Thursday 22 December 2016

Christmas Interviews 2016

For me, I think Christmas begins when the boys get their holidays from school.  Which was today.  At midday.  There is a definite shift in my mood as I have everything done, right down to the last item in the fridge and several lists with very satisfying black lines crossing though the items.   

Ok, so maybe tonight I will pick up one final santy thing but then, let there be no mistake, I will hit the Christmas spirit with a glass in my hand! 

I thought I would get nosey with the boys and see if they are having Christmas feels yet.   

But let’s face it, there are four of them aged 11 (almost) down to five and a half.   Of course they are feeling it.    

So I decided to ask them a few Christmassy questions to get the measure of their thoughts.  

You got your Christmas holidays from school today.  What does it feel like to be so close to Christmas?

First Boy:  Well, at the start of advent I was really excited.  But I’m not that excited now.  I’ll probably be excited on Friday.  And on Christmas eve.  I feel like Friday is kind of in the way.  Saturday will be in the way no matter what but I don’t mind because we’re not used to having the whole day off really so the days go really slowly.  Unless we spend it in town it will probably be boring.  But I will be really excited on Christmas eve.  But the tension will be rising in Friday.  

Second Boy:   It still feels like it’s far away.  

Third Boy:  Really, really excited.  Because you’re getting a lot of presents off santy. 

Smallest Boy:  Coz there’s two more days left!  It’s just like Christmas is getting faster and faster and it never stops moving.   And also the days don’t end.  They might even go twenty meters past Christmas.  And if it does – no wait – also we don’t really know this, but I think Christmas might get 6 metres and 12 metres combined.  Closer and closer.  That’s all.  

What are you most looking forward to about Christmas?

First Boy:  I’m thinking and looking for a way to put it.  Yeah, ok.  I really like St.  Stephens day because like, we have dinner at nana’s and we usually have loads of fun there because Ben’s there and stuff.  And also I think there are two bits I am most looking forward to on Christmas day; in the morning because that’s like, when we open the door and the tension is like, super high.  And after that I like paying with the presents.  And then like, whenever our aunties come over, it’s really good because like, we get more presents. 

Second Boy:    My birthday after it.  Jesus Christ.

Third Boy:  Presents.  No!  Being with family. 

Smallest Boy:  I don’t know.  (He absolutely does and is dying to say presents but he knows this is for my blog!)  Don’t put down I don’t know, Mammy.    

Are there any Christmas traditions in your family?

First Boy:  Going to nanas on St. Stephens day for dinner.   Going to grandads for the party.  And on Christmas day our aunties come to us instead of us going to them.  

Second Boy:  We put up the Christmas tree.  

Third Boy:  Celebrate.  And nana’s.  And celebrate. 

Smallest Boy:  Celebrate Christmas.   There’s a party in grandads every year.   That’s a tradition!

What is Christmas all about?

First Boy:  Being happy and being as nice as you can.  Even though you’re meant to be nice the whole year but people tend to be nicer in December because santy is coming. 

Second Boy:  Joy.  Jesus Christ.   Santa!

Third Boy:  Friends and family. 

Smallest Boy:  Oohhh.  Like having rakes of days off school.  We be nice and we get presents.   Mammy, that’s all. 

Why does Rudolph have a red nose?

First Boy:  I think it might be because he like, (silence for a long time) This is a hard question.   I don’t really know actually. 

Second Boy:  Coz he has a really bad cold.  

Third Boy:  Because he needs to guide the sleigh so they don’t crash and Christmas is ruined. 

Smallest Boy:  Oh, coz it’s so bright.  No!  Because it’s so dark. 

Do you know any Christmas jokes?

First Boy:  Yeah!  What’s the difference between a snowman and a snowwoman?  Snow balls!!!  

Second Boy:  (Thinking for ages.)   No.

Third Boy:  What do snowmen put on their sandwiches or lunch?   Chilli sauce!

Smallest Boy:  No.

Wishing you all a merry christmas and whatever you get up to, it is with safety and joy in your hearts!  Here's to a mighty 2017.

Saturday 3 December 2016

A Possible Christmas Unveiling!

Do you think there is a small chance that a bored child will wander about looking for something to do when his brothers are off playing rugby and he left his PS Vita in the car?

