My earliest memory of Xmas was going to a big department store in London and having a ride of Santa's submarine to his fishy smelling grotto under the North Pole. Elves with fins and flippers? I can't quite remember that clearly but seem to remember the fishes and penguins swimming magically past the port holes ( canvas strips on pulleys being cranked along ) as we chugged along and then lead out through another door to where a red coated plump Neptune of a Santa was waiting to ho ho ho and give out presents. It may have been a tin of water colour paints in the gaily wrapped parcel or that may have been another time.
Another vivid memory must have been around Xmas time - a snowball fight in Corringham in Essex where we lived just after we moved from London. It was a pokey first floor flat in a row of delapidated houses. We accessed our flat up some rickety wooden stairs to a balcony and the kitchen door. A tin bath hung on the wall outside. Gas mantles and the radio worked with a big car battery on the side board. Anyway, I was throwing snowballs down from the balcony to passing urchins and they in turn threw them back. I had not realised the door to the flat was open and snowballs that missed me found their way into the kitchen and made quite a mess. Mum wasn't very pleased when she found them half melted on the lino floor.