The Candle is lit and on the window. I understand it’s traditions lie in a light to guide the Holy Family who found no room at the inn in Bethlehem and also a token of welcome to deceased members of the family believed to return to their home at this time of year and to absent members of the family who may have emigrated.
Anyway it’s just a simple tradition we observe without thinking too much about it. Don’t mean or want to be maudlin as they say.. I was about to say that the wind and rain have stopped but I’m glad I didn’t as I can hear it loud and clear outside right now. I’m even open to the idea that we might have snow. It’s that type of cold at the moment. We will wait and see.
For a lot of my family Christmas eve is well under way in their part of the world, for some its 8.30pm (and my niece is being tucked up in bed in New Zealand awaiting the arrival of Santa) and for the gang in OZ and Singapore they are planning their evening (Which I must point out is certainly including which the vigil mass they will attend, aka mid-night mass isn’t that right lads? J)
For most of us I hope the check list is complete at this stage, turkey, check, ham, check, potatoes, check, brussels, check, trifle made, check, etc, etc. or whatever checklist you have for Christmas. (and that includes none, if that floats your boat)
So, my Christmas Eve has started with the candle and a day of generally doing bits and pieces in preparation for tomorrow. Get the back house ready for Lou and Gary, probably get the ham cooked later for our Christmas eve meal. Not quite the Christmas eve meal we had after midnights mass in Mam’s, back in the day, but a ‘tipping of the hat’ to a past tradition that we loved so much. Mass will be at 6.30 in Carrigaline Church, which will be packed to the rafters by 6pm (so much so that a Health & Safety guy would have a coronary if he saw so many people jammed in and obstructing the exits, I jest you not) Screaming babys, families laughing and also people saying prayers for those not here this year. Fr.Bertie will check in with Santa to make sure he got away safely from my relatives in New Zealand, Australia and Singapore.
After mass a couple of pints in the Hotel with Lou, Jess and Gary and wishing everybody else a Happy Christmas. That’s Christmas for ya.
Home by 9.30 I hope!! and chill. I hope your day went well, goes well (thats the problem with a diary across time zones)
Happy Birthday Mary B and also Michael B who share the same birthdate and birth year. You share in one of the biggest birthday celebrations of the year, bummer or not.
One a final note, Christmas has become a time for family, starting way back when a family could not find room at an inn, and so we celebrate another year with our families around us or if that is not the case then very close to our hearts.
Have a beautiful Christmas this year. Enjoy the company of the human family that is around you today, family friends and even acquaintances. Use Skype as much as you can or want. Time to touch base again.
Good luck with the Christmas celebrations tomorrow (or now even, if you have started already)
Warmest wishes from the South of Ireland, actually from across all of this little island as we all send out or love, best wishes and encouragement to our relatives and friends across the space that divides us today.
“One of the most beautiful gifts in the world is the gift of encouragement. When someone encourages you, that person helps you over a threshold you might otherwise never have crossed on your own.”
John O’Donoghue, Celtic Reflections on Our Yearning to Belong