Christmas time always seemed special when I was a milkman. Without a doubt it was a very tiring and difficult time. Extra cream, milk, bread, and even hampers were sold and delivered and the milk floats used to be stacked high with all the extra goods. Of course you would see all the Christmas festivities in each and every house and if I had accepted all the alcoholic drinks I was offered I would never have got the milk float back to the dairy. There have been cases of milkmen being done for driving their milk floats over the limit at Christmas. Many of my old girl customers had discovered that I liked ginger wine and I had come close to being pissed in charge of a milk float.. Because the milkman is in constant contact with his customer will always get good Christmas tips. Some of the miserable old milkman that I knew would suddenly cheer up at Christmas and try to be their customer’s best friend. Most times this did not work as I would often hear them complaining about the lack of good tips after the Christmas period.
Dot my second wife would often help me on my rounds and Christmas was no exception. I remember taking her with me very early (3am) on the day before Christmas. On one of the first calls she came back with a 50 pence piece that had been left as a tip, a lot of money in those days, she thought this was fantastic. I said that come the end of the day (about 7 pm) she would be so tired and weighed down my money that she would lose all interest in the tips. She did until the day after when she could counted it all.
When I first started I would even work very early on Christmas day. I would double up as much as possible on milk deliveries the day before but it would still leave some customers who wanted a daily delivery of milk. This was part of Christmas, my brothers, relations and even friends would help me so that I could get home in time for a Christmas breakfast. This had always been part of life at Christmas and even as a boy I had gone out Christmas morning to help my father. In a strange sort of way it made Christmas because it was a time the family truly got together and on that day delivering milk was fun.