Win tickets to Christmas at Highclere Castle

Please note: this prize draw is now closed.

This month we have three prizes that are perfect for Christmas, from our partner, Viking, who have long been associated with Highclere Castle, the real Downton Abbey.

The Castle opens its doors to visitors at Christmas 5th – 7th December providing a chance to admire the spectacular 24-foot-high Christmas tree in the Saloon and the beautiful Christmas decorations, as well as touring the state rooms and gallery bedrooms. On the lawns of the Castle, explore a festive shopping marquee with a selection of handpicked stall holders, selling unique gifts, decorations and festive food ideal for Christmas gifts. There will also be the opportunity to explore the gardens (weather permitting). And entry to the famous Egyptian Exhibition is included too – a fascinating display and record of the 5th Earl’s involvement with Howard Carter and the discovery of Pharaoh Tutankhamun’s extraordinary tomb.

Two winners will each receive, courtesy of Viking, a pair of tickets to Christmas at Highclere: Castle Tours and Shopping for Gifts and a signed copy of Lady Carnarvon’s book, Christmas at Highclere.

And one runner-up will receive, courtesy of Viking, a copy of Lady Carnarvon’s book, Christmas at Highclere.

The prize draw closes 17th November
so we can get the tickets to our winners.

How to win our fabulous prize

Step 1: make sure you're signed up to our newsletter

Step 2: any of the following actions will earn you 1 entry

New members
  • Is this your first visit to Silver Travel Advisor? Then simply Register as a member for automatic entry.
Existing members
  • Comment below to tell us what your favourite Christmas memory is.
  • Or write a review about any kind of holiday, day out, restaurant, hotel stay or attraction visited (each review counts as one entry)
  1. No employee, agent, subcontractor or director of Viking or Silver Travel Advisor nor anyone else connected with the draw, nor any member of such person’s family, is eligible to enter.
  2. You do not need to purchase anything to enter the draw.
  3. Entries for the prize draw will be accepted until the closing date 17th November 2023.
  4. The name of the winner(s) will be displayed on this website. The winner(s) must agree to participate in any reasonable press or PR activity relating to the competition. The winner(s) must agree to his/her name and/or photo and/or likeness being used for publicity purposes, without compensation.
  5. The winner cannot transfer the prize to another person. The prize is non-refundable. There are no cash or credit alternatives to the specified prize.
  6. The winner must hold a valid passport and comprehensive travel insurance if travelling overseas. It is the winner’s responsibility to check any visa and health requirements for their journey.
  7. No responsibility is accepted for entries, notices, acceptances, tickets, goods or other documentation lost or delayed in the post.
  8. Winners and their companions will be solely responsible for any tax liability incurred as a result of this offer. The organisers’ decision is final, and no correspondence will be entered.
  9. This promotion will be governed by English Law.

Enter this month's Cook Club prize draw

May 2024 – Baking Yesteryear

Please note: this prize draw is now closed. / Win a copy of Baking Yesteryear, a decade-by-decade cookbook highlighting the best (and a few of the worst) baking recipes from the 20th century….

Enter this month's Book Club prize draw

303 Responses

  1. My favourite memories will always be those shared with all the family from Great grandma down to the smallest of our grandchildren

  2. It has to be having my first born home just in time for Christmas, the first grandchild in my family. We thought it would be nice to have all the the family at our home to celebrate and my goodness we didn’t realize it was going to be so much work, even with frozen stuffing. It was lovely though and it’s the best memory of having my parents, family and new born with us.

  3. My favourite memory was from last year during the pandemic my niece Georgia got stranded in New Zealand she then decided to make her life there and has a job and a boyfriend last Christmas on Christmas Eve she appeared on the doorstep at home in London to surprise us all and spend Christmas with us

  4. My favourite memory has always been wat hing my kids put out their santa plates with a carrot and mince pie and beer and hanging up their stocking.

  5. My most memorable moment was as a child going to Christmas Eve mass and when we came out it had snowed, so unexpected real Christmas surprise.

  6. Christmas Day with the family, undoing gifts and having a lovely lunch. Eating too many chocolates and playing games.

  7. Childhood Christmas with my lovely big kid Dad he loved Christmas, not been the same since he left us. Heaven must be having a great time with him at Christmas

  8. For the past few years my fondest memories are taking the children ( and excited parents) around our park ( Beale wildlife park) on our narrow gauge railway , hopefully the same this Christmas

  9. My favourite Christmas memory is coming from a large family of 5 brothers & me only girl & sharing a chocolate bar not having a whole one & playing lots of games

  10. Childhood memory of visiting the Lewis’s store in Manchester to see Santa arrive down the dome in the centre of the store, then viewing the beautiful Christmas shop window displays

  11. Winning this would mean I could take my friend of over 40 years to Highclere Castle, somewhere she desperately wants to visit; the Castle decorated for Christmas AND a shopping opportunity would be her idea of bliss. I’m pretty sure I’d enjoy it too, especially the Egyptian Collection and the garden. A brilliant prize to win.

    1. Santander arriving on an elephant for our party for all the children of the Tea Gardens in the Dooars, West Bengal, India

  12. We booked a hotel stay in October near the castle hoping to visit. Unfortunately it was closed so hope we can win this lovely prize.

  13. Spending time with my family.grandparents.aunts and uncles Having wonderful family time ..wish everyone was here to spend a Christmas one more time

  14. Going with our family to lapland, we chose one of the smaller operators and it was just wonderful. Watching our granddaughter meet santa in a forest cabin after travelling there by reindeer was the most magical thing I’ve ever done. I Believe 🎅

  15. My favourite Christmas memory is when the bedroom door opened and a golden puppy came into the room. How my Dad managed to get the puppy into the house the night before I will never know. We named her Goldie and whilst she was the family dog I spent a lot of time out on my own walking her.

  16. Had a lovely day at Highclere. Would really be amazing to see it at Christmas time though. Fingers crossed.

  17. One Christmas morning, when I was a very little girl, I burst into the lounge where I hoped Father Christmas would have left a gift for me (as I had tried to be very good!)….…and there, right next to the fireplace, was a beautiful blackboard and easel, something I so wanted…..BUT……the most exciting bit, was that Father Christmas had opened the new pack of chalks and ACTUALLY written a personal message to me! Oh I was so overwhelmed that he had paused to take the trouble out of his very busy schedule to write to me! …AND he knew my name!
    I’m 71 years of age now and that precious memory will remain with me forever!

