Just a sweet little story of the Christmas celebrations of a family in small town Ireland in what feels like the 1950s1960s Maybe it s because I read this a few days before Christmas and then again aloud to Denny and the rest of our family on Christmas Eve that I njoyed this book as much as I did Or it could be because we were in Ireland this past year and met distant relatives who welcomed us so warmly into the family In fact it was one of them who sent me this book a few weeks ago as a Christmas gift Whatever the reason I loved Alice Taylor s gently nostalgic but not cloying reminiscences of what the Christmas holidays were like while she was growing up in rural Ireland Although no dates are mentioned in the book Taylor was born born in 1938 and the Christmas she describes took place when she was nine years old which would have been around the same time I was a toddler But the worlds we were living in were. Alice Taylor takes a nostalgic loving look back to a family firmly rooted in tradition and humour and in part.
Ething Sleepless (Bird of Stone, enduring and unchangeable customs rituals ceremonies legends beliefs and ways of doing things that had been a part of life for generations Christmas was an important part of the very fabric of life and not simply a date on the calendar that s been taken over by commercialization and kitschy tastelessness the way so much of it has for those of us here in the 21st century But for Taylor and the children of her generation Christmas included timeless traditions that began long before the actual day itself and continued for weeks afterward Customs like the hunting of the Wren on the day after Christmas St Stephen s Day had been handed down andnjoyed for centuries by young and old as well Our Irish cousin tells us that sadly many of these traditions have died out but he remembers them well and some of them like the wren boy custom can still be found in parts of rural Ireland For some reason that s good to kno. E her stories of a childhood Christmas are rich warm and amusing giving a wonderful insight into life as it
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Vastly different At that time Ireland was years behind in terms of many of the things we children of the late forties and fifties took for granted here in the US Fresh holly was gathered from the fields to festoon the kitchen and decorate the hollowed out turnip that served as a base for the large wax candle that was placed in the window Santa s gifts were mostly home made and dinner was prepared over an open hearth the goose which had been fattened during the fall and freshly plucked by hand simmered for hours in the bastable an iron pot placed directly in the burning coals and covered with sods of turf Alice Taylor brings her memories of those Irish Christmases vividly to life making them seem very bit as real as the memories I have of my own childhood But the thing that left the deepest impression on me was the sense of tradition that went along with verything she was describing because they represented som. Icular the Christmas traditions of her childhood With her unerring knack of bringing her readers into her hom.
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Alice Taylor lives in the village of Innishannon in County Cork in a house attached to the local supermarket and post office Since her eldest son has taken over responsibility for the shop she has been able to devote time to her writingAlice Taylor worked as a telephonist in Killarney and Bandon When she married she moved to Innishannon where she ran a guesthouse at first then the supe