IT’S a sign of the times. Tickets to see Santy sold out like hot cakes.
Halloween and the Jazz Festival were barely in our rear-view mirrors when we had already set our sights firmly on Christmas. We really are willing on that festive cheer with greater gusto this year.
And who can blame us?
The turbulence, uncertainty and hard work of the last two years has given us renewed appetite for festivities. We are all realising how much we have missed. Emotionally. Socially. And in our communities.
The festive traditions we have built over the years with family, friends and our colleagues, who have almost become digitised images of their former selves are now more important than ever.
There is so much to look forward to over the season ahead. The city, towns and communities are here for us all to enjoy. Though the switching on of the lights was a virtual event this year, there is plenty of time for us all to take a time to enjoy the festive decorations and gaze at the sparkling window displays.
We are blessed in Cork to have a bustling, cultured city and many vibrant towns across the county.
And each of these urban centres, the business owners and indeed the employees rely on our support. Our strong sense of togetherness and community spirit can make a huge difference at this time of year if we channel our support into shopping locally. Whether this means choosing locally crafted gifts, indulging in local food produce, shopping in local stores or choosing vouchers to support hospitality, retail, our health and beauty services – these are the gifts that really do give more.
It is in all our power to support the recovery of our region’s economy, by choosing to shop local, to do business locally and to enjoy any local activities and hospitality.
MY IDEAL DAY OUT OVER THE CHRISTMAS SEASON SHOPPING
I love to shop my local towns and the city for shopping. We have a fantastic range of home grown producers, boutiques and shops.
We are really spoiled for choice. I usually start off along Patrick St and the newly pedestrianised Oliver Plunkett and work from there, ticking off my Christmas gift list as I go.
Morning Coffee: I will normally take a break in one of our many great coffee spots along our shopping streets or in the Huguenot Quarter and often I will take a time out in Crawford Gallery and café.
By the afternoon I will usually have worked my way over to the Victorian Quarter for pre-theatre dining.
Evening Entertainment: For years my family attended Panto, but as the family grew we have indulged in lots of the different offerings from musicals to classical. There is no shortage of culture with something for everyone in one of our wonderful theatres or cultural centres.
In the city the Victorian Quarter, the Huguenot Quarter, the newly pedestrianised Oliver Plunkett and Princes St all have so much to offer. And there is so much to explore around and between these districts.
TOP TIPS FOR GREAT DAYS OUT
Parking: There’s FREE parking on Thursday and Friday evenings at Paul Street and North Main Street car parks – and remember the option to use Black Ash Park ’n’ Ride.
Hospitality: Don’t forget to indulge in some pampering over the holidays in one of our fantastic hotels or treat someone special to a luxury experience.
Irish Crafts: We have some amazing artists and creators who retail their work through our galleries, and craft shops, and they really make a most surprising and thoughtful gift.
Food: Celebrate our name as the food capital. Support our local food producers by gifting unique hampers, and prepare your festive feast full of our best and tastiest produce.
Gift cards and vouchers: I highly recommend the Cork Chamber Gift Card as it is specifically for the Cork region and allows the lucky recipient to choose from 100’s of shopping points across the county.
Glow: It’s not Christmas without a spin on the Ferris wheel to enjoy the stunning views on Leeside, followed by a hot chocolate and a trip to the GPO to post those Santy letters.
However, you choose to enjoy this holiday season, keep safe and take some time to soak up what Cork has to offer you and yours this year.