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Christmas

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Late Late Show presenter, Ryan Tubridy spoke at the RTÉ virtual autumn launch, all about what viewers can expect from this year’s Late Late Toy Show.

“I think, without question, that it will be the most important Toy Show that we’ve ever done – for obvious reasons,” Ryan said.

“The kids have been so good. They’ve had the weirdest year of their lives and it is absolutely up to us to make the sun shine for them again. We are determined and excited.

Ryan went on to talk about the extra precautions they’re taking, given the COVID-19 guidelines and restrictions. “We’re operating at the moment with the view that everything will be social-distanced. Everything is, as we know it now, in terms of Covid rules.”

“I don’t anticipate that changing between now and Christmas to be quite honest. I don’t see some kind of miraculous move towards people gathering. We made a decision quite early on that there will be no audience.”

Ryan admitted he was worried about the show’s lack of audience atmosphere, saying, “The idea of doing a Toy Show with no audience is very daunting because you feed off of that. But I feel quite supported by the public and their patience and that’ll help fuel the madness.”

He confirmed, “It’s going to be a radically different type of Toy Show. The opening of the Toy Show is going to be radically different. My character is radically different. The song is radically different… this is going to be a Toy Show like no other.”

Will this mean that there won’t be any of the usual ‘One for everyone in the audience!’ exclamations though? Ryan reassured us that they would come up with a suitable alternative to tackle every element of the show and make it suitable for a COVID-19 world. When someone suggested delivering gifts to frontline workers, Ryan replied, “That’s exactly along the lines of where we’d be inclined to go.”

“I mentioned in the middle of August that applications for the show were open and they had about 1,000 entries in the course of 24 hours. There’s a hunger for the Toy Show this year that is very different for obvious reasons,” the presenter claimed.

Ryan also hinted at this year’s theme, suggesting that it will be “delicious, and different.”

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Plates are empty, the dishwasher is full, there's a Christmas film on the telly and your Dad is already nodding off in his armchair. 

The hours and days after your Christmas dinner has finally digested are traditionally a time to feast of turkey sandwiches – and lots of them. 

However, we'd all like to think that our culinary skills have progressed a bit over the past year, and what better way to put them to the test than by creating scrumptious dishes from the Christmas leftovers? 

And to help, we've rounded up some of our favourite leftover turkey recipes that are both simple to make and oh-so tasty. 

Enjoy! 

Turkey Bubble & Squeak 

 

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Creamy Turkey Pot Pie Mac and Cheese

 

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Leftover Turkey Chilli Con Carne

 

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Creamy Turkey & Potato Soup

 

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Enchilada Bake With Leftover Turkey

 

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Turkey Tetrazzini

 

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Asian Inspired Turkey Soup

Leftover Turkey Paella

 

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Leftover Turkey Spicy Miso Ramen

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The most wonderful time of the year is here and all we I want to do is eat our weight in Celebrations and watch The Holiday on repeat.

We can finally watch our favourite Christmas movies without being judged so we gathered up our top festive films that you need to watch.

Christmas just doesn’t feel right until you’ve watched all of these merry movies.

  1. Home Alone

Did we watch this John Hughes classic when it was on Film4 in July? Maybe… Home Alone is one of the most beloved Christmas movies and we’re not surprised. Macaulay Culkin stars as Kevin, who is accidentally left home alone and must protect his house from thieves Harry and Marv- our favourite movie villains.

  1. Elf

“Buddy the Elf, what's your favorite colour?”

We recently re-watched Elf and completely forgot just how hilarious it is. Will Ferrell plays the hopeless Buddy Elf who leaves the North Pole and heads to the Big Apple to find his birth father. This movie is bound to leave you grinning from ear to ear.

  1. Love Actually

Hugh Grant’s dancing scene. Emma Thompson sobbing in her bedroom to THAT Joni Mitchell CD. Mr Bean taking a decade to wrap the necklace. Colin Firth’s sweaters. The race through the airport. Bill Nighy singing.

This movie is everything. A timeless classic we’ll never get tired of.

