Sunday, 23 November 2014

Christmas Shopping And The Hibernating Cat.

We went up to Kerry for some turf (peat) and our 'half an hour' Christmas shopping.  Yep half an hour.  There is nothing like going shopping when you know what you are looking for,  is there?  The number of times I have been queuing up with biblical multitudes for a jumper, Catherine Cookson book or a bottle of whisky on Christmas eve?   The presents are bought and number one and number two son's are getting money for the January sales.  Things are always so much cheaper then!

All we need to do now is start our 'Christmas Cupboard'.  We started this years a go when we rented a little house, had little money and kept seeing adverts on the television for Christmas Hampers.  So we decided to make our own.  All you need is an empty cupboard or a big cardboard box.  Then start collecting extra food tins and jam and sauce bottles and Christmas puddings, sugar, bottles of wine, cans of beer... Before you know it you will have your own Christmas Hamper/Cupboard.

There won't be any of that "lets buy everything in the supermarket" on Christmas Eve.  How do people manage with the supermarkets being shut for ONE day?

You can raid it if you get bad weather and can't get to town.  Especially if you live in a rural area and they don't grit the roads.  Like they say:

"How do the salt gritter people get to work?"

Saw this sign yesterday.  I had to buy it for the blog and the kitchen.  None Irish residents if you don't get it, I will try to explain.  Just ask!  


Domino copies the sign.  

25 comments:

  1. Never ceases to amaze me how many trolley loads of stuff people deem necessary for one day of presumably unbridled gluttony. I'd bet quite a proportion of it is in the wheelie bin by New Year.

    How did we manage in years gone by when everywhere was shut every Sunday and every Bank Holiday?

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  2. Hi Cumbrian. Yes I wonder what Albert Arkwright (Open All Hours) would think of it all? I know somebody who lives in England near a Tesco Express, which is open Christmas Day in case you have forgotten anything like Cream or Christmas Puddings?

    Think its a Thursday this year. So it will be a very dragged out weekend. Can't say I enjoy it these days now the kids are nearly grown up and we see to the farm animals, visit the graves and place wreaths on them. Then we have a curry, pizza and mixed buffet and watch the television. Don't suppose they will put Billy Smarts Circus on? Use to like that. Even the pubs are closed here on Christmas Day. Wish we could just fast forward to spring.

    Thanks!

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  3. Yes I can believe some shops will open on Christmas day, especially in the areas populated by people whose religion doesn't recognise Christmas as we do. I think our local paki shop opens that day, but I don't think it's religious reasons, unless his bank account classes as a religion.

    Not sure about the pubs here, they can open any hours to suit themselves, so I'm sure some of them will open as usual or to suit customer demand. But judging by the amount of drink I see people buying in the supersheds I wonder how much demand there'll be.

    Thursday will make a long weekend, 1 day to celebrate and 3 days to recover for a lot of people. I never could understand the over-indulgence in food and drink and the resultant hang-overs. As my dad used to say, it's Christmas every weekend now.

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  4. I think Christmas can be an awfully lonely experience for some people, Cumbrian. Plus it's also a sad time for people missing depart loved one's and having family who have emigrated for work.

    Think a lot of pubs have private parties and no money is exchanged or you put in a box. Believe they use to do this in North Wales pubs on Sundays.

    Wouldn't mind going on holiday away from the miserable weather and boring long weekend.

    You are right though. You can have food like Turkey and drink any time. We just have a mixed buffet and everybody goes back and forth when they want something. Much better than a formal turkey and all the trimmings dinner. Less work for the wife too. Women never get a break at Christmas.

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  5. We didn't win the Lotto this week. I was hoping to celebrate Christmas somewhere exotic and warm. So what do you do instead of Christmas, Heron?

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    1. It is an ordinary day Dave, there is no alternative and the only difference is that like good friday the pubs are shut, but as I rarely enter them these days it does not matter.

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    2. It's a long and boring day for us, Heron. I rarely go in pubs these days. They are too expensive and I don't like listening to the news on the television. What ever happened to juke boxes?

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  6. I like the attitude it sums how we feel about Christmas:) Kerry is a beautiful part of Ireland we were there in the summer. Now about the sign please do tell

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  7. Hi Andrea. I think Christmas is so over rated these days. Wish I lived in Winchester and celebrated a Dickensian type Christmas. Keep saying we will go to a Christmas market in Europe, but we never do.

    Kerry is beautiful. It's nice down here in West Cork.

