Fiona's Place /  The Dungeon / The Irish Connection /   Irish cookery /  Irish music /  An Irish patchwork /
 The Seaside  /  The Beach /  Mermaids /  Look to the Stars /  The Love Shack /  The Playroom/   My Graphics

Fionas Christmas Shop

Fionas Christmas download page

Loads of cool games, animations, and other fun things!

Christmas Midi files to play or download

>>>>>>>>Fionas Christmas Shop<<<<<<<

Full of Christmas items and clever ideas.

Send an Internet Greeting Card
Enter Card ID Number to
Pickup Your Greeting Card

This is a new site with all my christmas pictures

Nollaig shona Chughaibh

(Happy Christmas)

Preparations for Christmas in Ireland start early, particularly in preparing special food for the festive season. Christmas Puddings and Christmas cakes rich with fruit and nuts and moistened with Guinness (Irish stout) and or brandy are made and stored to mature. Later the cakes are covered in marzipan icing then royal icing and decorated in all manner of ways.  Perhaps applying icing with an icing nozzle or simply roughing up the surface with a knife to be the base for a snow scene.  Edible silver balls can be used, or plastic figures of snowmen, santas or Christmas trees.

Mincemeat is made using dried fruit and suet.  In the olden days it really contained minced meat.These days it can also be bought ready made in supermarkets. This is later used for making mince pies, or larger mince tarts.  Traditionally shortcrust pastry is used but these days anything goes, flakey pastry,rough puff pastry or even filo. The pies tend to get eaten at tea times, or after carol singing with brandy butter and /or cream.

Spiced beef is made too. It used to be made at home but these days most butchers have their own secret recipes and you can buy the meat "ready spiced" from them. It takes about three weeks for the beef to absorb the spices before it's cooked.  It leaves the meat pink in the centre with an almost black "crust" of spices and a quite unique flavour.  It can be served hot or cold and many Irish people in Southern Ireland will eat it at some time over the festive season.

A lot of Irish houses still have an open fire, which is lit to keep the room warm and cheery over the winter months. Irish people burn a lot of Turf (from the  peat bogs which fill most of the centre of Ireland.Turf is traditionally cut and dried in the summer months. Turf briquettes, which are a modern compressed version  are commonly available to buy.  Turf does not give out a high temperature so a lot of people use coal too, and or wood) Chestnuts can be bought and cooked in the fire which are delicious, and I can remember cooking toast on a toasting fork!

Christmas cards get sent, overseas ones sent surface mail have to be posted very early, way before December.

Children send letters to Father Christmas usually by throwing the letter into the back of the fire where it get sucked up the chimney  by the draft and taken "to Father Christmas " in the North Pole.

At the beginning of December children start opening the windows on their advent calenders revealing a Christmas picture or perhaps uncovering a sweet.Schools put on their end of term nativity plays, or concerts and there are carol services to go to. Some people will go out carol singing to raise money for charity, either singing door to door or at some place like a shopping centre.

Handel's "Messiah" is often preformed in the run up to Christmas, (sometimes as a sing-a-long)  and in fact the first performance of it ever was in Dublin. The organ which Handel played can still be seen in St. Michan's church on the bank of the river Liffey in Dublin.

Families decorate their houses.  Streamers are put up made of paper, or foil, candles may be put out, some people decorate their windows.Wreaths may be hung on the door.

Shops decorate their windows, some putting on fabulous displays. Many streets are decorated in cities with coloured lights and often even small towns will sport a Christmas tree strewn in fairy lights. Many large stores hire people to act as Father Christmas, dressed in the red and white outfit and listening to the children's wishes. for a small fee children visit him and get a small gift.

The traditional tree is brought in and fairy lights put on it.  Some people put a star on top, others an angel or fairy. The tree is then decorated in tinsel and glass or plastic baubles and the gifts put underneath.

Holly and ivy are often brought in to drape around pictures (garlands), and some people hang bunches of mistletoe to be kissed beneath! A wreath of Christmas greenery may be hung on the door. Or "balls" of greenery may be hung in the hall

A lot of people put up a crib set depicting the nativity, with tiny figures made of wood, ceramics or plastic. Churches often have larger versions of these.

On Christmas Eve the children are all very excited, as Father Christmas (Santa) is going to visit.  Many put stockings at the end of their beds for him to fill with small gifts, others use pillowcases.  Traditionally in the morning of Christmas Day when they open them there will be an apple in the toe and an orange (these days a satsuma or tangerine) in the heel.  