    I was enthralled The REAL Father Christmas actually wrote a personal message on a much wanted black board and easel

  18. Spending Christmas 🎄 ⛄ time in Ireland with all the family. Very special times which are sadly missed.

  19. My favourite Christmas memory is spending Xmas Day on Green Island on the Great Barrier Reef. The weather was unbelievably good, the setting was magical and to top it off, we had a trip opn a helicopter trip to view the island from above.

  20. My favourite Christmas memory is going for a walk in the snow on a rare white Christmas with my Grandad. Everyone else was relaxing after Christmas dinner, so it was just us two, it was like Narnia, it was magical! He passed away when I was 21 and I still miss him 41 years later. 💖❄️

  21. Shivering on the shore at the Christmas Day swim in West Wales and then the ultimate joy of mulled wine and a bacon sarnie before heading home. Wonderful memories.

  22. Our parents decorated the house and put up the Christmas tree on Christmas eve after we had gone to bed. It was so magical and special coming down on Christmas morning to see this wonder that had happened overnight

  23. When my son was around 8 years old we got him a new bike – he also had a cork pin board which he thought was wonderful – when we took him to the kitchen to see the bile he said ‘oh a bike’ and went back to play with the pin board! Kids eh????

  24. My favourite Christmas memory is waking up early in the hope Father Christmas had come down the chimney, my excitement when finding out that indeed he had and playing with my new toys while mum cooked Christmas dinner followed by the Queens Speech and a heart warming film. Happy innocent days!

  25. One of my favourite Christmas memories is viewing the fabulous Christmas light display at the Botannical gardens in Berlin, Germany and sipping mulled wine.

  26. Lovely family Xmas me and 6 brothers and sister with my Mother baking all sorts of cakes and pastries sitting playing family games

  27. When a small child I was told Father Christmas would not leave any presents if I saw him delivering them in my bedroom. I kept my head under the bed clothes early Christmas morning for ages until I carefully peeked out and saw he had already been! With relief I shouted to my older sister, but as this was 3a.m. she was not best pleased, neither was my mother when she came to see what all the squealing was about! Lovely memory though of innocence

  28. My favourite christmas memory is laying teh christmas table with mam. We’d hunt for foliage on christmas evening morning and then lay table in the early evening. Always a lovely memory. Simple but lovely!

  29. I have memory when I was about 9 of being snowed in over the Christmas period in a village at my aunts house . No-one could get home so there were people sleeping on sofas and chairs and the floor . I was in a single bed with 4 of my cousins. I thought it was such fun . But not sure if the adults did .

  30. I can remember my father taking me to the social club in Kitale in Kenya where we lived when I was very small,and Father Christmas flew over in a helicopter throwing out handfuls of sweets before landing and giving out presents to all the children.

  31. My favourite Christmas memory is my Grandma staying for Christmas and myself and my brother opening our stockings with her to give our parents more of a lie in. It was just a lovely morning ritual as she lived a long way away and we’d never be allowed in her room except for that Christmas tradition.

  32. Having my family.Aunts .Uncles and cousins all around at my grandparents house .Children in one room and the adults in an other all having the most magical Christmas meal .So much love in there.The Queens speech.Then to play party games. And falling into bed shattered. Wonderful memories

  33. As a child, I remember smelling the Christmas pudding my Nan was baking, listening to the carol Silent Night on my granddads wireless and feeling the warm cosiness of my hand me down pajamas..

  34. Xmas day on a beach in Benidorm with a load of strangers who became friends in a morning. Warm sun, cold fizz, lots of hand holding as we rushed into the sea. Brilliant!

  35. My Christmas memory was coming back for three days R & R from Belfast in 1972 at Christmas. I missed most of it sleeping !!

  36. My favourite memory is when I was a child growing up in Singapore in the 60’s. We had our Xmas turkey and after would walk to the beach and swim in the sea, while our parents would sit on the sand.

  37. My favourite memory is when our retriever Nanna was a pup. Not only did she have a penchant for balloons which resulted in multicolour poops, but she loved the long curtains and our Christmas night in front of the TV was punctuated by her opening and shutting the curtains until she wore herself out 😂

  38. A family (7 of us) visit to Christmas at Blenheim palace light trail, followed by shopping for Christmas gifts and a sumptuous meal. We then stayed together in a lovely house in Oxford and enjoyed xmas in the town. Wonderful memories, lots to do and plenty of time to cook, relax and play games with my family

  39. My favourite Christmas memory was my granddaughter’s face when my son walked into the room on Christmas morning dressed as Father Christmas and then gave out presents to the family. She never realised why her uncle missed seeing him!

  40. Favourite Christmas was having all the family, from both sides of the world, altogether in Malaysia. Doing it again in Thailand this year. So excited.

  41. Going to my first pantomime and sitting up in the gods watching a villain who would still scare children now!

  42. My favourite memory is visiting TJ Hughes department store with my nana to see the dancing waters. I was mesmerised.

  43. As a traveller of a certain age, it is very reassuring to have a site that I can get information about the travel destinations before booking.

  44. One of my favourite Christmas memories was our last family Christmas with my in laws. We lived in Scotland they lived in Wales. We transported all the food for the day down to Wales whilst staying in a hotel. Cooked & prepared a lovely lunch & dinner. We have a wonderful day well at least I thought we had, but upon leaving my elderly & now disabled father in laws response was ” well thank goodness thats over for another year” Still brings a smile to my face even now 🙂 Couldn’t be cross with him bless him

  45. One of my favourite memories of Christmas was coming home from School when I was about 6 years old, to find a trestle table the length of the living room covered with poopy heads ,teasels, pine cones and all manor of greenery. Also gold spray and glitter. My mother had started the Christmas decorations, She was an amazing florist and produced such delightful things. I was so exited I ran up stairs and put on my favourite party dress as it felt so magical. I have carried the decorating bug with me ever since and would love to see beautiful Highclere at it’s Christmassy best!

  46. Christmas in the Snow in Norway with my family.My Son -in -law had to stand in for Santa as he was a bit busyMy Granddaughter loved every minute.Building Memories

  47. When visiting our son in Canada one Christmas, we went snow shoeing up Grouse Mountain for first time and it started to snow. It was a beautiful and magic experience that I will not forget.

  48. Favourite Christmas 🎄 memorie first time I saw santa claus 🧑‍🎄 I’m 59 now and still believe in him. The magic of Christmas.

  49. My favourite Christmas memory is of mum playing the piano and all the family singing Carol’s in the front room that was only used on special occasions!

