Let’s Connect on The Christmas Bridge ~ Dec 14-25

Happy Holly
Happy Holly

I would like to invite you all to come and share your thoughts, experiences, memories, music, poetry, art  …  about Christmas here on Social Bridge over the next 12 days.

I’m well aware that Christmas means different things to different people and that each Christmas is different. I’ve known lots of different kinds of Christmases from the blissfully happy to the pretty miserable and would like to feel that this can be a stopping point for everyone ~ no matter how Christmas seems this year.

I plan to write a little here each day but would love this to be a place of vibrant connection. So please see this as somewhere that you can stop off, draw breath and mingle with others from across the globe.

December 15th

Thanks to everyone who has stopped off to comment on this Christmas Bridge so far. It’s great to hear your thoughts from near and far.

Today, I’d like to bring you a radio ad that has been played here in Ireland for many, many years now over the Christmas period. (I can’t think of any other ads that are re-used year after year.) When I hear this one, it always makes me pause and think how quintessentially Irish it is:

Do you have Christmas ads that ‘get you’ every time you hear them? 

December 16th

We live very close to a junior school here in Tramore and I love watching the growing excitement on the kids’faces as the Christmas holidays approach.

My thoughts today were on the various Christmas plays and concerts that were such a fundamental part of school. The outstanding memory for me is the one when I was six or seven and was one of the drummers in the class band. I certainly don’t have any musical talent and this was the one and only time I was ever in a band. I loved every minute of it.

Later on in secondary school, a group of the girls got together and formed a small band. This is one of the songs that they used to sing.

Funny how all those years seem like only ‘yesterday’ as the memories come flooding back.

I’d love to hear about the Christmas concerts or Christmas songs that are part of your yesterdays. 



I got my sprig of locally grown mistletoe today so feel that the centre piece of the decorations is totally sorted. Holly and mistletoe are absolute fundamentals for me and have been all my life.

It’s beyond possible to have a Christmas tree with puppy Stan in the house. It wouldn’t last five minutes and we all agree that he’s the decoration we want around the house. Maybe we should get him a red collar!

Are you a decorations person and do you have special decorations that take precedence over others? 


December 19th



Last night I attended an overwhelmingly loving event in Waterford City. It was called: Remembering the Christmas Peace Truce. It’s 101  years since the Christmas Peace Truce in World War 1 and The Justice Group from The Abbey Community School in Waterford did wonderful work in both remembering that special Christmas in 1914 as well as bringing the message from it forward to the  realities of today.

The focus was very much on the importance of peace and connection within our communities. Thus it was very appropriate to have The Island of Ireland Peace Choir in attendance.

The students have identified homelessness as one of the most significant social problems in Ireland today and their aim is to work towards heightening awareness of this and bringing pressure, with their student peers, on policymakers to ensure that it is tackled systematically. The High Hopes Choir, which is Ireland’s first choir of homeless people, was also singing at the event.

This was definitely the event which brought the spirit of Christmas alive to me this year and I hope that the messages it conveyed are heard loud and clear across the world.


December 20th

Have you any thoughts of what a Christmas Bridge might look like?

I was browsing through Christmas cards the other day and this one jumped out at me. (Yes, I still believe in Christmas cards, do you?)

Chirstmas Bridge
Christmas Bridge














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.

30 thoughts on “Let’s Connect on The Christmas Bridge ~ Dec 14-25”

  1. What a wonderful way to celebrate e-Xmas! Merry Xmas Social Bridge.

    Does anyone have any traditional Xmas travels they would like to share? I go to Oregon to visit in-laws every Xmas and I always spend Xmas Eve with my Mom and Dad. We like to “go somewhere.” We have been to some local gold county cities, or we take in the xmas lights, or we drive somewhere to have dinner. Just anything to spend it together and do something interesting.

    1. Thanks very much Bulldog!
      Great question you pose about travels. It’ll be interesting to hear what people have to say.
      Christmas tends to be a stay at home time in our house but one key ‘journey’ is into the ocean on Christmas morning!

