The final, pre-Christmas build up is now upon us and we’re reaching peak excitement levels! As part of our collaboration with the lovely folk at Arnotts, where you can shop for every single loved one under one roof, over the next 12 days we’ll be catching up with some of Ireland’s most familiar names, finding out what Christmas means for them and what they’ll be wishing for. Today, we catch up with 98FM’S Ray Foley.
What is your earliest memory of Christmas?
We were all staying at my grandmother’s house one year for Christmas, which was a huge novelty because we never actually stayed at hers since our house was just nearby. My brother and I were sharing a room, and we were listening out for Santa and his reindeer to land on the roof – we thought every creak and bump was him.
Describe your perfect Christmas?
A lie in, a cooked breakfast and happy kids. My eldest is three this year, and it’s the first time he’ll really have a sense of the whole thing, so I guess I’ll get the breakfast and the happy kids, but I think we can forget about the lie-in this year.
What do you like most about Christmas – the build up or the week itself?
I like the week itself and the time off. I usually work right up to the day including Christmas Eve, so I don’t really stop to enjoy the buildup, and it’s gone by the time Christmas morning arrives. I do like not setting the alarm for 5amfor the week, though.
What are the essentials in the Foley household when it come to Christmas day dinner?
My wife is a vegetarian but we still have a big roast. Usually a turkey but sometimes we might go for beef or something else. I love sprouts, so they’re a definite. Red cabbage from Marks and Spencer has been a tradition in our house every Christmas since we got married – in fact, we’d get everything there and microwave it if i had my way. And mince pies with brandy cream for after!
What does Christmas mean for you?
It’s just a bit of time off really. We’re not massive church-goers so the religious meaning might be a bit lost on us. I suppose it’s about spending time with the kids and taking it easy – which is what we do on any break we get really.
What presents are you hoping to buy this year for your nearest and dearest?
In work, I usually get my co-presenter JP a bottle of something strong (booze) and our other co-presenter Muireann will probably get a bottle of something strong (perfume). At home, we’ve agreed not to do big gifts this year because it puts too much pressure on the occasion, but I will be surprising my wife with something other than unloading the dishwasher. I couldn’t possibly tell you what because she will be reading this.
What’s on your own wishlist?
I don’t have anything on my wishlist because every year my wife ends up buying me something I already have. This time of year I usually want a new Playstation game and this year it’s Black Ops 3, but I’ve already downloaded it, so she’s given up on me now. Without being completely sappy, I’d have to say that as long as my kids are happy and looked after and we’re all healthy that’s enough for me this year. Yes, that is sappy.
Browse the gallery above for Ray Foley’s curated gift guide. For more gifting inspiration shop in store or online at Arnotts.ie