To my dear adopted holiday child,
It is that magical time of year again and I feel so blessed to have the privilege to welcome you into our home for the Christmas, or Nollaig as we call it here. Its a busy time of year but I always have time to sit and talk to you, don’t worry.
It’s amazing how this time of year, which is ordinarily full of lights, colour, and parties, can be a time that is so incredibly difficult. Hard to believe that in a room full of people you can feel so alone and unaccepted that you might as well be the only person in the room… Well not this year – come curl up here on the couch beside me as we chat!
I’d like to take this time to introduce you to your adopted holiday brother, Sam. He is named after one of my closest friends who recently got engaged after we had the referendum in May regarding Marriage. Proudest day of my life to be an Irish person that was!! Sam was there beside me when I cast my vote, and was involved in the whole process and knew all about it. An amazing day but very poignant too, that people should have to ask permission for something everyone else freely enjoys. Thank god for change!
With us you will find Oiche Nollaig (Christmas Eve) is our main celebration. Where possible no one works, and the morning begins, if we have all been good, with a little gift from Santa to pave the way for the day! You need not worry about missing anything because Sam will have you out of the bed in a flash, if there is excitement to be had!!
You will then be subjected to a full Irish breakfast and a day in town. I hope you don’t mind Christmas songs in Irish too, they will be everywhere!! We will have a bite to eat and then home to the leaba (bed) or couch for you and Sam while I start the dinner prep. We will spend the afternoon and evening singing, dancing and then we will get ready for Mass, if you would like to accompany us. It is truly beautiful, religion aside, it is the definition of community spirit on this beautiful eve.
After Mass I will take you two beautiful souls home and we will have some freshly baked bread with some of the ham that was baking in the oven while we were gone. We will then open one gift each from under the tree, and then its time for Sam to go to bed and the rest of us to settle down with a beverage to have deep soul chats about life, the universe, and everything, with a roaring fire and Christmas carols playing softly I the background.
You are welcome then to join my our yearly ritual of lighting a candle for all the souls that have died or are lost and need a light to find their way home. It’s been a tradition that started seven years ago the week after Nollaig, and we continue on in memory of the beautiful souls gone before us.
It will then be time to retire until excited shrieks from Sam pull us out of the slumber in which visions of sugarplums are dancing though our heads!!
Last year I forgot to get some presents from Santa for myself. I have an answer to the question my four- year old posed and I want to share it with you, perhaps written a little more eloquently than it was phrased for the four – year old, because my beautiful adopted holiday child it applies oh SO strongly to you too!
‘Mammy, why did Santa not bring you a present??”
“Santa did bring me a present Angels except what he brought me was everlasting gifts.
He gave me Pride. Pride in everything you do and say, especially when you stand up for something and are you true self.
He gave me Beauty, which comes with you no matter what you think! I see Beauty in your every fibre of being.
He gave me courage through ye. Courage to see the world not just from a single point of view, courage to stand up for what I believe in, and courage to accept others for who they are, no matter what other people say.
He gave me Honesty – the ability to be truthful about situations that other people might gloss over. Honesty is not always beautiful, but it is from the heart and what is more beautiful than being your true self!
He gave me respect.. So. Much. Respect!! Everyday I look at you growing and marvel at how a bunch of cells managed to grow into this beautiful human that schools us all on a daily basis.
He gave me astonishment between my reality and my dreams. You see before I had the pleasure of having souls as beautiful as yours’ in my life I did not live, I existed. Now I see the wonder in ye’r eyes about simple things before reality makes your eyes sometimes glaze over from the harsh memories… Don’t forget the wonder, look as if you are looking through a child’s eyes. You deserve that wonder and magic and astonishment at the simplest thing and don’t ever let anyone tell you otherwise!!
The best present I got is Love – an all encompassing love. It is so pure and sweet and your Angelic souls are what carried it to me. You see, I love you no matter the colour of your skin, or the creed you believe in, or the choices you make in your life, or who you love. I love YOU because YOU are YOU and you will be forever loved my dear adopted holiday child just for that reason.
We are always here, with arms open and a heart full of love, whether it is to laugh, cry, scream or sing. I love you for the incredibly, fantastic, beautifully original soul you are, and don’t you EVER forget that,
All my love, your adopted holiday family,
Mags and Sam xxx