  50. My mum’s last Christmas with us enjoying a candlelit Xmas dinner during a power cut!!

  51. My favourite Christmas memory is going to my Grandmother’s and spending the day with Aunts, Uncles and Cousins.

  52. One of my earliest memories was my parents bought a tape recorder with the big reels. I remember my mum & dad singing ‘Rambling Rose’ into a microphone 🎤

  53. I remember Christmasses in my childhood when the snow lay deep and crisp on the ground and we walked up the town High Street on Christmas morning with snow over our wellington boots and having snowball fights in the middle of the normally bustling High Street. The bakers was open and the smell of fresh bread and cakes wafted through the air and everyone talked to each other and church bells rang in the distance. It always felt like I had stepped into a Christmas card but it was real “back in the day”!!

  54. I am now 65. But when I was a small child my family of 4 girls and mum and dad, used to take the ferry from Dartford Essex to Kent (no tunnel then) to see my grandparents. I loved Christmas time when all us girls would be sitting in the back of the car, watching for Christmas trees in houses. Daubed in red, blue and green lights. No fancy lights then! When we arrived at my nans, the Christmas smells of the pudding being made or special Christmas treats was so overwhelmingly comforting. Sleeping in a double bed with 2-3 sisters covered by an eiderdown was a real experience! No central heating, just a lounge fire. Nan and grandad were pretty poor but they made the best of it as they could. Basic, simple Christmas but warmth in the home and in our hearts forever.

  55. I’m sure it would be wonderful experience. I recently visited Basildon House (Downtons London house) and that was a treat.

  56. My favourite Christmas memory was seeing my dad playing with my brothers scalextric on Christmas Eve when he thought we were all asleep

  57. Sitting on top of a mountain in the Alps drinking mulled wine with all my close family Sun shinning and glorious views all around. Perfect

  58. I used to love waking up on Christmas morning to open my gifts from Santa.
    My favourites were the sweet shop and the post office and the obligatory tangerine.
    Happy Days!

  59. My favourite Christmas holiday was on a cruise ship, Christmas day Father Christmas arrives, the afternoon sees s watching the latest Downton Abbey movie with a glass of bubbles, and to finish the best Christmas ever, a traditional Christmas dinner with all the trimmings plus a lovely boxed Christmas bauble which hangs on our tree every year.

  60. My best Christmas memory was when I was around 7 years old and I woke to find a huge (to me then) fashion doll at the foot of my bed. I had originally wanted a Sindy doll, but this one was so pretty, and had such beautiful hair that I was totally captivated by her. She stayed my friend for some years after that Christmas.

  61. Favourite Christmas memory, my late husband took me to Brugge Christmas market we travelled back Christmas Eve stopping at Ashford outlet village. 2 weeks before he was killed.

  62. Spending Christmas day in the British Club in Singapore their buffet was to die for and my then 3 year old ate the cherries that were the garnish for the prawns but did leave the stalks on display

  63. Finding a silver sixpence in my grandmothers Christmas pudding. A real treat and a true reminder of Christmas values.

  64. My best memory at Christmas was five years ago when my daughter announced she was having our first grandchild, nothing can beat that! Our lives have been so enriched since our grandson arrived.

  65. Waking up and seeing that Santa had eaten the PBJ sandwich and drank the milk. Also getting 6 seater toboggan one year and us 6 kids sledding for hours on it.

  66. As a lover of Christmas each year is special and I am fortunate to be able to spend it with family, making more memories.

  67. Best Christmas memory was a hot one.Sitting on christmas day morning with a cocktail in hand on the Sandy Lane Beach in Barbados,not very christmassy but Heaven.

  68. Always enjoy reading and considering NEW options. Now we have the time, it’s great to go explore
    Recently enjoyed an October week in and around Weymouth. What a pretty litt le seaside escape, with a long, flat prom – perfect for everyone to wander or push their walkers. Lots of eating / coffee spots, plenty if benches for essential sitting stops. √√√√

  69. My favourite Christmas memory was seeing the Christmas tree lite up with the presents laying underneath

  70. Favourite Christmas memory? Hard to choose from so many but that excitement and anticipation when finding your stuffed full, lumpy, crackling stocking on your bed on Christma morning is one of the best.

  71. Highclere is an amazing building. It’s a definite one to visit – even without the TV connection. I’ve not seen it decorated for Christmas but it must be magical!

  72. Christmas day in the Pyrenees – midnight mass followed later by Baked Alaska instead of Christmas pudding

  73. Fave Christmas memory.
    About 5 years old , cousins popped over with a Kitten.
    ( Parents had no knowledge)
    Free present that lasted 15 years.

  74. My favourite Christmas memory is having all the family together, including my grandparents, on Christmas Day. Once we’d eaten all our delicious food, opened present’s, we would then watch the Queen’s speech, the entertainment would then begin with the traditional family game of charades. It was always such a giggle as gran would never remember that she wasn’t allowed to talk.

  75. My favourite Christmas memories was being together as a family, next to the open fire, with the smell of pine needles from the tree and cinnamon and spices from cooking, playing, reading and feeling relaxed.

  76. My favourite memory is when my sister and I received the game Mousetrap for Christmas. We eagerly tore open the box and spent ages assembling it before breakfast. Only then did we look at the instructions and realise that the game consisted of assembling the trap.

  77. My favourite holiday was to India where we visited a rural market ie not a tourist one. There were huge bags of flower heads in many colours, ready to be purchased to make up into garlands, and the scent of marigolds and spices filled the air.

  78. My favourite Christmas memory is from when I was a child. My 2 sisters and I used to race downstairs early Christmas morning to open our presents. One year we got our first record player as a gift for all of us. The excitement of placing a vinyl on there was immense.

  79. Going to Woolworths (1956) with my mother and picking out a doll and hoping Santa would deliver it.

  80. Seeing the look on my first grandchild’s face when Father Christmas visited us on Christmas afternoon! I’ll never forget it.

  81. When my first son was born, the new grandparents were so excited of their first grandchild, it was very special to see my mum and dad so happy

  82. My favourite memory of Christmas is a few years back, when we had coal fires, we’re sitting down in the lounge after eating our lunch and a few Christmas drinks when we had a fall of soot from the chimney. My brother in law was covered in soot and was snoozing at the time, he didn’t wake up so we dusted him down and left him snoring.

  83. All those Christmases when the children were little. Staying up late, on Christmas Eve, after they’d gone to bed, wrapping presents, and playing favourite tunes, with a cocktail. Then reveling in the hoy and excitement that only comes on Christmas morning.

  84. I’ll always remember the look on my small children’s faces the first time that their granddad quietly lowered a ‘hot air’ balloon/basket from the ceiling over the dining table. It had a Santa figure inside and small presents for everyone. We still use the Santa figure every Christmas when distributing table presents during a break between the main course and pudding.

