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Archive for December, 2011

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I like Quality Street and I like Roses…

Posted by Big Boo on December 10th, 2011

…but which is better? There’s only one way to find out! Fight!

Sorry, channelling Harry Hill there for a bit.

I wrote this week about the annual Christmas tradition of the big tin of chocolates, and back in the Eighties it was normally down to a choice between Quality Street and Roses, since these were really the only options available back then.

Long time readers of this site may remember I used to do a weekly “Saturday Survey”, so I thought I’d bring it back briefly to attempt to answer the question as to which brand of chocolates was the nation’s favourite in the Eighties.

Which big tin of chocolates did you have in your household in the Eighties?
View Results
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The Big Tin Of Christmas Chocolates

Posted by Big Boo on December 9th, 2011

Quality StreetHere is a great British Christmas tradition that is still very much alive today – the big tin of chocolates! Indeed, these days we even have rather more of a choice available to us in this area than we did back in the Eighties with relative newcomers Celebrations and Miniature Heroes.

The two big players in the Christmas sweet market in the Eighties, who are both still very popular today, were Quality Street and Roses. Our household were very much in the Quality Street camp.

We were never allowed to open the tin of Quality Street until Christmas Eve, which I think went some way towards making the whole experience of them that much sweeter (no pun intended).

On Christmas Eve my Mum would open up the tin, and put a few large handfuls out into a serving tray, which then sat on the sideboard (and topped up when necessary) along with the other Christmas staples of Orange and Lemon jelly slices, nuts and a box of Eat Me dates (which were only ever eaten by my Dad several weeks after Christmas).

My personal favourite was and still is the Green Triangle, although I’m also quite partial to the Strawberry and Orange creams. I also liked the Gooseberry cream which looked identical to the Orange cream but was in a green wrapper. They did bring this sweet back for a special edition version a couple of years back, and I had to confess that until this happened I was convinced the green fruit cream flavour had been lime, but obviously not.

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Eighties Christmas TV

Posted by Big Boo on December 7th, 2011

Christmas TVI always loved the run up to Christmas, with all the indicators that the big day would soon be upon us. It was getting colder of course, and darker earlier, and all the shops started to display their Christmas decorations (though I’m sure they never used to hang them up as early as they sometimes do these days).

As an avid goggle box guzzling Eighties child though, I think the thing that really started to indicate the coming of the Christmas season were the changes that suddenly occurred on the television. A number of changes happened, normally around the time December began, and in this post I want to discuss some of them. So, in no particular order…

The Christmas Movie and TV Specials Preview Adverts

One of the first signs that Christmas was coming was the arrival of the trailer advert that showed all the films that a channel would be boasting come Yuletide.

This was a time when we didn’t have satellite TV and therefore channels devoted to playing movies, which meant that it often took several years after their box office releases before films finally made it onto TV. Christmas was therefore a time when the TV channels had a captive audience, and so the majority of movie premiers occurred during the Yuletide break. The advert was thus always very exciting as you made a mental checklist of all the films you wanted to see.

There was also another similar trailer advert showing all the Christmas specials of various TV shows that you could look forward to watching whilst waiting for the turkey to digest.

As soon as the Christmas editions of the TV Times and Radio Times became available I would then scour the pages of them to identify all these wonderful films and shows I wanted to watch, and would note down when they were on, which channel, and how long they were, so I could also make sure I had enough video tape space to record anything I wanted to keep.

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Visiting Father Christmas

Posted by Big Boo on December 5th, 2011

Santa's GrottoIn recent years our local shopping centre, like most shopping centres across the country, has given the younger inhabitants of our town a chance to go and visit Father Christmas in order to let him know what they would like for their presents on the big day.

This year however it was reported in the local newspaper that Mr. Christmas would not be visiting our town, basically because it seemed nobody bothered to organise it this year for various reasons I won’t bore you with. Anyway, this saddened me somewhat as when my sister and I were little going to visit Father Christmas was one of the highlights of the year for us.

There were two options for us when it came to visiting Santa’s Grotto. The first was closest to home, in our home town’s independent department store. This shop used to devote a small corner of the toy department to the Grotto, which was a pretty simple wooden shell with a curtain for a door, with Father Christmas sat inside.

St. Nicholas was nestled between two tubs of toys (boys and girls) and after saying you had been good this year and reeling off the list of things you’d like to have you were allowed to choose a toy and that was that.

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Stocking Fillers - Suppliers to Father Christmas
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It’s Advent Calendar Fun Time Again!

Posted by Big Boo on December 1st, 2011

Advent CalendarDecember is here and it’s time once again for you to relive your youth by opening up the doors on the Child of the 1980’s Advent Calendar!

In fact, we’ve made it so easy for you that you don’t even have to fiddle about trying to get the perforations to tear on the little cardboard windows. The doors open magically each day all by themselves, so all you have to do is visit the page in your web browser.

Each door contains something from the Eighties, and if you click on it the power of the Intynet will take you straight to the relevant page on this very site so you can learn more about that particular thing.

Click on the following link for some Advent Calendar Fun!