Kids’ Craic: Happy Christmas!
Fun Facts: Christmas is celebrated in Ireland very similarly to how it is in the United States, with a few exceptions:
- Stephen’s Day – In Ireland, this is a national holiday, and a day of feasting, celebrated on the day after Christmas. It is named in honor of the first Christian martyr, St. Stephen, and is referenced in a familiar Christmas carol: “Good King Wenceslas looked out on the Feast of Stephen…”
- Little Christmas/Women’s Christmas is January 6th in Ireland. This is when Christmas decorations are taken down and the Christmas season officially ends. Until 2013, this marked the last day of holiday break for Irish primary and secondary schools.
- Some people in Ireland greet one another with the phrase “Happy Christmas!” – a phrase used in England, rather than the American counterpart, “Merry Christmas!”
Q: In the song “Frosty the Snowman”, what made Frosty come to life?
A: An old silk hat
Q: What type of red bird is featured on many Christmas cards?
Q: How many reindeer are featured in the poem “T’was the Night Before Christmas?”
A: Eight (no Rudolph!)
Q: According to legend, what holiday treat is shaped to resemble a shepherd’s staff, as a way to remind us of the shepherds who visited baby Jesus?
A: Candy Canes
Q: What do many families (in America and in Ireland) leave out for Santa on Christmas Eve?
A: Milk and cookies….and sometimes, carrots for Santa’s reindeer! *In the past, it was common for Irish families to leave Santa a Guinness and a mince pie!
Gab in Gaelic: Nollaig Shona Duit! (pron. NO-lihg HO-nuh gwich), which means “Happy Christmas!”
Kitchen Craic: Make a simple Rudolph by using the following:
- a small piece of celery
- peanut butter or hazelnut spread
- candy eyes
- cranberry or red m & m’s for Rudolph’s nose
- mini pretzel pieces for Rudolph’s antlers
Literature Corner: An Irish Night Before Christmas, written by Sarah Kirwan Blazek, illustrated by James Rice. A narrative poem with colorful, full-page illustrations. The book features the customs and language of the Irish.
*Dottie taught kindergarten and second grade for thirty-two years, and now handles promotions and marketing for Yorktown Service Plaza in Parma Heights. She is a baker extraordinaire, and also enjoys reading, walking, and being a lifelong learner.