Stylish urban living with a smile - attractions you must see in Copenhagen
Stylish urban living with a smile - attractions you must see in Copenhagen
Whether you were a toddler, child or teen, Christmas in the late 50s and 60s is likely to evoke magical memories of festive times filled with wonder and fun. Back then, Christmas was generally a more humble occasion when it came to gift giving, dining and decorating. Moreover, time with loved ones and friends was spent in an entirely different way (thanks to the lack of mobiles, laptops and electronic devices). For many over 60-year-olds, a first Christmas memory may be of stockings filled with sweet oranges and walnuts, seldom-tasted food or perhaps an aroma or smell that wasn't familiar until the festive season began. Or maybe, they prefer to think of a favourite present or pastime that became synonymous with the season as a child.
Proving that yesteryear's Christmas can become more than a nostalgia trip, we take a look at some essential past-Christmas staples that could influence this year's Christmas. And whether you're a lover of the past or you're happier with the Christmas of today, there's space for a little trip down memory lane to get you and your loved ones talking.
Due to factors including post-war frugality and the lower visibility and manufacturing of products, there was generally a much lesser need and desire for material things at Christmas in the 50s and 60s. Of course, children would still request lavish gifts or big presents such as a bicycle, dolls house or Spirograph, but they would often have more appreciation for gestures that would be considered smaller to today's younger generation. Christmas morning was not the gift-giving event that it has become today, and even if you love to spoil your family and friends, the way that presents of the past were given can be an essential lesson for all younger people.
For the over 60s, think back to the number of presents that you would open on Christmas morning as a child and the excitement that you felt. Perhaps suggesting a reduction of presents this Christmas can give new meanings to gifts as well as a stronger appreciation for what is received. It will also help encourage less desire to have material things and can even refocus what the meaning of Christmas is for your family.
Arguably, watching TV is a Christmas institution, and in one way or another, families have always gravitated around some form of TV or radio at Christmas. What can beat the annual "Christmas with Morecambe and Wise", "Billy Smart's Circus" or "Christmas Night with The Stars"? However, not everyone had access to a television set as a child, and even for the lucky households who did have them, there would only be one.
The lack of TVs meant that there were no added distractions from other electronic devices. It also meant that the entire family would often gather round to watch a Christmas special, in eager anticipation of entertainment that wasn't aired regularly. Quite commonly, neighbours and other relatives would join in to watch TV too! In many households today, there has been no change in a family love of watching TV together on Christmas day, and perhaps you also have one person who always requests an audience for the Queen's speech!
To keep your Christmas TV tradition in line with the past, decide on one or two "Christmas special" programmes in advance, that the entire family can watch together. We also recommend banning mobile phones or other distracting devices from the event. Although from the 50s to today, there will always be one person who will be nestled in a new book or present!
In the run-up to Christmas in the 50s and 60s, setting the atmosphere and getting people in the Christmas spirit with entertainment was more limited than it is today. There were far less global Christmas films and TV shows available to view, Christmas songs were nothing like what they became in the 80s until today, and there was less imported food and events. This meant that entertainment tended to be more tailored to locals, not the global masses and it would rarely reach out further than a single region.
Pantomimes, choirs and recitals would be a typical event to visit at Christmas, and even though some are still around today, they would attract plenty more people, often running for longer and with a more significant number of shows. From fairytale classics like Jack and the Beanstalk to wacky shows like Dinner for One and Christmas specials of favourite radio shows such as The Goon Show, you could often listen to stories and live theatre performances on the radio too. And what could be more magical than listening to a radio recording or live show from home, with a hot mug of cocoa!
Drum up the festive cheer with your loved ones by attending a local pantomime for a blast from the past. Or, you can arrange a cinema trip to see a new Christmas film for a modern twist. Additionally, try to see your local brass band or choir perform for a magical experience that you can share with your loved ones and friends.
Christmas in the past was much more reliant on being crafty, and very often, gifts, decorations and interior furnishings were created for the festive period. Knitted jumpers, gloves and hats were a commonplace present that could be loved and hated in equal measures (does anyone remember that itchy jumper you were forced to wear on boxing day?) while mothers and aunts would often create dresses, skirts and shirts too. Baking, pickling and jam, wine or chutney making was also a common gift that could be made far ahead of time for Christmas.
