Listowel Town Square; Christmas 2020
That’s all from me, folks for 2020. Happy Christmas to you all and I look forward to keeping on keeping on in 2021. I pray that this time next year we will all be in a better place.
1909 Christmas card from the National Museum collection
Cuireadh do Mhuire
Le coinnle na n-aingeal
Tá an spéir amuigh breactha.
Tá fiacal an tseacha sa ghaoth on gcnoc
Adaigh an tine is teigh chun na leapan
Lúifidh mac Dé insan tigh seo anocht
A Christmas poem from Junior Griffin
MY CHRISTMAS WISH
Oh Lord, when we give this Christmas time,
Do teach us how to share
The gifts that you have given us
With those who need our care,
For the gift of Time is sacred~
The greatest gift of all,
And to share our time with others
Is the answer to your call,
For the Sick, the Old and Lonely
Need a word, a kindly cheer
For every precious minute
Of each day throughout the Year,
So, in this Special Season
Do share Your Time and Love
And you’re Happy, Holy Christmas
Will be Blessed by Him above
A Kerry Christmas Childhood
Now I cannot help remembering the happy days gone by,
As Christmastime approaches and the festive season’s nigh.
I wallow in nostalgia when I think of long ago,
And the tide that waits for no man as the years they ebb and flow.
We townies scoured the countryside for holly berries red,
And stripped from tombs green ivy in the graveyard of the dead,
To decorate each picture frame a -hanging on the wall,
And fill the house with greenery and brighten winter’s pall,
Putting up the decorations was for us a pleasant chore,
And the crib down from the attic took centre stage once more.
From the box atop the dresser the figures were retrieved,
To be placed upon a bed of straw that blessed Christmas Eve,
For the candles, red crepe paper, round the jamjars filled with sand,
To be placed in every window and provide a light so grand,
To guide the Holy Family who had no room at the inn,
And provide for them a beacon of the fáilte mór within.
The candles were ignited upon the stroke of seven,
The youngest got the privilege to light our way to Heaven,
And the rosary was said as we all got on our knees,
Remembering those who’d gone before and the foreign missionaries.
Ah, we’d all be scrubbed like new pins in the bath before the fire
And, dressed in our pajamas, of tall tales we’d never tire,
Of Cuchulainn, Ferdia, The Fianna, Red Branch Knights,
Banshees and Jack o’ Lanterns, Sam Magee and Northern Lights
And we’d sing the songs of Ireland, of Knockanure and Black and Tans,
And the boys of Barr na Sráide who hunted for the wran.
Mama and Dad they warned us as they gave each good night kiss,
If we didn’t go to sleep at once then Santa we would miss,
And the magic Christmas morning so beloved of girls and boys,
When we woke to find our dreams fulfilled and all our asked for toys,
But Mam was up before us the turkey to prepare,
To peel the spuds and boil the ham to provide the festive fare.
She’d accept with pride the compliments from my father and the rest.
“Of all the birds I’ve cooked,” she’s say, “ I think that this year’s was the best.”
The trifle and plum pudding, oh, the memories never fade
And then we’d wash the whole lot down with Nash’s lemonade.
St. Stephen’s Day brought wrenboys with their loud knock on the door,
To bodhrán beat and music sweet they danced around the floor’
We, terror stricken children, fled in fear before the batch,
And we screamed at our pursuers as they rattled at the latch.
Like a bicycle whose brakes have failed goes headlong down the hill
Too fast the years have disappeared. Come back they never will.
Our clan is scattered round the world. From home we had to part.
Still we treasure precious memories forever in our heart.
So God be with our parents dear. We remember them with pride,
And the golden days of childhood and the happy Christmastide.