As we're now officially in the Christmas spirit, you'll know doubt be making the trek into Dublin to pick up presents and do a few messages for the festive period.
Walking around Dublin, it's pretty clear that the city has changed dramatically over the course of the last ten years and it's easy to forget some of the landmarks and traditions; some gone and some still there. Whatever about the changing face of Dublin, it's always the place to be at Christmas for shopping, meeting with old friends and family, staying the night in any of the hotels in the city, enjoying the sights and sounds and all that Dublin has to offer.
Here's nine memories we all had walking around Dublin at Christmas...
9. THE ANNUAL TRIP THROUGH LEGOLAND AT ARNOTTS
Normally, you'd only see this much Lego in one place on the Late Late Toy Show. Here, it was a gigantic wonderland of the stuff and the buildings made were as tall as you. Granted, you were - at the time - three foot nothing so it all seemed huge at the time. Also, those buildings were glued together so if your brother pushed you into a Castle Greyskull-like building because you said He-Man was stupid, no harm and no foul. Not that that ever happened. Cough.
8. SCREAMING "OH YES HE IS" AT THE GAIETY PANTO
It's now become a reflex for people that whenever someone says, "Oh no, he isn't", you automatically shout back, "OH YES HE IS!", as loud as possible. It doesn't matter if it's a board meeting, in the middle of a doctor's waiting room or on the bus. It has to be done and people will understand because basically everyone's done it. In fact, they'll probably join in on the action too.
7. BEING DRAGGED FROM HENRY ST. TO GRAFTON ST. BECAUSE THAT'S WHERE THE SHOPPING CENTRES WERE
This was in a time before shopping centres were everywhere, so the only major shopping centres in the area were Ilac Centre on Henry St. and the St. Stephen's Shopping Centre on Grafton St. Ilac was special because it had the first Marks and Sparks, but St. Stephen's Green had Asha. The killer was your mother forgetting to pick up a present in Ilac and having to trek all the way back to there.
6. SEEING ALL THE CHRISTMAS LIGHTS FOR THE FIRST TIME
Wherever you looked, there was some kind of Christmas lights hanging from the street lights or above your head, and every one of them looked magical - especially at night, when your parents were trying to remember where they parked because your Dad took too long wandering around Virgin Megastore looking for that Elton John album he wanted and your Mam bumped into a friend of hers from school she hadn't seen in years.
5. WALKING PAST SWITZER'S AND KNOWING SANTA WAS IN THERE
Whenever people came out of it, you got a vague glimpse inside and it all smelled very sweet and perfumed, but nobody was really certain what it was that happened in there. Even the name Switzer's made you think of Swizzel's Matlow and sweets, but that wasn't the case. Maybe they did have sweets in there? Who knew. The big thing was Santa, naturally, and the queue that seemed to stretch on for hours upon hours. You spent more time in that queue than anywhere else all day. As we know, Switzer's is now Brown Thomas and Marks and Spencer's across from it used to be Brown Thomas. Or was it the other way around? Answers on a postcard, folks.
4. CLERYS CLOCK BEING THE MEETING POINT FOR EVERY FAMILY OR GROUPING IN DUBLIN
Really. There were literally hundreds of families meeting under Clerys at around five or six in the evening and it was a case of walking through them to see where yours were. This was also the place where you usually saw someone from school and then came the, "Wow, what did you get?!" interrogation sessions. Also, that Dublin's Great In '88 looked like the Transformers symbol and nobody is going to convince us otherwise.
3. THE BIG GREEN AND WHITE BUSES AND THOSE SMALL, WEIRD LOOKING YELLOW BUSES
Sorry, but Dublin Bus will always be snots green to us and there is no changing our minds about it. We will also accept the big white, blue and orange one as well. The CityImp, that just looked odd. Sorry, vintage Dublin Bus transport schemes. The LUas is a gift, people. Treasure it.
2. YOUR DAD TRYING TO FIND THAT BILLY CONNOLLY TAPE IN TOWER RECORDS
And then playing it non-stop the whole way home as Billy Connolly roars and shouts about things your tiny little mind cannot even hope to comprehend yet.
1. THE MOVING CRIB ON PARNELL SQUARE
It was a moving crib. It moved. Yet, for some reason, it was enthralling. Nobody knew why.
So there you have it, but what's your memories of Dublin? Let us know in the comments and if you're planning a trip to #DublinAtChristmas, be sure to check out to DublinTown.ie for all the information on where to go, where to eat and where to stay in Dublin.
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