There are a lot of traditions that make up the Christmas season in Ireland. Some are simply an Irish approach to an international practice, while others are definitely only-in-Ireland phenomena.
The Late Late Toy Show
Christmas doesn’t start until kids stay up late to watch The Late Late Toy Show. The Late Late Show is Ireland’s oldest chat show, and at the start of every December since Gaybo was a boy they’ve devoted one show to featuring favorite and new toys. The show is hilarious as the adult host, currently Ryan Tubridy, has to deal with dozens of young children who review the various toys (some as young as five), going off-script constantly and ad-libbing to great effect. Ryan usually wears that other Christmas staple the ugly Christmas Jumper, and frequently breaks the toys, drawing pained comments from the kids. Now that social media has taken off, following the Twitter chat as the program airs is essential.
Viewers worldwide can watch this year’s Toy Show online for a few more days.
Tins of Biscuits
If you visit anyone over the holidays, you bring a tin of biscuits or a bottle of something (or both, if the old employment situation is good). Tins of biscuits are something you only see at Christmas, and there are no plain biscuits in the box! Few Irish are born without a very sweet tooth!
Thankfully, tins of biscuits are easier to come by in the US these days. Don’t show up at any Irish Crimbo party without one under your arm!