What I got for Christmas: a baby, a 1,500-piece jigsaw, a 12-foot scarf
A selection of people assess their haul of Christmas presents, and share their accounts of December 25th
JOHN HOYNE AND HIS WIFE CATHY HOYNE, CO KILKENNY
John and Cathy are spending their first Christmas as parents.
Cathy: This Christmas was heaven on earth. I can’t describe it really. We were hoping for that day for a long time and it lived up to expectations. All we wanted was to be parents, and everything else is immaterial.
“We have been married a long time – 12 years next May – so a child wasn’t easy to come by. We really appreciate it and our son Seán is all we hoped for and wanted. Although Seán is only 11 months old, Santa still came. We were up until late and then we videoed Seán as he was getting his toys – how sad are we?
“My husband John is a last minute boy who runs off on the morning of Christmas Eve to get the presents. I had subtly mentioned what I wanted and he got me a very decent pair of earrings. He got them to match my engagement ring so they are gorgeous. He probably went all out knowing I was going to be asked by The Irish Times what presents he got me!
“I got him tickets for Neil Young in June and then bits and bobs. He is hard to buy for as he has everything. We are together 20 years so we have done 20 years of Christmas presents, and being together as a family is the most important thing this year.”
John: “This Christmas was extra special. It brought us back to years ago when we ourselves were young, and we almost started reliving it all again. It is like a fairytale for the past two days.
“We have been 10 years waiting for this, and there was a lot of heartache along the way. Being a parent now though makes you forget all about that.
“I wanted to give Cathy something special. She had her ears pierced a few weeks ago, and I said to myself it would be a nice surprise.
“I have a business called The Fishman’s Market in Kilkenny and I work 16-hour days. Cathy took the year off, including maternity leave, so she has done a lot on her own. I wanted to make it extra special for her so I got her diamond earrings.
“I loved the Neil Young tickets and we’ll make a weekend of that in June. All we need now is for some family members to volunteer to take Seán for a few days.”
DONAL O’KEEFFE, FERMOY, CO CORK
“As always, the day flew, much of it spent playing games that involve imagination, extreme silliness and jumping on drowsy uncles while screeching with delight.
“My nephews James and Caoimhín put on a most impressive magic show, the main effect of which was to vastly increase their own financial worth.
“I’m the eldest of eight and when you add partners, Christmas gets a bit steep for presents. We’ve done a Kris Kindle for the past few years (maximum value €20 but we cheat a bit).
“My eldest nephew, David, is nearly 15 now and as he gets older I struggle to know what to get him. Still, he’s very sharp and he’s always appreciated the true meaning of Christmas: money.
“My youngest sister Kate has moved with her family to Switzerland and their return is always eagerly awaited. Buying Christmas presents for her kids can be tricky as presents add to their luggage for the return journey. My compromise is that I get them a few bits and pieces and I paint or draw them them a picture.
“This year’s favourite character is Oscar the Grouch, a childhood hero of my own, so I had a lot of fun painting his portrait for them.