Do you remember Christmas in the 90s?

The Spice Girls scored three consecutive Christmas number ones in the 90s, matching The Beatles.
The Spice Girls scored three consecutive Christmas number ones in the 90s, matching The Beatles.
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Cue novelty knitwear, the Furby and Wallace and Gromit.

Christmas is a magical time of year... but was it even better in the 1990s? Here are a few reminders of Christmas through the decade.

THE DECORATIONS

Maybe it was the influence of home improvement shows like Changing Rooms, but Christmas decorations went up a notch in the taste stakes in the 1990s. White lights and real Christmas trees started replacing the old plastic foliage and coloured lights of old, while even the baubles had a more stylish feel to them.

But then others went in completely the opposite direction, with the 90s being the decade when some families began decking out the front of their homes in as many lights as they could muster, complete with inflatable snowmen, reindeer and a plastic Father Christmas or three.

THE FOOD AND DRINK

The 90s were the decade when the first celebrity chefs reared their heads, causing people to start taking a few risks with the Christmas dinner, even if it was just adding some pancetta to their brussels sprouts.

There were no online food deliveries but ready-prepared vegetables made it easier for those who didn’t want to chop till their dropped.

Advent calendars started having decent chocolate in them and Christmas Day breakfast became a thing, with Brits developing a taste for Bucks Fizz served with smoked salmon.

THE PRESENTS

Christmas-themed socks, jumpers and other novelty items grew in popularity – and some people were actually pleased to receive them.

Video games consoles were highly sought after, with the likes of the Sega Megadrive, Nintendo 64 and handheld Game Boy selling by the million.

Other in-demand toys through the years included electronic robots such as the Furby, Tamagotchi and Tekno the Robotic Puppy who could walk, bark and perform backflips.

One of the more surprising must-have toys was the model Tracy Island from Thunderbirds, which promptly sold out after the BBC ran repeats of the popular puppet series.

When Anthea Turner on Blue Peter demonstrated how to make a homemade version using a couple of empty washing powder packets, a cream cheese box and double-sided sticky tape, 100, 000 viewers requested a copy of the instructions.

THE TELEVISION

The Top of the Pops Christmas special, Only Fools and Horses, Birds of a Feather and the big Christmas Day film were all festive staples, along with Noel’s Christmas Presents (which you hoped didn’t feature Mr Blobby).

We were also introduced to an accident prone inventor called Wallace and Gromit, his long-suffering canine companion. Their adventures in A Grand Day Out, The Wrong Trousers and A Close Shave were among the highlights of Christmas for both the young and the young at heart.

Viewing figures for the festive edition of short-lived BBC soap Eldorado were slightly less impressive.

THE MUSIC

Cliff Richard kicked the decade off with a fittingly seasonal Christmas number one in the form of Saviour’s Day, while Freddie Mercury posthumously held the top spot in 1991 with These Are The Days of Our Lives, his poignant last single with Queen.

Mr Blobby’s self-titled effort introduced the horror that was the novelty Christmas single, while Christmas 1994 saw boy band East 17’s Stay Another Day hold off Mariah Carey’s All I Want For Christmas Is You – which is the one more likely to be heard on the radio today.

Then the girls took over, the Spice Girls to be precise. The group held the Christmas number one spot for three successive years, a feat they shared with The Beatles three decades earlier. They even presented the Top of the Pops Christmas special, badly, in 1996.