Christmas with the Polka Dots

Can you believe it’s all over? After all the fuss, food and festivities we’ve passed yet another Christmas Day, and now we’re on the downward slope to New Year’s Day and 2016.

If one thing is constant, it’s that my family always does Christmas in the exact same way.

The trip Leeside

The last Friday before Christmas, and usually the day we would get our Christmas holidays from school, the four of us go to Cork for some last minute spending.  We usually go to our favourite restaurant in Cork, Scoozi, but as a new Nandos opened right in the middle of the city, we had to get food there instead.

I had an hour to wait before I met with my parents after getting into Cork, though, and what better way to kill some time than to sit in Costa warm and toasty with some coffee and a good book?

The Big Shop

For some reason, over Christmas in Ireland every family somehow gets a notion there’s a famine coming and buys enough food to feed the world’s armies. My own family is no different, and the food shop for Christmas is a family outing for us. We all bundle into the car, and leave as much space as we can for everything that will be coming back with us on the way home.

Every year, it’s a battle between Dunnes and Tesco for the final shopping trip, and this year the honour fell to Dunnes. Don’t ask how much we spent though. It’s worse when you remember it was just for a family of four.

The main event

Christmas Day starts early – not as early as my younger cousin, who arose at 5.20am, but ten to eight was still an early start for us. My Dad spent the day complaining as he’d asked us to wait until eight, but do you think we could manage?


Presents opened, it was time to pop the turkey into the oven and head off to mass. After mass we had tea, breakfast and Christmas cake (and wine, whiskey and poitin) at my cousin’s house with the whole extended family.

Soon enough, time to head home and actually eat the turkey. Before that, we all collapsed in front of Pointless and drank copious amounts of Bulmers.

After dinner, we go to my Mam’s side of the family, about a 15 minute drive away. We stay there for a couple of hours, first calling to my grandparents and then to my aunt.

At her house, there will always be tea – sandwiches, salad, and more wine. Then out come selection boxes, boxes of sweets and biscuits, and crisps.

I never want to see a scales again.


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