    The Celtic Tiger was the economic bubble that started in Ireland in 1995 and ended in 2007. American companies and banks invested in Ireland. Lots of buildings were constructed and property prices went through the roof. Then one day it ended and Ireland joined the world recession. Over 300,000 people have emigrated and unemployment stands at 14 percent. The credit stopped. A lot of people are wondering when the Celtic Tiger is going to wake up. Dublin is said to be booming. But there seems little evidence of it in rural Ireland. Thanks for your comment.

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  8. we have bought a stollen (I dont eat it) and a 2 person christmas pudding. Other than that we arent doing Christmas. We are having salmon as it is expensive and that is a treat for us. My cousin his and wife will give us a bottle of vodka and we will give them a bottle of vodka, its a joke.

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    1. Yeah I have seen stollen for sale in Lidl. You don't have to conform to the turkey and trimmings dinner do you? Just enjoy the time with your special one's. Thanks!

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  9. I don't think that tiger will wake up for a long time Dave.

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  10. I agree Deb. I have tried coaxing it with biscuits and milk, but the Celtic Tiger won't wake up. Found out that last week they have put my retirement age up to sixty seven. I think it's time they brought it down to 55 and let all the young folk have jobs. Thanks!

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  11. We don't 'do' Christmas as such. We will have a Yule day, for years we have tried to skip Christmas, we will have a special meal, and yes it is Turkey from a local Organic farm, you cant buy that every day of the year, veg all from the garden, homemade Pudding, yes, OK it's Christmas Pudding ! I am making quite a few this year to sell at a craft fare, I already have one booked by an artisan baker if you can believe that, he buys our eggs we buy one of his loaves every week, sort of a barter system. All but two gifts were bought today at a local craft fare, that's us done. Not even bothering to make a cake this year.
    If only the TV would stop advertising Christmas in Oct and shops would leave Christmas lights and so called goodies until Dec it might make it a little more special, most of the stuff on sale is junk anyway, destined for land fill.
    I remember one St. Stephen's day we got an SOS call from one of the local shops that we supplied with eggs, would we make a delivery, well we did, despite the snow, when we got to the village there were three young children using large sturdy cardboard boxes as toboggans having a wonderful time, their expensive gifts left indoors and neglected in favour of free fun.

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    1. My late father use to buy organic poultry from M&S in Killarney, Anne. Sounds like you have a niche market for your homemade puddings?

      How much is made in China and made of plastic? Or you forgot the batteries for them.

      Yes I have seen children playing with cardboard boxes instead of expensive gifts. At least you can mulch with the flattened cardboard boxes. Plastic ends up in the landfill or recycling at best.

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  12. We've a nice simple Christmas planned with the little'uns. Planning on making them a few presents so I need to get started with them soon!

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    1. Hi Kev. The magic of Christmas disappears when children grow up. You could start an online wooden toy business. What about a dolls house or a Noahs Ark complete with the animals walking 2 X 2? That will keep you busy.

      Thanks!

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    2. I'm thinking a wendy house. Then they can play while I'm in the garden. Also a few other presents for other family members.

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    3. If its like your mini kitchen. It will be brilliant. Can you make rocking horses, Kev? Think you have got a budding business there.

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  13. We don't do Christmas, we treat it as an extra Sunday. Having said that, we use the hols when the family are off work to get together for a midwinter meal, chat, and if the weather is fine, good long walks together. We always make up hampers to give to our daughters and their families, this is a twice yearly thing, midwinter and midsummer.
    There is so much media pressure, if you spend enough you will have the perfect (never existed) Dickensian family Christmas. Lonely people feel more isolated because of all the media hype.
    Did you see the stars last night in the clear winter sky? So beautiful. Amazing!

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  14. Hi Irene. Sounds like you are very organised at Christmas. I am hoping there are a few rock concerts in Ireland to see. Might go and see Imelda May at Killarney INEC. She's Rockabilly. Have you heard of her?

    There's some great Christmas Market city breaks on offer. Prague sounds wonderful. Think it's 156 Euros for three nights including flights and hotel. All those wonderful Czech beers to drink. I am getting tempted.

    We get some wonderful stars displays here in rural Ireland. One of the few blessings of not having street lights. Thanks!

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  15. We have been to Prague and it is so wonderful so if you can go do go,it is cold but wrap up and enjoy all the splendors on offer the best food and breakfast I have ever tasted.I wish I could get a cheap trip that is fab price.

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  16. Hi Andrea. I believe Prague is wonderful with its cobbled streets and wonderful architecture. Thanks for for telling me about Prague. The offer was on Done Deal and the operator is Arrrow Tours. Ryan Air fly from Dublin to Prague. Thanks!

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  17. It's 195 Euro now for 3 nights. That's still cheap though!

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