Singer, pictured with his wife, Majella
Daniel: Up until this year, Christmas has always been the same for me. Since Majella and I got married, my Christmas has been her Christmas, always in Donegal. We’re very lucky. The only year I wasn’t in Donegal was the year of the bad snow; I couldn’t get home on the roads. But this year is going to be very different, because we’ve decided to go to Tenerife for the first time ever.
So Siobhan and Gavin, her husband; and Olivia, our wee granddaughter, and Michael and his girlfriend, we’re all going to Tenerife. Siobhan is our daughter and Michael’s our son — well, they are my stepdaughter and stepson, but I forget about the ‘step’ bit. They are our daughter and our son. We just want to experience going away for Christmas before Olivia gets to the stage of Santa and all that, and it’s easy to go this year.
It’ ll be warm there, so I’m not sure how the turkey will taste in the sun. Majella does all the cooking. We will decorate the house a little bit, I imagine. I’ve never been away for Christmas. I tend to think you need to be in the snow, or the cold and the bad weather, so you have that warm feeling, and the decorations look better. But maybe if we decorate the house in a warm climate too it would be the same thing. But I don’t know. Majella’s shaking her head at me from the kitchen, saying it won’t be the same thing. Oliva’s only just a year, since August. It’s great altogether.
It’s so hard to talk about traditions in Tenerife, but in Ireland we always went to Mass on Christmas Eve, and I would sing with the choir, and then I would go to my sister’s house. She always made soup, and we would have that after Mass. This year, obviously, it’s different, but no doubt I will go to the Mass in Tenerife. They do a lovely service there; I have gone at Easter. Even though I don’t understand the language, the atmosphere, and the way they portray everything is beautiful. Majella: We’re spending Christmas in Tenerife this year. We’re doing it just to do it. I’ve done it before, Daniel hasn’t. And it’s not the same, I have to say. We’ ll do it this year, but I’m looking forward to being home for next year. It’s just something different, I suppose; just to experience it. My mum will be out there as well for a wee while. It’s kind of more for that, really. And the kids are looking forward to it, more than anything, really.
I do all the cooking. Most of the year I don’t cook at all because Daniel is away a lot. I just cook for myself, so it doesn’t bother me what I eat. But what I find is, getting the timing of everything right can be a little bit stressful. But it’ ll be grand, I’ ll enjoy it. We have the dinner about three o’clock.
The last few years we’ve started to open the presents the night before, on Christmas Eve, after midnight. That’s just because of my two, ‘C’mon, c’mon, let’s open the presents now’. We opened one, that’s where it started, and I think last year we opened them all the night before. And then they could sleep on the next day.
Siobhan will be 29 in December; Michael’s 26. It’s not like they’re kids.