We are counting down the days until we celebrate our second Christmas living in Ireland!
Last year I didn’t know what to expect as far as the holidays go and I was pleasantly surprised to see that everyone – including retailers – really get into the Christmas spirit here. This makes sense given the heavy Catholic influence in Ireland.
There is no “buffer holiday” between Halloween and Christmas in Ireland, so the holiday decorations starting going up in early November. As an example of how early festivities start, the tree lighting event in our town was on November 18. Santa arrived on a Harley Davidson (why not?) to turn on the town’s Christmas lights. Then there was a fireworks show, which we watched from the pier along the bay. It was pretty fantastic!
Retailers get in on the action too. They don’t miss an opportunity! Perhaps it is no surprise then that Black Friday IS a thing here. It came to the U.K. and Ireland not too many years ago due, in large part, to the influence of American retailers. It happens on Thanksgiving weekend, just like in the U.S.
Today, as I did last year, I am sharing some pictures of Christmas in Irish retail. Mainly just storefronts because I avoid actually going IN stores for holiday shopping as much as possible.
These pictures were taken on my daily commute around South Dublin. The lighting and conditions are less than ideal. Terribly, really. So, in the spirit of the season, please forgive the quality of the images and ALL the window glare!
Come along on my walk…
Here’s a children’s clothing retailer riffing on the magic of the season.
Right next door is a men’s clothing store giving me ALL THE PANIC.
You’ll see why…
Really, people? Really? That typo made me hightail it out of
town the mall!
Kidding, but I did leave town to get pictures of the Blarney Woollen Mills during our visit to Blarney Castle.
This is the largest gift shop in Ireland according to their sign.
If I’m going to be in a store this is the type I’d choose!
The Christmas decorations were among the best I’ve seen this year.
The store had a mixture of high-end clothing and home goods coupled with your traditional souvenir tchotchkes.
Closer to home, here’s the sidewalk outside of a cute flower shop.
I see this every Wednesday when I drop my daughter off for her painting class.
An outdoor retailer opened a new location near us and this is their Christmas display.
It’s been quite cold lately in Dublin, so I’m sure their business is hopping!
I’m pretty sure I shared this one last year, but it’s just such a sweet window.
The animals all move and the kids love it.
This cafe is never open when I walk by early in the morning.
That’s a shame because look at their tree!
You know I’d like to make one!
Handy Husband is a little bah-humbug on the idea. He says things like, “what would we do with it?” And I say, “
hang all of our leather flipflop keychains let’s not worry about the details.”
Here’s one of the windows from the bookstore, Eason.
Eason is like the Barnes and Noble of bookstores in the U.K. and Ireland. This is also where you buy things like office and school supplies.
Even thrift stores get in the Christmas spirit. This one is run by St. Vincent de Paul.
There is not one dominant thrift store retailer like Goodwill or Savers in Ireland. Instead, every single charity runs a tiny thrift store. I might have to write more about that at some point.
I also shared this storefront window last year. I just love what this high-end women’s clothing shop does to decorate for Christmas.
You can see a very nice reflection of a church in the window too. These pictures…oh well.
I’m not exactly sure what this place does, but they sure like cold weather creatures.
Not a storefront, but the best use of a trash can I’ve seen in awhile!
Also, they call them bins instead of cans. So, a garbage truck is a bin lorry.
I love the use of greenery on the front of this cafe.
It’s hard to tell in this picture, but they have blankets on each of those barstools so you can wrap up while you drink your latte. I like small touches like that.
As I finished typing this post, I looked up and IT WAS SNOWING! Teeny tiny flakes, but it was snow! That counts. Being right on the Irish Sea with moderate temperatures, it is really hard for it to snow in Dublin.
My kids are at school and I just hope they got to see it. It lasted maybe 10 minutes and, of course, did not stick. My son put a wish for snow on the wishing tree at a local church last week and he would be so happy to see his wish come true.
If you want to know more about our experience of moving to and living in Ireland, check out these posts:
Thinking about visiting Ireland? Read on!