Will it last until 2067? — 35 Comments

  1. I have a mammoth collection of Dinkys that I can’t wait to give Lucas. The proper die-cast ones and not the cheap plastic made in china ones that matchbox have now. But anyway,

    It was only up to a few years ago that everything shut down for christmas. I remember getting a walkman one year and I ran the batteries down by the christmas night. I had to wait three whole days before any shops opened again after their holidays.

    I often wondered why the pubs didn’t sell batteries as they were the only places open on St. Stephens day and they would have made a small fortune.

  2. I have a great collection myself. I have a suitcase full of Dinkys [with a few Corgis for good measure] and an old leather shopping bag full of Matchbox cars. They’d be worth a fortune if they weren’t so battered and well loved. They all date back to the 50’s and early 60’s so – no plastic!

    I said to Herself that the only real winners these days are the battery manufacturers.

  3. There was a shop here in Youghal that was selling off all their stock a few years back. It was more of a haberdashery really. I noticed at the time that they had loads of original Matchbox dinkys from the 1970’s so I bought about a half dozen for IR75p each.

    All with their original boxes. I haven’t a clue where they are now because I wouldn’t open most of them. They are probably in the attic but one that my brother opened was an orange Ford Transit Mk1. I just did a quick google and there is one on eBay identical to it going for £3.50stg.

  4. Not so long ago, my 3 year old neice received a large present (can’t remember what it was) in an equally large box full of those little curly pieces of foam stuffing.

    Well, within 5 or 10 minutes the present was cast aside and my niece was diving in and out of the box full of foam stuffing having the time of her life. All is not lost yet Grandad, there’s still hope.

  5. Emptyhead – It’s not just a cliché that kids get more pleasure out of the packaging! 😉

    Robert – I don’t think any of mine have windows or any of that fancy stuff. They started to add more detail in the late sixties, like spoked wheels and treaded tyres. Of course, most of my tyres are long gone [perished or just lost].

  6. You could start at Pim’s in South Great Georges Street, along Wicklow street to Switzers and across to Brown Thomas, then back down to McBirney’s on the Quays and over the Halfpenny bridge and working the way to Henry St and Arnotts and back to Clery’s in O’Connell St. The shop windows were a wonderland and not a mettle shutter on any of them!

    Anyone remember the Moving Crib? It was in Parnell Square Yeeeeeeeeeeeeeears before moving statues!

  7. Grannymar – So McBirney’s was the name? They used to put on a fantastic display of moving lights all over the shop front. And of course I remember the Moving Crib!

  8. I’m a couple of decades behind you, but I whole-heartedly agree. I remember proper midnight mass though, that was the big thing for me. Going to bed at 8 and being woken at 11.30 to head off bleary eyed to a church that was transformed by decorations, the choir, my tiredness and lots of drunk blokes standing down the back of the church, behaving reasonably well for the most part. I have none of my toys now, because they trickled down to my cousins over the years (in good thrifty fashion), and the only present I remember vividly? Seven secret seven books at once, what a horde! Now I am shocked to discover that my niece (6) is asking santa for a nintendo DS which I have no doubt will be broken and discarded within weeks. Thankfully my offspring have less sophisticated tastes, my little pony products are more durable and require imagination, not batteries.

  9. Well said Grandad, I don’t go that far back, but I do remember being a child in the seventies and being very excited on Christmas Eve.

    Christmas has now become a commercial joke, hijacked by manufacturers of shite & violent video games & alcohol etc ..

    Buy this, wear that, smell of this, play that, call on this and on and on and on..

    By mid November (as you say), I am in a foul mood, I can’t even go into a shop to buy a newspaper without being assaulted by F**king Jingle Bells or some other shite.

    My favourite day of the year is now 07th January as all the shit and Hype is over ..

  10. I bought my son a black-board for his room. He’s 4, autistic, and pretty damned intelligent with letters, numbers and drawings. He already has a magnetic sketchpad.

