We’re all feeling a little nostalgic these days and the ICA Members have some lovely Christmas memories to share with us!
“It was early to bed on Christmas Eve, with the lighted candle glistening in the window, brightening up our darkened bedroom and also becoming a welcoming light for weary travellers.
Outside the night was thick with frost and one large star seemed to shine brighter in the seasonal galaxy, sending its Christmas cheer like a message from heaven. The sights and smells of Christmas were all around us. In the corner of the room sat a huge bowl of trifle prepared a few hours earlier by my mother’s gentle hands. The bowl is full of a mixture of fruits and sponge soaked in sherry and bound together with strawberry and raspberry jellies.
With the aroma wafting over, temptation is strong as I hop out of bed, rush over and dip my fingers into the large bowl to taste the forbidden fruit. A luscious strawberry together with some sherry-soaked sponge becomes my prize. Delicious! Beside the trifle stands a large crock of milk layered with a thick coating of double or even treble cream. As my finger skims over the top, I draw the shape of a star and watch it slowly disappear while I lick my finger and savour the delights of tomorrow’s feast.
Suddenly a noise is heard on the galvanized roof. With one step I’m back in bed, snuggled in under the blankets close to my older sister who is sleeping soundly. I dare not peep out in case I disturb our annual visitor who has travelled so far to fill our stockings full of priceless treasures. Maybe I will get the doll with sleeping eyes this year and possibly a pram to wheel her around in. No harm in dreaming as I drift into a happy slumber...”
Patricia Cavanagh, Monaghan
Taken from The Irish Countrywomen’s Association Book of Home & Family published by Gill Books.