Ten Reasons To Spend Christmas In Navan

25 Nov

Navan is a quare place, and if you’re considering returning for Christmas, here are a few goodies you can look forward to!

1. Horse It Into You!

A chicken kebab from the Valley; the carvery in the Newgrange; a junior box from Macaris; the full Irish in Holly’s Kitchen; a BLT in the Gate; a Sun Supper from the China Garden….and your mammy’s mashed potatoes. Some things are worth waiting for, and if you’re home in Navan for Christmas get planning how you’ll manage to gorge yourself on all those favourites.

2. Nosiness

There’s only so much that you can see on Facebook, and spending a few festive days in Navan is sure to delight and surprise. Pregnancies both accidental and planned; weight gain; weightloss; the remnants of a Movember tache or even the swanlike transformation of that gawky wan you shifted during a play in Transition Year, there are some ways that people change that you’ll only see by haunting Navans fair streets in person. Time to prepare your delivery of both “Jaysus, so and so is looking fierce well…” and “Begod that one lumped on a fierce bit of weight.”

3. Getting Back To Ninety

Sure two Irish lads could have a session in Guantanamo Bay and make it one to remember, but there’s nothing like doing it on home turf with the lads who saw you wet yourself from drink for the first time. The same aul lads falling off the same stools in the same spots, still recanting their signature tale of being arrested at Slane ’82, the best banter is with your oldest and dearest friends and family, be it as it may through a haze of Hennessy, stout (on draft!) and any other drop that might be knocking around.

4. Touch Me

You’ve spent more time staring into a Skype screen this year than shoes have been reheeled by the dummy. Christmas in Navan spells a respite from Skype dates and the opportunity to hug, touch and smell those oddballs you call friends and family. A whiff of the turf fire in the Royal, the dampness of wet grass in the Ramparts, the floorboards of Paddy Fitzsimons drenched in spilt Guinness, the smell of rotting bread from Spicers, of that Abercrombie and Fitch aftershave your man you brought to the debs is still wearing, these are all un-Skypable, so breathe deep!

5. Laps of The Shopping Centre

You’ve met your best friend for a coffee in Ryan’s or a pint in Smyths of the Square, and with the twelve pubs later there’s no point in keeping drinking. Or you forgot to pick up that bottle of Dune in duty-free for your aunt, either way it’s time to tip over to Kennedy Road for a gander around the auld terra-cotta tiles of Navan Shopping Centre.

Have a gawk at the new shops opened (Even though your ma hasn’t stopped messaging you on Facebook about “picking up a few bits” in Pamela Scott) and the old ones still open (go buy a scratch card in Hartens). Maybe pick up a pair of dancing shoes in Jacksie Kiernans.

This is one old haunt that you’ll find yourself revisiting, remembering all those furtive pre-shift glances made in hot uniforms on Friday evenings when you should have been getting a start on an essay about the Economic War and DeValera.

6. The Shift

There’s always one you had your eye on, you shifted some of their friends, they shifted some of your friends, but somehow you never made it to him or her. There’s no real reason why, but it just never came about, not even over a naggin outside Junior Bucks or Liquid.

Well Stephen’s night is the night, after inadvertently drinking all day (starting with granny on the sherry at three) anyone can get away with pretty much shifting anyone else. It’s a black window in the Navan calendar when the town welcomes back into the fold its departed children, and they all get off with each other. The spell is soon broken and all will forget, save a giggle as you remember whilst loading the nespresso machine in January.

7. News!

If you’ve been away from friends or family for a while, there’s a good chance someone has pent up something to tell you in person, Skype and Facebook being mainly used to convey day to day banalities or news of someone else’s engagement/membership of the RA/ Masters degree in basket-making. Hopefully it’s good, but it may not be either, so make sure you’re armed with a strong drink to cheers, or commiserate.

8. Christmas Eve In Your Local

A crackling fire, wrapped presents at your feet, the old man three sheets to the wind and Mariah Carey on the jukebox, Christmas Eve at home, in a cosy pub is one of the most special moments of the whole entire year. Whether you’re trying to navigate to the Flower Hill Lodge in stilettos with an icy 45 degree incline; venturing into Smyths on the Square to battle the elements; keeping cosy in Ryan’s; revisiting sporting triumphs in Paddy Fitzsimons; meeting lads just back from Woodside in Mickey Marmion’s; getting a lift up to Mrs O’s; swallying the black stuff in Tara Na Ri; singeing your scarf by the fire in the Royal Meath, chancing a game of pool in Henry Loughran’s; making sure the Guinness is still as good in Clem’s; seeing the twins in Hanna’s or trying to fit all the pubs in by the reported time of their last orders, this is a Dorothy moment, there’s no place like home!

9. The Shopping Centre Part Two – Drunk in Tesco

Ok, so 24 hour shopping came late enough to Navan, but even the thoughts that Tesco is still open at 4am is all the encouragement you need to wander in locked to pick up a few bits. “How did I never notice the value?” you say to your cousin as you stock up your basket with six pint glasses, a multi pack of Twirls and the 50 Shades trilogy.

10. Disco Dancing

The smell of Navan bodies and spilt Bacardi Breezers may have migrated across the road from the Solar, but chances are you’ll be doing your disco dancing in the Palace on Stephen’s night. It doesn’t matter whether you’re home from Australia, Sacramento, Singapore, Birmingham, Cork, Dubai or Dublin, tonight, you’re from Navan.

Along with everyone in your whole year, and most of the people you shifted from the ages of 13 to 17, you’re back to being that same lad or girl, lepping away to Shaking Stevens, pointing fingers during All I Want for Christmas, hanging off your whole crew during Fairytale of New York or air strumming to Journey. You’re home, happy Christmas!

Listen to me chatting with LMFM’s Gerry Kelly about Navan

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One Response to “Ten Reasons To Spend Christmas In Navan”

  1. Mel Denehan December 8, 2012 at 9:02 pm #

    Brilliant!

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