    Electronic crap? nyeh. Maybe I’ll get him an electronics kit next year – he can build his own stuff then.

    I wish chemistry sets weren’t so crap these days – no more explosions or acids…

    I’ll give him one of those OLPC things when he’s old enough to understand exactly what he’s given.

  11. You hit the nail on head with this post. It might seem I don’t like Christmas either, and my list for the reasons may even be a bit longer than yours.

    How Christmas congers up feelings of guilt, based on how commercialism programs us to think it should be is right at the top for me. The, I’m worthy, because I do this, and got that, makes me sick! I’m not a better person because I send Christmas cards, put up enough lights to out shine the neighbors, or drive around franticly in hopes of finding the perfect gift for everyone who is near or dear to me. It’s about children, however we’re teaching them the wrong thing, giving them the wrong message. You know all this though.

    In answer to your guestion… None I doubt, and thank god I won’t be around to find out.

  12. The people I feel sorriest for are today’s children. They will only see Christmas as a chance for self indulgence. The greed of receiving is taking over from the joy of giving.

    As you say, Janet, we are now judged by what we spend. It doesn’t matter how much we spend, as long as we spend more than anyone else.

    Some of the best presents I have received, even in recent years have cost very little, if anything. They were things that were made or carefully chosen, and I remember them for the love that went into their choosing, not for the price tag.

    To me, Christmas is a time for close friends and family. We don’t get drunk, or spend vast fortunes. It is a time for giving yourself to others, and what you get back is priceless.

    As for that video, Jack – that epitomises the modern child.. A “must have” [f*ck, how I hate that expression] way of turning an innocent toy into a weapon.

    God help them. Where did we go so wrong?

  13. You are spot on. Trouble is if you dare to voice such truths some absolute twat always says “bah humbug.” It’s not often I just want to slap the shit out of someone , but…….

  14. ‘Some of the best presents I have received, even in recent years have cost very little, if anything. They were things that were made or carefully chosen, and I remember them for the love that went into their choosing, not for the price tag.

    To me, Christmas is a time for close friends and family. We don’t get drunk, or spend vast fortunes. It is a time for giving yourself to others, and what you get back is priceless.’

    Grandad I wholeheartedly agree with you.

  15. the best thing about Christmas for me is……..4:30 am on the big day, just after Santa leaves, it all starts then

  16. TT – Simple… Say “Merry Christmas”, and then shove their teeth down their throat.

    Grannymar – We are nearly an extinct breed. There should be a World Wildlife Preservation Order on us.

    Tony – Wow! A masochist? We weren’t allowed disturb the parents until they got up. They were the longest, most excited hours of my life!

  17. As you may have noticed, I love your irreverance and call-a-spade-a-spade approach. What you perhaps don’t know – and what may perhaps surprise you – is that I am deeply committed, dyed-in-the-wool, happy clappy, wild and woolly, Pentecostal, charismatic Christian. And you know what? People who know me probably think I hate Christmas, too. They’re not far wrong. I hate what Christmas has become!

    I hate the hype, the commercialism, the materialism, the consumerism, the tackiness, the drunkenness, the gluttony, the robins and snowmen and fat men in red suits. I hate the constant barrage of people announcing “that’s what Christmas is about” at every turn, when they patently don’t have a clue.

    Mutter, mumble, grumble, rhubarb, rhubarb

  18. Karyn – That is exactly what I am saying. Modern Christmas has very little to do with Christianity. It is a feeding frenzy by commercial interests. I agree with everything you say.

    The real Christmas is only to be found now in places of worship, and in the privacy of some peoples homes [and hearts].

    And if I hear Slade once more, I really am going to kill someone…

  19. My sentiments exactly grandad. I go back that far too and I can remember the simple, enjoyable Christmases our family used to have. Now it’s all turned into a monstrous commercial and hedonistic nightmare that makes my heart sink as soon as the run-up begins about three months in advance. I’d love to be rich enough to just take off somewhere for the Christmas period and have absolutely nothing to do with it. Can’t I just have a couple of days of rest, relaxation, good food, a few glasses of wine and some decent films? All the rest of the whipped-up pandemonium I could cheerfully flush down the toilet.

