Oh yeah. It has finally arrived. The Christmas season is upon us. Europe plays no games with this season and Ireland is no exception. You cannot help but to get in the spirit. Dublin is fully draped in Christmas decor and the shopping season has commenced. I find Christmas to be less commercial here than in the states and more about giving and spending time with family and friends. Then again, I know that America is overly commercial on any day of the year so, I can’t really say its Christmas. Doesn’t matter. I have all the feels and I am all in. So, let’s roll with it.
- Wild Lights. We ventured out in the cold to Wild Lights at the Dublin Zoo. It was cold. It was neat to experience the zoo lit up at night. It was cold. Oh, did I mention it was cold?
- Munich. We took a mini holiday to Munich, Germany leading up to Christmas Eve and it was truly magical. We visited the Christmas markets, Neuschwanstein Castle (which was the inspiration for Sleeping Beauty’s castle design at Disneyland) and the Dachau Concentration Camp (the first concentration camp established by Germany’s Nazi regime). To be in the mountains and experience snow, it does something to your soul especially at Christmas time.
- Book Club. My sweet friends here jumped in when I inquired about starting a book club and we discussed our first book, When Breath Becomes Air. I loved this book. It was a short read but truly made me reflect on how life is not to be taken for granted no matter who you are. And our discussions went there-religion, medicine, life, children, marriage-the entire spectrum. I can’t wait for our next book discussion.
- Student of the Week. Ladies and gentleman, we had a Student of the Week in our house this month and we were so proud. Our little people have been working their buns off in school and they have risen to the occasion and we are grateful. Bigg Dogg deserves a virtual high five. So, palms up!
What I’m LOVIN’ about Dublin this month:
- Late Late Toy Show. The Late Late Toy Show is very hard to describe, but I’ll try. It is an Irish television program that airs at about 9:35 pm until midnight. It is a Christmas tradition (airing first in 1975 and surprisingly, the Late Late Toy Show is the second oldest running talk show in the world..who knew) and it showcases hot toys of the season tested by children live on the air. There is singing and dancing and tons of toys. All the kids get excited about it and the Glitter Princess was no exception. She loved every minute and I made mental notes of toys she liked so I can send those on to Santa. Needless to say, we had a moment and kicked our Christmas season off the right way.
What I’m MISSING about home (the USA, Texas, Houston) this month:
- Christmas Movie Tradition. This year I decided that since the kids are older and love movies we would go see a Christmas movie on Christmas Day every year. Well, I forgot we were in Ireland. As a matter of fact, the theater closed early on Christmas Eve and was closed until December 28th (now, granted St. Stephen’s Day is celebrated here on December 26th). So, that tradition ain’t happening until we return to the states. When I say this country shuts down for Christmas, it shuts down. The Glitter Princess and I went to get our nails done and were planning to have brunch afterwards. Well, the local village was shut down from December 25th to January 5th. As a bustling American, this takes an adjustment for sure.
- Light Switches. Think about the light switches in your home for a moment. Strange, I know. You flip the switches up to turn off the lights. This. Drives. Me. Nuts. Coupled with there being no electrical outlets in the bathroom. It’s just a recipe for disaster that chaps my hide every time I think about it.
- Customer Service. Yes. This is a recurring theme. We dropped off the husband’s car at the dealer for an oil change and some bulb changes at 8:30 am. The service department told us that it would be ready in a few hours and we let them know that we were on a tight schedule because we had a plane to catch so this time frame was perfect. We arrived at 1:00pm to pick up the car and it was in pieces and no where near ready. I don’t know what they had been doing all morning but I do know we had a plane to catch and a car that still needed an oil change. I’ll save you the rest of the story. Just know the frustration level was through the roof.
Say What Now?:
- Here in Ireland, they common phrase during this season is “Happy Christmas”. It’s not Merry Christmas but, Happy Christmas. So, we stumble all over our words and are slowly getting accustomed to saying Happy Christmas. As long as we say it with a smile, everyone’s happy.
Hugs and love,
Is there something you want to know about our experience here in Ireland? Please leave a comment below and I will get back to you.