  85. My favourite Christmas memory, after more than 50 years, still remains the visit from uncle Frank and auntie Inez on 27th December of each year to distribute toys and some welcome pocket money, at a time when both of those items were in very short supply. The anticipation was palpable and they always managed to beat our expectations. God bless their souls!

  86. Just getting together with family & friends, it doesn’t have to be extravagant or cost much, time with loved ones is precious.

  87. my favourite christmas memory is as a child the whole extended family together ,for a few days ,love, laughter fun and happiness
    pressies ,surprizes, noise and food.

  88. In 1992 I was made redundant from my job, with 2 young children to care for I could have been sensible and looked for another job using the redundancy money to continue paying the mortgage. But I decided to take them on a 6 week holiday to Australia to visit friends and relatives. The trip was wonderful and so was the weather, on our return to the UK on the 8th December it was snowing, there were Christmas lights everywhere. The kids faces on returning to the UK and seeing Christmas without the long build up is something I’ve never forgotten. They much preferred it to the long build up that we always seemed to get, it’s even worse these days, and they said it made Christmas so much more exciting.

  89. My favourite memory of Christmas was when I came home from infant school one day and proudly presented my dad with the “toilet roll Father Christmas” I had made for him that day. As soon as he received it, he put it straight on the top of the Christmas tree he had literally just finished decorating. Although its looking a little battered now, he has put this on the top of his tree every year since then. I am 45 now!

  90. My daughter’s first Christmas and seeing the delight on her face as presents were unwrapped. Absolutely priceless.

  91. The first Christmas with my lovely new wife of three months. The enjoyment leading upto it, opening our presents and seeing what her children and grandchild had got before sitting down to the Christmas Dinner, just the two of us

  92. My favourite for Christmas is a roaring fire in an old fashioned hotel with a glass of mulled wine

  93. My grandmother had a hotel back in the fifties and sixties. My favourite memory is going up the steps to the entrance hall where there was a big Christmas 🎄 tree and a wooden reindeer. The wooden reindeer had previously been on an old roundabout fair ride. Very old as itwas wooden.

  94. Highclere is a fantastic house to visit, bringing back memories of Downton, plus Egyptian finds downstairs in the basement. I have not visited for ages and never at Christmas so would love to win this prize.

  95. My childhood Christmases hold all my favourite memories. Just feeling cosy and secure, with the same old traditions each year. Finally getting those coloured metal clip-on candle holders at the right angle to keep the candles upright!

  96. I remember waking in the very early hours of a Christmas morning to find that Santa had been – and left my sister and I a beautifully dressed (by our clever seamstress mum) pedigree doll each! I can still remember the excitement and the smell of their newness – and that warm cosy feeling as we snuggled back down with our new companions – magical! Mum sadly passed away last December, but she and dad had given us the very best gift of all – an idyllic childhood!

  97. Spending time with our family and their children – our grandchildren – esp on Christmas Day after a grand home-cooked dinner and then watching their faces as they open their presents

  98. Family Christmas with parents and my children all round dining table enjoying Christmas lunch followed by board game. Miss those no longer with us.

  99. The Christmas days of childhood, making paper chains from gummed coloured strips and opening out the flat half-bell shapes into wonderful 3D decorations.

  100. My favourite Christmas memory is making mince pies with the family. Rolling the pastry, cutting the shapes, filling the pies with mince meat. The feel of the pastry & the flour dusting the board, the sweetness of the mincemeat on my fingers. The smell of them cooking in the oven, and the warmth and delicious taste when they are ready. Plus the smiles of everyone as they get to sample them.

  101. I love your emails and when I feel brave enough to venture abroad again will certainly give you a try.

  102. My favourite Christmas memories are when I was very young, waking up exceedingly early on Christmas morning, opening my stocking and oohing and aching over everything, only to be rudely interrupted by my parents demanding I go back to sleep as it was 3am!

  103. We usually have our meal on Christmas Eve, leaving Christmas Day free to relax and eat buffet style. Not long ago, the meal turned out even better than usual, and we had home made sticky toffee pudding, and it was delicious. We watched a film in our pj’s after walking the dog, and the next morning, after another walk, we opened our presents, simple, but well considered gifts. It was all just so nice and relaxed.

  104. My favourite Christmas Memory is arriving in Southampton after sailing back from Australia in 1970. We were some of the original £10 Pom’s so I had never seen snow before and going up on deck in the early hours as we sailed up the Solent on Christmas Day, it was amazing to see snow everywhere. After leaving the ship we spent Christmas with our relatives in the countryside covered in snow and loved the total difference from an Australian Christmas which was usually spent at the beach enjoying the summer sunshine.

  105. My favourite Christmas moment is watching mum taking the turkey from the oven before we all sit down to eat.

  106. My favourite Christmas is from the 60’s, 70’s is walking home from school and stopping at our local Co-op display window. I would spend hours looking at all the toys and of course wishing Santa would at least bring me a Cindy doll instead of the nurses uniform that he brought every other year.

  107. My best Christmas was welcoming home my second son born on the 22nd December, released from hospital just in time. He is now 43 and still gets home for Christmas but will now our two grandsons.

  108. My favourite Christmas memory is ice skating at Hampton Court when my daughter was 5 ❤️

  109. Finding where Mum & Dad hid our Christmas presents and playing with them before Christmas, then hiding them again from where we had found them. Mum & Dad never knew!

  110. My favourite Christmas memory is being at my Nan and Grandad’s as a child, and us all playing board games with full bellies and laughing together.

  111. The birth of my daughter on 7 December 1999, to complete my family (she has two older brothers)each year she has her birthday presents under the tree (and still does) and then a photo of the 3 of them on Christmas day with the Christmas gifts under the tree. I have a collection of them now and can see they grow from year to year (the eldest will be 30 soon)

  112. My favourite Christmas memory was our family tradition of having pork pie (sent from kind relatives in Yorkshire) with a glass of sherry for elevenses on Christmas Day, while enjoying the aromas of the turkey cooking in the oven. We still continue this tradition now …

  113. I used to love Boxing Day more than Xmas Day when I was a child, because that was when my nana and grandpa would come round to our house for their dinner, being brought by my uncle and aunt, so it was nice to see them as well. We would have a second Xmas dinner , with their presents and crackers, and it was so cosy and fun.

  114. When a child – So simple ,but just remembering that sense of excitement and anticipation feeling all the presents that were in our stockings at the end of our beds during the middle of the night. Then our parents apparent surprise at what Father Christmas had given us

  115. A hot bath shared with my little brother ready to step into new pyjamas and both of us determined to stay awake to see the man himself. Then waking about 4am only to find he’d been!

