16th December 2019

This year Alzheimer's Support is asking clients, staff and volunteers to share their memories of Christmas.

Here's a few of the precious memories contributed by the people we support - memories that are all the more meaningful as other, more recent recollections fade.

We'll add more each day in the run-up to the big day.

I got married on Christmas Eve, I was only 23 at the time, my wife was 23 and a half. I was a night worker in London, printing magazines. We got married, then jumped on a train at Paddington Station and went down to Torquay where we stayed in a nice, big hotel for two weeks over Christmas and New Year for our honeymoon. We had a fantastic time and came back to our work and our life together for the next 60 years.

John with Christmas wreath

I remember as a child keeping awake on Christmas Eve, but pretending to be asleep. I remember one year a big parcel came from Canada (my aunt had married a Canadian) and I was very excited to see it. It was a lovely baby doll for me.

I was one of 11 and my father was a carpenter. Every year he would make us something out of wood like a doll's house or a truck for my brothers. For Christmas dinner we'd have a chicken that we'd reared ourselves. We would always go to Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve. We walked in a crocodile.
I remember presents – lots and lots of presents. I really wanted a china doll and one year I got one. I played with her a lot and made clothes for her too. I still had her until very recently.
My parents were Polish so our main day to celebrate was Christmas Eve. When I was very little my mum used to take me upstairs for a bath in the evening and by the time we came back down again, the ‘Christmas angel’ had delivered a beautifully decorated tree with all my presents underneath. It was magical. I always imagined her coming in through the window with her wings swishing against the glass and was sorry that I just missed her every year
My mum, sister and I used to decorate the tree we both wanted to put the angel on top.  I liked opening my present but always waited for my sister to open hers first so that I could see what she had. 
When I was a child I knew that if I stayed awake on Christmas Eve I wouldn’t get any presents. But one year I saw someone at the end of my bed and saw a flash of a red coat – I knew it was Father Christmas. The same year my mum had a baby and I remember going into her bedroom on Christmas Day and seeing her sitting up in bed and holding a baby.
Christmas 1946. Wartime over, but rationing still working. People happy, relief at no air raids!! Looking forward to New Year, waiting for my 11th birthday on the 28th.

When I was nursing at Stoke Mandeville Hospital I loved decorating the ward with the help of the patients in their wheelchairs.

One of my nicest Christmas family memories is of going to Longleat for the Festival of Light a few years ago, the house was lit up and looked magnificent. It was absolutely freezing, but the weather was crisp and clear. It was lovely and cosy and just me, my husband, daughter and her friend revelling in being together as a family. It set us all up for Christmas.

Dad really loved Christmas before he was diagnosed with dementia. It was always a big family gathering, 14 members of the family together and dad always cooked the turkey and bought the wrapping paper. He loved buying little surprises for everyone and anything Christmas related that he could find

If you've enjoyed our memories why not share your own #ChristmasMemory on social media, and make a donation to Alzheimer's Support. That way you'll be helping to keep our work going all year around.

Merry Christmas!