“Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St Nicholas soon would be there.”
– Clement C. Moore

I love Christmas and particularly the weeks in the run up to the big day. From the beginning of December, I’m planning, baking, writing and sending cards, buying and wrapping presents. And putting up the decorations.
That task alone can take a good week to complete. There is nothing minimalist about my house over the festive season!

Every inch of space is adorned. In fact, if you stand still for any length of time, you could end up with a bauble or a length of tinsel damgling from your person! They don’t call me “The Queen of Tack” for no reason.
The house is lit up like Las Vegas and there are Santas and snowmen and garlands in every room. Even the bathroom gets its fair share of decorations.

Around the middle of the month, I buy the tree. It has to be real. And big!
There’s nothing I enjoy more than sitting down by the fire in the evenings before Christmas and just soaking up the warm glow of the decorations and the scented candles and admiring my handiwork of decorating the tree.

I’m a divil for traditions and on Christmas Eve, every year, when my children were small, we read the lines at the beginning of this piece last thing before going to bed and, hopefully, to sleep!
They would put out Santa’s supper and a carrot for Rudolph, get into their new pyjamas and we would all snuggle together and read The Night Before Christmas.

“He had a broad face and a little round belly,
that shook when he laughed like a bowl full of jelly.”
The children used to giggle at those lines when they were young and I hazard a guess that when they have families of their own, the story of this “chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf” will creep back into their lives and form part of their Christmas Eve traditions.

Nice memories are very precious.

Read Mary Kennedy every month in Ireland’s Own