The 12 Illustrations of Christmas

Posted December 24, 2020 in More

From the 2017 archive…

The lead up to Christmas is an overwhelming bombardment of stimuli. Our time and concentration levels are tugged in competing directions; there’s friends to meet, colleagues to socialise with and presents to purchase. And that is for those of us in the fortunate position to be able to do so with some modicum of focus.

Illustration is something I’ve always held dear since my time with Le Cool where we provided a platform to this constellation of talent in our midst. It is with this starting point that we approached a selection of illustrators with the simple brief of encapsulating what Christmas means to them, a one line explanation of their contribution and a summation of Christmas to them in three words or less. As you can see these 12 illustrations capture the humour, anxieties and staples of the season.

Fuchsia McAree’s Home Home has a particular personal resonance as I always board that train for home weighed down with gifts and trinkets, exhausted from the preceeding days (of partying) and ready to breathe to a sigh of relief once the door shuts. Inevitably the train will be rammed and I’ll be sitting between carriages on that foot spa my parents will never use but I know I’m on my way home to those I love dearest. I’m sure you’ll have a glint of recognition from these illustrations also. I want to wish a heartfelt thanks to all who contribute to making this magazine a celebration of our city and an embodiment of the spirit of us. Nollaig Shona Duit

Michael McDermott 


Brian Coldrick  – Christmas Shopping 

The frenetic joys of last minute present hunting 

Back in town! 


Eoin Whelehan – NO CATERING!  

My illustration celebrates that most covert of Christmas traditions – the late night (post pub) fridge raid… 



John Rooney – XMAS MOVIES 

There’s references to my 21 favourite Xmas movies contained within. Don’t expose it to bright light, get it wet or feed it after midnight. 

Bah Humbug 


Sally Caulwell – Decorations from childhood 

As a kid, I loved when the big cardboard box of decorations came down from the attic. Everyone rifling through, looking for their favourites. Green felt christmas trees covered in sequins, funny little wooden santas, seventies baubles with hand painted patterns, fake pine cones covered in snow. These are a few of my favourites from childhood. 



Fuchsia McAree – Home Home 

Waking up hungover on Christmas Eve, throwing things in a million bags, running to Heuston Station, feeling relief when you set foot on the train and maybe sleeping for a few hours before you face your family. 

Emigrant, pals, home 


Lauren ONeill – Yippee Ki-Yay, Ya Filthy Animal 



This is a tribute to the amazing silliness of Christmas films, and the fact that Home Alone is basically Die Hard for kids. 

Family Movie Nights 


Magda Cwik – Little Christmas Dream 

Children feel pure joy and the spirit of Christmas best. Let’s bring attention to the small things, which makes every Christmas unique, full of joy and magical.  

Joy, Family, Spirit 


Gav Beattie – Nesting 



Clara Dudley – The Senses of Christmas 

Christmas is a rich menagerie of scent, taste, and texture that accompany a warm and reflective time with our loved ones.  

Community, Flavor, Reflection 


Ruan van Vliet – I’ll Be Home For Christmas 



This goes out to anyone struggling to bring Christmas cheer to their cramped living space this year. 

Bittersweet, Gravy, Cans 


Dave Darcy – Sprout to the Top 



I wanted to give some props to a christmas underdog; sprouts. Also, I like puns. 

Grogans, Pals, Family. 


Steve McCarthy  – 40 feet of mayhem 



Jumping into the sea, height of winter, Whiskey after, with hundreds of other nutters. Nothing better.  



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