Christmas has this habit of slowly creeping out of Halloween’s fog and whisking you away on a gradual crescendo of excitement. Nearing closer to Christmas Eve, nothing can beat that unique festive buzz and childhood dreamlike nostalgia.
Our ritual of leaving out a glass of milk is replaced with heading to the pub for a glass of a different kind. Walking through the door, the pub’s joyful atmosphere and Christmas jingles raises the hair on the back of your neck and spellbinds you. It’s not long until you catch the fever of intense enthusiasm and exhilaration that can only be felt on Christmas eve. The giddy inner child awakens within all the punters and it is a magical night, unlike any other.
I have learned that the anticipation to anything is the best part; be it a holiday, your wedding or a special occasion – when the day has not yet happened it is still full of countless potential and limitless possibilities. This is especially true when approaching Christmas.
Christmas also has this tendency, however, to whoosh by so fast that sometimes we wake up the day after feeling like we didn’t get to recreate as many childlike memories as we wanted. So I have ransacked memory lane of my previous Christmasses for inspiration and I’m making a Bucket List to make sure my Christmas is everything I hope for.
Here are my Must Sees, Must Haves and Must Do’s for my Christmas!
With no direct winter flights from Sicily, my husband and I are making the most of our stop overs:
- Salute smoking Mount Etna farewell from Catania
- First stop – Rome for a day to visit cousins and catch some Roman Christmas spirit
- Fly into Dublin where we will stay with my sister for the night and hopefully catch some Dublin festivities
- Make our way down to my home Mallow, Co.Cork where we will stay for two weeks
- Visit Cork and bring baby Salvatore to see Glow display in Peace Park, the Post Office decorations, visit English Market and do some last-minute Christmas shopping
- On the way back to Sicily, we fly to London for 4 days to visit friends and relatives. Of course, a trip to Oxford and Bond street to check out their lights and shop fronts is a must!
- Silly Christmas Hat and jumper (I’ll pick these up from Pennies in Cork aka Primark)
- Christmas nails (from Boots)
- Red lipstick and my Barry M glittery red eyeshadow
Once shopping is complete, it’s time to relax and have:
- Epic Hot chocolate and mince-pie in Perry Street Market Cafe, Cork
- Mulled wine in Mutton Lane pub, Cork – nothing beats this place for candle lit Christmas atmosphere
- The best Nachos ever in the Gallery Bistro pub (Mallow)
- Prosecco chats with friends
- Late night Taco Fries from Abrakebabra, Cork
- Walk around my hometown Mallow, visit old haunts and meet dear friends
- Head to the pub and then my cousins for Christmas Eve drinks (but get home at a reasonable hour this year!)
- Get up early Christmas Morning and cook our traditional Christmas breakfast
- Walk down for morning mass with Gaetano and Salvatore and enjoy the fresh crispy air
- Have family Skype group call where we give out our Secret Santa presents online – I’m the youngest of seven and some of us are across the world!
- My mother’s epic Christmas dinner! No-one can beat her stuffing….like…ever!
- Pull the wish-bone, and failing that, pull some crackers instead
- Take a dinner-table photo – stretch those arms up high to get everyone and the food in shot. Hey, on this special day, food are guests too!
- Take more photos in general – It’s Salvatore’s first Christmas!
- Eat as many chocolates, Tayto and Meanie crisps and any Irish treats I can’t get here in Sicily without feeling too sick. Chilli Doritos and a couple of glasses of red are needed to make them go down.
- Board games with nieces and nephews. FYI: Pandemic and 30 Seconds (Irish made) are awesome to play!
- Binge on Christmas films (please R.T.E, be good to us this year and give us something decent!)
So this is my Christmas Bucket List, what’s yours? Let me know in the comment section!
Happy Christmas everyone!!