I love to see enterprising young people practicing old crafts. Ballylongford was the place to be on Sunday November 20 2022. The Community Centre was jammed with beautiful things and lovely crafters.
My daughter in law, Carine, was delighted with her purchases from the Mulvihill family stall. She is holding the unique willow wreath which she plans to put on her door. She also loves the flower picture she got for her kitchen.
This engaging young lady was rocking an equine theme with lightweight horseshoe ornaments for every occasion.
I remember a time when every bride carried a horseshoe as well as her bouquet.
This is what the internet says about the horseshoe as a symbol of luck;
Although the origins are not exactly known, it is believed that the horseshoe became the symbol of luck when the eighth century Chaldeans thought its crescent shape represented various moon goddesses thus protecting against the curse of the evil eye.
Remembering Childhood Christmases in Listowel
Margaret Dillon kindly answered my call. Here is her account of childhood Christmases in pre digital days.
These days Christmas is heralded by a marathon of Festive adverts which start earlier each year. Back in the 40’s and 50’s we didn’t have Television so we weren’t subjected to that constant bombardment. Nevertheless we had full and plenty of all the Christmas essentials. Listowel was a busy bustling town back then, the shops were full of all sorts of goodies. Of couse as children we were only interested in the Toy shops particulary Fitzgibbon’s and Walsh’s corner shop. Walsh’s window had a nodding Santa which was a great attraction. We couldn’t contain ourselves on Christmas morning as we opened our presents. Santa was a wonder then and he still is to all children.
On the home front , the decorations were put up across the ceiling from corner to corner. The Holly was put behind the pictures and most important of all the crib was put on the sideboard or windowsill. The cake and plum pudding were already made. While Mam was making the cake we made our wishes as we stirred the mixture. A few days beforehand a goose ( for the New Year celebrations) and a flitch of hairy bacon to go wth the turkey arrived from our Clare relations. My mother and the neighbours Mrs Hickey and Mrs Brennan bought the live turkeys in the market, Mrs Brennan did the killing and we plucked our own, making sure to keep the wings. They served as dusters around the range and grate for the rest of the year.
The big shop was done shortly before the big day in John Joe’s and the reward for our business during the year was the Christmas box. This was like a mini hamper containing tea, a pot of jam and maybe an Oxford Lunch cake. The drinks order of minerals, bottles of Guinness and a bottle of Sherry arrived from John R’s in a large timber box.
Of course Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without the Christmas hymns “Away in a Manger” or “Angels we have heard on High” Or the Christmas songs “Jingle Bells” , “Rudolf the Rednosed Reindeer” and Bing Crosby’s “White Christmas” Adeste Fidelis was sung at Mass on Christmas Day After Mass we stayed back to visit and welcome Baby Jesus in the crib. During the holidays we paid regular visit to the cribs in the parish church and the convent chapel.
Boyeens to Men
My lovely boyeens spent a lot of time in Listowel as children. They always surprise me with their recall of things we did together on their Kerry holidays.
Folklore in The Library
Tom Dillon was his usual entertaining and informative self in Listowel Library last week when he filled us in on the origins of place names.
Placenames are in danger of being lost as we move to Eircodes.
Tom told us that the fishermen had names for various parts of the Feale. Now that fishing is no more these names are in danger of being lost.
I did not know this until Tom told us but wags in Tralee have invented a new place name. They call the Corrib Oil station the Mini Barack Obama.
Christmas Market 2022
Well done Margaret Dillon on your wonderfully written piece about your childhood Christmas. It wasn’t too far removed from ours that followed a tad later. Well worth committing those memories to paper. Priceless really.