  1. The Muppet Christmas Carol

This movie always reminds us of childhood and fills us with nostalgic feelings. It is the ideal film to watch on Christmas Eve, no matter how old you are. Kermit and co. will remind you of the true meaning of Christmas.

  1. The Holiday

Jude Law in his prime. The Holiday is relatable and heartbreaking and absolutely charming. It also makes us dream about moving to a cottage in the English countryside (pre-Brexit, obviously.)

  1. How The Grinch Stole Christmas

It ain’t Christmas without the 2000 version of this Dr. Seuss’ tale. Who knew a movie with Gossip Girl’s Jenny Humphrey and Tanya from Mamma Mia could make us feel so festive?

  1. The Santa Clause

Look we only ever watch this movie to find out if anyone else fancied Bernard the Elf because he was the light of our lives in 1994. In all seriousness, this Tim Allen movie is a childhood favourite and always makes us feel super merry.

  1. Miracle on 34th Street

The 1994 version, obviously. We just can’t get enough of this heartfelt remake of the 1947 Christmas movie. Starring Matilda herself, Mara Wilson and the late Richard Attenborough, this is another Christmas hit by John Hughes so make sure it’s on your list this December.

 

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Christmas Day is almost here but I feel like all anyone is thinking about is whether their online deliveries will arrive on time or what time Penneys closes at on Christmas Eve.

As a child, my fondest Christmas memories are of my parents and their friends singing along to Slade in the kitchen, decorating the tree with my little sisters and bickering over who will put the star on top, visiting my Nanny’s house and revelling in the fact that we could eat chocolate before dinner.

The last thing I think of are the gifts. Don’t get me wrong, I nearly keeled over with joy when a Sylvanian Families Brick Oven Bakery was under the tree one Christmas, but nowadays the most wonderful time of the year is all about shopping.

Christmas is starting to revolve around Amazon deliveries, late night shopping and taking the perfect photo of the tree for Instagram.

We’ve forgotten the fact that spending hundreds on gifts isn’t the true meaning of Christmas.

We have been conditioned to think this way so let me remind you of the things that truly matter at Christmas time.

  • Waking up on Christmas morning and hugging your Mam.
  • Singing along to Wham as you drive home with your Dad.
  • Swooning over Jude Law in The Holiday with your sisters.
  • That first sip of Butler’s Hot Chocolate on a cold December evening.
  • Catching the Father Ted Christmas special and quoting the entire thing.
  • Rockin’ around the Christmas tree, literally.
  • Helping the men of the family wrap their presents on the sly.
  • Stopping to listen to carol singers on Grafton Street.
  • The smell that hits you as you open the first tin of Roses.
  • Dancing around the kitchen to Mariah Carey with your best friends.
  • Pints in your local pub on Christmas Eve.
  • Fluffy roast potatoes that make you drool.
  • Laughing as you struggle to fit the turkey in the oven: “It didn’t look that big in the butchers.”
  • Receiving Christmas cards from family who won’t make it home for Christmas
  • Seeing the baffled look on your cat/dog’s face when they see the tree for the first time
  • Saying ‘Merry Christmas’ to the bus driver
  • Your Nanny’s red cheeks after one too many glasses of mulled wine.
  • Sharing stories about the loved ones who are no longer around for Christmas.
  • Pretending your Grandad didn’t fall asleep after dinner: “I was just resting my eyes.”
  • Watching Santa leave the North Pole on the news, no matter what age you are.
  • Driving around and looking at all the Christmas lights in your hometown.
  • Trying to find out which one of your cousins keeps putting empty wrappers in the tin of Celebrations.
  • Seeing the Coca Cola ad for the first time.
  • Drinking a cold glass of Bailey’s by the fire.
  • The first turkey sandwich you eat on December 26.

So this is Christmas.

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Christmas is an expensive time of year. We have yet to start our Christmas shopping yet, but the list seems never-ending. We need to buy a gift for our sister, best friend, work wife, parents and even the dog.

Oh and don’t forget about bae.

Or maybe you could if you plan on being guilty of the cheapest dating trend.

Scrooging is a dating trend that’s growing in popularity and it is not pleasant.