  116. With views of the past, present and future Highclere Castle brings a nostalgic Christmas experience of excitement, warmth and nostalgia

  117. Playing games in the evening with extended family and friends – everybody together enjoying each other company.

  118. My dad reading “Twas the Night Before Christmas” to me when I was a child.

    My first Christmas memory was finding a wooden dolls high chair and a dolls chair for my Tiny Tears doll on Christmas morning.

  119. As one of six kids back in the 50’s getting up at 4 a.m. to see if Santa had been and really appreciating the one present my loving parents scrimped and saved to buy me.

  120. My favourite Christmas memory was in 1956. We went to midnight Mass and when we came out of the door the snow had fallen. It was magical! I made a snowball and rolled it down the hill from the church to our house. We all pushed it and by the time we reached our home the snowball was massive. We put another snowball on top and made it into a snowman. Perfect!

  121. My memory involves seeing the looks on our daughters’ faces when they opened an envelope on Christmas day, ages 10 & 8, inside the envelope was a note telling them that we were going to Florida on holiday AND they would get the opportunity to swim with dolphins! PRICELESS

  122. As a child, I was on an ocean liner returning from Australia to England. To my delight, Father Christmas left my present at the end of my bed. It was a netball, and of course I couldn’t play with it, otherwise it would have gone overboard! Child cruelty at its best 😂

  123. My favourite Christmas memory is last Christmas 2022 when after I had lost my husband after being together for 59 years, I met a new lovely man who I met in my local area. He is also a widow and he loves Tenerife so last year he took me to an all inclusive resort for Christmas and New Year. Such a pleasure to meet a new man in my life at my age and having a great time.
    He has also booked this coming Christmas at another all inclusive resort in Tenerife, So whoopee.

  124. My favourite Christmas memory is opening a brand new Atari console on Christmas morning and playing space invaders.

  125. My favourite Christmas memory is our Christmases in Sri Lanka. We would go out by Tuktuk to look at all of the nativity scenes around peoples homes which were so large and so much effort put into them. Everyone joined in. There were decorations and music everywhere, giving Christmas feel everywhere we went, even shopping.
    OnChristmas Eve at dinner time when father Christmas would visit whilst we were eating our special Christmas dinner Dressed in his finery and wearing imaculate white gloves. (I remember the gloves.) his sack had a present for everyone, Such memorable times.

  126. I would love to win tickets to Christmas at Highclere Castle. Apart from its “Downton Abbey” connections, the Egyptian Exhibition looks fascinating and the opportunity to buy some different Christmas gifts would be amazing.

  127. As a child it was always decorating our real Christmas tree and putting the star I’d made at school, on the top.

  128. My favourite xmas memory is as a child having a brilliant xmas eve party at my great aunts with all family members, games ,food, laughter this is xmas to me.

  129. Going into labour on Christmas Day. My first baby was born on Boxing Day 5 days early. I went on to train as a midwife.

  130. So silly and not been seen for a while … As a child woke up and Snow half way up the back door ..the Turkey was already in the oven and smelled wonderful.. I believe it went in on a low gas all night.

  131. Visiting Catherine Palace in St. Petersburg. There was a Russian veterans band playing a Viennese waltz. We were standing in the rain waiting to go into the palace. I grabbed hold of my partner and we started dancing the Viennese Waltz around this huge parade ground to the cheers and applause from around 200 people.
    She said to me afterwards, your such a showman!!!!

  132. Of Christmas with my Mum as she died when I was 12 and it was never the same. She was Irish so Christmas was one big party for all our family and friends.

  133. The castle looks amazing so I would love to take my wife there especially as she is a Downtown Abbey fan. My own best Christmas memories are the simple home celebrations with our family with the Christmas meal, presents, games and of course the mulled wine.

  134. Favourite Christmas memory is watching m daughter & sons in their navity plays. They always brought a tear to my eyes.
    Our grandsons are doing the same thing now.

  135. Christmas on the beach in Australia with my husband & family from Scotland and Australia

  136. My favourite Christmas memory is when my single mum brought me a bike, without any help from my dad.

  137. My favourite memory of Christmas is waking up in the 1950s to a freezing cold bedroom and seeing Santa’s sack at the side of my bed. Such delight to find a tangerine inside from Santa. It tasted so much better than any other tangerine all year!

  138. A magical trip to Salzburg in the cold Christmasy weather including coffee and cake at Mozart’s favourite cafe, a trip to the Silent Night church in the mountains and Midnight Mass with amazing choral music 🎵.

  139. I have many magical childhood memories of Christmas and amongst my favourites are leaving treats out for Santa and his reindeer on Christmas eve and my sister and I very quietly opening our stockings left at the end of our beds on Christmas morning, trying not to wake up mum and dad!

  140. Putting Christmas decorations up with mum and grandma on Christmas Eve, how times have changed. My kind want them up by 1st December!

  141. Running into my mum and dad’s room and jumping into their bed to open pressies on Christmas morning.

  142. We allways look forward to the Silver Travel Advisor emails, to see what is on offer and the draws/competitions.

  143. Would so enjoy Highclere. I would bring my younger sister who is a Downton fanatic. Your magazine is always so interesting.

  144. We were lucky enough to be in Florida USA over Christmas and it was amazing! All of the malls were decorated beautifully as were the attractions and yet it was sunny and warm with a beautiful blue sky.
    One to remember for sure!

  145. My favourite Christmas Memory is when I visited my Aunties after Midnight Mass and being served home made Christmas Cake Mince pie and Sherry in front of a roaring fire

  146. My favourite Christmas memory, is being 3 years old on Christmas eve, so excited for Santa in the morning. As I slept, I dreamt that I really saw him flying in his sleigh with reindeers outside my house. When I woke up and found my stocking, I was so excited, telling my parents that I really saw him out of my window the night before 🥰

  147. My favourite Christmas memory is a holiday in Ambleside, the Lake District. The weather was bitterly cold, but my husband and I stayed in a lovely boarding house which served beautiful food. We went for a long walk one day, got lost and came upon a pub which was closed. The rain was lashing down and we knocked on the door of the pub. The landlord opened the door, got the log fire burning and served us piping hot soup with warm bread rolls. Once we were warmed up, got the directions back to Ambleside, we were on our way. It was a wonderful holiday crossing over to the New Year.

  148. My favourite Christmas memory is as a little girl and coming down on Christmas morning and seeing a dolls house my Daddy had made for me under the tree. I was only about 5 years old and was so very excited and happy

  149. My favourite Christmas memory is making mince pies with my children and then my grandchildren to the sound of Christmas carols on the radio or CD.

