Wednesday, 31 December 2014

12 Things I Noticed This Christmas

How was your Christmas? Are you still recovering from the feast? It’s crazy to think that it’s come and gone that quickly - quite shocking. I’m not a massive Christmas person myself (I know, I know) but I hope yours was great, and that you spent it how you wanted to spend it. 

As the years have gone on, Christmas and everything that comes with it has changed. The transition from being a young’un to someone on the verge of adulthood is quite stark. Admittedly, it isn’t an easy time of year for me for my own reasons, but what Christmas meant to me 10 years ago is completely different to how it is now.

And while I am recovering from this God-awful dose of the flu (that half of Ireland has), I thought it would be fun to put together a list of some of the quirky things I’ve noticed in the last couple of weeks.  Let me know if you can relate to any of these!

Please bear in mind to take these pointers with a pinch of salt, and not to take them in their literal sense, it’s  just a bit of craic!

“I hope we have enough food for the gang that’s coming. They’ll want something in their belly when they come”
There is ALWAYS enough food, so Mammies of Ireland, don’t be fretting. At the best of times, there is even too much. This leads to second servings, feeding the visitors.
“We can’t let it go to waste”
It’s hard to win.

“We had a fine feed there in the gaf. 3 deserts I tell you, 3! You should have seen the size of the turkey, it’d feed half the village.”
Have you noticed that there is almost a competition to see who had the biggest feast? 
“We had a lovely bit of Christmas cake and some pudding. T’was gorgeous”
“Yeah? Well Mary landed down with some pavalova, homemade like, if you don’t mind. It was awfully filling; we had to give a slice to anyone that landed in the door.”

EVERYONE had a big feast, so EVERYONE wins. Happy?

At Christmas parties and nights out over the festive season, it’s inevitable that you had to shake the few hands over the past few weeks. I was told once that you can tell a lot about a person judging by their handshake. There are various types I have come across as of late:
A) Regular handshake: Lasts no more than about 5 seconds, good grip, dignified and confident, no fuss.
B) Cold and clammy
C) Weak: Am I not worthy of a decant hand shake? My hand is very small, and there is only so much that I can do. It’s a two way thing.
D) The Crusher: Squeezing so hard that they nearly cut off the blood supply.
E) The Hand Hug
F) Pull and Grab: This one has happened to me the most lately, and it’s hard to get it right without making a complete show of myself from once in a while. This is where you put your hand out for a handshake - that is all you are looking for. Then out of nowhere the other person grabs you over, no regard for personal space and pulls you into an embrace. It’s perfectly fine for people I know quite well. But honestly? I don’t really want to kiss 20 strangers’ faces, believe it or not. At times, it is the ultimate recipe for disaster.
‘Tis the season and all.

I don’t drink as I am still underage. But that doesn’t mean I don’t encounter those who do. I like to think I am a patient person, and a lot of the time I am, I like to listen to what people have to say. However, there comes a time when I have to switch off, smile politely, nod, sip from my Cidona, and come out with responses, such as:
“I know, yeah”
“Sure this is it!”
“Isn’t it the way?”
“That’s what I was thinking”
“And what did he say to you?”

For the first time, I have sent Christmas cards. I really feel like patting myself on the back. I sat down one evening, after gathering all of the addresses, and just did it. I was starting to feel bad really; ever since I can remember, we have been receiving umpteen cards to our house every year and we actually don’t send any. As it was me that bought the cards and sat down for the evening, I was either signing off the cards as Catherine or Catherine & family. My mother was lamenting that “It would take the bad luck off us”. It felt strange, but really good at the same time. It’s something so simple, though it’s quite rewarding to see your little pile of envelopes at the end. It’s just really lovely, alright?

I have met and shook hands with people I hardly know for the past month. And I honestly don’t mind, I love meeting new people when I can! As I live in a small community, whoever I’m with will try and explain who the person is - most of the time I catch on after a minute or two. But as I said when I was younger, I am not the postman who knows everyone. They will explain, as if to open the heavens in my mind and make a non-existent light bulb go off. I just look like a fish, racking my brain of every person I know. There is nothing worse than standing beside a local person who you don’t know. Nothing.
“Can you not hear me Catherine?”
“Yeah yeah, I can”
“Don’t look at me like that.”
“I’m thinking!”
The struggle is real.

The weather is an integral part to Irish life, and there is no exception in our house. It was just after the dinner on Christmas day that my mother commented; “You know, there’s a fine stretch in the evening, a better day to put the clothes out. Fine drying so it is”.
No truer words were ever spoken.

Usually, I can rely that there will be decant things on the box over the Christmas. But I noticed that there is hardly anything worth my viewing, and the rest of the house agree with me. Netflix has been the life-saver in this scenario.

“I paid through the nose for that turkey, and I am not letting it go to waste. Sure it was beautiful.”
This is a practical way in dealing with the supply of food left over. 

As you get older, this is something that becomes more apparent. But I also notice it with those around me. Presents are becoming less important to some of us. Yes, it is lovely to get some nice gifts, and I am grateful for everything I received – but really, I didn’t want anything, or as they say “I couldn’t give tuppence for a want of anything”. I much prefer seeing people and having a good catch-up, than receiving anything off them. It’s the way to be I think!

Gone are the days I wake up at 7 o’clock on Christmas morning. Why do that when you can stay in bed for another couple of hours? I’m sleeping in a lot over the last week or so. And I have no shame – I’m relishing every moment of it. 

When I was younger, I had no love for vouchers, because mainly I never made the effort to go to the specific shop and buy something. But as I’ve gotten older, and how the economy has turned out, spare cash to spend is coming few and far between – so you’re crazy if you’re not making use of your vouchers! In fact, I’ll be using mine in January so it’s out of the way, job done. 

Let me know what you got up to over the holidays.


  1. I sent cards out for the very first time this Christmas too! it felt nice... my wallet wasn't so happy when I left the post office though... sending mail out of the country is not cheap lol


    1. I know how you feel! I limited myself to only sending a few cards across the pond as my own purse was tragically damaged after the Christmas shopping! But it did feel nice all the same :)

      Happy new year,


  2. Ha, when it comes to turkey, we bought a chicken instead - it's quicker to cook, tastes the same and we eat it all up.. eeh, in two days.. :) Christmas cards: funny enough I always send Christmas cards not to those who send cards to us, but to those who don't send them to me, so at the end of it, we stop getting cards (or their supply diminishes) and I still never hear back from the ones whom I sent cards to.. :) Silly me, right? Anyway, this year I have improved - I only send two or three cards and only to the most important people, so no disappointment..