Dr Eddie Murphy
Families and the Toy Show
It’s my favourite family TV time of the year. The fire will be on and we will all wait for Ryan to get into a night of fun and extravaganza. Maybe some year I might get lucky and win tickets to the show! Of course, Christmas has started in the shops but for me, The Late Late Toy Show is the true start point for Christmas.
Creating family memories is central to the story of Christmas and the Toy Show is just such an opportunity. It’s all about connecting with each other, an All-Ireland slumber party with toys, singing and dancing. This time of year is your chance to forge family memories. Family traditions become part of the ‘language’ of the family; they help keep us connected, an expression of unity that strengthens family bonds. They provide a sense of continuity and feelings of belonging. Family traditions nurture and foster childhood stability and security, supporting family well-being and emotional health. December and the lead-up to Christmas is your chance to express that most essential factor in your mental wellbeing, your inner child. We were all once children and that child still dwells within us. For many, it’s forgotten, but it’s a healthy part of our adult personality. Our inner child knows that fun can be free and spontaneous, with no guilt or anxiety. During the everyday, workaday year, it is often suppressed, denied, neglected, rejected or even abandoned. Society told us to grow up and put away childish things, including our inner child’s capacity for awe, innocence, joy, empathy, sensitivity and playfulness. But hey presto, the magic of the Toy Show is that it allows you to become a rounded adult psychologically, not just chronologically, by allowing your inner child soar.
Your inner child can be a great source of positive energy and you can carry forward this positivity into all aspects of your life. This positive attitude is the foundation of living a contented and authentic life, in which you are your real self.
For me, it’s the unscripted moments that make the Toy Show magical. It’s the same in life. Allow yourself to charter the unscripted waters and get beyond your comfort zone, for that’s where magic happens. For me, the toys are just props for the real magic dust of the show, which is its ability to bring families together and enhance our relationships and well-being. It’s a national engine for positivity.
Take the opportunity to create other family traditions. Use everyday routines such as bedtime, taking a moment to talk, read, pray, snuggle up or reflect on three good things that happened today. This ‘3 Good Things’ tradition helps you and your children orientate towards a positive and grateful outlook. Psychology shows that grateful people tend to be happier, healthier and more fulfilled. When we strip it all back to memories and feelings, these memories centre around love, warmth, safety and nurturing. As a parent, grandparent, uncle or aunt, you are trying to create this key emotional experience for children, so they can thrive. It’s what a society needs in order to thrive too. Thankfully, the Toy Show is not only for children. I love that my parents, Joanie and Billy, who have almost 160 years between them, will also let their inner child out. They can’t wait!
A tribe of elves
On Toy Show night, families all over the country will be synchronized with the true spirit of Christmas; a tribe engaged in magic-making. So sprinkle some Christmas magic dust and let your inner child soar.