I love Christmas, who doesn’t? But to me Christmas is so much more than presents, don’t get me wrong I love presents but I love our little family traditions and to me they make Christmas.
I was 30 this year as you may remember so that’s 30 Christmas’ spent at home with my family and last year I brought Gavin home to my family and of course David too. They really enjoyed the Christmas traditions we have down in Cork and can’t wait to enjoy them this year too!
* Advent Calendars
I love the countdown to Christmas and have always had an Advent Calendar, regardless of my old age I can’t help but think Christmas isn’t Christmas without that special countdown and lets face it, who doesn’t love the little chocolate inside? Last year I got a big long one I hung on our stairs and filled with treats, mostly my favourite chocolates! This year we’ll have that one with grown up treats and a traditional one with small chocolates for the toddler!
* Muppets Christmas Carol
I can’t put up our Tree without the Muppets Christmas Carol on as well. I love the Muppets and this film is the real start of the season for me! I’ve always put our tree up by myself, himself just isn’t into it and David was/is too small to help yet. And the film may be a little old for him. For now.
* Christmas Fm
I love Christmas music, it’s the holly jolly time of year and I love the joy it spreads. Of course that isn’t all Christmas Fm does, they’re huge supporters of some amazing charities and this year it’s all in aid of Focus Ireland so while listening please please please donate as well.
* Galway Christmas Market
I’m a Cork girl but living in Galway, himself is all Galway so we’ve always made the effort to get to the Galway market and I love it there. I love the crafts, the food, the smells and the crisp air around Eyre Square. This year David is big enough to get on the Ferris wheel, the Santa train and the hopefully going to the Elf Experience as well! Eeek I’m such a little Christmas Elf
* Lions Club giant Christmas Tree
Every year I donate some spare change to the Lions giant tree. It’s a chance for me to remember lost loved ones and support another great cause. And I love making Cork city look pretty by filling in a huge ribbon and placing it on the tree!
* Late Night Friday Shopping Night
This is a very me tradition. Every year I go late night shopping with my little sister, this is the night where we pick up special little treats for our parents and treat ourselves to a tasty dinner out and an O Connells hot chocolate for desert to keep warm while wandering around the city enjoying the lights, sounds and smells.
* Panto, He’s behind you!!
I grew up involved with the Cork Opera House panto and loved it. Now that I’m older I still love the panto and can’t wait to bring the small man in a few years but until then I have my own traditional night out. Every year, Dad and I bring my 80+ year old granddad to the Adult Panto in An Spailpin Fanach in Cork. It’s rude, crude and hilarious! I leave every year with a sore face from laughing and my sides in bits! We’ve been going every year and the last few years we’ve been bringing my granddad as well. It’s Pure Cork boi but if you’re not a rebel you’ll still find it arse breakingly brilliant.
* Christmas Eve in Grans
Every year, without fail we brave the weather to go to Grans for Turkey and Ham sandwiches. Being from Cork we also have SPICED BEEF as well!!! If you haven’t tried it let this be the year you go to it’s native home and straight into the English market for some traditional spiced beef and let your taste buds delight!
Christmas isn’t Christmas without a visit from the big man. And while I’m not a child anymore I get as much enjoyment as ever from the excitement of Santa every year. My parents are as bad as I am!! Last year we had David’s first Santa visit and we went to see him as well. Santa has very kindly kept up the tradition he started when I was small (er) and leaves presents wrapped in brown paper under the tree and last year had a big one wrapped just for David!
* Giving Tree
Christmas is a special time and we all love getting and giving presents but I’m always so aware of those who can’t afford anything. So once I got my first job in school I started buying a little toy for the giving tree the Saint Vincent de Paul have in Merchants Quay, Cork every year. Last year David helped me pick out a little outfit and an educational toy for a little 2 year old girl. It was one of the nicest things I felt as a new parent I could do for someone else. And a tradition I WILL be keeping up
* Late Late Toy Show
What Irish child doesn’t know and love this? We all grew up loving it and it is the official start to Christmas in all Irish households! As children we stayed up with goodies to watch it, now it’s a take away and a bottle of Baileys/wine. David isn’t quite 2 yet so is still too small to stay up late to watch it live but we’ll have it on the Sunday for the rerun and we’ll let him have a little treat as well in front of the fire. Added bonus this year is the chance to wear our Late Late Toy show pjs again and support Temple St Hospital.
This is just a snippet of my Christmas, there is so much more but I’d need anther few posts to do everything. And I really do find the most pleasure in giving over Christmas, be to friends and family or to some very special charities close to my heart, it’s the little things that count over the season.
Fill me in guys, are there any traditions you love from your family christmas’? Anything special you do every year that just makes Christmas for you? I’d love to hear them and maybe pick up some new ideas as well if I may be so bold 🙂