Saturday, December 24, 2011
No Santa Claus! Now, who said that? You must be joking. He’s been around for centuries, even though he died exactly 1668 years ago! However, he has been appearing every Christmas Eve ever since . . . and never missed a year, it’s said, bringing gifts to people around the world, mainly GOOD young people. Some people write to him looking for expensive presents, but I’ve heard that the less you ask for, the more you get. Remember that piece of advice for 2012! I myself gave up writing to him aeons ago, but still he calls every Christmas Eve, with surprises. . . . and don’t leave out glasses of whiskey or punch for the man, or he won’t even get as far as Kilmeaden or Kilmacthomas, because he’ll be breathalayzed by officers of the law . . . and right they are! However, for those poor jaded reindeer, I’d suggest a small amount of hay or some other suitable edible. Whoever owns that deer farm up near Piquet’s Cross, will be pleased to advise you, I’m sure.
He’s called by so many different names, it’s sometimes confusing; for example: just plain Santa, Saint Nicholas, Father Christmas, Kris Kingle, Sinterklaas, Sãn Nicolau, St. Nikolaus, Saint Nikola, and here in Ireland – San Nioclás. We have hundreds of people, male and female, called after him, and dozens of churches . . . one right out the road in our own parish of Ballyduff & Portlaw; yes, St. Nicholas’ Church, Ballyduff! Agus annsin, cad mar gheall ar Meánscoil San Nioclás, amuigh san Rinn? Mind you, I’ve seen only one statue of him, and that was in St. Nicholas’ Church, Kinsaley, north County Dublin. However, I saw no sign of a Sleigh or reinder near him. That’s where former Taoiseach, Charlie Haughey, attended church. The curate there, Fr. Matty Farrell, a South Tipperary man like myself, will be pleased to meet you if he’s not over in Portmarnock, also the caretaker – a great welcoming conversationalist! The church in question can be found between the Hilton Airport Hotel, at the end of the M50, and Malahide.
It’s said Saint Nicholas’ remains were removed during the Crusades to Ireland, by Norman knights from Jerpoint, in County Kilkenny, and re-interred close to the ancient abbey there. All this and very much more on a great website:
. . . a wealth of information and images for both young and old.