We're seeing a revival in this today, with many young people deciding to gift home-made culinary treats at Christmas in place of buying them new. As with all handcrafted gifts and creations, they tend to hold more sentimental value and show real thought and consideration for the receiver, which is a lovely way to brighten someone's Christmas day! Crafting Christmas decorations is a common association with Christmas's of the past. Creating them would often be turned into a fun activity, taking an afternoon or day to make. From intricate and advanced designs to simple ones that the whole family could get involved in, decoration-making would often become a staple to Christmas. And that leads us to...
Christmas decorations in the 50s and 60s were delightful, having a unique beauty that was often the result of being handmade and created in smaller batches. Hand blown baubles were far more commonplace, and traditional decorations such as advent candles, advent crowns and a nativity scene would be found in many homes, creating a classic and charming feel. Blue Peter often had excellent tutorials of how to make staple Christmas decorations, adding to their appeal to children.
As decorations were used more sparsely than today's, attention would be drawn to stunning finer details too. Christmas cards and postcards would feature beautiful prints of hand-drawn landscapes and winter scenes, and displaying them proudly around the home was an ideal way to showcase them. Utilising British surroundings would also be visible in many homes, with cuttings of holly, pine and mistletoe being places on mantlepieces, behind pictures and from curtain poles. And let's not forget the vibrant, hand-made paper chains that would take centre stage across the living room ceiling.
Harrods in London, Lewis's in Manchester and Rackhams in Birmingham were just a few department stores that would draw in the crowds come Christmas. Thanks to their spectacular Christmas displays, magical Christmas products and illuminations that were seldom seen, they became havens for those who loved Christmas. Even without the need to enter, plenty of children would press their noses against windows to catch a glimpse of fantastic window displays and winter scenes.
Today, online shopping has meant that fewer people shop in department stores however at Christmas, it can make a fantastic day out! Thankfully, lavish Christmas displays and well-curated shopping options have meant that certain stores still draw in crowds and Christmas as people relive the spirit. However, they still lack the scenes and crowds of yesteryear. We recommend travelling to a nearby shopping town such as York in Yorkshire, Fenwicks in Newcastle or Covent Gardens, which are known for their stunning Christmas displays and festive atmosphere.
Christmas dinner in the 50s and 60s often meant being able to taste foods that otherwise would seldom be (or never) eaten throughout the year. Crisp Yorkshire puddings, fluffy spuds and mouthwatering pigs in blankets would be eaten alongside seasonal vegetables and a glass of bucks fizz or Shloer. The jury's still out on whether Brussels sprouts are tasty or not, but they're most definitely a Christmas dinner tradition! When it came to the prized crown of turkey, this was not always the meat of choice at Christmas. Until factory farming became the standard and supermarkets took over, a chicken was expensive meat. For this reason, chicken, capon or goose was also considered to be luxury meats that were saved for special occasions like Christmas dinner.
Christmas dinner would always end with a spectacular show of a flaming Christmas pudding, often soaked in brandy and with a coin inside for luck. And let's not forget that the wearing of paper hats found in Christmas crackers was mandatory throughout the meal! The key to these dinners was that they were indulgent, not excessive, and quantities would often be smaller than what is received today. This is something that is important to keep in mind for a modern Christmas. We should aim for a lesser focus on lavish displays and oversized portions of food, and instead, focus on the appreciation of the food that we do have and the company that we eat it in.
Without nearly as much electronic influence, Christmas night and boxing day would often be filled with innocent and easy-to-partake-in parlour games that the whole family could take part in. From charades to consequences, many of these games would require little or no paper and pens and could take up hours of fun.
Rather than opting for more complex games such as Monopoly or Mouse Trap, we recommend reliving the parlour game traditions of the 1950s and 1960s that require a lot of imagination, conversation and participation from the whole family. It's an excellent way to bond and spend time together and who knows, you may even find out something new about your loved ones!
