s/80s way: Another day at home watching the Boxing Day offerings on the box and eating as much left over food as you could physically manage. It was great because very little was open so you could actually spend time playing with your new toys or take them with you when you visited family, because that would be as far as you went. And yes kids, cold turkey and bubble squeak often was Boxing Day dinner, and no it wasn’t a punishment!
Today’s way: Pretty much everything is open as normal, there are often footy matches that dads sneak off to watch, everyone’s gifts encourage more shutting yourself away on your own to figure out and life all too quickly returns to normal, another Christmas over.