The Small Things

The Small Things

Christmas. When someone mentions the word “Christmas”, typically the first things a person might think about are presents, a big roast turkey dinner, the tree, mince pies and maybe baby Jesus. These tend to be the main key players in the festive season, without which Christmas just would not be the same. These are the big things. Yet, for me, there are so many small things that make up the foundation of Christmas without which the rest wouldn’t feel the same.

Preparing the vegetables and desserts on Christmas Eve morning with my mom in the kitchen, whilst listening to the live Joe Duffy programme on the radio. Going to midnight mass with my family at the local church and tucking into proper ham sandwiches upon on our return. The Goal Mile charity walk on Christmas morning and breakfast as a family afterwards. The boardgame with the whole family on Christmas night which inevitably results in everyone, regardless of current age, reverting their 8 year old self… and outright war. The brisk, refreshing walk on St Stephen’s day to blow away the cobwebs. The Ward walk on the 27th, an 8 mile (ish) around the Blessington lakes organised by family friends to raise money for the St. Vincent de Paul every year. The welcoming fire, pint of Guinness, egg sandwiches and Cadbury’s Roses at afterwards. It’s all about the little things.

This weekend is not going to be BIG in the obvious sense. Not going to be small either. It’s going to be full of little things without which the BIG we’re all striving for next week wouldn’t happen.

Parkrun 5km… Christmas Special. Usual time, the usual place but with a bumper crowd, a jolly festive atmosphere, lots of cake, mince pies and goodies… and Santa hats of course. Last week’s 5km took place in atrocious conditions and the typical 100 odd runners was reduced to just 18, yours truly included. Truly heart-lifting to see a whopper 184 runners out today. Coffee and mince pies with new friends was even better.

Running with Santa #honoured

Starbucks Coffee Date with Lovely Cousin. Every year, my Mum and I meet my cousin for coffee a few days before Christmas and exchange presents, and since the arrival of her daughter and my godchild Ellie, she’s joined our little party 😉 Starbucks in Kildare Village has become our tradition, as has gingerbread lattes and lemon poppyseed muffins.

Christmas at Kildare Village. Honestly, it’s like M&S doing food ads.
My weak spot? Starbucks Gingerbread Latte. 

Wrapping Presents. I typically leave this as the last thing to do. Last year, it was ridiculous – I didn’t get around to wrapping my gifts until AFTER MIDNIGHT MASS on Christmas Eve… Hence, I’m planning to be more pro-active this year and get to it this weekend. At least that’s the plan. Kinda.

Operation Christmas Pudding. I’ve made the Christmas pudding for Christmas day for the last few years, my grandmother having carried this mantle for countless years before that. But this year, my mum couldn’t decide whether she wanted one and my orders were to hold back. I duly obeyed, to my detriment. Today, she tells me she wants one. Uh huh. See, here’s the thing – I’ll be nailed to the wall by the relatives if there is no pudding on Christmas day (and left there to think about what I did…and probably never forgiven…) and right now, we have NO pudding so the pudding dilemma is fast becoming a pudding crisis. Pudding this top of my to do list.

Sampling Smoked Salmon. Cuz you know it would be neglectful towards our guests if we didn’t sample all of the smoked salmon around town to make sure the best one makes to the table on Christmas day. I’m only thinking of the guests.


Irish Times Christmas Sports Crossword. And I am not ashamed of this. I LOVE CROSSWORDS. I blame it on the genes. I like letters, I like words, I like winning. Word.

I’ve also got a 16 mile long run in the morning and a clatter of books to read… Some people detest the small things. Not me.



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