It's the most wonderful time of the year - but what makes Christmas so magic? In the lead up to December 25th, we asked twelve notable Irish people their twelve who, what, and whys. Next up, writer Freya Drohan.
1. The earliest Christmas memory
My grandparents used to come to stay for Christmas when I was younger. One year, my nana fell through the shoddy fold-out camp bed by parents had put her on. I was 100% convinced that the insanely loud thud that ensued was Santa’s sleigh landing on the roof. Pretty sure it was also the last year they ever ventured up to Dublin.
2. The most memorable Christmas gift
I was stuck in a career rut last year, and my boyfriend bought me the very generous gift of a Pilates teacher training certification course. I’ve always loved fitness and wellness, so it’s a great outlet for me... especially as writing full-time generally involves sitting down hunched over a laptop all day. I hope to have my 500 hours of apprenticing done by spring. I still don't think I'll ever manage to do the splits though.
3. The long-running Christmas tradition
It’s my first one at home since 2014, and my parents and younger siblings just moved into their new dream home last month so it feels like it’ll be a year of firsts all over again. I’m beyond excited to indulge in old traditions while creating some new and lasting ones.
4. The best Christmas song
Darlene Love's Christmas (Baby Please Come Home) - followed in close second by Fairytale of New York - especially when roaring out the lyrics after a few too many tipples.
5. The uplifting Christmas movie
I’m a divil for not watching any and vowing to do so the following year. The last one I remember watching was Home Alone while in New York years ago with my friend Ruth who is obsessed with said movie - and days later Macaulay Culkin (the adult hipster version with ponytail and glasses) came in to eat at the restaurant we worked in.
6. The best part of Christmas dinner
My dad’s stuffing gravy - he should probably trademark this if it's not an actual thing - it's rich, thick gravy infused with mounds of flavourful stuffing. Wars could be solved over a plate of this stuff.
7. The Christmas Eve routine
I’ve spent the last seven or eight working - having always had jobs in hospitality or newsrooms. The last three were spent in a wild Italian piano bar in New York, but as mentioned above, I am thrilled to get to spend this one with my family - and the evening with friends in Gibney's pub in Malahide (if I can fit in the door it gets that stuffed from 5pm!)
8. The Christmas drink of choice
Baileys coffee. But then again, I’d say that at any time of any day, all year round (iced Baileys coffees are the perfect summer drink.)
9. The Christmas gift I’m buying myself
The gift of leaving my laptop back home in Los Angeles while I take a proper breather. And sure we'll "see" what the St. Stephen's Day sales have to offer.....
10. The Christmas Day game/activity that never disappoints
Buzzing for the Christmas Day swim this year. Who needs cryotherapy when you have the Irish Sea?? A sure way to knock the cobwebs off from the drinks on Christmas Eve too.
11. The best way to give back at Christmas
Donating your time or money to a cause you believe in and reminding everyone how much they mean to you too. While compiling this series over the past 11 days, people contributed great points that I'm trying to adhere to. Sinead Keary's one - to remember that even paying strangers genuine compliments can help brighten up their day - stands out in particular. Small gestures really do go a huge way.
12. The real magic of Christmas is
Enjoying the best things in life - love, laughter, food, family, friends - abundantly.
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