Hello from Ireland and here is my December newsletter.
I can’t believe how many Christmas trees are up and
decorated this early! As I go out for my evening walk, I see more and more
homes lit up, with festive lighting, tress and decorations all in place ahead
Long ago it was rare to put up the ornaments until well into
December..but I guess that nowadays it’s much more fun to get into the festive
spirit nice and early !!
Also, long ago in Ireland the Christmas shopping season did
not begin in earnest until December 8th – the feast day of the
Immaculate Conception. As this was a church holiday and considered a day off
work, the shops would be flooded – especially with folks from rural Ireland who
thronged the towns and cities to get the Christmas shopping done in good time .
Another December feast celebrates Saint Finian which is celebrated on the 12th
of the month. I am told that the people of Rearymore Parish in County
Laois annually assemble on this day at Saint Finian’s well to celebrate the
festival of their Patron Saint. The well consists of three or four holes in the
solid rock always full of water and is surrounded by old hawthorns, which are
immaculately preserved by the locals. It is also customary for the pilgrims to
go round this well on their bare knees, by way of penance .
I can’t let any December letter pass without the mention of the winter
solstice which take place this year on December 21st. This is the
shortest day of the year and marks the turning of the season as the days begin
to lengthen again. Many standing stones, alignments and passage tombs have been
constructed over the millennia to mark this special event , and of course
Newgrange monument is the most famous of them all. Built over 5,000 years ago
this sacred place is older than the pyramids, and only on the morning of the
winter solstice a ray of sunshine will travel down the narrow passage and
completely illuminate the inner chamber. Indeed we have Newgrange
Necklace inspired by this very solstice.
Do you remember that I took you for a walk to lough Gur in September?
Well, here’s another story about this place. Some say that in ancient
days there was a city where the lake is now, before an earthquake threw up the
hills and filled the hollow with water so that the city was submerged. Even
now, the locals say that when the surface of the lake is smooth one may see
from a boat, far down and down again, the drowned city, its walls, castle,
houses and church perfect and intact, waiting for the Day of Resurrection.
On Christmas Eve, a dark night without moon and stars, if one looks down
and down again, one may see lights in the windows, and listening with the ears
of the mind, hear the muffled chiming of church bells….
I hope that your countdown to Christmas is going well and
you are looking forward to the festive season. Here at Connemara Marble.com our FREE SHIPPING continues until December 31st!
Stay well and all the best, Stephen
Are you looking for a unique, handmade gift for someone special this Christmas? The gift of jewelry can make a person feel beautiful, special and loved. Here at Connemara Marble we have a gift set for you and with free shipping now on you can shop from Ireland FREE on all orders over $30.00!