Christmas is my favourite time of year. I love everything from the lights to the films to the music - and of course having a month of eating non stop is always going to be better then starving myself in June on the Keto diet. I always ask people what their Christmas traditions are because I love to hear the different things that everyone does but mostly I love how the sentence always starts with “me and my family”. For me Christmas is all about Family and Friends… and to be honest when people say ‘Christmas is too commercial and a money racket’ I just think you’re a tight Bastard and if you focused your thoughts on the time that you get to spend with your loved ones instead of the money you have to spend then you would see the festive season in a whole new light and embrace it the way it should be embraced.
Some of my traditions are the exact same since I was a child but of course as you get older things change because of where you live, who you are with, and what new traditions get added to your list because you created them yourself and made them part of your festivities.
The Toy Show
Christmas for me will always start with the Toy Show. This is an Irish religion and if you know you know! For me to even begin to explain what the Toy show is will probably give me and you both a migraine but I'll do my best… OK! SO...in Ireland every Friday night is The Late Late Show which is just a normal hosted show with guests BUT once a year it becomes The Late Late Toy Show. The set is filled with every toy on the market that year and is reviewed and played with by children from all over Ireland. All of the Irish stage schools perform throughout the show, celebrities and idols show up to surprise the children, they surprise families with loved ones who live abroad by flying them home for Christmas, and everyone in the audience gets a never ending flow of vouchers and gifts LIKE OPRAH! But Oprah is just a bootleg copy of this coz we have been doing this since the mid 70s - so hand out all the Burberry coats you want Oprah coz it ain’t got a patch on how it feels to be given the new doll that pisses itself just because you are in the audience dressed in Tinsel and wearing a Christmas wreath on your head. When you are little being allowed to stay up late and watch the Toy Show is a huge deal, and the fact you can eat as much junk food possible is just a win. I still do this as an adult, and it is now a tradition in my grown up house to get an obscene amount of Chinese food, eat duck, and judge the obnoxious and brazen children they find to go on this show.
In my family it is now a tradition for us all to put up our tree on my Nana’s anniversary which is the 4th of December. My Mam (you know Mam-girl) started this the year after my Nana passed because my Nana loved Christmas so it was her way of honouring and remembering that love. This means so much to my Mam that this year she’s having a canary because she is redecorating and has to put it up 3 days late. I put up mine 4 days early this year for Toy Show purposes so we cancelled each others timings out. That’s the thing about traditions though when you miss a year you panic not because traditions are just something that is a part of your annual routine but over the years they become memories, they turn into glimpses of your childhood, or they become your only way of making someone still part of Christmas even though they aren’t going to be sitting at the dinner table on Christmas day.
On the first weekend of December my next thing to do is put on the Christmas Bed Clothes, and of course mine is a pug with a Santa Hat. I may change it up this year but to be honest I cant see myself letting go of the Pug Life. One of the first traditions I ever started was the Beer and Bratwurst one, we started it 6 years ago in Cork when we went to the Christmas Market but now we do it at Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park. It is officially Christmas when you are sitting at the German Beer House with an Ice cold beer (alcoholic or not - your choice) and giant Bratwurst hotdog (essential). We also do a new activity every year at Winter Wonderland too so we do whatever that is after the Beer & Bratwurst, and then we move on to the Mulled wine and Churros. Every December we go to some form of Gig/concert too, it isn’t always Christmas themed (usually I try force the Katherine Jenkins Christmas Bonanza) it can be anything from a Christmas Themed show at Royal Albert Hall to a big Charity event with multiple artists at Wembley. We do a lot of our Christmas Shopping online and on Oxford Street but once its all done we always go to Westfield shopping centre as close to Christmas as we can to drink Bubble Tea and watch the Christmas commotion.
Night before we fly home
I love the day before we fly home because I spend it packing all the presents and watching hallmark Christmas films. I always go to a local baker and pick up some mince pies and a mini pudding to have later that night with a glass of Baileys on crushed ice. For dinner I always do a Cheese board with a variety of Italian Meat, fresh bread, and chutney from the local farmers market. I tend to always do a cheese board before we fly anywhere so that it is no fuss and requires no cooking. We always watch a Christmas film with our Christmas desserts & Baileys all wrapped up on the couch.
We always take it in turns and swap where we spend Christmas day between Keith’s Family and mine. So we usually spend 4 days in each house. Luckily for me and Keith our families have similar traditions and have the same kind of vibe in both houses. On Christmas eve we usually spend it relaxing and watching films while the Mammie’s prep the dinner for the next day. We often go for a walk in the woods near Keith’s house or if its my house we go for a walk on the beach. In the evening we go to mass (church) which I really love to do because I love the Carol singing, and to watch the chosen child put Jesus in the manger - FYI this was my first ever role as a child and first taste of stardom, I put that baby Jesus doll in that crib like an absolute boss! Not a moment of fear was had by anyone when I made my entrance because the whole crowd knew that the Baby Jesus was gonna be delivered to Mary with style and efficiency!! After mass we always get a takeaway of some kind usually a Chinese, and then like everyone else you gotta put on those new Christmas Pyjamas. In my house I usually hold a conference with my brothers which only has one topic on the agenda - What time are we getting up in the morning?
I usually get up early on Christmas morning and start the day with a selection box. The morning is spent like the majority of mankind by opening presents and getting lost in a sea or wrapping paper. I make all of my calls to loved ones to find out what Santa brought to everyone. We have dinner around lunch time and I don’t stop the feast until about January/February. I always watch a film in the afternoon and laze about the house, and in the evenings we all play games. I love Christmas day so much and the way everyone gets dressed up, has perfect Hair & Makeup all to just go hang out in the sitting room -my friend Chloe highlighted that fact to me last night, she had me in stitches laughing because its so true - we all get dolled up just to sit around the house, like to be fair there is not much of a difference in what you would look like at an event to what you look like on Christmas day sitting in an arm chair in your parent's house. We all try to be the best and nicest versions of ourselves on Christmas day but you can't deny that you spend a lot of the day scrolling through your Facebook looking at pictures of other people's Christmas dinners, and thinking to yourself 'Thank God I wasn’t born into that family'. It's just a fact that if it’s not you own Mam's cooking its just pure and utter shite on a plate.
Over the Holiday
I eat. I spend two weeks eating, and when my jeans aren’t able to close I spend my days in my pyjamas and in the ‘yet to disappoint me’ emergency leggings that I pack. I spend the holiday period visiting friends and family, going to Christmas parties, watching family favourite films, going for walks, and trying to break the world record for mulled wine consumption - some cow bag in Bavaria is still the Reigning Champion. I do try and relax as much as I can as it's the only long break at home I get per year but Christmas is always manic ESPECIALLY when you live in another country because you have to see everyone when you are home and the days become pretty busy really fast.
So that is how I spend my Christmas. It’s a pretty standard Christmas filled with common traditions and some random ones but it really is the most wonderful time of the year for me. I cant wait to go home this year, to take a break from London Life, get too fat for my skinny jeans, get some fresh Irish air into my lungs, drink Ballymore water, but most of all to see everyone that I love. Which relates back to why I call people who complain about Christmas miserable bastards because these people are actually complaining about how they have so many people to buy presents for and to see - for some it is the loneliest time of the year who have no one to give a gift to, receive a gift from, or no one to sit beside at dinner on Christmas day and pull a cracker with.
Cherish every moment you have with your loved ones this Christmas, stay safe, and wish me luck taking down that Bavarian Bitch with the mulled wine consumption record.
Merry Christmas & Stay Boujee xxx