By Rachel Garvey
It’s hard to believe that it’s November already! I suppose now it’s acceptable to blast Christmas songs from our headphones and write up our never-ending list of presents which we have to buy for people, or else they’ll be giving out about us saying “Oh, I never got a present from them”. Oh, the joys of it all! Now, this is coming from the girl who adores Halloween and everything scary, but Christmas hits a weak spot for me. Seeing the Christmas lights and decorations everywhere just gets me so excited and it’s hard to contain the Christmas spirit. Now that it’s November, we all know what that means; the Christmas market has arrived.
For those who roll their eyes at the very thought of the Christmas market, then go take a class lecture with the Grinch himself, he will teach you how to get into the Christmas spirit. All we would hear coming from that lecture hall would be, “Help! I’m feeling!”. People will think that maybe the Christmas market comes around too soon with its arrival due for mid-November, some even might argue that early December would be a more suitable time, but I say they are wrong. There is no better feeling than walking down Shop Street or the Latin Quarter and looking up to see the twinkling Christmas lights that hang overhead, or when you stand amongst the crowd of families in University Hospital Galway to see the lighting of the Christmas tree, or even the heart-warming feeling of helping your Mum decorate the Christmas tree while Christmas songs play on the television.
The Christmas market may bring back the same thing every year, but there’s no need to be so critical about it. We won’t be complaining when we are on top of the ferris wheel and we get to look down at all the wonderful lights in Eyre Square or when we stand in line to purchase one of those delicious Nutella crepes at the numerous crepe stands dotted around the Eyre Square area. Mid-November, believe it or not, is the time to prepare for Christmas, so the whole controversy around the Christmas market arriving too soon is an argument that’ll lose. It attracts thousands of tourists each year to our scenic compact city and generates a reasonably good income to the workers who sell their Christmas stock in the market, in addition to spreading word of mouth about Galway itself. It is an event I look forward to each year because Eyre Square is known as Galway’s central point, a place where the people of Galway converge. Having the Christmas fair set up will only generate a bigger crowd that will only add to Galway’s addictive atmosphere.
In the circumstances, the Christmas exams are fast approaching for Galway students and the stress is starting to build, with time put aside for study and finishing the last of their assignments. The marketplace will be a pleasant distraction for those who want to take a break from the study. A slow walk through the market and a few peeps here and there in the variety of stalls will take away some of that stress and give you hope that you will get through this hectic period and be able to look forward to Christmas after exams conclude.
Christmas isn’t everyone’s favourite holiday, I respect that, we all should respect that. It can be a holiday that brings sadness to a lot of families and I know that even my own family will feel somewhat different this Christmas because we’ve lost 2 family members this year, but we need to remember that Christmas was adored by them too. They would want us to celebrate Christmas as we normally do, but to keep them in our thoughts at the same time. Christmas is both a sad and a happy time for people which is why I think the Christmas market will bring us a sense of joy after its arrival. There’s no such thing as arriving too soon for something that brings us joy and excitement.