Partridge in a Pears’ Cyclopaedia

If we were still living in the ‘60s, as we approach Christmas, so we’d be getting ready to welcome Perry Como into our houses.

What did he do the rest of the year?  What happened to all those jumpers?  Did he sell them to Val Doonican? When we watched Val Doonican’s Christmas Specials, was he wearing Perry Como’s hand-me-downs?

Were round-robin letters describing the events of the year a thing in the ‘60s?  Did we read them by the light of our fibre-optic lamps?  (I think I have one of the fibres still stuck in my foot).

My great aunt, who also lived in our Balham flats, owned a Pears’ Cyclopaedia.  I didn’t need a letter telling me about “Melissa and the girls finding a lovely inn in rural Tuscany” to enlighten me as to what had happened in the previous year.

More and more Christmas cards are sent electronically.   It’s not quite the same having a PC dangling overhead on a piece of string.

I wonder if I’ll still be scared of the Alastair Sim version of A Christmas Carol? In recent years, I’ve found Miss Piggy scarier.

And so, as Tiny Tim (the Dickens character, not the singer) would say, “God bless us, every one” – even those sending round-robin letters.

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