On Christmas Eve, I posted on Facebook about not feeling very Christmassy. Because I just didn't. There were decorations up, people walking around with Santa hats, 12 Pubs of Christmas crawls going on. It was the little differences. There were Christmas songs being played, but I didn't hear Slade, Wizzard or Fairytale of New York ONCE! Except for when we did it at karaoke in the hostel after many many fizzy drinks. I miss the lights on Grafton Street. I miss the stalls on Henry Street, with the shrill cries of "wrappin paper, 5 sheets for a euro". I missed the 12 Pubs of Christmas with the girls. I missed doing Kris Kindle with the family and then all of us just swapping around anyway to get who we had a gift idea for.
Working Christmas Eve also wasn't the greatest way to get myself in the spirit. I tried playing some Christmas tunes. No. I wrote my cards out for the Plummer Family. No. I Facebook creeped my friends to see what they were up to. That just made me sad. Then I found my saviour on the RTE iPlayer. "The Toy Show Unwrapped" gave the history of the toy show and showed lots of old clips. I could not help but get into the spirit. As much as people sneer, I do love the Toy Show. Dara O'Briain's explanation that the Toy Show is the reason for the recession because it showed us all the things that we could have but would never be able to afford!
There is very little that differs with Canadian Christmas to an Irish one. Time spent with family eating too much food, watching shite on TV and basically just hanging around, being together. St Stephens Day - now that was a different matter. I know at home a lot of pubs close early and what not but the city was like a ghost town! Thankfully, the hostel bar was open so I went there and spent some time with my new friends, lamenting my homesickness and getting over it by drinking $10 pitchers of Moosehead. That is definitely a good way to forget that one is homesick. That's how the rest of my festive period was spent actually, working and drinking with a whole bunch of other people who were also far away from home. In my opinion, New Years is always a let down but this year, I actually had more fun that I remember having most New Years. Champagne at midnight, great music, a bunch of strangers and new friends. It was pretty great.
Moral of the Story - Christmas is about surrounding yourself with your family the people you love. When that's not possible, the next best thing is to get yourself a sweet Canadian family around and a hostel full of drunk backpackers. Just make sure you show up for work on time New Years Day......