I lost some hand-written notes from back then and neither blogging nor Flickr existed. But I've some vivid memories of the past 15 years of the Christmas season in Ireland.
Until recently, the Irish Christmas Season was an exercise in consumption. I grew up in an American family with German and Irish roots. We often used Christmas as an exercise in deferred gratification. That home-grown practise contrasted with an easy Irish exercise in stretching the credit limit. I saw top-flight running shoes and branded hoodies being tossed to pre-teens like throwaway commodities. Friends told me, "That's what Christmas bonuses are for." In today's recessionary times, I wonder how Champion Sports is doing.
Shoes. Where I grew up, it was relatively easy to find a photo of an Irish youngster walking around without shoes. Those days are long past--I've never seen that kind of thing since moving to Ireland. But I always associated Christmas with shoes since mom and dad occasionally bought the family of five boys some new shoes as presents. I feel like I should return to that family tradition because good shoes can take you a long way.
Family Ties. One strong tradition that migrated from Ireland to my Stateside family is the Christmas family visits. All seven of us would pile into a station wagon and call into the grandparents and cousins. We also walked up a narrow stairwell to visit my great aunt while she was still alive. I pointed out the stairs to a barber who now rents the same premises in Lancaster, Pennysylvania. Her flat was so small that we had to queue on the stairs for our Christmas hugs. Today, some of the brothers remember the youngest making some rude observations but we save those recollections for unbloggable family get-togethers.
Photo snapped of our Satio Christmas.
My personal best Christmas shot is a Cashel Blue Christmas photo.
Previously -- "Christmas in Ireland" from 2008.