Merry Christmas and Thanks for Your Gifts

I would like to send heartfelt Christmas wishes to everyone who visits Social Bridge. You are an amazing group of people and I truly appreciate all you bring to my life.


As I mentioned yesterday, I decided to have an ‘untraditional’ Christmas this year and I’m delighted to report that it’s been a revelation.

Let’s just put it this way, far more family time and exercise than usual and much less cooking and food.

Also, extremely uplifting was hubby’s reaction to the gift of a trip to a Premier soccer match in England from ‘the young fella’, as he still calls son, Harry, aged 19. Talk about role reversal!

My ‘new’ thing for this Christmas was to go for a swim at sunset. It was utter heaven.

Garrarus Beach, Co. Waterford. Christmas Day, 2104
Garrarus Beach, Co. Waterford.
Christmas Day, 2104

It made me think of this poem which I was reading in The Children’s Classic Poetry Collection, a gift I got from Santa many, many moons ago but which I love to re-visit each Christmas Day:

What Are Heavy?

What are heavy? sea-sand and sorrow:

What are brief? today and tomorrow:

What are frail? Spring blossoms and youth:

What are deep? the ocean and truth

(Christina Rossetti)






Author: socialbridge

I am a sociologist and writer from Ireland. I have worked as a social researcher for 30 years and have had a lifelong passion for writing. My main research interests relate to health care and I love to write both non-fiction and poetry.

21 thoughts on “Merry Christmas and Thanks for Your Gifts”

    1. Hi Paul, I just wanted to let you know that I clicked on the link you gave, and am very happy (although weeping, still) I did. I left a message for you in the comments section there. Thank you so much for sharing such a beautiful and loving memory with us. Have a beautiful Yule/Christmas celebration. – June in Ireland

        1. I was thinking along those same lines exactly, Jean. Paul, you are a wonderful and expressive writer. If ever you consider becoming a full-time blogger, count me in as a subscriber.

        2. Thank you both very much for the compliments. I use an old laptop runnng XP and it doesn’t have the power or memory to operate a blog. i tried and it freezes up and gives warning messages. i need to upgrade hardware and am saving my pennies for a new computer. Thank you very much.

  1. Thank you, Jean, for the gift of your theartfelt thoughts, words, beautiful photos through the gift of your beautiful blog. Swimming, for me, has always been special for me – something akin to sacred, and most definitely magical and, yes, as Paul has perfectly expressed, very cleansing.

    How I’d have loved to do that today…unfortunately, while still in the midst of this awful ‘dose’ that’s been going around here in the northwest, I thought it mightn’t be a good idea to go to Ladies Brae today…but I was there, immersed in the cool, clean, clear winter water, in spirit.

    I wish you and those you love a very beauty-filled and joy-filled Yule/Solstice/Christmas/winter celebration, and a prayer for peace and serenity in the year ahead.

    Nolliag shona dhuit, Jean.

    1. Hi June, sorry to hear that you couldn’t have your salty cleanse today and hope you’ll be better very soon.

      I really appreciate your kind words and wishes,

      Have a peaceful Christmas and a healthy 2015.

    1. Andrea, yes the sunset swim was very special indeed.
      Glad you like the poem. I’m love a lot of Christina Rossetti’s work. I suspect it’s because I was introduced to her when I was tiny.

      1. I’ve only just recently subbed to Martha’s blog, and I’m loving it. One of my new year’s promise to myself in the coming year is to sub to more writing/poetry and travel/photography blogs. There are so many brilliant ones out there in the blogosphere. 🙂

        Thanks for asking how I’m feeling…I still have the last remnants of the bug/thing (believe it or not, it’s now Day 27!), with an annoying chesty/congestive cough…but much, much better than I’d been even as recently as last week at this time, so I’m thankful and grateful that I’m definitely on the mend. I think it might have something to do with this winter not being all that seasonably cold, and the germs are having a grand oul time of it, breeding out of control. Not that I’m a fan of very cold weather, mind you, but I think a day or two or three or near freezing temps would’ve definitely make this particular strain’s stay a lot shorter for everyone I know that’s been suffering with and through it for weeks on end now.

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