Most definitely.

Do you think it’s a good idea to leave keys to a locked press hanging up where small hands can reach?

The keys to a locked press where the santy loot is stashed?

I don’t.

Do you think when that child appears and says he was looking for his remote-control helicopter in the locked press, took down the keys and put them in the door but did not turn them and did not open the door that he is telling the truth?

I don’t!

And do you think that when you go upstairs trying not to run and trying not to let panic show on your face and find that the keys are exactly as he said – in the door - and the door is closed but not properly, do you think he was trying to cover his tracks?

I do!

I definitely do!

Do you think there is a tiny chance that he might have opened the door because, you know, he had no reason not to, he knew his toy was in there, but didn’t know the Santy stash was, do you think maybe he saw everything and closed over the door in a panic and came downstairs.

I do!

Do you think he went to lengths to tell me that he did not open the door but only put the keys in the lock to cover his tracks but in the telling of it, gave the game away on himself entirely?




And do you think his mother was an utter gobshite for not taking down the keys, the ones that hang on the same hook from one end of the year to the next, but she should have for the time of year that was in it and maybe put them somewhere else?



Thursday 1 December 2016

Christmas Toys I Loved as a Child

It is getting ever closer to the most wonderful time of the year.   And I have a small problem.   Smallest Boy cannot write yet.  Hence no letter to Santa.   Also, he is quite laid back and easy going and has requested “stuff” for Christmas.

“Stuff” sounds easy, right?   But seasoned parents recognise “stuff” for what it is: your worst 

Santa nightmare in the run up to the most wonderful time of the year.

*What the jangles am I is Santa going to get him???

Christmas was a very big deal for me and my siblings many moons ago.    Not for one minute am I suggesting it is anything less than that for my own boys, but for us, Christmas was the perfect opportunity to request proper “stuff.   “Stuff” that we really wanted, lusted after and couldn’t sleep due to the expectations of receiving the “stuff.”

Our parents ensured my siblings and I always got what we asked for.   Without fail.  And there were a few lovely surprises thrown in for extra squeals of joy and delight.   As much as I loved my First Love doll, the poster paints, my many, many books and the bookcase I still have, the bulging stocking was what I loved going through and always kept till last.  If I could hold out.

This is how it looks in the boys' bedroom

This was filled with items including a toothbrush, a pair of socks, some pencils and school stationery supplies, toiletries as we got older, notebooks, and other odds and ends, little knick knacks that only the young can really enjoy.  It was like a giant, satisfying party bag after the party.

But one Christmas gift from Santa stands out far and way above everything else and when Sinead from Bumbles of Rice invited the Irish Parenting Bloggers to join in on her nostalgia post on a favourite toy from Santa, I knew immediately which one I was going to write about. 

My Petite 990 typewriter.

Even the ad on the telly filled me with fizzing joy. 

I am fizzing with joy thinking about it more than three decades later.  

I loved it!

I spent many, many happy hours banging away on those keys.   It must have driven my parents mad.  But I learned valuable typing-with-two-fingers-skills on that machine.  I had lots of words a minute.  

A couple of years ago, on our annual trip to Rosslare, we stopped off at a café absolutely buckling under the weight of its retro objects.

And there, in a little alcove close to where we sat, was a typewriter.   Not my beloved Petite 990 but a real, honest to god, typewriter all the same.

The boys were fascinated and hadn’t a clue what it was.    One of them hazarded a guess at it being an old computer.  He wasn’t completely wrong but when I explained to them how it worked, they were disbelieving and full of “but why?  What’s the point?  All the mistakes you would make. It would be too slow.”

But those were the times we lived in, boys.  And years after my Petite 990 was laid to rest somewhere, I went on to learn to type properly on one of those old-fashioned typewriters. 

*stuck and desperate for desperation we did the only thing we could do with such a short time before The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year:  we took them to Smyth’s Toy store and let them loose.  I photocopied everything they liked the look of and told them they could make one small alteration to their Christmas lists.    as luck would have it, Smallest Boy happened upon the one toy he spotted on the channel Pop over a month ago.   Much joy!  We’re sorted.  And I bet none of their “stuff” will last as long as my book shelf did.   But that’s not the point really, is it?