  20. Hi there this is my first time on your blog and I am very taken with your insights and irreverence. Nick suggested that I should come and visit after I posted my own feelings about Christmas on my blog.

    Like Lafsword, I grew up in the seventies, when Christmas was a more of a low key family time. I loved your description of Christmas eve in the fifties and sixties. There seems to have been something unexpected and delightful about the way the Christmas tree was put up on Christmas eve, like the surprise and wonder of simple pleasures.

    This weekend, I am taking time alone to stand back from it all and reflect on what it means for me.

  21. Hi Hullaballoo, and welcome! 🙂

    The reason Christmas was so exciting then was because it was such a relatively short event. And, as children, we never knew what was coming. It was full of surprises. Nowadays, they all put in their shopping lists, and get exactly what they want – usually extremely expensive.

    The magic and mystery are gone, for the older children at least.

  22. I just saw Hugh Laurie on TV saying that the modern Christmas with all its elaborate rituals only started in Victorian times. Before that, it was just a day’s holiday and that was that.

  23. Nick – I believe it was Queen Vic who brought the Christmas Tree into vogue, and the goose for dinner. Turkey is another damned American import 😉

  24. Such a great post GD. Having grown up in Turkey, I was only exposed to the wonderful expectations, celebrations, family get-togethers, gift exchanges on the evening of December 31st. Until the age of 21 I had no idea about Christmas celebrations and how it goes. Mind you, Turkey is a silly country really because while we did NOT celebrate Christmas we had the Santa, the tree, the lights, you name it. Just no holiday or days off. And turkey was cooked for the 31st dinner.
    My exposure to Christmas, therefore, was in my adult(?!) age and it coincides the more commercialised, shop till you drop, stress out about it 2 months prior to and pay off credit cards 6 months after the event. In Australia, it seems more and more people are enjoying Christmas less and less. Everyone rushes around and forgets to relax and enjoy the season, the spirit is almost all gone but the shopping malls are getting busier and busier.
    I can’t say I have ever felt the excitement and the spirit of it all.
    Maybe this year in Ireland? I am not sure. The malls seem to be just the same as they are in Aus.

  25. I was reading somewhere that 4 million people in the UK are still paying off debts from LAST Christmas!! Insanity or what?

  26. I think it generally getting to the stage where shops see this as an opportunity for a general free for all. They couldn’t care less about the stress and financial worries of the individual, as long as they get the cash. I’m not surprised that 4 million are still paying off debts. And that 4 million is going to increase exponentially.

    It is strange, but of all the people I have known over the last ten or twenty years, the vast majority hate the commercialism, yet they feel pressured and compelled to join in.

    Far from being a season for the family and togetherness and peace, it has become the season for spoilt brats, stress, alcoholic overindulgence and poverty.

    *wanders down to the pub to drown his sorrows with his last few bob – sure f*ckit; it’s Christmas*

  27. This year I joined the Kris Kringle (sp?) thing that Niall’s family does. Not the out of the hat style, but random computer pick then automatic e-mail sent with attachment text file that has the name of the giftee. Still it’s great, and is less pressure.
    Next year, I am going to stop buying gifts and writing cards altogether, and just donate money for a good cause or pay for education expenses of an orphan.
    Cards, what happens to the cards anyways, they get thrown away after, or locked away never to be looked at again. Waste…
    Cheers! Merry Christmas to all those who manage to remain merry despite all the madness around them!

  28. Gaye – Maybe we should get the Green Party to ban Christmas [the commercial variety]? What with all the waste wrapping paper, the cards and all those lights blazing everywhere?

    On second thoughts.. I’ve just remembered – the Green Party doesn’t exist here any more…..

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