Even big kids can enjoy the Toy Show

Bu Grainne McCool

Tonight sees the official launch of Christmas in the McCool household here in Donegal.

As a mother, I don’t like to start or embark on any festive celebrations until December arrives. Some call me a ‘Scrooge’ but December it is and always will be.

However an exception is always made on the Friday night of The Late Late Toy Show. One early night of celebration just has to be had.

The Late Late Toy Show is an annual, special edition of the Irish late-night chat show The Late Late Show.

Airing on RTÉ One near the end of November or early-December, the Toy Show prominently features the popular toys of the year that are showcased before the oncoming Holiday season as presented by the host and demonstrated by various children on-stage, along with appearances by celebrity guests.

Since its first presentation in 1975, the Toy Show has become a cultural institution in Ireland. It’s certainly a cultural institution in this house.

In years gone by, my husband would give each of our three boys a fiver to spend in the shop.

Prior to the onset of The Toy show, the boys and I would venture to the local store where an abundance of sweets, crisps and fizzy drinks were bought.

This was one of the few annual nights when Mum didn’t say ‘no’ to any sweet item (within reason of course).

And boy could they find the bargains. I sometimes thought my weekly shop didn’t take up as much room in the car.

In recent years it is often just myself and himself at home on the Friday night of The Late Late Toy Show.

And yes, we would sit ourselves down and not only enjoy the show, but reminisce about this night on years gone by.

A bottle of wine would be opened and the night would be very different from when the boys were little, but we still made it special for us.

So when my youngest boy, the one nearing the big 18th birthday said to me this morning at 7am: “I wonder will Dad give us our fiver tonight for The Late Late Toy Show”, my day was made.

We sat down over breakfast and planned our night ahead.

Most homes in Ireland will tonight be watching this very show and here in the McCool house it will certainly be on.

The kiddo and I have planned to do our ‘fiver shop’ later this evening and then we will crash in front of the TV to the end.

As always, we’re ready and waiting for The Late Late Toy Show here in Muff.

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