The big freeze of 1962 became a huge inconvenience that had widespread adverse effects, but it also meant the Christmas day was one of the most magical and wondrous celebrations imaginable! Generally, a white Christmas was much more common in the 50s and 60s. UK winters tended to be much colder and receive far more snowfall. Sledging, snowman building and even ice-skating were activities that would take place on Christmas day and throughout the holiday, something that we couldn't possibly imagine doing today!
Unfortunately, the weather is out of our control. But revive this white Christmas nostalgia with a brisk walk outside after Christmas dinner or a family trip to the local park instead. It's an excellent way to lighten up after a heavy Christmas dinner as well refresh the senses and appreciate each other's company.
Stylish urban living with a smile - attractions you must see in Copenhagen
Homeowner Peter Bullock from Dove Tree Court in Solihull has lives a 'double life' as a schoolteacher by day and a comedian come the weekend.
International Women's Day helps remind us that an equal world is an empowered world.
You don’t need an outdoor garden to have a green thumb! We speak to journalist and gardening expert, Jane Perrone, about the best plants for an indoor garden, providing useful tips for you to use in your retirement property. ...Read more
A small commute south of London but a million miles from the hustle and bustle of the capital sits rolling countryside, vast woodlands and quaint English villages ...Read more
A new report from a consortium involving McCarthy & Stone has revealed how a later living property can leave you feeling up to 10 years younger. Here, we’ve explained more about our findings and how retirees can get involved ...Read more
We’ve taken a look at how our properties can help people feel younger and got our residents to explain what it means to them to be ‘young at heart’. ...Read more
A country estate with the most magnificent woodlands and gardens ...Read more
Our in-house catering team have been working behind the scenes to bring new services into our Retirement Living PLUS developments for our customers to enjoy ...Read more
Renting in retirement is becoming far more commonplace for today’s over-60s, especially as it means being able to live in an area where they wouldn’t necessarily be able to buy. ...Read more
Leslie and Ann Harpin, 87 and 81 recently made the decision to move to McCarthy and Stone’s Isabella House Retirement Living development in Hertford. The couple are not only enjoying spending more time together, they also have a new group of friends who they refer to as their extended family. ...Read more
Ultradistance and 50-times marathon runner Marie Caldwell inspires and motivates her fellow residents to keep fit and active. ...Read more
McCarthy & Stone’s Resales Director, David Gabriel has over 20 years’ experience selling preowned retirement properties and heads up our dedicated in-house resales service. ...Read more
Renting can be perceived as just a temporary housing option, especially to those who have always owned their own home. But not if you rent an apartment with McCarthy & Stone.
Find out how renting with McCarthy & Stone has enabled two long time friends' friendship to blossom. ...Read more
There are many ways you can feel younger in your retirement we've consulted with an expert life coach to learn more about the benefits this can bring. ...Read more
This January and February you could make the most of some great offers at selected developments as part of our ‘Grow Young with Us’ campaign. ...Read more
The period after Christmas is a great time to declutter. Here, McCarthy & Stone have spoken to a number of experts to discover the best decluttering tips. ...Read more
McCarthy & Stone Resales is having a positive impact when it comes to supporting those who wish to resell their retirement properties, as well as helping new customers experience what a retirement living lifestyle is all about. ...Read more
A singing group comprised of retirees from McCarthy & Stone’s Chinnerys Court Retirement Living development in Braintree, is showing how singing lifts the spirits and can be good for your health. ...Read more
We work hard to keep our residents warm and secure in the winter months and to find out more about how our teams manage this, we spoke to our Operations Director, David Hockaday. ...Read more
Good communication, consideration for each other and never going to bed without making up – are the secrets to a long, loving and successful marriage, says homeowners Mr and Mrs Bowhill. ...Read more
At McCarthy & Stone, we value charity work all year round. However, we know that it’s especially important during the festive season; particularly for those who are less fortunate. ...Read more
Thanks to your generosity, we have smashed our target for this year’s charity partner Beanstalk. Here's a round up of some of the activities we have been getting up to across the UK. ...Read more
Our Christmas dinner events are always a highlight of the calendar year at McCarthy & Stone. To learn more about them, we spoke to our Catering Director Andrew Rowlands. ...Read more
We've spoken to our Catering Manager who provides us with his ultimate Christmas recipes for you to try this season. They’re great for putting you in the Christmas spirit, and your friends and family members will love them. ...Read more