  150. As a child returning from a winter trip to Ireland and finding our Christmas presents sitting in the hearth and part way in the chimney. It was a magical sight for me and my younger siblings

  151. My favourite Christmas memory is being taken by my parents as a young child to London’s West End to see Father Christmas and Uncle(?) Holly at Gamages department store – so exciting!

  152. Waking up to a Christmas sack at the end of the bed, Christmas dinner with my aunts & grandfather & the afternoon in front of a roaring real fire.

  153. My fave xmas holiday was in 2001 I did cruise Singapore to Sydney stayed there at a lovely guest house they even opened presents in front of me best time ever

  154. We’ve been to Highclere twice now in the spring & summer. We had a wonderful time exploring the house and grounds (my wife loves Downton and I enjoyed the Egyptian exhibition). This prize will make a perfect visit with a subtle change to the season.

  155. Hunting for the silver coin in the Christmas Pudding shortly after the house had often nearly gone up in flames with the brandy being lit on the Pudding.

  156. My favourite Christmas memory is having all my family, including all the grandchildren for Christmas Day at home.

  157. I am still moved by the wonderful memory of my daughter’s face when she first laid eyes of Father Christmas.

  158. My favourite Christmas memory is of my parents, brother and our respective children sharing Christmas lunch at our parents home and the after-lunch walk along snow or frost-covered paths in our rural village. Sadly our parents are now passed, our family set-ups have changed and the rural walkways have disappeared under new house builds. My remaining family still meet up around Christmas but my brother chooses to spend Christmas Day abroad on holiday and the now grown up children have their own family time. I spend Christmas Day with my son and this prize to Highclere Castle would go along way to making up for the Christmas past we so much miss.

  159. As a little girl about 6 years old, I lived on a railway station as my father was a Station Master. We loved the steam trains. The house was very big but old and cold so we always wore lots of layers. Christmas came wrapped up in my brother’s rugby shirt and sicks filled with oranges, nuts and chocolates. Coal fires and homemade decorations.

  160. My fondest memory of Christmas was with my first family, with my uncle John playing piano and us all standing around the piano singing carols. Then John would write up his diary for the next year. Grandma would fall asleep and dad would do the washing up. Mum wasn’t there as she died when I was young so dad did everything. My sister and I would still be sent to bed at normal time (IE. early) even though it was Christmas.

  161. My fave memory is when dad took my sister and I for our Christmas walk whilst mum prepared dinner. We went skating on the frozen canal and met an ice hockey player who was alone with no family o0r friends nearby so he said he would just practice all day to alleviate the loneliness, so dad invited him back for dinner with us and he and all of us had a wonderful time celebrating the true spirit of Christmas!! priceless and forever in our memories,

  162. Favourite Christmas memory- starring in the local amateur dramatic society’s pantomime as Cinderella. It was a hilarious and magical time with people I loved being with.

  163. Favourite Christmas memory? Singing every Sunday in Advent with family around the Advent Angels that my father made, alongside eating Christmas biscuits that Mum made – with our help!

  164. When I was a little girl (50 + years ago now) my family and I went to stay at my grandparents for Christmas. My grandparents had just had a modern fire installed to replace their open fire, but I was distraught as I was convinced Father Christmas wouldn’t be able to get down the chimney to leave our presents, so my lovely grandad moved out their lovely new fire and unblocked the chimney just to make a little girl very happy.

  165. Going to the Christmas Market in.frankfurt, this was the firstbtime I’d been away with my new partner it was magical

  166. My favourite Christmas memory stems from when I was 5 years old. I remember that my aunt used white shoe polish to make a snow scene on all the mirrors in my grandmother’s house. I was in awe of her artistry and thought the snow scenes were simply magical. Simply pleasures I know, but that has stayed with me for over 60 years.

  167. My favourite Christmas memory was opening my Christmas box, usually filled with stocking fillers, to find the doll’s house my parents had assured me we couldn’t afford

  168. My favourite Christmas memory is when my son who was about 2 years old came back from visiting his father to see all the Christmas decorations which I had put up in the house and to see his little face light up was a real joy.

  169. My favourite Christmas memory is Sydney 1969. I was a very young sailor on my first trip abroad and to have a beach party for one’s Christmas dinner in a gang hosted between Australian nurses and the Returned Serviceman’s League – such a great teenage honour and the music ‘I’ll never fall in love again”

  170. Urging everyone to get up, so we could have breakfast then we could start present opening

  171. My favourite Christmas Memory was when my eldest daughter was about 10 months old and my father took the family out for Christmas dinner. We were all happily tucking in when there was a sudden loud bang! We all looked towards the direction of the noise to see that my daughter, who was sitting in a high chair at the head of the table, had fallen asleep and face planted right in her dinner! She woke up briefly as we cleaned her up, then we had a peaceful lunch whilst she slept on in her pram.


  173. The orange in the bottom of one of Dads socks as the ‘stocking’ on the end of my bed

  174. My favourite memory of Christmas is when a young boy and we awoke to find everywhere was white with snow

  175. The Christmas it snowed and mum
    Had put coins in balloons we had to burst them to get the money out

  176. My favourite Christmas memory is our first family Christmas with our 2 beautiful grandsons. It was magical.

  177. Fave Xmas memory was having a hangover after a big night and not getting up until lunchtime

  178. Every year watching the Queen’s Speech on the TV at 3pm, with all the family, then immediately starting on opening our presents

  179. My favourite Christmas memories are all from my Nan and Grandad’s family Christmasses with all the family round. All the kids in one room supervised by me as the oldest grand child for dinner and party games and sing-songs around the fire.

  180. On the way home by car from Kuwait, mum and dad back in the sixties, couldn’t make it home to the UK, so we spent a lovely Christmas in Verona even they were short of money. They bought me my first patent leather high heels and an above the knee skirt. My sister, 10 years younger got a giant donkey.

    1. One year our son and daughter-in-law invited us to stay with them over Christmas at their home in New Zealand. This was a very exciting trip for us, though the journey from the UK was long and tiring, but we looked forward to seeing the wonderful sights of New Zealand. Christmas lunch was a barbecue outside in their beautiful garden and in the afternoon we visited some of their friends in the countryside outside of Blenheim. During our stay we visited Wellington and Auckland on the North Island and also explored further areas of the South Island, including Christchurch, shortly before the devastating earthquake in 2011 that did so much damage to that beautiful city.

  181. My favourite Christmas memory is actually the fun of boxing day when everyone has relaxed. There is time to read the new books / play any new game. No faffing with turkeys – it’s already cooked, we have glorious leftovers with bubble and squeak, lots of gravy and we might get to the Christmas pudding nobody ate the day before.
    Our bubble and squeak is ALL the veg ie not just mashed potato and a green – so mashed carrot and celeriac, chopped up roast pots/ parsnips, sprouts, carrots, broccoli, sweetcorn. Sausages and the bacon from round the turkey on the side.

