Happy Christmas from Prospect Cottage.

In Folklore on December 23, 2011 at 6:38 pm

So at last it is here…Christmas 2011. It seems the radio and TV have been selling it to us for months now. Thankfully the recession that engulfs Ireland and indeed the rest of the world seems to have reduced the gross consumerism of recent years. The shops are busy but people seem to be much more sensible and selective with their purchases. A good thing in my view. I always try to buy useful presents for family members…things they really want or will find useful. At this point we are pretty good at getting it right. Some of the nieces and nephews are now teenagers and have a liking for money gifts. I’m not a huge fan of giving money so this year we gave a gift and some money so hopefully everyone will be happy.

According to the Met Office the weather is to be mild and balmy…a big change from the last 2 Christmasses when we were snowed in. The pic above of the dogs in the snow was taken 2 weeks ago but that snow quickly disappeared.

My favourite thing at this time of year is collecting foliage from garden and hedgerow to make a wreath. I usually do this before the Solstice as for me the circle of the wreath represents the continuing cycle of life, death and renewal that happens each year. The Solstice was traditionally seen as the   re birth of the Sun. The time when the Sun remains resting for a while before it once again starts it’s climb higher into the sky bringing long days and the renewal of activity. The 12 days of Christmas is said to have come from the traditions of the Celts who celebrated the 12 days the Sun remained steady in one position before starting the upward journey.

The wreath looks pretty good I think and I got great pleasure from making it. The birds have eaten all the Holly berries already so I used Sedum heads for a splash of red.

The wreath of Holly popular as a door decoration in America is said to have been brought there by Irish settlers who left Ireland at the time of the Great Potato Famine in the mid 1800s. Holly grows wild all over Ireland and most people like to bring sprigs of it indoors at this time of year.

I also made a wreath for my Mother’s front door. We did the trip down to Tipperary on Wednesday. We left home early in the morning and did’nt get back until midnight. We had a good long day there and left our pressies under the various Christmas trees. Our presents are also waiting…unopened until Christmas morning. I don’t understand people who open their presents before Christmas. Not for us.

So now all that’s left is for me to say Happy Christmas to you all. May it be happy and peaceful. Thank you to the visitors who read, follow and comment on my blog…I do appreciate it. As is said in Irish “Nollaig Shona Duit” which means “Happy Christmas to You”.

  1. Just catching up after the holiday–Next year I will be more varied in my wreath materials– yours are so beautiful! Happy new year Bridget– so very nice knowing you!

  2. What lovely wreaths. And I didn’t know that about the Celts and the 12 days of Christmas. I learned something new!

  3. Happy yule to you both, lovely to hear the folklore cos we try to live by this way as well and look forward to reading many more of your blogs next year.

  4. Merry Christmas! I love seeing the harvest for the making of your wreath! Simply lovely! Wonderful gift. Hope you are having a joyful day! Peace/Carol

  5. Happy Christmas to you! I learned some wonderful things here today. I don’t understand opening presents before Christmas, either and I prefer to give gifts rather than money or gift cards. They don’t seem near as personal but I understand why some would like to receive money. It’s nice to have some “change” in one’s pocket for after the holiday sales 😉
    Thanks for visiting my blog. It is nice to meet new people.

  6. Love your natural decorations. I can’t believe you still have Sedum looking so good. Mine just looks brown and soggy. Wishing you and your family a very merry Christmas and a happy 2012. Best wishes, Wellywoman

  7. Bridget, Merry Christmas and have a wonderful 2012. Carolyn

  8. wishing you and Andy a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, Frances

    p.s. many of the ‘christain’ festivals are surplanted on or near the dates and times of ancient celtic festivals, when I was in the usa I found a similar thing had been done by the europeans to many festivals of the original people,

  9. Bridget, I love your wreaths, and that the birds ate the berries too, I’m sure they appreciated them. The Sedum heads look lovely as alternative color. I was tempted to make some wreaths when our wind storm knocked lots of evergreen branches down all over the road, but I got a little too driven just cleaning up the mess. Next year though, I think it would be fun to assemble a wreath with some of the plant materials here. It makes it personal, and that much more special, which is what this holiday should be. Wishing you and your family a peaceful holiday season, and a joyous New Year!

  10. Merry Christmas.

    Not surprisingly, your wreaths are tasteful and do not requite electricity. I can’t say the same for some of ours lol

  11. We decorate the house with holly, ivy and candles at Christmas. Presents are smaller this year and some are even home made! Enjoy the Festive Season, Bridget.

  12. Hi Bridget. Wishing you and those you love, peace and blessings this Christmas.
    Jane xx

  13. Happy Christmas to you Bridget. i love your decorations and the stories you weave. Very best wishes, Joanna

  14. Glad to see the 12 days of Christmas have Celtic roots. I remember a Celtic prayer – I give you a nothingness to fill – so we begin a blog post on a blank page.
    Happy Christmas to Arigna! May we see sense and find a better way than fracking nature.

  15. I can definitely attest to your Melting Moments (as well as the chestnut flour based tarts) being wonderful at the Winter Market! They are amazingly dee-lish!

    I wish you the same, Bridget. Nollaig shona dhuit to you, Andy, your family
    and all your beautiful, wonderful furry and fuzzy friends.

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