Ever get dumped just before Christmas and wonder what went wrong? Things seemed all fine and dandy and then bam! You’re single again and hoping to God you can get a refund on the surprise weekend away you booked as a gift to beau.

Well, according to Metro, scrooging is essentially dumping your other half so you don’t have to buy them a Christmas present.

Yes, you read that right.

Apparently, one in ten are guilty of this dating trend and men are more likely to do it. Not surprised, to be honest.

Relationship expert for EHarmony, Rachael Lloyd, told Metro, “We know that relationships can often become less of a priority in the run up to Christmas. It’s also a time when dating significantly slows down. 

“However, it seems particularly miserly to end a relationship simply to avoid buying your partner a present and indicates that you weren’t ready for a romantic commitment in the first place.”

Staying single just seems like a much easier option.

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 With Christmas day edging closer, An Post is reminding gift givers that there is a solution to their last minute gifting dilemma. This festive season, a One4All gift card takes the stress out of buying gifts and makes sure your friends and family get what they really want this Christmas. 

 And you’ll be in good company with your purchase. An Post has revealed that over 40 percent of all One4All gift card purchases for the year are made in the days leading up to Christmas, with the average amount loaded ranging from €90 to €120.

 

While a pair of novelty socks or a Christmas tie may seem like a good idea, the benefits of a One4All Gift card give it the edge. One4All gift cards can be loaded from as little as €15 right up to a maximum of €500 which will cover all budgets. They are accepted in 8,500 stores and with the added bonus that there’s no expiry date on the card.  For the ‘down to the wire’ shoppers, the gift cards are available at your local post office up to 1pm on Christmas Eve. 

Of the days between now and December 25th, Debbie Byrne, Managing Director, An Post Retail says: “Our post offices are open right up to 1pm on Christmas Eve. Staff are there to help with all last minute posting and gifting needs. Popping into the post office for a One4all gift card is a great option for anyone on a last-minute Christmas dash. It’s peace of mind for customers, knowing they can gift family and friends with what they really want. Received with a handwritten card, this a thoughtful and reliable way to send love.”

Other great Christmas gifting options from An Post include An Post Mobile’s Mint + Value iPhone 7 (32GB), a great last minute gift choice, available at selected post offices this festive season. Drop into your nearest An Post Mobile post office or find your local store by visiting anpost.com/mobile

In the lead up to Christmas, An Post post offices will be open all day Saturday 21st and Monday 23rd December from 9am-5.30pm and from 9am-1pm on Tuesday, 24th December.

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The countdown to Christmas Day is officially underway. There are mere days to go until December 25 arrives; a day filled with merriment, family, twinkly lights and turkey.

I’ll be rocking the matching pyjamas, singing along to Last Christmas and toasting to 2019 as my nearest and dearest gather at Nanny’s house.

As excited as I am for the holidays, it is important to remember that this time of the year isn't merry and bright for everyone, especially for people who are struggling with mental health issues.

Mental health disorders aren’t going to take the day off or magically vanish when you sit down to watch Love Actually. I wish they would, but they don't.

There’s a lot of pressure placed on society to act like all is well just because the holidays are here. For those with anxiety, depression, OCD and other mental health disorders, it can feel impossible to simply put on a ‘brave face’ for the sake of the extended family. 

We try our best to keep up appearances but I think it is very important to remember that you shouldn’t feel ashamed or disappointed in yourself if you find the holidays difficult. Having a mental health disorder is a constant battle. You can’t just pop a plaster over it and carry on with your day.

Living with anxiety has taught me that there will be good days and there will be bad days. It is a disorder you manage, not banish, unfortunately. Another thing, and possibly the best thing, this disorder has taught me is that there is help out there. Never ever be afraid to reach out to a friend or relative if you're feeling particularly bad. 

You may feel like you're 'ruining' Christmas, but that couldn't be further from the truth. There is never a bad time to reach out and seek help, Christmas or not. Your best friend will be there to hug you on the bad days. Your sister will help you find a counsellor. Your dad will listen when you're ready to talk about what you're experiencing.

As hard as it can be, you must hold on to every ounce of hope.