    1. This sounds just like our Boxing Day with 15 of us – our 4 kids + spouses and our 6 grandchildren soon to be 7 and my wife & I trying to cater for all needs!
      Joyous bedlam but the Xmas pudding (hot) with cold double cream is my favourite with a large glass of armagnac – bliss.

  182. Feeling the weight of the Christmas stocking at the end of my bed; hearing it rustle when I moved my feet and wondering how long I should wait until I opened it!

  183. Getting up early Christmas morning stealing down the stairs and peeping around the corner to make certain Santa had gone – and then wide eyed looking towards the arm chair that always contained the exciting Christmas presents. Oh – the rest of the day I so enjoyed playing with Santa’s toys.

  184. What delightful prizes you are giving away! It would be truly wonderful to win one of them!

  185. One of my favourite memories is visiting the (very busy) Bath Christmas market with our daughter. Spending time with a loved one in a city I love so so much having grown up about 9 miles away, was just magical. It was my first visit to a Christmas market. I tried mulled wine for the first time, plus all sorts of delicious foods. It was lovely to source some quirky presents I wouldn’t find elsewhere. A lovely, lovely day.

  186. My favourite Christmas memory :-
    I had just moved into a new house and decided to invite all of my family to celebrate Christmas day at my new home, 14 family members for dinner extended to 25 family members for tea! Guests had started arriving at 11am when my oven blew up. PANIC, the turkey or potatoes weren’t quite cooked. We loaded the part cooked dinner into the boot of my car and took it to my mothers, half a mile away, to finish cooking in her oven. Consequently we sat down to eat dinner at 4pm, when more guests were starting to arrive for tea, bringing their plated contributions for the buffet tea, which were put in the utility room. I had told everyone to please keep the utility room door shut. My very elderly Aunt had to use the toilet, which was through the utility room, and she forgot to close the door. At 8pm when we finally started to arrange the evening buffet, we found a huge plate of carved roast beef had been scoffed by my father-in-laws black labrador dog. This was certainly a Christmas we will never forget and laugh about now.

  187. My early Christmas memories are of family gatherings at my Grandparents house on Boxing Day. After a lovely lunch with songs around the piano we all then went to the horse races at Market Raven. On Christmas Day it was an orange and a three penny piece in a pillow case at the end of the bed. Oh and always the Queens speech.

  188. I’m sure it’s a wonderful house. Seen it on tv but would love to visit in person.

  189. Will always remember the excitement of our two boys each Christmas morning after Santa has been.

  190. My favourite memory is of dad getting up before the rest of the family to light the fire in the lounge,he really enjoyed Christmas until the end of his life. We waited for him to prepare the room for us as children, he watched us open our pressies and then cooked breakfast for everyone. In later years, the build up in excitement towards the big day grew less as we reached adulthood. Dad loved to hear his grandchildren talk about their day and singing carols to him. My last great memory of him is placing the headset upon his head so that he could listen to a carol service on the hospital radio , a week before hus death.

  191. My favourite Christmas memory was the first year sharing it with my first granddaughter.

  192. My dad always liked to go for a walk after Christmas lunch and I remember one year we all watched him leave the house and walk down the street with his hat from the cracker still on his head. We were still laughing when he returned with the hat still in place. A lasting memory of my late father.

  193. Waking up to feel a filled stocking (old pair of ladies tights) at bottom of my bed. It always had a handful of monkey nuts, a small gift and a satsuma.
    I knew Santa had been.
    I’d run into my parents bedroom shouting “He’s been, he’s been.”

  194. My Christmas memory is when my 2 brothers got up early and unwrapped everyone’s presents, no one knew who’s was whos

  195. In 1986 I left hospital on Christmas Day with my newborn son.I was unwell and could not have catered for Christmas We went straight to friends who had changed their plans last minute to host us and make sure we had a christmas. They made such a special effort to ensure we had a special day
    My friend Anne said Christmas was all about a newborn.
    The husband is my sons godfather. The couple have been lifelong friends.

  196. I guess my favourite memory is relatively recent (2 years ago) when my 100 year old father-in-law, came for Christmas dinner and met his 4 great grandchildren en masse. He and mother-in-law hadn’t been for Christmas dinner for many years, so having him come was truly wonderful, and he had a great time. So good to see him Happy, just a short time after his wife of 75 years had passed away after a short terminal illness, was truly the gift of Christmas. he will be coming again this year, and this ex Chindit (One of the few left) is really looking forward to it again.

  197. My favourite Christmas food is slightly underdone Brussels sprout. They are soooo much better at Christmas because they are shared with loved ones.

  198. My mother always told us that our grandmother was “in service” for a while at Highclere Castle. I have never been there and would like to see it and I can imagine my feisty grandmother cleaning out the grates!

  199. My husband bought an expensive Santa costume last year to surprise the grandchildren. His pager went off so the children thought he had a call out, but secretly ran round the back of the garden where he had left his Santa suit. He climbed through a hole in the shed and walked around the garden. He then signalled to me that he was ready and we got the kids to look out of the bedroom window to see Santa walking across the grass into the shed. They were screaming with delight and we all ran down to see him, but he had gone! (back through the hole in the shed) One of the grandchildren then found his bell that he had left behind. They left his bell out with the milk and cookies and Santa collected it later. The pure joy in their faces is something I will never forget.

  200. My earliest memories of Christmas is no electricity, an open fire and the magic of real candles on the Christmas tree and standing in awe watching them flicker..

  201. When my daughter, who was about 3 or 4, after visiting Santa’s grotto in different department stores that December, asked us why she had to keep telling Father Christmas her name, cos she’d already told him when she had seen him the previous week!

  202. My favourite Christmas Memory is last year! Like most parents we took a break seeing Father Christmas during covid and have only been for the last two years. Christmas 2022, we went to see Father Christmas at Buckinghamshire Railway Centre. My son was so excited and I think the novelty was intensified due to the length of time he hadn’t seen the big man. That year his normally talkative self was stunned by the appearance of Father Christmas in the carriage. Not a word could he speak. He received his gift and it was a Hedgehog, forever named Spike. The rest of the adventure was all about how he had be lucky as he was 100% sure this was the real FC. The magic continued when Spike would get up to mischief, every few days. The following year we went to Hogswash Farm and Wildlife Park to enjoy their really good rustic experience. My son now six and aware of the many of Father Christmas helpers, was sure that he couldn’t possibly see the real Father Christmas two years in a row. The farm makes a huge effort to make the children’s (and parents) experience magical and full of imagination. An Elf (who was amazing) gave me the opportunity to write down a few secret bits of information for Father Christmas’ eyes, while our son did a Christmas Activity. We met Father Christmas and he played the part well. As we left he called my son by his name and said, “Oh, I nearly forgot, How is Spike?”
    My son stopped in his tracks mouth open. He didn’t stop talking about how lucky he had been to see the REAL Father Christmas two years in a row.
    The magic continued. Whenever I think about it it makes me quite emotional – especially listening to my sons version of events.
    Merry Christmas.

