Christmas in Ireland

Christmas used to be a hard time for me. Christmas seemed to be a day where I was included in what was happening sometimes. The Christmas’ that were hard for me reminded me that I was not good enough even to be included in family things. The Christmas’ I do remember I have fond memories of. As kids we had stockings and we always got a Christmas orange, candy canes, sometimes a pair of socks or a pair of mittens. I don’t remember anything else about the stockings but we did get them Christmas morning. Then we would get Selection boxes which was a variety of Chocolate bars made from Cadbury. Some of the presents I remember getting are a spinning top which I still have. A puppet that had strings attached to it and I could almost bring it to life with the strings. I played with that for hours on end. I had a blue emu puppet. I had a plastic toy that you could make all sorts of things with.

One Christmas I got a yo yo not just a regular one but a trick one. I spent hours in end learning all the cool tricks you could do and I become quite good at it. I took it to school and showed the kids all the tricks I knew. The kids were impressed and I felt good for a short time that I could do something and feel that recognition. We would have a turkey at Christmas and I got to be part of my family for that one. I used to try and hold on to every minute before it slipped away.

It is believed that if you find in traditional Irish Barmbrack: it’s a sweet bread we would eat for dessert. Baked into the bread was the following items. A coin, a ring, a pea, a bean, a stick and a piece of cloth.

  • coin, you will be wealthy;
  • ring, you will marry within a year;
  • pea, you won’t marry that year;
  • bean, you will have fortune but not money;
  • stick, you will have unhappy marriage or disputes;
  • piece of cloth or rag, you will be poor. All we wanted was to find the coins.

We also have the traditional Christmas cake. The one with the raisins and dried fruit with marzipan and icing. My brother and I used to just eat the marzipan and the icing. To this day we won’t eat that because we are so much of it as a kid. That will teach us.

I’m not sure if Christmas day everyone was happier and that’s why we were included because the next day life went back to the way it was. It’s like we didn’t exist again and all that niceness was gone in an instant. The nice Christmas’ I remember I felt included. What a lovely feeling that is. Did they feel guilty and that’s why for that one day we were included. For now I will take as many good memories as I can. Now as an adult I love Christmas. To me it represents Family, friends, simplicity and about giving.

Merry Christmas to all and wishing you a great holiday no matter how you celebrate it. I love Christmas because it’s the birth of Jesus and I love the Christmas story. How something so simple can make a huge impact in all of our lives today. ❤️

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