For retired retail manager, Marion Hughes and her late husband Edward, when it came to making the decision to downsize from their three bedroom home for 60 years in Edgware, they thought long and hard about it. ...Read more
Wine and cheese can be a delectable festive treat and getting the right pairing can be easier than you think. So, to point you in the right direction we’ve given our advice on some of the best wines to go with each type of cheese. ...Read more
Here we speak to Trudi Chatwin, daughter of Eugene Roberts who rents her apartment at Williams Place, about why renting was the best option for her mother. ...Read more
We’re hosting a series of ‘At Home’ Christmas events for our residents and their families. Find out more about what’s happening in our roundup blog post. ...Read more
With the countdown to Christmas now on, it’s time to start thinking about Christmas gifts. There are those people who buy and wrap everything by October, and then there’s the rest of us, who possibly leave things till the last minute. Well, why not get organised this year? ...Read more
To help make your home full of Christmas cheer, we’ve spoken to Clare Gibson, Head of Interior Design at McCarthy & Stone who’s provided her top Christmas decorating tips. ...Read more
Find out about volunteering & fundraising for our charity of the year, Beanstalk. ...Read more
McCarthy & Stone discuss how you can find and pick antiques with James Constantinou from Prestige Pawnbrokers and TV’s Posh Pawn. ...Read more
Many people find that later in life that their home is far bigger than they need. Downsizing can bring a variety of benefits, including both financial and practical ones. That said, it can often be an emotional or difficult time. ...Read more
Home recycling is incredibly important. To coincide with National Recycling Week, McCarthy & Stone spoke to First Mile to see how more people can recycle at home. ...Read more
From succulents to spider plants, the demand for indoor foliage is showing no signs of slowing down. No matter what the season, low maintenance house plants are ideal for brightening up the look and feel of a room. ...Read more
At McCarthy & Stone, we like to make the process of selling apartments simple. To help you, we’ve put together this guide on how to sell your apartment. ...Read more
Tracing a family tree is a fun and exciting pastime. With the help of genealogist Tony Griggs, McCarthy & Stone teach you how to trace your family tree. ...Read more
Selling a family home can be difficult, but at McCarthy & Stone, we’re here to help. Read our guide on how to sell your house today. ...Read more
If the time has come for you to downsize and you want to be able to move quickly and easily, then Part Exchange is a good option to consider ...Read more
With just two per cent of UK housing designed specifically for older people, the pressure is on to build more affordable and high-quality housing options for our ageing population. ...Read more
It's not easy making the decision to downsize but there are plenty of positives to making the move. ...Read more
Maximise your chances of selling your home quickly with these tips on how best to stage your home during the viewings stage of the selling process. ...Read more
Here in Britain, we love a holiday, but the journeys involved – especially when heading abroad – can be challenging at times. So, we’ve put this guide together to explain how you can make your holiday travel more comfortable. ...Read more
Get out and about this summer and discover for yourself the joy of picking your own fruit ...Read more
Whilst there are most certainly plenty of benefits to owning a home during your retirement, renting is another fantastic option that provides many with a flexible and easy way to make the most of their retirement. ...Read more
We’ve partnered with the National Trust to select the best secret National Trust locations near to the UK’s favourite ‘hidden gems’. Read on to find out our 10 best secret spots. ...Read more
We love spending time outside, and what a great time of the year to get out and about with your grandchildren. Spend some quality time together, make memories which will last a lifetime and make the most of the great British sunshine! ...Read more
Find out why Yorkshire is considered by many to be the best county to retire in, including the residents at some of our Yorkshire retirement communities. Find out more. ...Read more
Mary Jones from Bath moved to McCarthy & Stone’s Lambrook Court development just down the road from her old home. ...Read more
McCarthy & Stone homeowner Sylvie Morgan recounts her tour of the UK, visiting developments and staying in our guest suites whilst visiting friends and family. ...Read more
A city of extraordinary cultural and historical wealth woven into every brick and beam, York seeps history at every turn. ...Read more
The summer season is packed with a variety of events to appeal to a range of interests and ages. Savour the delights of new and exciting cuisine, enjoy the thrill of world-class horse racing and discover the latest super cars, at events taking place across the summer months. ...Read more
Sparkling white beaches, deep blue seas, sugar-cube villages and venerable ancient sites make the