        1. I live by the sea here in the South-East of Ireland and swimming in the ocean is an all year round activity for many, seas permitting.
          There are Christmas Day swims all round the country in aid of different charities. It’s really fun to see hundreds of people in Santa Hats dashing into the waves.

          1. That’s awesome. I live close to an Alpine Lake called Lake Tahoe. They sometimes do Polar Bear swims here where people jump in to freezing waters. NOT FOR ME! 😉 I do recall being surprised at how warm the waters were on the East coast of Ireland. I guess I always thought they would be FRIGID! Sounds like a great tradition.

            1. Polar Bear swims? They sound a bit scary ~ are there polar bears involved?
              Yes, the water here in Ireland is fine and we’ve had an exceptionally mild autumn and winter so far so the temperatures haven’t dropped all that much. Problem recently has been verrrrry rough seas.

  2. My best Christmases are traveling nowhere and staying with the Christmas glow inside. When our kids were young, we’d close the blinds all day, keep the fire lit from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., slowly open gifts, savor the eggnog, eat the favored Christmas coffee cake at breakfast, roast beef in mid-afternoon, and Christmas cookies all day long. The day was long and always too short. Now, I savor watching my kids keep up these traditions with their little ones.
    That said, if I had an ocean nearby, I’d be adding that visit to the tradition, I’m sure. 🙂

  3. I have always loved the holiness of Christmas Eve… The peacefulness of the night surrounded me ..it was a true Silent Night. The tip-toeing down the stairs to put presents for our children and of course they would be up ever so early. One favorite memory is of our yourngest two ..I would be wrapping presents in our bedroom with the door close and because the door was made shorter due to a carpet by the previous owner..our two would lie on the floor trying to capture the action going on in the bedroom or I would look down and see hands on the floor ..I would tell them to go down stairs or Santa wouldn’t be visiting. Now looking back on those times brings a flood of memories.

  4. What a great idea to get people engaged and sharing about Christmas! One year when no children or grandchildren were coming home we went to New Orleans and had a great time. Traditionally, we have tamales, chili and margaritas for Christmas Eve. For Christmas Day I always bake a mincemeat pie to go with the meal.

  5. This is such a thoughtful idea! Our little one is just over a year now and will be able to really enjoy all the holidays have to offer. We have been looking to start some new family traditions of our own. This is a lovely way to find some inspiration! ❤

  6. Apres childhood and into married life and up until a few years ago, Christmas for us was split between celebrating Christmas Eve in ‘German’ style and then celebrating Christmas Day, in English/Irish style. What did this mean for us as a family….fat bellies after big Crhistmas Dinner, light brekkies the next morning, and I seem to remember more than one glass of champagne with breakfast, followed by something seafoodie for Christmas Day lunch, with leftovers, a rather stylish selection, on Boxing Day. Now as kids, we grew up in the UK so it would be wonderful fires and watching the snow fall, lots of cups of tea and fruit mince pies with friends and family…we had a big family in those days…followed by Christmas Lunch either at our place or with one of our many aunts, and my favourite Christmas pudding. Then light tea with sandwiches and Christmas cake, iced with marzipan. I remember breaking a tooth one year as the Royal Icing was so hard…but it didnt matter…cake with marzipan can make up for almost anything.

  7. When I was a kid me and my 4 siblings would go to bed on Christmas eve with no tree, no presents, no decorations anywhere to be seen. We would then awake on Christmas morning to a fully decorated tree and house. My mother must have stayed up half the night getting everything ready for us. It was like magic! These days I spend Christmas eve, Christmas Day and boxing day with family. We’re a very close family and apparently can’t get enough of each other. I’m truly blessed 🙂

  8. It must be a very tasty tea. I love that Irish voice, Jean 🙂 The ad is very smart and catchy, like the one on tv, a red coca-cola truck driven through snow…. This year, Christmas is about attending Mass and spending time with family, friends and ( eating way too much) traditional food.

  9. Great idea! 🙂
    Our traditions were cut short when my nineteen years old daughter left home for good. Until then, we used to spend the day visiting our single and lonely friends, and in the evening just ate nice food, cuddled together, watched a good movie – just enjoyed our own company 🙂

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