Late at night a lot of people go to Midnight Mass (Catholic) or Midnight Service (Church of Ireland) to see in Christmas Day. Communion is usually taken at this service. Churchgoers listen to readings from the Bible and sing Christmas Carols. Returning home in the small hours of the morning many will warm up with mincepies, mulled wine or good old fashioned Irish Coffee before bed. Some even open all their Christmas gifts then, in the middle of the night.

On Christmas morning, if there are any children in the house, they will wake you up.(Often early!)  They will open their stockings from Father Christmas.

Before or after breakfast most families open their gifts.  Others go to Church to welcome Christmas in , if they haven't already been. Lots of people deliver gifts to friends or family, or travel to relatives for their Christmas meal or drinks.The roads are usually surprisingly busy.

The traditional lunch is often planned for as late as 2 or 3 pm.
The table is often decorated with candles and crackers.(Crackers are rolls of paper which contain a small explosive. This "cracks" when it is pulled between two people and reveals the contents, usually a hat, a motto or joke and a small gift.) There is no traditional starter for the meal -but possibilities are prawn cocktail, melon or smoked salmon with Irish brown bread. The main course is traditional and consists of Turkey, roast and stuffed, a Ham often boiled then covered in breadcrumbs and sugar, sausages, cranberry sauce, Bread sauce, gravy, potatoes and some vegetables. Turkey is a tradition brought back from the United States .Before 1600 it was usual to eat a goose.

Dessert is traditionally Christmas pudding served either with Brandy butter or Brandy or Rum sauce and cream. Mince pies may also be eaten at this meal.

Christmas Midi files to play or download

In my own family we have we have this as an evening meal and we also give "table presents" as the day can seem a bit flat once all the gifts are opened.  So we have one more small gift each after the meal.

St. Stephens day (26th December),  is also a public holiday in the Republic of Ireland.
In Northern Ireland it is referred to as Boxing day (as in Great Britain).  Boxing day is traditionally the day when "boxes " of gifts were given to people who had done service to you in the year.  These days small gifts of money are paid to dustbin men and milkmen before Christmas.

In parts of Ireland the tradition of the Wren Boy festival is still practised on December 26th.The young men of the Parish used to catch a wren (bird) and tie it to a furze bush (a gorse bush, a spikey bush with yellow flowers which grows wild on many rough areas of land.  They are often seen on the side of hills with the heather in summer.)  Nowadays no bird is harmed and they use a decorated piece of gorse. They all dress up in silly clothes, much like at Halloween, and often blacken their faces.  They go around looking for money, saying "The wren , the wren, the King of all birds....."Sometimes now they use it to raise money for charity.

The day after Christmas, St Stephens day or Boxing day is the day when the Pantomimes start.These are funny plays usually based on a children's fairy story.  Traditional titles include : Cinderella, Babes in the Wood, Aladdin, Puss in Boots or Snow White. In these plays the sexes tend to swap roles.  Men play the parts of some women such as the Ugly Sisters in Cinderella, the washerwoman in Aladdin, The "Dame" as these parts are called. Young women usually play the male leads role the "Prince", "Aladdin" or "Peter Pan".  Women also play the heroine, "Cinderella", "Snow White" , "Wendy"etc. Usually topical jokes for the adults are written into the script and there may be songs to sing-a-long to or even games to play.  Often the children get sweets thrown out to them during the pantomime. Lots of celebrities who don't normally appear on the stage will take part in a pantomime, sports stars, pop stars or TV personalities all appear.

January 6th, (Twelfth night) is the date when all decorations are meant to be taken down. Christmas trees these days can often be recycled, or people chop them up and burn them in their fires.

 Life slowly returns to normal and the house seems awfully bare!!!

Fionas Christmas Shop

Back to the top


Fiona's Place /  The Dungeon / The Irish Connection /   Irish cookery /  Irish music /  An Irish patchwork /
 The Seaside  /  The Beach /  Mermaids /  Look to the Stars /  The Love Shack /  The Playroom/   My Graphics

Site Meter

Happy Holidays Christmas Webring
Next * Next5 * Previous
Random *List * Join

[Skip Prev] [Prev] [Next]
[Skip Next] [Random]
Next 5]
Wonderland Ring