If you've ever spent a Christmas abroad, you'll know that there's just no place like home during the festive season. Here's 8 reasons why we love spending Christmas in Ireland-
1. Watching The Late Late Toy Show
Nothing quite sums up Christmas time in an Irish home like watching The Late Late Toy show. Get ready for an all-singing-all-dancing Ryan Tubridy, toys that don’t work, amazing young singers and ‘one for everybody in the audience’. There might even be a new viral superstar. How could we forget John Joe the horologist, or Domhnall the football fan who was left speechless when he got to meet his hero Robbie Keane. It’s a must see for adults and children alike.
2. Turkey Sandwiches for Days
Rather than let a morsel of turkey go to waste, Irish Mammies always find inventive ways of using up the leftovers. Be prepared for turkey burgers, turkey curries, turkey smoothies….ok, maybe not that one. But turkey sandwiches are by far the most common. Throw in some cranberry sauce and stuffing and away you go. You’ll be sick of them by New Years.
3. The 12 Pubs of Christmas
It’s time to dust off those cheesy Christmas jumpers because most of us will end up on at least one of these. You know the drill. One overly enthusiastic friend will set up a Whatsapp group, plan a route and maybe even print out a map. It'll start off great but people will begin to mysteriously disappear around pub 6. Arguments will start about where to go next. Someone will decide they don’t want to go back out into the cold. Does anybody ever make it to twelve?
4. Going to Mass in your ‘good’ clothes
Whether it’s a new winter coat, hat and gloves or even a packet of Dunnes socks from your Granny, everyone seems to get new clothes at Christmas. And what better occasion to showcase your haul than at Mass. Remember that? So, if you’re not a regular church goer, and you’re dragged kicking and screaming once a year, at least you get to see the latest trends in Autumn/Winter wear. Warning: You may also have to make awkward small talk with people you haven’t seen since primary school.
5. Not Being Allowed in the Spare Room
In the run up to Christmas there’s always one room in the house that’s out of bounds. It’s usually the ‘spare room’ that’s put on lockdown while the presents are stored inside. And ‘Santa won’t come’ if you even think about going in. This is a golden rule not to be broken.
6. Forgetting to buy Batteries
This is a common problem in Irish households on Christmas morning. There’s nothing more disappointing than getting a shiny new toy and not being able to play it because Santa didn’t see the ‘Does Not Include Batteries’ sticker. In your desperation you start to look around the house. You’ll empty out that drawer in the kitchen that has everything in it, or you might take the batteries out of the television remote and give them a rub. If this doesn’t work you have to wait until the shops open again which not might not be for a day or two. Not cool!
7. Doing a Christmas Morning Charity Swim
The Christmas morning sea swim is a relatively new Irish tradition. It's a group of hardy souls who raise money for charity by putting on their Santa hats and going in for a dip on the 25th. It's not for
us everyone, and if you don't fancy stripping off in the cold, in front of strangers, you can still donate to a good cause from the comfort of your own home. Do it!
8. Going to Dublin for the ‘big shop’ on December 8th
This is a traditional shopping day for our friends and relatives from the country, who head up to the Big Shmoke to get their last few bits before Santa’s arrival. It began originally because it’s a holy day in the Catholic calendar (The Feast of the Immaculate Conception if you must know) and evolved into one of the busiest retail days of the year. The emergence of online shopping means it’s not what is used to be but there’ll still be a great buzz around Dublin city centre.