Snow on the hills, Irish Christmas Songs & Christmas Scents…

Your letter from Ireland shorts from the 19th of December 2023.

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Snow on the hills, Irish Christmas Songs & Christmas Scents…

Céad míle fáilte, welcome to your Letter from Ireland “Shorts”.  Each Tuesday we’ll bring you a quick-read of some of our favourite and interesting Irish things for this week.

Gougane Barra, County Cork.
 We loved this photo from the last time it snowed in Cork – so had to share it coming up to Christmas! To get into the Christmas mood, have a listen to our “Merry Irish Christmas” podcast episode with a special selection of old Irish Christmas carols, songs and tunes.

Our Irish surname of the week is Nicholson. The Greek name Nikolaos“victory of the people” was very common among the Normans and was adopted by the Irish in variations such as Mac Niocaill and Nicholson. The name also is popular across Europe due to Saint Nicholas who inspired “Santa Claus”. We visited the potential resting place of St. Nicholas a while back and you’d never believe where it was. To see where the name appears in Ireland in the mid 1800s go to this page on

“Home For Christmas” by Alice Taylor. Full of old Irish Christmas traditions and rituals, Alice takes us into her house to show how Christmas was celebrated when she was a child. Click here to see the book on amazon. 


Nollaig shona dhuit!

“Merry Christmas!”

Click here to listen to how a native Irish speaker would say it and see lots more Irish Christmas phrases.

IRISH CRAFT/PRODUCT WE LOVE (not an advert – just things we like) 

Field Day make some beautiful candles designed to capture the “ordinary” countryside smells such as nettle, ivy and rose hip. It’s a great idea to take the real smell of the Irish countryside home as it’s not all roses!

Their an Irish company from County Down and everything is made locally in small batches.

field day hand pouring - Snow on the hills, Irish Christmas Songs & Christmas Scents...
fieldday hand pouring Irish candles

That’s it for this week. Send us an email with any of your own favourites for inclusion in future emails, or if you’re a plus member leave a comment below.

Slán for now,
Mike & Carina.

Note: The above article may contain some affiliate links (for example the Amazon link) which means we get paid a small amount should you choose to purchase, at no extra cost to you. This helps us keep the show on the road!

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