CHRISTMAS EVE IN IRELAND

This Christmas eve we are cosy inside, candles are lit and nice music fills the room. I am still inclined to go with the Flemish way of celebrating Christmas on the eve of the 24th. However, Ian being British has hugely different traditions and I try to do a bit of both, I find though that we celebrate Christmas totally in our own special way. I guess like everyone else we like to build memories and this of course also involves family. But this year Christmas is different, there is no family gathering for most people. We are lucky that we can have one set of grandchildren coming to open presents and enjoy the customary meatballs with red cabbage and apples. Many people are not so lucky and so we are grateful. As I have never cooked a turkey in my life, and don’t know how to make a Christmas cake or pudding I usually buy a good quality one for Ian and make him sweet white sauce to go with it. For me most important at Christmas are people, candles, music and the scent of pine and spices, oh and a walk in nature. So this afternoon the sun was shining and though bitterly cold it was a great opportunity to get some fresh air. Yesterday there was snow on the hills surrounding the town and I wanted to check if I could get some pictures of them, unfortunately the snow was mostly gone again. I came across so much fresh green, little plants that are either still growing from last season, and new plants like the foxgloves. These are the darkest days of the year but already I can feel fresh energy building up which once it is January will burst forth and there will be no holding it. January is my most productive month, my energy at its highest. But for now I seek peace and quiet, it’s too early to give way to high spirits.
View overlooking part of the town and surrounding hills, one of which is still snow-capped.
After a lovely walk the sun was setting over some houses, a beautiful day, a peaceful Christmas eve.

As an afterthought, this evening I received from my sister two Christmas card dating back to 1920, my grandmother and grandfather exchanged those back then. I found it so touching and they are beautiful, that’s why I am sharing them here with you all. A great present from the past.

I would like to wish all my dear friends and followers all over the earth a blessed and joyous Christmas time, or Yule time, or Solstice, or end of year or mid-winter celebrations. I love a good story and am very interested in traditions from all over the world. How do you like to spend this time of year?