13 Things You'll Remember If You Experienced Christmas In '90s Ireland

Gaybo's Toy Show, Dustin's 'Christmas Tree', and Furby fever are just a few of the fond memories


Christmas is a nostalgic time for everyone.

When you're surrounded by family on Christmas Day, you invariably reminisce over Christmases past, back in the rare auld times when you still believed in Santa.

Maybe we're slightly biased, but we can say we utter confidence that it was infinitely better back then than it is now. Here's why... 

1. The Late Late Toy Show With Gay Byrne

Look, there's only one real presenter of the Toy Show and that's Gaybo and we will not back down on this. I means Tubs is all right, but Gay nailed it.

Remember the banter between him and Dustin the Turkey?  

2. Dustin's Christmas song

And speaking of Dustin, we fucking ate up every song he released back then, ultimately leading to the most ridiculous Eurovision entry Ireland has ever submitted. 

His song 'Christmas Tree', which was unveiled on the Derek Mooney's old Saturday morning kids' show TX, will send you right back to primary school.  

3. Getting December 8 off

Sadly, this day is no longer recognised as a holiday and so people from 'the sticks' (like myself) can no longer make the annual pilgrimage to get our presents in Dublin, AKA Up There Where The Shops Are.  

The Sticks

Pic: wordbird.ie

4. Furby

Of course, you can't think fondly about the Christmases of our childhoods without remembering the dead-eyed monstrosity that was Furby. 

Everyone wanted a Furby... until they got one. Sure they looked cute at first, but then they started to wake you up in the middle of the night with it's non-sense talk. 

Everyone had a breaking point where they realised the furry bastard had to go.

Furby Friend

5. Game Boy Colour

This was the height of handheld game console technology back in the day. With a battery that could last anywhere from 10 hours to 30 hours, you could spend an entire day playing all the Pokemon games on this bad boy... Provided you were in a bright area, cos that screen was dark as shit.


Pic: Wen Zeng

6. Talkboy Deluxe

Home Alone 2 introduced you to this unbelievable recording toy in what was undoubtedly one of the best movie product placements ever pulled off.


7. The Den Christmas Special

Seeing Ray, Dustin, Socky and Zuppy having to deal with Podge & Rodge's divilment every year was the highlight of the Christmas TV schedule for kids around the country. 

So it's kind of a downer when you realise that all those puppets (minus Dustin, who's currently doing a panto) are just collecting dust in RTÉ storage at the moment. 

8. Watching Christmas movies at school

The moment when that teacher wheeled the TV into the room unannounced was pure magic. 

At the time we just assumed that the teacher was just performing an act of seasonal goodwill, we didn't realise that they wanted to doss and watch The Grinch as much as we did.

Dvd Player

9. An Post ad

To this day the opening, "We're walking in the aaaaaair!" still sends shivers.

10. Christmas RTÉ Guide

This festive TV guide just doesn't have the same power it once had. These days we can just find all these movies online with ease, but back then you had to meticulously comb the RTÉ Guide for the very best stuff, circle it in pen, then make sure to record it on the VCR.

The very thought is exhausting.

Rte Guide

11. Big fuck off tins of Roses

These classic Christmas chocolate tins have been diminishing in size over the years and we are not cool with that.

12. Santa tracker on the radio

Now kids can go online and check Santa's progress on his Christmas journey around the world, but in our day you had to listen to the radio to find out where the big guy was.

The incredibly elaborate lie was just way cuter that way.


13. Christmas annuals

It wouldn't have been a Christmas back in primary school if we didn't have the annuals from Folens to look forward to. 

The likes of Spraoi allowed primary teachers to give the kids some fun busy work in the days leading up to holidays, another little handy tool to help primary teachers mentally check out of work before their holidays even began.

And after all, isn't that the real meaning of Christmas? No, actually, probably not.


Pic: Folens.ie

READ NEXT: 14 Unforgettable Irish Ads From The 1990s

Written By

Seán Kenehan

Seán is known for eating, drinking and writing, making him uniquely qualified to work for Lovin Dublin. Seán enjoys skipping stones wistfully, puns that'd make a dad blush, and referring to himself in the third person.