Photo: Chris Grayson
This year I'd love if people in the Listowel connection community would send me a picture of Christmas where they are and I could share them after Christmas.
Government Buildings at Christmas 2017
Christmas in the 1920s as remembered by Eamon Kelly
... (After the rosary) Our knees would be aching as we got up off the floor and it would take my father a few hours to get the prayer arch out of his back. Well, we wouldn’t be sitting down at the supper and my mother would bless herself again, a preliminary to grace before meals and you could hardly blame my father for losing his patience.”
“Is it in a monastery we are,” he’d say. “Haven’t we done enough praying for one night?”
After the supper there was Christmas cake for anyone with a sweet tooth. My father’d never look at that. His eye would be on the earthenware jar beneath the dresser, and it would be a great relief to him when my mother would say to us, “Go out there one of ye and tell the neighbouring men to come in for a while.”
It was a custom that night, Nollaig Mhór, big Christmas, for the men to visit one another’s houses. The women were too busy to be bothered. They had their own night, Nollaig na mBan, small Christmas for making tapes. In a while the men would come in and at the first lag in the conversation my father’d take the cork off the jar and fill out a few cups of porter. The men, by the way nit noticing what was going on and then when they’d get the cups, all surprised they’d say, ”What’s this? What’s this for?”
“Go on take it,” my father’d say; “It’s Christmas night, neighbours and good luck to us!”
Then the men’s faces would light up and, lifting their cups, they’d say; “Happy Christmas. Ned. Happy Christmas Ma’am! Happy Christmas everyone.”
“And the same to ye, men,” my father would answer.
“May we all be alive again this time twelve months.”
And my mother, who was never too happy in the presence of strong drink, would direct her gaze in the direction of the Christmas candle and say;
“The grace of God to us all!”
A Christmas Poem
(one to set you thinking)
I Saw a Stable by Mary Coleridge
I saw a stable, low and very bare,
A little child in the manger.
The oxen knew Him, had Him in their care,
To men he was a stranger,
The safety of the world was lying there ,
And the world’s danger.
Knitwits Christmas Party
An occasion tinged with sadness on Saturday December 16 2017, as Namir cooked his last Christmas meal for the knitting group who have become his friends.