Greek islands an idyllic holiday destination for many. Tourists can immerse in the Greek cuisine,
century-old sites and local culture each island has to offer, while enjoy luxurious accommodation
and the locals’ warm and welcoming hospitality. ...Read more
2019’s summer fashion trends provide plenty of great options for retirees. Here, McCarthy & Stone provide a rundown of the very best. ...Read more
Looking for an exhilarating and challenging activity that brings a sense of serenity and calmness? We think we’ve found the perfect catch. ...Read more
A McCarthy & Stone Retirement Living Plus apartment is about getting more from life for the over 70s. It’s the perfect combination really - company when you want it, help when you could use it, care when you need it. And all in the comfort of your own stylish new home. ...Read more
Although warmer weather can be a welcome sight for many, the increased temperatures can lead to
added risks for some, particularly those with health issues or those that are more vulnerable. Stay well with these tips. ...Read more
Father’s Day is the perfect time to thank fathers and father figures for their help and support. In this post, McCarthy & Stone look at the history of Father’s Day. ...Read more
Once the hotbed of smuggling, Worthing today is a quirky seaside town. ...Read more
Colin and Pat Mackay are looking forward to making the most of their retirement following their move to North Berwick....Read more
There are many benefits of downsizing and if this is something you are considering, here, we share our knowledge about downsizing, and explain why it could be one of the best things you can do for your retirement. ...Read more
Our research shows that one in three over 55s in Britain are looking to downsize their home. Here we explore our findings. ...Read more
The world-famous RHS Chelsea Flower Show. It’s the most glamorous day out in the gardening calendar.
The grounds of the Royal Hospital Chelsea are once again blooming with flora as the Royal Horticultural Society prepares to welcome 157,000 spectators to their annual five-day flower festival in May. ...Read more
After her husband passed away in 2014, Sylvie Morgan decided to move from her home in Malmesbury to Paxton Court, Tenby, where she is enjoying an active social life, and has met many new friends! ...Read more
With summer just around the corner, why not start to plan some trips away to explore some of the
UK’s hidden gems? ...Read more
Last summer, we honoured eight inspirational over-60s whose impressive feats were changing the lives of the people around them. Our North London Inspirational Generation winner, Jean Hoare, was invited to an exclusive event thanks to her work. ...Read more
McCarthy & Stone have introduced a new range of rental and buying choices that can make retirement living even more accessible. ...Read more
Bettys Cookery School tutor Jenny Culver shares her favourite food moments and tells us why Bettys is still one of the UK's favourite places for afternoon tea, 100 years on. ...Read more
McCarthy & Stone has officially launched its charity partnership with Beanstalk, a national children’s literacy foundation. ...Read more
McCarthy & Stone have carried out a survey to determine the UK’s top 10 favourite pieces of ‘mums’ advice’. Read on to find out more. ...Read more
If you’re looking to book a holiday and need some inspiration, then take a look at our selection of some of the best UNESCO World Heritages Sites to help you plan what could be the trip of a lifetime. ...Read more
More and more people are choosing to put off their retirement and continue working. Plus, in many other cases, those who have already retired are looking to return to work. Here, we weigh up the pros and cons of each situation. ...Read more
eharmony’s relationship expert, Rachael Lloyd explains why online dating can be a great choice for anyone over 60. ...Read more
We understand the problem of loneliness amongst older people and we want to do something to combat it. That’s why we have created our latest Pen Pals programme, an outlet to connect older people with other older people in communities by the writing and exchanging of letters. Click to find out more. ...Read more
Friendship is hugely important at every stage in life, and retirement is no exception. What’s more, in retirement you could make the most of the extra free time you have to discover different experiences and meet new people – leading to new friendships and relationships. ...Read more
Earlier in 2018, Rightmove surveyed 21,000 people in a bid to find the happiest locations to live in the country. We take a look at the results. ...Read more
Rather than being a time to slow down, retirement can be a chance to try new experiences and become the best version of yourself. ...Read more
Why should retirement stop you from trying a new passion? Angie and Edson Chace, prove that age is just a number with their newfound acting success. ...Read more
Famed for its industry and innovation, the green, modern cityscape now replaces the smoking chimneys from the industrial revolution. There’s a friendly, independent and alternative spirit that can be hard to find in other cities alongside a thriving cultural scene. ...Read more
Following the appointment of John Tonkiss, as McCarthy & Stone’s new Chief Executive Officer in September, we speak to him about his vision for the future.
