Christmas (Cahersiveen NS Folklore Project)

Q: Did you get presents from your Mom and Dad? If you did, what did you get?

Yes, we usually got fruit or clothes.

 

Q. Did Santa come? What did he bring?

A doll, a game or maybe a puzzle.

 

 Q: Where was your stocking?

All eight of the stockings were hanging by the fireplace.

 

 Q: What did you eat on Christmas Eve?

We would have spuds, ham, tomatoes and for dessert we would have Christmas cake, made by my mother about two or three months before Christmas. Mam usually made a few cakes and gave them as presents to neighbours and relations

 

 Q. What did you eat on Christmas Day?

We would eat spuds, turkey and some vegetables. Then for dessert we would have some trifle and a bit of brandy butter. It was such treat. We were looking forward to it for months beforehand.

 

 Q: Did you give presents?

Only presents that were handmade. We didn’t have any extra money to spend on presents.

 

Q: Was there wrapping paper?

No there was no such thing as the colourful wrapping paper that we see nowadays, but there was brown paper.

 

 Q: Did you go to mass?

We went to midnight mass. There was an immense sense of excitement at that mass. It was at twelve o’clock, not like nowadays when there is an earlier version at nine or ten o‘clock.

Q: Did you get cards sent to you to wish you a happy Christmas?

No, we never got cards. There was no spare money for luxuries such as Christmas cards.

 

 Q: Would all the family come down?

If they could, then they would. Christmas is a lovely time for families to get together.

 

 Q: Did you have a tree and if you did was it real?

Yes, we had a tree and yes, it was real. We used buy it at the fair a few days before Christmas and bringing it home was an exciting event.

Q: When was it put up?

It was put up on Christmas Eve, never before that! Some trees nowadays are up on the first of December.

 

Q: Would it be decorated?

Yes, it would be decorated with handmade decorations.

Q: Did you have holly?

   Yes, we had holly. Our family used to spend a whole evening collecting holly, in the week previous to Christmas.

 

Q: Did you have pudding?

Yes we did and it would be made a few months before Christmas.

 

Q: Did you get new clothes at Christmas and where would you get them?

Yes, we usually went to Tralee for a day before Christmas and we’d get them on that day.

 

 Q: What would you leave out for Santa?

We used leave out whisky and fruit.

 

 Q: Did you visit Santa?

Not at all. It was enough for us that he came on Christmas night.

 

Q: Could you ask for what you want?

No, it was a surprise. Because we had so little, we were grateful with whatever we got.

 

Q: Were the presents put under the tree?

No, they were put at the bottom of the bed. I can still remember many a Christmas morning clearly. The joy of seeing a filled stocking at the bottom of my bed was one I will never forget!

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