12421333_10153746110034976_1497021172_nNo matter how long our staff has been here in the U.S., they still have plenty of fond memories of Christmas back in Ireland.

We decided to share some of these memories with you as we prepare for Christmas here in Lancaster.

Here are a few memories from our owner, Joe Devoy, who is from County Waterford, but has been here in the states for about 25 years:

Midnight mass and everybody after a few pints.  In our family we always exchanged gifts after midnight mass and stayed up way too late.  Waking up to the smell of Christmas dinner: Turkey, ham, mashed spuds, roasted spuds, gravy, vegetables to be avoided.  Cowboy movies on TV.  The year on review shows on TV, showing the best of sports.  St. Stephen’s Day, the 26th, out for a soccer match in the morning, the pub in the afternoon, everybody in the country out in the same pub wearing a new sweater they got the day before.  The Wren on Christmas Eve, people dress up, go house to house, pub to pub, singing and dancing in return for some money or food.

The there’s this from one of our bar managers, Kevin O’Mahony, who grew up in Cork:

I spent every Christmas at my Granny’s house up until two years ago. It is a small house in an extremely rural part of Ireland so there is still no wifi there and very limited phone reception. It was a great way to get away from the world and just enjoy the holidays with my nearest and dearest. It was even better when a storm rolled through and knocked out the electricity for two days so we would have candles burning at night, playing cards swapping stories, real old school.

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We would get up real early Christmas morning and open our presents before mass; Lego and Action Man were my go to presents for years, nice and simple. Christmas mass was my favourite mass of the year; beautiful hymns and meeting up with people you would no longer see on a regular basis. after mass we would return to the house for dinner. Christmas dinner was made in an Aga stove. This thing was ancient and never failed, which was great for when the electricity did. Christmas dinner was always my favourite meal of the year. Ham, turkey, assortments of potatoes, carrots, parsnips, brussel sprouts wrapped in bacon, stuffing, and my Granny’s infamous turkey fat gravy (apart from one year when she made the gravy with coffee granules instead of gravy granules, it was still better than some gravy I’ve had).
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As I got older, frequenting the pubs when I returned from my Granny’s was another tradition I came to love. There really is nothing like Christmas in Ireland. Even if the wind is howling and the its raining out of the heavens, everyone from the age of 18 to 80 will still brave the elements for a pint in the local, listen to great music, reminisce with old friends, and embrace the spirit of Christmas. Some craic!!!
And finally some memories from bar manager Donal Lally, who hails from Galway (and is spending this Christmas there, as well):
Working in my fathers bar (Taaffes Bar) on Christmas eve with the family, sneaking in any last minute shopping up on shop street, heading for a few pints after work, then out home for a bit to eat.. Midnight mass and home for a night cap.
Christmas morning would be ‘A fry,’ which is a full Irish breakfast to get the day going, followed by a walk to the beach where ya might get in the freezing water for a local charity (similar to a Polar plunge here). Everyone who got in the water got a shot of Jameson, so the beach was packed. In to the city to visit my Dad’s family and back out in time for dinner. A nap, followed by watching Father Ted or a DVD someone got for Xmas. Hang out and talk for a bit before heading to a friends house for a big game of poker.
St.Stephen’s Day, throw on the new shirt, aftershave, shoes you got the day before, and meet up with friends in the pub. Everyone is home for the holidays from Australia, England, and the states so there is a lot of catching up to do. Off back to Connemara for the night with all the lads singing and howling at the moon!!
Some great Irish Christmas memories. What are your favorite Christmas memories, whether you’re from Ireland, Lancaster, or anywhere else in the world? Feel free to share them in the comments below.
And a Merry Christmas to all of you. Thank you for another wonderful year at Tellus360!
Special thanks to Kevin for providing us with some pictures of the Christmases of his youth.