(Site is no longer operational pending a major long overdue overhaul of the entire website. Thank you for your patience. Site should still be visible and searchable for old posts.)
The Lisburn Exiles Forum is dedicated to the memory of James Goddard Collins (The Boss) who single-handedly built LISBURN.COM (with a lot of help from many contributors) from 1996 to 29th November 2012. This website was his passion and helping people with a common interest in the City of Lisburn around the world is his lasting legacy.
Thinking of Christmas this morning reminded me of Christmases long ago when things were very different. In those days, when I was a teenager, we went to Midnight Mass and it really was at midnight. Nowadays the Mass is held at 9 pm. Afterwards, and in my mind it was always snowing and really seasonal, we trooped down the road from Chapel Hill to my granny's old cottage in Grand Street. Pushing open the big, wooden front door, the first thing we felt was the warmth of the big, roaring fire. We warmed our hands while one of my aunts ladled out bowls of hot broth straight from the stove. There were beef sandwiches too and tea. Later, this same aunt would produce a, bottle of best gin which was offered to all the grown-ups. To the gin she added pure orange juice. This was a once a year treat for everyone. Being a smoker herself, a large box of 100 cigarettes was handed round too. Being fairly young then, I could only watch the proceedings but with a sense of contentment and joy and security. Sometimes I would fall asleep on the settee and another aunt would lift me up to her bed where I slept until Christmas morning. They were good days when family was the main thing, not only at Christmas, but all year round. There wasn't much in the way of great presents and I never did get the two-wheeler, red bike which I had hoped for, and which Santa never brought. However, what we did have was good family back-up, with a kind, old granny who sat beside the fire most of the day and talked about going to visit her mother long since dead. We had 3 unmarried aunts who treated us as their own and always made us welcome. I don't think families are the same now, but I could be wrong. I hope I am otherwise the young will never understand the importance of a big family connection and that will be a loss they won't even be aware of. Times change, however, and traditions are lost forever if not kept alive.
your posting was very moving and brought back memories also for me. I remember at the locks as a boy in the middle 40s hanging up one of my mother´s nylons at the fireplace on Christmas Eve and the next morning delving into it for the presents which Santa had left. Another memory is the "Christmas Clubs" into which locals paid weekly from summer until Xmas and then collected their goods for the Xmas celebrations. Looking back such a club was an economical nonsense as who today would give a businessman an interest free credit which also enabled him, if he were so inclined to charge what he liked for his wares as he already had your cash.
just revisiting but then I remembered the Christmas Eve which was my birthday coming home from my paper round, with all the money given as tips.As i entered the top of our street which was quite long. Then the magic of the Christmas Tree lights flashing, all down the street,the moon glowing of the frost on the roofs.
I loved your story very descriptive and it started me thinking about Christmas's past.....great memories, no money but we were made to feel we had something, all with a lot of love. We used to sing Carols round the fire, some of our neighbours came in to join us. There was only a gas light in the house and it made it seem like it was something from Dickens...I say that now, especially after watching 'Scrooge" all these years. I hope by this time you are feeling a lot happier and your health is improving. You are in our prayers.
Beano, glad to say I'm feeling in a better frame of mind. Regarding my eyesight and being told that I couldn't drive, I went back to the same optician for a second opinion. I wasn't expecting good news or any change in my sight test. However, to my amazement (and his) I was able to meet the criteria for driving. Apparently I'm just on the borderline, but that's good enough for the authorities. I have to wait until my new lenses are ready before I can take the wheel again. SO, if anyone is looking in, and intends to be on the road next week, WATCH OUT. I told the optician he had avoided me seeking a divorce by passing me fit to drive. Dominic hates going to shops and there bave been a few altercations over the past few weeks regarding this. However, I have my independence again and our marriage has been saved, temporarily at least.!!!!!! Go, man, go.
My birthday is Christmas Eve my mother and fathers, wedding anniversary is Christmas Eve, I can remember the party for my 21st and there twenty fifth, anniversary.I can remember picking up my wife in Belfast, getting on the motorway and traveling at 20 mph, the snow was so fierce. Because of that the party lasted to Boxing Day.
I love Christmas & tears come when the choir sings Silent Night at Midnight Mass (9.00pm) & I remember the old times when we were all together,happy & content.
After we married we always visited Joe's family in Brookvale Drive, down Ridgeway Street, very handy to the chapel. All the family came & after tea sandwiches, Christmas cake, Mince pies & drinks a sing-song started with everyone having to contribute a song or a recitation.
Sammy Mc Shane was the life of these parties, a mimic & comedian, storyteller & singer rolled into one. He was Joe's brother-in-law. It was there I heard the funny song "The Lagan Canal" sung by Joe's father when he rolled in from Mooney's. Old tales were told, some funny, some sad or ghosty.
Outside the snow usually fell & by 4 or 5 a.am we had to push the cars up the hill to the road. Now I am wondering why no one was drunk, but by that time, after breakfast, the effects of Guinness or whiskey or sherry ( for the women) had worn off.
Then it was home to meet Santa, so no sleep that night, wonderful times, how did we make Christmas dinner next day.???????
We were young that's why...Pat
Read this just now in the Ulster Star, Christmas is getting cheaper
While many like to moan that the cost of Christmas seems to go up every year, the truth may be exactly the opposite. According to an index that tracks seasonal food, the price of Christmas dinner is now at its lowest since it started in 2009. A separate calculation suggests that Christmas trees, too, are getting cheaper, costing just an eighth of what they did back in 1975. One reason for falling prices may be the arrival of low-cost supermarkets. However, the increasing cost of importing food may mean that Christmas 2016 will mark the low point for prices. The Christmas dinner index - compiled by Good Housekeeping magazine - suggests that the 11 ingredients necessary are now 10.8% cheaper than they were in 2009. Buying everything from the turkey to Christmas pudding is likely to cost £2.48 a head this year, if you bought each in the cheapest supermarket. In 2009, the equivalent cost was £2.78, according to the index. Is Christmas getting cheaper? Separate research that goes back as far as 1968 comes to a similar conclusion. The figures suggest that Christmas dinner last year was the cheapest on record, at £37.37 for a family of four. Back in 1975 the same dinner cost nearly £55, after adjusting for inflation, according to the home interiors firm Hillarys, which compiled the research. Last year a Christmas tree cost an average of £24.99, compared with the equivalent of £208 in 1975, it says The reduction in the average cost of this yearââ¬â¢s Christmas dinner is largely down to the German supermarkets Aldi and Lidl. Buying all 11 ingredients to feed eight people will cost as little as £22 at Aldi, the Christmas dinner index shows. The same ingredients would cost nearly £50 at Marks and Spencer.
Read more at: http://www.lisburntoday.co.uk/news/business/revealed-which-supermarket-is-best-value-for-your-christmas-dinner-1-7733242