As a child in England, Christmas would not have been Christmas if Father Christmas and assorted relatives had not come across with the hard cover annuals of my favourite comics. Published weekly, some comics, like Beano, Buster, Dandy, and Sparky were geared to children in general, others like Bunty, Diana, and Judy specifically to girls, and others, like Hotspur, Valliant, and Victor specifically to boys. The annuals were cover-dated for the following year and went on sale well before Christmas, but Christmas was the time for actually getting them. Almost every comic had an annual, and popular characters, such as the Beano’s Dennis the Menace and the Dandy’s Black Bob, even rated their own, as did TV shows and newspaper strips.
Some of the comics from my era are still around, and their annuals, along with those of newer publications, still appear on Christmas morning in homes across the UK and other countries in which the children of ex-pats reside.