Dec 20, 2012

Light a Candle

It's close to Christmas, and the arrival of my two little girls has me thinking about Christmas traditions. In Ireland we have a number of traditions at this time of year.

Among them is the setting of a lit candle in the window of your house. The idea behind this is one I absolutely love. The lit candle means that your home is open to travelers who need a place to stay, that you're offering shelter from the cold and a hot meal, should anyone need it.

The tradition goes back to the story of the Nativity, how Mary and Joseph wandered Bethlehem looking for somewhere to stay. The lit candle is a sign that you are offering the Holy Family, as well as any other restless spirits wandering the Earth, a safe place for the night.

We will have a candle burning in the window tonight.

Do you have any Christmas traditions you'd like to share?


  1. Our family have a tradition that my dad started over ten years ago - the Diffney Quiz.

    Diffney is a medium-to-high-end men's clothing shop and every year they release a Christmas quiz which has developed something of a cult following. Dad picked up a copy one year, when I was about fifteen, and soon the whole family became addicted to it.

    The full story is here:

    1. I love that tradition. My parents get a new board game every year and anyone who's over at theirs on Christmas ends up playing it after dinner. I love Christmas games.

  2. My wife and I don't get too traditiony. We have a tree and a few decorations around the house but they are there and that's about it. Had a big Christmas dinner with about 12 in attendance. I guess that was the big deal for us this year.

    Tossing It Out

    1. My wife and I do something similar. Every year, between Christmas and New Year's, we have a Christmas dinner for our friends. The first year I ended up cooking for 12 people. After that I decided to make it a pot-luck, buffet-style evening, and it's been a lot less stressful ;-)