How will you be spending the holidays?
We’re excited to be heading overseas to spend the holiday with our French family. Our first and only Christmas in France was seventeen years ago. The experience was wonderful- rich in family traditions, fabulous food and flowing wine. Christmas Eve dinner started at five o’clock in the evening and ended fourteen courses later at three am. Our hearts and bellies were overflowing. It was a perfect evening! Thinking back on the trip made me curious about how other countries celebrate. Here are a few of my favorites including a reading by David Sedaris. I hope you enjoy!
Christmas Day Swim, Forty Foot, South Dublin
Christmas day swims take place all over Ireland on Christmas morning, but probably most famously at the Forty Foot Rock, just south of Dublin. On Christmas Day hundreds of people can be seen jumping off the rock into the Irish Sea wearing only their bathing suits. Yikes! The water in the Irish Sea on Christmas Day is usually around 50F / 10C. Unfortunately, the temperature outside the water is usually far below that, making the experience bracing to say the least. This is not for the faint of heart.
Nollaigh na mBean (Women’s Christmas)
January 6, the Feast of the Epiphany, is traditionally when the Irish finish celebrating Christmas. It is also known as Nollaigh na mBean in Irish (Women’s Christmas). Traditionally men volunteer to do the cleaning, cooking and take down the Christmas decorations while women soak in a day to themselves. I think we’ll be adopting this one!
Nope, this style trend is not exclusive to the US. This started off with aunties, grandmothers and relatives gifting the most hideous sweaters as presents for Christmas, but somehow Christmas sweaters have turned into a competition on the streets of England,Ireland and many other countries. The woollier, hairier, and more ridiculously decorated the better. I’m weighing my options. A fabulously ugly sweater would be a hilarious conversation piece over Christmas dinner, but considering luggage space that would mean foregoing an extra fabulous pair of boots..still thinking on this one.
And here’s David Sedaris’ hysterical account of what goes on in the Netherlands… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NYdpte1W0vk
Do you celebrate any unique traditions? Please don’t hesitate to share them with us!
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