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Christmas in Ireland

I’ve been soaking up the amazing Christmas spirit over the past month. I’m super excited for Christmas this year. We have been enjoying shopping, seeing Santa, decorating the house, opening the daily advent calendars & getting everything ready for Christmas day. Christmas in our house is in full swing. I’ve been thinking about my Christmases in NY versus my Christmases in Ireland lately & I’d to tell you why I prefer Christmas in Ireland.

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The kids’ Playmobil advent calendar. There’s a new piece added each day.

This is the first Christmas that I’ve been blogging. I’m thrilled to be involved in some blogger secret Santa’s, & I love seeing everyone’s build up to Christmas on social media. It all adds to the excitement & beauty of this amazing holiday. It’s fun to share with each other & send good wishes & love to one another. My virtual buddies have never felt so close to me as they do now.

When we go to town, all of the shops are beautifully decorated for Christmas. Everyone tells each other, “happy Christmas” or asks the kiddies, “is Santy coming?” There’s a sense of community & togetherness when it comes to Christmas. People are in good spirit & everyone shares the joy with each other. Christmas is celebrated in the schools as well. Santa makes a visit, there are beautiful decorations in the school & the children put on a Christmas concert for their parents. Christmas here is like a fairy tale to me. Pure magic!

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Our dining room decorated for Christmas.

I grew up & went through school in New York. Christmas in NY is hampered by political correctness. I attended public school & no Christmas decorations were allowed in the school. The overwhelming majority of students were Christian & celebrating Christmas. Regardless, decorations weren’t allowed.

The shops in NY are decorated for Christmas & people have amazing light displays on their houses. As a child, I used to love when my parents drove us around to see the Christmas lights. There are plenty of decorations, but the spirit isn’t the same.

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Our Elf, Jingle Bells, here to stay with us for the Christmas season.

The yearly Christmas shopping at the mall in NY would destroy my Christmas spirit. People turn vicious! One year I went shopping & there had been a heavy snow. Cars were parked somewhat in rows but the lines were buried in the snow. After driving around for a half hour, I found a spot & took it. After hours of soul-destroying shopping in crowded shops & standing in line for an hour per purchase I made, I returned to my car to find a Christmas card tucked under the wiper. I lifted it out & saw that someone had taken a Christmas card & torn the cover off. They wrote a really nasty note on the back because they claimed I was parked too close to their car. Everyone was parked wherever they could get in. I could easily get out of my car when I left it. But, this is the kind of carry on in NY. It was as if people jumped on any opportunity to yell at someone. Where is the Christmas cheer?

Every year was the same. I dreaded going Christmas shopping. When out & about there was this fear that you can’t say Merry Christmas to someone in case they aren’t Christian. The Christmas spirit struggles. It’s not to say I didn’t enjoy my Christmases in NY because I did. But, the holidays caused stress, traffic & tension. It was as if I was trying to enjoy Christmas despite the vibe. After living in Ireland & enjoying the love, community, kindness & magic that comes with the Christmas season I can say that I prefer Christmas in Ireland.

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Our tree. I never get tired of seeing it lit up in the evenings.

In Ireland, when the Christmas holidays arrive, everyone is off work. There are parties, dinners & drinks with friends. It’s a two-week celebration that I look forward to every year. As a Christian, I truly love the Christmas spirit in Ireland. I’m not sure what it’s like for people who don’t celebrate Christmas. I have thought about it & tried to put myself mentally in that position. I honestly don’t think I’d take offense to people celebrating a holiday I don’t take part in. Or, if someone wished me a happy Christmas if I don’t celebrate, I’d still be happy to take the good wishes.

What do you think about opening celebrating Christmas & saying happy Christmas?

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