Matt Haig sums it up perfectly:

“You will one day experience joy that matches this pain. You will cry euphoric tears at the Beach Boys, you will stare down at a baby’s face as she lies asleep in your lap, you will make great friends, you will eat delicious foods you haven’t tried yet, you will be able to look at a view from a high place and not assess the likelihood of dying from falling. There are books you haven’t read yet that will enrich you, films you will watch while eating extra-large buckets of popcorn, and you will dance and laugh and have sex and go for runs by the river and have late-night conversations and laugh until it hurts. Life is waiting for you. You might be stuck here for a while, but the world isn’t going anywhere. Hang on in there if you can. Life is always worth it.”

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Remind yourself of Matt’s words when you’re struggling over the Christmas break. I understand that it can be unbearably hard time for a heartbreaking amount of people, but don’t lose hope.

As Matt said, life is always worth it.

You can contact the Samaritans on 116 123.

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Christmas is getting closer and we can’t quite believe the most wonderful time of the year is upon us.

The holidays are all about spending time with your nearest and dearest, but some of our loved ones will be spending Christmas away from the Emerald Isle this year.

The best friend in New York, the cousin in Australia and the brother in London can’t be forgotten so we’ve made sure to send them something from home this Christmas.

If you’re planning on sending the annual box of Tayto to your big brother in New Zealand or posting a care package to your bestie in Glasgow then keep note of the final posting dates for 2019.

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An Post have confirmed the dates and you better hurry up because the final posting dates for the USA is December 6.

Check out the full list below:

Republic of Ireland:

Standard Post Letters – December 20

Standard Post Parcels- December 20

Registered Post – December 20

Express Post – December 21

Northern Ireland:

Standard Post Letters – December 20

Standard Post Parcels- December 20

Registered Post – December 20

Express Post – December 21

United Kingdom:

Standard Post Letters – December 19

Standard Post Parcels- December 19

Registered Post – December 19

International Courier Service – December 19

Europe:

Standard Post Letters – December 19

Standard Post Parcels- December 13

Registered Post – December 16

International Courier Service – December 19

USA:

Standard Post Letters – December 10

Standard Post Parcels- December 6

Registered Post – December 6

International Courier Service – December 19

Rest of World:

Standard Post Letters- December 6

Standard Post Parcels- December 6

Registered Post- December 6

International Courier Service- December 19

There will be no mail collection on December 24. There will also be no collection or delivery on December 27.

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If you’re sick of seeing loved-up couples this Christmas and think being single at this time of year totally sucks, just remember, the pair that just passed you have probably put that day’s festive-based argument on pause to keep up appearances for the public.

That 'perfect' couple have most likely had more than one argument over whose family they should spend Christmas with, whose group of friends they’ll go out with over New Years and who forgot that Christmas Eve was meant to be Christmas movie night and organised a night on the beer instead.

Here are just five reasons why being single at Christmas is a major win

1. You don’t have to worry about hiding your hungover face in front of the in-laws.

"No, I’m fine. I always look this green and clammy."

2. You don’t have to spend hours traipsing through ‘boy’ shops looking for an Xbox game you’re certain you got him for this birthday.

"What’s Fortnite? Actually, I don't care. Just give it to me."

3. You save a LOT of money not having to shell out for generic gift sets for his side of the family.

"Lavender talc? That’ll do his nana…again."

4. You don’t have to sit through charades with your boyfriend’s uncle who constantly calls you by his ex-girlfriend’s name.

"No, don’t worry! Laura…Áine… sorry, they’re really similar."

5. You don’t have to prime your family on all the ‘Not To Be Discussed’ topics before he calls around.

"No, you can’t laugh at what happened in Ayia Napa. He doesn’t even know you know."

Seriously, is that stress-fest worth it just for a New Year's Eve kiss?

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Colin the Caterpillar has had a festive makeover and it has us feeling super merry this morning. The iconic cake is all set for the holidays after Marks and Spencer revealed his new look. 

Christmas is all about treating yourself to your favourite festive goodies and this cake has topped our list.

Just look at it!

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The festive hat is almost too good to eat… almost.

The Christmas cake is decorated with presents, holly, snowflakes and candy canes, which are all edible.

The chocolate cake will be available from November and we can't wait to try it.

