Those that did not attend Midnight Mass will join others in the early morning Mass on Christmas Day. At home, presents are opened and admired in the morning. In some families, it is a common practice to call on the elderly members of the family and wish them Nollaig Shona Dhuit, which is Merry Christmas in Irish Gaelic. Preparations for the main meal of the day begin as soon as possible.
The meal that is enjoyed in the mid to late afternoon is usually very plentiful, beginning with fancy or traditional appetizers like smoked salmon, fruit cocktail, or bread. Turkey or goose, stuffing, ham, potatoes, brussel sprouts, parsnips, cauliflower, and carrots are common examples of the hot dishes served as the main meal. Desserts vary but traditionally include one or more of the following: a plum pudding, mincemeat pies, a trifle, and the Christmas cake. There are sweets for the children and the adults enjoy Guinness, lager and wine.
December 26th – St. Stephen’s Day
The day after Christmas, sometimes referred to as Boxing Day in some areas, is a continuation of the Christmas Day holiday. It is the Feast Day of St. Stephen. The song, “Good King Wensislaus” sings of St. Stephen. On this day, small gifts or cash are given to local members of the community that provide services throughout the year. These would include the milkman, mail carrier, and delivery persons. Men, women, and children all look forward to attending plays in the city on this day.