Dec 16, 2009

Irish Christmas Traditions


©Cindy Thomson
Want to partake in an Irish Christmas tradition? Go whitewash an outbuilding.

The four weeks prior to Christmas (Advent) were traditionally times when folks in Ireland cleaned, preparing for the blessed event. Men whitewashed the outhouse while the women scrubbed the floors inside the house. Before the Christian era this tradition was thought to be a kind of spring cleaning, except that it took place in advance of the winter solstice. After Christianity the tradition was in preparation of the coming of the holy family. If Christ came to your house tonight, would you be ready? Apparently lots of folks in Bethlehem on the night Jesus was born were not ready because Mary and Joseph were turned away repeatedly.

I suppose we do continue this tradition today as we decorate, bake, and clean to welcome family and friends to our homes during the Christmas season. But still, I wonder...does this preparation do anything to welcome the coming of Christ in our hearts?

Just something to think about....
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