Christmas With Charlie, Vol. 14

Photo from Chaplin family Christmas card, 1973.
L-R: Oona, Jane, Christopher, CC, Annette
  • Annette Chaplin: Christmas was the best time. My mother’s gardener decorated the house. It was never overdone. You couldn’t see the tree in the foyer, there were so many ornaments on it. On Christmas Eve the local optician from the village came in dressed as Santa Claus. He sang old carols in French in the most amazing voice, especially in the hall, which had an echo. My father used to stand there with his mouth open. 
  • Geraldine Chaplin: On Christmas Day, the Rossiers, friends of my parents’ from Vevey, would come for Christmas dinner, as would Clara Haskil [the well-known Romanian concert pianist]. After dinner Clara would play the piano and Daddy would show his movies. There were always masses of presents. I cannot tell you the number of children and the number of presents, five or six, from each child to each child. Mummy bought them all. We never knew what we were giving anyone until we were quite old and had to buy our own presents. 
  • Michael Chaplin: My father always said he hated Christmas. Whether he actually did, I don’t know, because he loved having Clara Haskil there. I think he hated the present part and the Christmas tree and all that. 
  • Geraldine Chaplin: Christmas depressed him. It brought back memories that he wasn’t fond of. When he was little and poor, he told us over and over, all he got for Christmas was an orange. He used to try to spoil the day for everyone, and he finally did. He died on Christmas morning. 

(Interview magazine, September 1989)

Christmas, 1955
L-R: Oona, Geraldine, Victoria, Josephine, CC, Michael


  1. Jessica, do you know the scoop on Annette? I've seen stuff on everyone of the kids except Annette, she's like the super secret one that nobody knows anything about.

  2. Jess!!!!! THAT is the Xmas card I received from Chaplin when I was 13 years old. I can't believe you posted that one. I bombarded him with letters from age 10-13, and finally wore him down (although it was Oona who hand wrote the card). And I swear, I am not making this up (I know, first Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. and now this). Happy Holidays!

  3. But of course! It's in a frame that actually needs to be replaced. I'm still so floored that you posted the same card. Amazing!

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