We may have to treat ourselves to a Selection Box to keep us ticking over until then.

We cannot wait to try this festive treat!

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Tesco stores nationwide are offering a complete range of quirky seasonal treats for the four-legged members of the family this Christmas. Tesco’s Christmas Pet food range features a selection of merry meals and treats so they can join in the festive fun and enjoy a Christmas dinner with recipes designed especially for them.

This wide range of pet friendly treats in festive flavours includes some truly pawsome treats such as handmade Macaroons, Mince Pies, Christmas puddings and more.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Tesco Mince Pies for Dogs (€2.99)

An ideal present to sit under the Christmas tree or served as a Christmas day treat for your favourite pooch, these pimped up mince pies are made from a recipe containing all-natural ingredients with a yogurt and carob coating. Paw-fect!

Tesco Macarons For Dogs 8 Pack (€3.00)

Man’s best friend deserves only the best! These all new Macarons for Dogs are a special festive treat for your furry friend, complete with a tasty yoghurt flavour filling and carefully sandwiched together by hand.

Tesco Handmade Christmas Pudding Biscuits for Dogs (€2.99)

While the rest of the family tuck into a festive feast, don’t forget the pup by your side. Treat them with ‘dog-licious’ Christmas Pudding biscuits, made with all-natural ingredients and hand decorated with a yoghurt and carob coating.

Tesco Dog Biscuit Tin with Turkey & Cranberry (€3.89)

Tesco’s Turkey and Cranberry flavoured dog biscuits are made with tasty wheat meal and oven baked for added crunch. Made with no artificial colours or flavours, these crunchy biscuits help keep dogs’ teeth clean and are enriched with vitamins and minerals. Pups will love these Christmas dinner flavoured treats!

Tesco Dog Biscuit Christmas Stars (€2.99)

The paw-fect stocking filler for your favourite pooch. These festive star biscuits are created with a grain free recipe and boast a delicious carob & peanut butter flavour that is sure to have tails wagging.

Tesco Turkey And Cranberry Cat Treats (€3.89)

The purr-fect festive treat for your feline friend. Tesco’s Turkey and Cranberry flavoured cat treats are oven baked for added crunch. Made with no artificial colours or flavours, these Christmas dinner flavoured treats are enriched with vitamins and minerals and help to keep cats’ teeth clean. Win win!

 

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The most wonderful time of the year is here and there’s no place we’d rather celebrate than home. There’s something so special about Ireland at Christmas time and Deliveroo has reminded us of that.

They gathered up a list of the country’s top Christmas traditions and all our favourites made the list, including the Late Late Toy Show.

Deliveroo’s survey highlights that six of Ireland’s fifteen most popular festive traditions that inspire the most Christmas spirit revolve around food and drink.

Top 15 Traditions that inspire the most Christmas Spirit:

Christmas decorations

The Late Late Toy Show

Christmas adverts

Festive coffees

Mince pies

Christmas songs

Christmas sandwiches

Receiving the first Christmas card

Christmas markets (at home and abroad)

Christmas dinners

Glass of Bailey’s

Opening the first window of an Advent Calendar

Festive crisps and dips

Carol singers

Christmas filters on Snapchat and Instagram

Food will be as important as ever this year, as the average Irish person will consume 6 slices of smoked salmon, 2 glasses of Bailey’s, 4 Christmas sandwiches, 6.5 mince pies, 2.5 glasses of mulled wine, 2 Christmas dinners, 11 Brussel Sprouts and 1 potato croquette. 

When do we start to get those Festive Feels? The research reveals that almost one in three (32%) start to feel festive at their first Christmas party. While 27 percent say that the turning of the calendar to December 1st prompts their feelings of festivity. Almost one in five Irish adults (19%) say that the Late Late Show kicks off the festivities, followed by receiving the first Christmas card (12%)  and seeing the Christmas lights being turned on (8%).

Based on our favourite parts of Christmas, Ireland is a traditional bunch. Food and drink were voted as the favourite parts of Christmas, time off work follows. Perhaps surprisingly, people held more favour with attending Christmas Mass and services than receiving Christmas gifts.

What is your top Christmas tradition?

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