THE GEESE ARE getting fat, people are wearing novelty reindeer antlers to work, and there there are selection boxes for sale in shops that don’t even sell chocolate the rest of the year round (laundrettes, butchers, possibly taxidermists — we haven’t checked).
More to the point, Christmas FM went on air this week, meaning you can now overdose on Band Aid, Fairytale of New York and Christmas Shoes on the morning commute to your heart’s content, or until tinsel starts coming out of your ears, whichever happens sooner.
So, yes. Christmas is definitely happening, it appears. In fact, by this day four weeks it will all be over. At this point, there’s no option but to to give in and sign-up for the revelry.
This morning, TheJournal.ie continues is guide to what’s happening in Ireland’s cities in the weeks heading up to the day itself.
There’s certainly plenty going on in Limerick…
The Milk Market [Image: Tarmo Tulit Photography]
There’s a whole selection of Christmas markets in the Treaty City this December.
The Milk Market, a Limerick institution, will have carol singers doing the rounds at weekends, as stalls take on a festive flavour for the month. From Thursday week, the market moves to a seven-day schedule at Mungret Street. Check out their site for updates.
You can continue that hunt for a unique Christmas gift over at the the Christmas Crafts Bazaar, happening at the former Franciscan Church over at Henry Street. There’ll be 70 stalls to wander through, and it runs from Fridays through Sundays starting Friday week.
If you still haven’t found what you’re looking for, the Saturday Stalls on Cruises Street have another 16 traders. They’ll be operating every weekend between now and Christmas from 9am-5pm.
The children. What shall we do with them?
Santa (yes, of course the real Santa*) is holed up in a purpose-built log cabin on Thomas Street this year.
Visits are ten euro per child, and it’s an extra fiver for a photo, which can be printed out on the spot or e-mailed by an enthusiastic elf.
*Of course, they’re all the real Santa.
Ice skating. A good idea?
When it comes to ice-skating, we can’t all be, well, Vanilla Ice. TheJournal.ie would like to offer its advisory once again that, in the event that you’re an Irish person, statistically you’re not likely to be very good at this sort of thing.
Anyway, if you must — Limerick on Ice is back for for its tenth year at Arthur’s Quay. It’s open from today until 5 January.
A session on the ice will cost you €15 per adult or €13 per child under 14. There’s discounts for family and group bookings.
And where can I park?
A sure way to end up with a stocking full of charcoal this Christmas… [Robbo-man via Flickr]
Plan in advance and you may be able to get through that entire Christmas list without having to pay for parking — there’s free on-street spaces in December every Friday until midday.
More details here.
And it wouldn’t be Christmas in Limerick without…
The Remembrance Tree.
The Limerick Rotary Club erects a tree at Bedford Row each year. The idea behind it is that people can mark the memory of a loved one by writing their name on a yellow ribbon and tying it onto a branch.
It goes up next Friday, and its estimated that up to 10,000 people will be remembered this way in the run up to Christmas. A service will be held after Christmas Day in their honour.
People generally make a voluntary donation as they tie their ribbon, with the proceeds going to the Special Olympics, Pieta House and Cuan Mhuire.
Nice idea, isn’t it?