The 27th of November dawned one of the most awaited days for many Irish children and their mammies; the release of this year’s Toy Show (The Late Late Toy Show on RTE). Since 1975 the show has been put on each year around Christmas, late November/early December. I’m told that no one knows the date until approximately one day before hand and there is a very limited amount of tickets. People are constantly watching the tele (RTE One) and listening to the radio in anticipation of finding out the date so they can be the first to book their tickets; which can be sold out in as little as an hour or two. According to one review on Wikipedia, it is one of the most-watched programs in all of Ireland. The show is a huge production filled with drama, songs, dance, color and Christmas gifts. During the show kids open popular toys to play with and demonstrate while giving their opinion on them from a child’s perspective.
It is tradition for many families in Ireland to put up their Christmas trees and decorations while watching the RTE Toy Show. Since moving here many of my friends have talked about it with excitement. Tea and hot chocolate come out along with all the Christmas music and family fun. Last night one of my friends came over with her two girls, they were anxiously awaiting the start of the program at 9 pm and so in anticipation they showed me old reruns of the program on youtube. My two and a half year old was fascinated, since we don’t have TV stations we have never participated in the event, and honestly, hearing about it I had imagined it was only about opening toys and commercialism; I was pleasantly surprised by quality of the performances and singing and am looking forward to watching it online sometime this Christmas season.