Just a reminder to all of you out there that he will be on the way shortly.
Nobody celebrates Christmas like we do in Ireland. I accept that the fact that we are mainly a Catholic country has a lot to do with it but the vast majority of people of all denominations join in and the objectors are few and far between. Long may it remain so.
When we talk about the Christmas holiday period in Ireland, we really do mean "holiday period" as literally everything closes down for at the very least 2 days, Christmas day, and St Stephens day, also known as Boxing day. Was St Stephen also a boxer?
You would have a real problem here if you needed a plumber or an electrician or anybody in the trades at any time during the Christmas period and the self employed go missing also.
The big multi national companies are of course in a different bracket as the only thing they are interested in is making as much money as the can at all times and i would imagine that if you mentioned Santa Claus to them they would think that you had maybe never grown up or else that you were "In the Union" and a trouble maker.
In Ireland we believe that first of all we are celebrating,
(1) the birth of Jesus
(2) the arrival of Santa Claus
and in that order.
Those of us here who celebrate just the arrival of Santa Claus are just as much a part of our celebrations and we all party. If that means that we have not grown up, then long may we remain childish and fun loving.
Personally, i love what Christmas does to people. The vast majority of us seem to become a part of the spirit of the whole thing, and the moods are upbeat, and people are far more friendly and generous to one another, regardless of denomination, creed colour, or race.You will find that many more people visit hospitals and nursing homes, people donate far more to all of the charities, and the school children bring all sorts of toys and gifts into their schools so that they can be passed on to those children who would get nothing otherwise. Would it not be lovely if we could only be like that to one another all of the time? Would that not be a nice new year resolution, instead of giving up ice cream or something? I am not giving that up anyway.
It will not be long now before the enquiries will be coming in from far away places, and, for me, that will be 95% from the USA. The forecast for the coming year for our tourist industry is very positive, especially after the last year seeing a jump of around 10% in the numbers over the previous year.
If you are seriously thinking about coming, then it would be wise to make your enquiry as soon as possible, as we can only handle so much, and we never want to disappoint anybody.
You can just e-mail me and we can take it from there.
In the meantime, i would like to wish everybody a Happy and Peaceful Christmas, and a New Year full of everything that is good for you. If you come to Ireland, especially if you come to me, then i will do my very best to help to make your visit the highlight of 2015.
For all of my dear friends in the USA,and elsewhere, i want to send very special greetings, and a huge thank you for your ongoing support. You are the backbone of my business, but have also become very much a part of my life in many ways that you would not imagine. Your continuing referring of family and friends to me, and the pleasure that i get from making sure that i look after them for you, so that they too can have the memories that you yourself have of Ireland and its people,is immeasurable.
Thanks again for everything, and the blessings of Christmas be on all of you, wherever you are.
Your friend in Ireland always.