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traditions

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Penneys and RTÉ have released this year’s limited edition Late Late Toy Show collection and it is too cute for words.

The Late Late Toy Show range will be on sale in Penneys stores nationwide from Monday, October 22, with Penneys donating a total of €75,000 to Temple Street Foundation, CMRF Crumlin and The National Children’s Hospital Tallaght.

Stay up past your bedtime for the best Friday night of the festive season and embrace The Late Late Toy Show with novelty sweaters and loungewear sets emblazoned with the iconic owl. For the littlest viewers, there is the ‘Wake me up for the Late Late Toy Show’ sleepsuit, bib and hat.

When you are wrapped up in your owl blanket and the tree is dressed in Late Late Toy Show baubles make sure to sharpen your pencil for the new bingo set that will allow you to play along at home, marking off your card as the traditional Late Late Toy Show frivolities unfold.

Once the show is over make sure to write that all-important letter to Santa using the letter pack and then slip on the owl eye mask for a perfect festive dream-filled sleep.

“We are delighted to be the chosen charity partners for the Penneys Late Late Toy show collection,” the children’s hospital foundations at Crumlin, Tallaght and Temple Street said in a joint statement.

“The range is not only fun and engaging but the donations from this initiative will help so many children and their families. Our aim is to continuously deliver the best possible care to the children who come through our doors every single day, and as a loyal corporate partner, the team at Penney's help make this possible.”

The Late Late Toy Show collection will launch in Penneys stores Tuesday, October 22.

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Is there anything lovelier – or more bizarre – than a traditional Irish Christmas?

Okay, it's not everyone's cup of tea, but even the Grinches of the world can't say no to a tin of Roses and a hot whiskey.

No matter what's gone down over the previous twelve months, there are some traditions that always stay the same come Christmas time. Here are a few of the things that are no doubt going to happen in your house…

1. Someone will get a roasting for eating from the wrong selection box
"I was SAVING that Curly Wurly for tomorrow you heathen."

 

2. And there'll be a fight over when it's okay to eat the "good" biscuits
Look at them there, in their shiny tin, calling to you.

 

3. You say you'll have "just the one" down the pub on Christmas Eve
Just the one… entire bottle… of Baileys.

 

4. But despite the hangover, you'll still wake up early on Christmas morning
Because presents.

 

5. One relative will insist on hogging the TV for Coronation St on Dec 25th
"Can we not put on a box set and call it a day, Auntie Mags?"

 

6. Your mam/dad will SWEAR this is the year they get the roast potatoes right
"Anne in work said she uses coconut oil for them, so I bought a kilo."

 

7. You'll have to feign excitement for at least one awful gift
"Oh, a selection of lavender soaps, my fave."

 

8. There'll be a heated discussion about whether Coffee Escape belongs in the tin of Roses
A contentious issue indeed.

 

9. One relative will get a little too liberal with the sherry
And they'll start talking about your mam's "wild" days in the Sixties.

tv christmas drinking holiday that 70s show

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If you thought Valetine’s Day was all hilarious cards and awkward Irish fellas trying to hide behind wilted roses then you’re wrong – all around the world different countries have very different traditions.

Giftcloud have put together some of the more unusual Valetine’s Day traditions that can be found worldwide, and we have to say some of them are very interesting indeed!

For example, guys not aware of tradition in Taiwan may want to count their red roses very carefully as 108 roses signifies a proposal – eep!

In The Philippines, many couples choose this day of love to tie the knot or renew vows, with over 4,000 couples getting married in 2013 and 2014. How romantic!

In Japan, Giri-choco which translates to ‘obligation chocolate’ is given by women to men they have no romantic attachment to such as friends or co-workers and it is generally low-quality and inexpensive. This is in comparison to Honmei choco which is given by Japanese women to men they are romantically involved with and it is generally more expensive and of a higher quality.

Perhaps our favourite Valentine’s Day tradition from around the world comes from Finland where the day is known as Ystävänpäivä, which translates to ‘Friend’s Day’ – a day in which people celebrate and spend time with their besties. Aww!

Do you wish Ireland would adopt any of these interesting traditions? 

To view the full infographic, click here

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There is just no denying it – Christmas is the best time of the year. With epic gifts, food and movie marathons to look forward to over the coming fortnight, we've compiled a list of the best Christmas traditions to get you even more excited for the celebrations.

1. Decorating the house

Multi-coloured tinsel? Check. Gaudy baubles? Check. Tacky LED Santa? Double check. Despite the annual struggle to get the garland to stay up, decorating the tree and house is the most exciting part of the Christmas preparations, and the first sign that the festive season has begun. Throw on the Christmas tunes and have a hot port while you're at it, and you might as well be in the North Pole.

2. Watching the lights turn on

It doesn't matter what age you are, there's something so timelessly magical about watching the lights get turned on in the city. It's the first sign that Christmas is on its way, and the festive cheer in the air is infectious. Only downside? So many street selfies.

3. The work Christmas party

The one time of the year where it's almost acceptable (yet always so regrettable) to get drunk and overshare around your bosses. Inappropriate comments and a sneaky hook-up under the mistletoe are par for the course, as are ridiculous Christmas jumpers.

4. Secret Santa

It's hard enough trying to buy for your family, so trying to keep to a €10 budget on a gift for a person you've barely said more than hello to is a definite challenge. As stressful as Secret Santa may prove each year however, it's a lovely way to bond with your work crew. Also, it's always fun trying to figure out who gave that one completely awful gift. Fun times!

5. Going to mass with the family

Once you get over the initial guilt that goes with the realisation that it's been a year since you set foot in a church, Christmas mass is a lovely way to bring the real meaning of the holiday home. Even if you are just there to keep the parents happy, hearing the hymns and the story of the nativity, and seeing the excitement of the little children around is very special.

6. Binging on chocolate and turkey sandwiches

So food is probably at the top of the list of things we most look forward to at Christmas. We spend weeks preparing for the feast of chocolates, desserts, whopper dinners and mince pies that mum has stashed away in the cupboards, and gladly take the opportunity to gorge ourselves to the point of illness.

7. Reuniting with friends who have moved away

They spend their lives on Facebook sharing photos and statuses of how fabulous Australia/ America/ China is, but when it comes right down to it, there's nowhere on Earth they would rather be at Christmastime than at home. Even if it's just for a few hours, Christmas is a great time to catch up with your buddies who have moved away, to reminisce on the good old days and swap scandal.

8. Hitting the pub on St Stephens Day

If there's one day that you always manage to make it out for over the festive season, it's St Stephens Day. It's the one night of the year when absolutely everyone is out – from friends to relatives and all the local talent – and the craic and feel-good atmosphere cannot be beaten.

9. Watching Christmas movies

This is probably the only time of the year where the family won't fight over the remote. Whether it's just that good old Christmas cheer or the fact that everyone is too full to move, no one will protest to a little Harry Potter marathon, and even the most hard-hearted among us will melt at It's A Wonderful Life and The Polar Express.

10. Hitting the sales

While the mere thought of leaving your hibernation spot on the couch to face crowds of bargain hunters is a terrifying one, we can never resist a trip into the sales. Best case, you'll find that amazing coat you had your eye on reduced to a steal; worst case, you can look on at the sad faces of the sales assistants and thank god it's not you having to put up with that angry mob.

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