20c from every copy of the Irish Examiner sold this Saturday being donated to SVP

Earlier this month the Irish Examiner launched its Christmas Charity appeal in aid of St Vincent de Paul.

We asked our readers: What is the little thing you remember most about Christmas?

It is the little things that make Christmas memories so special, and gathered together they can amount to something so much bigger.

That is why we are donating 20c to St. Vincent de Paul from every copy of the Irish Examiner sold on Saturday, December 16.

Here are some of our reader’s favourite little memories of Christmas. They didn’t disappoint.

Dad cooking a fry on Christmas morning. Dad never cooks. Was a tradition that lasts to this day

- Shane Kenny

I was brought up with only my father and grandmother, we didn’t have that massive family reunion during Christmas or an overwhelming amount of presents nor food but the love, warmth and joy us three felt was what I remember the most. Sitting underneath the Christmas tree opening presents while my father watching me with a big smile all while grandmother watching us both with a tremendous amount of love. Three generations sharing a magical evening with laughter, joy and love, just how Christmas is supposed to be!

- Senja Kaarela

It was a frosty Christmas morning in 1955, I was six years old. I had been a good girl throughout the year, so was totally devastated, when there was no present under the tree. The familiar sound of my father’ s bicycle bell, on his way home from the Beet Factory in Mallow broke the silence on that holy morning. The sight that greeted me, glued me to the ground. It was Santa himself presents and all. He explained to me that his sleigh had broken down and my father had loaned him his bike to finish his rounds. Pure Magic.

- Mary Crowley

Our house is a mad house - it’s old, loud and messy but it’s open, warm and cosy and it’s the only place I want to be this Christmas. My best memories are a blazing fire in the fireplace, a turkey roasting in the oven, candles lighting on the table and the sounds of us all pulling crackers!

- Emer Breen

We had good Christmases but without much money at all. One Christmas our ’Surprise’ was a hot water bottle each. I was very disappointed and tossed it aside and did my best to storm out of the room. When I later returned to the sitting room I could see my brother crouched down at the Christmas tree, head bent with intent. As I drew closer I saw that he had the hot water bottle close to his face as he read the rubber etched instructions to the letter. It was a lesson in gratitude that has stayed with me for life.

- Barbara Wells

My earliest Christmas memory was finding a little doll in the fireplace that Santa must have dropped on his way back up the chimney. Such excitement! Still remember it to this day.

- Catherine Barry

Making the turkey stuffing on Christmas Eve with mam and all nine of us around her and it had to be potato stuffing with onion and god knows what herbs and then having to make it again on Christmas morning cos we would have eaten the whole lot before going to bed where we got very little sleep.

- Mary Kellett

My lovely mother writing Christmas cards and me helping her with them as she got on in years. This is my first Christmas without her and her absence will be very noticeable. I also remember the smell from the kitchen as she baked the Christmas cake and her prodding it with a knitting needle to check that it was cooked. She will be sorely missed this year.

- Caitriona Lacey

Neighbours dropping into my mother’s kitchen, some we rarely saw but each year without fail they donned their Sunday best and the made the effort to call in. People spilling into the front room the air full of chat and laughter. Her homemade punch was lethal, laced with smuggled poitin but smelling sweet and innocent. The warmth of the welcome stays with me even if each individual day was different somehow.

- Kerry Lawless

Mine was having my son home last Christmas from Australia I hadn’t seen him in almost ten years. My daughter was only ten when he left so it was great to have the whole family home. He also was able to spend time with his granny who passed away in the following February. She thought she would never see him again

- Mary Kellett

1960s childhood treats, Christmas day for one day only!!! 1. Cornflakes instead of porridge. 2. Red lemonade instead of milk or water!! 3. Drank out of a fancy glass instead of a cup. 4. Christmas dinner in the parlour with a white tablecloth, good delph and cutlery no less. 5. All creating a memory that’s hard to recapture. Tis the simple things you know!

- Bernie Kirwan

My lovely Mam (RIP) lining the Christmas cake tins with greaseproof paper in the inside and brown paper on the outside, baking the cakes and smell all around the house, just lovely. When settled and cold days later she would ice them and I would sit up on the chair and follow her with my eyes till they all looked wonderful, like snow on top and she would place the Santa figure and little Christmas tree on each one and a bright red bow around them, just magical.

- Grace Kelly

Tobins heading off to Mass on Christmas morning 1954. Newly shod pony tacked by six o clock sharp, Trap lanterns lit, to disperse the dense dark. Hats, rugs and mittens, the ice-cold to debar. We’re ready, the journey is not far. Mam, Dad and children are snugly tucked in, In the darkest of dark our pilgrimage begins. Clap goes the pony, crunch the trap wheels, Flicker the dim lights as the Church now nears. Neighbourly greetings, how richly they blend, Heaven’s choice blessings unlimited descend. Blest is this morning, belt is this ride, Blest are we together, celebrating Christmastide.

- Mary Tobins

I remember my mum taking me and my sisters to Cash’s on Patrick Street now Brown Thomas to see a Santa Movie. It was in Black and white. We then visited Santa’s Grotto and got a gift bag and had our photo taken. It seemed to take hours. It was very exciting. Sometimes we went to Buckley’s Store also to see Santa where they had real deer.

- Bernadette Sexton

Having actual long socks hanging from the chimney which my parents would fill with loose sweets, an apple and oranges. It was such a simple time when there were no great expectations. I’m 52 now so it’s a reflection of how simple things were as money was so much tighter. But the excitement we felt as children was as if we have gotten the moon.

- Laura O’Mahony

Every year before Christmas my wonderful neighbour Mrs. Murphy bought the ingredients to make THE important Christmas cake to send to her son in New York. I would help her weigh the ingredients and mix them with the strong wooden spoon. When she wasn’t looking I would plunge my index finger into the earthen ware bowl and scoop out a glob of the precious mixture. What a steal! I wasn’t the only one breaking the law. Mrs Murphy nervously acquired a bottle of poitin every August to preserve the cake for its crossing of the Atlantic. What a lady!

- Maria Power

Pick up tomorrow’s Irish Examiner where a full page is dedicated to people’s memories and don’t forget, 20c from every copy of the Irish Examiner sold this Saturday,  December 16, is being donated to SVP

KEYWORDS: Christmas, Charity


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