  203. Decorating the tree has to be top of my favourite Christmas memories as it involved the whole family. Dad would buy the tree which was normally far to big so the first hour would be spent cutting it down to size and finding something to put it in, then the saga of the lights would begin with hunting down the blown bulb before we started adorning it with tinsel, baubles and hand made decorations – then Mum would move it all round to her liking and we’d settle down to admire our handiwork all to the backing music of carols and the latest Christmas songs from the record player. Happy days…

  204. Hanging up paper chains and seeing a pillowcase at the bottom of my bed..I had satsumas,books,puzzles and chocolate..I can feel the excitement.

  205. Christmas , a busy time of year, but enjoyed for the fun & festivities with family & friends. Cold weather (if snowing ) warm glow when inside. Best time of the year.

  206. My favourite Xmas memory is when I was a small child, it was left to my two older sisters to decorate the tree and buy my presents.

  207. Seeing my children’s faces every Christmas morning and watching them open their gifts.

  208. A visit to my Aunt and Uncle’s in Kent for the annual family gathering. There was always thick fog, or snow, (or so it seemed, to add to the magic); It felt like the Countryside, but was probably 45 minutes in a car. Sadly the area is more built up these days and my relatives are no longer around.

  209. One of our favourite Christmas Day memories is playing in the Winter Olympics in the middle of the Indian Ocean on a cruise ship.

  210. The run up to a Magical Christmas for me is meeting different friends for festive events, sharing a mulled wine or hot chocolate surrounded by twinkling trees and holly ,shopping together and exchanging small gifts with lots of love and laughs.
    Then visiting family laden with gifts sharing egg nog and mince pies just before the big day.
    Only then I’m ready to spend a cosy time with my lovely husband by the fire. These are the times that make memories for me , last year is recalled fondly and I’m already excited to build my miniture Christmas village on 1st December and put up my new handmade wreath for this year’s celebrations so joining a wreath making workshop is start of the season for me …Bring it on!

  211. Snuggling by the fire with a mulled wine, twinkly lights and mince pies and a old favourite on the telly…

  212. Being with my wife in the Gilbert Bain hospital ,Lerwick, Shetland Isles on Christmas Day …….the day after she gave birth to our son, on Christmas Eve 1985… Christmas Present ever!

  213. When my son was little we used to light the advent candle each evening and spend the time snuggled up together with a Christmas story. It was a great way to settle down amongst all the busy rush and excitement in the build up to the big day.

  214. I grew up in Bexhill on Sea and watched people take a swim on Christmas Day many times, but never had the courage to join in. Many years later, returning for Christmas with my own children, we decided to go for it. Absolutely freezing but the hot chocolate and laughter afterwards was just magic.

  215. Going up Mount Teide in sandals and shorts and being overtaken by people dressed in winter clothes and walking poles. We didn’t know it was going to be so cold up there. 🤣

  216. Christmas at my mom’s. Everyone would come to her house instaed of their relatives! She made everyone so welcome it was where they wanted to be. Thirty people for dinner was normal for us!

  217. My most cherished Christmas memory will always be reading ‘The Night Before Christmas’ by candlelight on Christmas Eve to my young daughter and son, having just put out a carrot for Rudolph and a mince pie and sherry for Santa. The first time it was so special they asked me to do it for years afterwards and my daughter asks me to do likewise with my granddaughter now.

  218. Christmas was always very busy when I was a child as there were nine children! we didn`t get much present wise but there was a tree and lots of food. Happy memories and I hope my children feel Christmas was special for them too.

  219. The nervousness and wonder of my children when they were young on waking up and finding Santa had been

  220. Who wouldn’t want to win this? Such a wonderful place and Christmas would make it magical and a visit would make our Christmas magical too.

  221. There were 6 children in the family and we always left our Christmas stockings with a glass of sherry, mince pies and carrots by the fireplace in the sitting room. In the morning we all went together to see what Santa had left us.

  222. My fondsest memories are of when my four children were small, what great Christmas’s we had. We had little money but certainly made the most of everything. I saved a few pounds a month with a hamper company, and opening up those wonderful boxes when they arrived in early December was such an exciting time. Our surviving three children are now married and have children of their own (seven wonderful grandchildren). They are thankfully much better off than we were but have carried on many of the traditions they had as children.

  223. As a child waking in the middle of the night and feeling gifts on my bed. Best present was a blue typewriter although my dad always said it was sky blue pink! Happy innocent times with family

  224. My all time favourite Christmas memory is the year we saved & saved to take the children to Lapland (a dream I’d wished for since my childhood) while they were small enough to feel the magic. We had such an amazing time and it was worth everything we gave up that year to do it. Their faces as we approached Santa’s cabin in our sleigh with the elves calling out their names saying they’d been waiting for them – pure joy! My then almost 4 year old sinking in the snow as she tried to run to them… still makes me well up every time I remember it.

    But on an annual basis I love our family traditions that we have created over the years – decorating the tree together (in a complete mish=mash fashion) on the afternoon they finish school with a festive film playing in the background and treats galore – and the fun of the doorbell ringing each Christmas eve for them to find packages on the doorstep with new pyjamas and a book each for bedtime. They’re old only just grumpy teens now – but still love this!

  225. When my children were young and all believed in the magic of Christmas it was just magical, their faces on Christmas morning, their excitement – it was wonderful

  226. I remember being allowed my first glass of sherry on Christmas eve, I think it was a ploy to get me to sleep before Santa came.

  227. Finding the silver sixpence in the Christmas pudding. Impressive in a large family. Didn’t get to keep it though. It had to be returned to my grandmother for next year!

  228. Sharing Christmas day with my children and grandchildren. We always start the day with breakfast together and then those that can stay, remain and those that need to go and see others do that and they are welcome to return at any point. Seeing the little ones open their gifts and tuck into their lunch is always a pleasure!y

  229. Candlelight service at the local church with Christmas carols and afterwards heading home for hot chocolate and mince pies

  230. An absolutely magical grotto that I was taken to every year by my parents. It was in a local department store – long gone unfortunately – it was really special.

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