A Very Merry (and Irish) Christmas

Photo by Matt McKnight
Photo by Matt McKnight

An Irish Christmas Blessing

The light of the Christmas star to you

The warmth of home and hearth to you

The cheer and good will of friends to you

The hope of a childlike heart to you

The joy of a thousand angels to you

The love of the Son and God’s peace to you.

As we celebrate Christmas this week, may all the wishes of this blessing be passed to you. Christmas is a time of cherishing those near and dear to us, for remembering the reason for the season and for celebrating with family young and old with traditions that date back centuries. Many of the traditions we have come to know date back hundreds of years to Ireland, including placing a candle in the window as a welcoming gesture. Even that plate full of cookies and milk for Santa has roots in Ireland, though it has changed quite a bit from the original Laden Table with bread for Mary and Joseph or other wandering travelers (not that we don’t think Mary would’ve appreciated at good chocolate chip cookie, being pregnant and all!).

So what other things can be added to Christmas celebrations to bring a touch of Irish cheer to the week? Here are a few ideas:

Movie Time: Cozy up and watch an Irish Christmas movie. Yes, one does exist. “The Bells of St. Mary’s” is a comedy from 1945 that stars Bing Crosby, Ingrid Bergman, and Henry Travers, who you might recognize as Clarence from the holiday classic “It’s a Wonderful Life”.

Comic Relief: Have a laugh courtesy of Irish people trying American Christmas treats. In this video from Facts, Candy Cane Hershey bars, Eggnog, and pumpkin pie filling are taste tested by a handful of individuals with some fairly disgusted reactions. Though most of the items are not necessarily considered popular in reality in America, many people would agree with the comment that the eggnog “does taste like Christmas.”

Photo by John Stratford
Photo by John Stratford

Decorate: Add some holly and ivy to your christmas swag. These were traditionally used in Ireland to decorate homes long before Christmas trees became popular, so a touch of holly in the house will help enhance the Christmas spirit as you deck the halls with boughs of holly (fa la la la la…).

Photo by Brett Jordan
Photo by Brett Jordan

Bake up a storm: Whip up some traditional Irish Christmas desserts, such as this Christmas Cake. A Christmas Pudding or Mincemeat Cake would also make for a festive dessert spread.

However you decide to celebrate Christmas, we hope that it brings you lots of cheer, and plenty of time for relaxing with family and friends around the yule log.

Nollaig Shona Duit (Merry Christmas) everyone!