Popular North Gate Court customer Wally Blazey moved into their McCarthy & Stone apartment with his wife Gladys seven months ago, and the couple have just celebrated their 72nd anniversary. At 92, Wally is one of the two last surviving drivers of the Flying Scotsman, the most famous steam locomotive in the world. ...Read more
Loneliness, being closer to family and downsizing are just a few reasons why moving into a retirement apartment can become a better option in later life. ...Read more
2018 marks 100 years since the end of conflict – a year to remember the bravery of those who fought, lived and died in the First World War. ...Read more
The passing of a life-long partner is, of course, devastating and changes your life irrevocably. Regardless of how near they lived to you, or how resilient your character, a feeling of loneliness is inevitable following your loss. ...Read more
With darker days and cooler weather heading our way, there are plenty of interesting and exciting things you can do with your grandchildren this winter. ...Read more
From recipes that grandchildren will want to make, to seasonal dishes ideal for a night in, our selection of Halloween themed recipes will bring out everyone’s wicked side. ...Read more
Plant containers are a space-saving option for the garden that's easier than working the soil. Leigh Hunt, Horticultural Advisor for the RHS tells us all that's needed to know about upcycling them. ...Read more
Marie Bird, who is 91 and a homeowner at Bilberry Place, Bromsgrove, Worcestershire, tells us how moving to a Retirement Living PLUS development has helped her achieve her ambition of living the retirement she always wanted....Read more
Stylish apartments, exclusively for retirees who are looking to enhance their lifestyle, are McCarthy & Stone’s trademark. Here’s what to expect from our property types on offer....Read more
September 23rd marks the first day of autumn with cooler days, darker nights and annual harvests ahead. But how can you prepare for the season? ...Read more
As summer fades, England’s largest history and culture festival is back. This September, hundreds of historic monuments and buildings throughout England – including many usually closed to the public – will throw open their doors for free. ...Read more
Discover Inspirational Generation winner and former Olympian, Marjorie Carter’s inspiring story, with a sports career that spanned over 70 years and a refusal to ever give up gymnastics! ...Read more
Where are the best locations in the UK to visit... that you've probably not heard of? We've ranked the best hidden gems around Britain, that are easy to access, and offer a great weekend away with the family. ...Read more
Whether you're a pet owner or have a pet free home, animals of all kinds have been proven to improve the happiness of their human counterparts. To find out more McCarthy & Stone conducted a survey to see how pets enrich their owners lives. Here are the results! ...Read more
McCarthy & Stone spoke to Psychologist, Psychotherapist, Writer and Broadcaster Corinne Sweet about the psychological benefits of owning pets. ...Read more
Helen Bostock, Senior Horticultural Advisor at The Royal Horticultural Society shares her advice on creating the perfect environment for butterflies, by making the most of your outside space no matter what its size. ...Read more
Here we put the spotlight on two retirees whose hobbies have taken them on trips all over the world. ...Read more
Retiring to the seaside – isn’t that every person’s dream? We’ve ranked your ten favourite British seaside destinations in order of preference. ...Read more
Discover coastal properties for sale all around the UK and Ireland with McCarthy & Stone’s unique locations and luxury developments. ...Read more
Wrap up warm and get walking this winter with us! Discover new trails across the country and explore new scenery with McCarthy & Stone. ...Read more