Christmas was so much easier in the days of Morecambe and Wise

Christmas was so much simpler in the days of Morecambe and Wise, says Mark Murphy PICTURE: PA

Christmas was so much simpler in the days of Morecambe and Wise, says Mark Murphy PICTURE: PA - Credit: PA

Where has the year gone?

All of a sudden it’s the Strictly Come Dancing final on BBC 1 tonight, the Sports Personality of the Year award tomorrow night and Harry Redknapp winning I’m a Celebrity is fast becoming a distant memory.

My mum always used to say to me time goes faster when you get older and I never believed her, perhaps I should have done because it seems to be going faster than ever!

The speed at which December is passing is almost supersonic. It’s really caught me out this year and if I’m brutally honest I’m nowhere near ready for Christmas.

The Christmas tree and decorations are not up yet but I have managed to put the lights up outside.

So I think you can imagine what I’ll be up to tomorrow, a trip up the loft to retrieve the decorations and a trip out to pick up a tree.

Then with it’s a Wonderful Life playing on the television, it’ll be trim up time.

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It’s always an emotional moment getting the decorations out of the box; each and every one of them has a very special meaning. Some of mine go right back to my childhood and remind me so much of the Christmases of my childhood.

Paper chains were strung across the ceiling and a balloon in each corner of the room. The tree was a small artificial one and spray snow in the window.

We had a string of coloured Christmas lights in the front window and an Advent candle, never a Calendar.

When it came to Christmas booze, it was a far cry from the volume many of us have at home today. A shelf in the pantry was covered in Christmas wrapping paper to store it all on. It would be a few bottles of Tolly Cobbold beer from the off licence for Dad and a few Babychams for Mum. I would be allowed a little shandy, I felt so grown up.

Christmas television was wonderful with the Two Ronnies, Morecombe and Wise plus a James Bond film you’d not seen for years since it was in the cinema.

All our family lived nearby and it was a time to get together and share good times together.

When it came to presents I was very lucky, it’s only now that I look back and realise just how lucky I was. Mum and dad weren’t well off but somehow they managed to get me what was on my Christmas list which was carefully selected as soon as mums Great Universal catalogue had come out.

Like many people I’d love to try and recapture the magic of those days. Today everyone seems in such a rush and everything seems so commercialised.

It’s easy to look back and think things were better back in the day but I really think we need to slow down and soak up what is a truly magical time.

Let’s think about the people who are no longer with us in person. Why not raise a glass to them?

I now it can be tough if you’ve lost a loved one and are on your own, maybe for the first time but try to remember the good times you shared together, no one can take that away.

Why not reach out to someone, a relative, friend or neighbour who may be lonely. Maybe pick up the phone and have a chat with them or call around in person. Don’t just drop the Christmas card in the door, why not knock and say hi?

There’s still time to spread a little Christmas cheer and good luck if like me you’ll be fighting the Christmas tree lights this weekend, what’s the betting they don’t work?

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