December the 8th has always been a very significant day in the Irish Calendar as it is the unofficial start of Christmas in Ireland. In days past, tinsel and decorations were dragged out of last year’s crumpled boxes and treasures not seen in a year were a delight to welcome back.
Also this was the day “country folk” – (anyone living outside Dublin!) would flock to Dublin City to take in the lights and see the festive shop windows of Irish stores such as “Switzsers” and “Clery’s. “Wrapping paper 5 for 50p” would be a call heard all over the city as the city traders sold their wares. It was the day when Irish men would take the day off work and accompany the family to the city..often a pint of the black stuff would be needed after the event! I clearly remember standing in front of Switzers window and feeling overwhelmed by the excitement of it all..
We still do observe the 8th here in Ireland and not least because it is the feast of the Immaculate Conception of Our Lady.
Shopping has changed since the internet has arrived and there is less of a need to travel as we can find whatever we need on line. Is this a good thing? Definitely but try not forget to find the joy in the small things – stop and admire the lights, smell the Christmas trees and most of all take a breath from the madness!