When we think about Christmas a series of images resurface: lunches and dinners with loved ones, wonderful food, decorations, laughter in company; maybe the warmth of a lit fireplace. The magic of Christmas-time that we lived as children re-emerges with all its good memories and a part of us relives those emotions.

Of course, each country has its traditions, its customs, but I think that the meaning of Christmas is the same almost everywhere: a moment of joy and love together with our dear ones. This year, it will be a somewhat atypical Holiday for everyone, perhaps far from family and dear places.

For us ESC volunteers these Christmas festivities will certainly be different from usual. Unable to return home, we will spend Christmas here in Ireland. However, we believe ourselves to be lucky! Culinary skills abound among us. We have organized a tight schedule of dinners and lunches, which, we hope, will keep us busy and satiated enough to enable us miss home a little less. As it common to say: ‘full stomach, happy heart’. I, therefore, believe that this will be our full-time task.

First things first:

Our meals will be a mixture of Italian, French and Irish cuisine. Perfection, one might think. I couldn’t agree more. Lasagne, escargot, French cheeses and wine will be the protagonists of our Irish Christmas; all washed down with litres and litres of tea, of course.

Overall, it won’t be a bad Christmas.

I will never tire of repeating, organization is everything. As well as our menu, our Christmas activities have been carefully planned for a long time and in detail.

1. Movies to see

2. Board games to play

3. Card games

4. Recreational outings

In short, it will be a very busy Christmas!

A purpose for these holidays will certainly be to try to prepare some typical Irish cuisine. Of course, the same goes for drinks. Personally, Whiskey Eggnog intrigues me. I must also admit that despite my one-month stay in Ireland, I haven’t tried Irish Coffee yet. Here too, I intend to fix it as soon as possible.

Even if it’s not what we expected, we intend to make the best of it. I think it will be like this for everyone. We probably won’t be where and with who we want to be, but that’s okay. Perhaps, it will be enough for us to know that all our loved ones are well, and that will be enough.

We ESC volunteers wish you a happy and safe Christmas! May it give us back a little of that joy we felt as children.