Christmas is a special time for many Irish people. It is a time of coming together, of celebrating family and friendship. But Christmas 2020 will be a Christmas like no other, because this year many of us must remain apart to stay safe. But this doesn’t mean we don’t miss seeing our friends and neighbours, and the wonderful Irish community in and around Boston.
A quote from Article 2 of Bunreacht na hÉireann, the Irish Constitution, is printed in every Irish passport. It says “the Irish nation cherishes its special affinity with people of Irish ancestry living abroad who share its cultural identity and heritage”. This gives some indication of the continuing importance of the global Irish diaspora to Ireland today. This Christmas, the Department of Foreign Affairs, and Minister for the Diaspora Colm Brophy T.D. launched “To Be Irish At Christmas”, a program aimed at bringing together the global Irish diaspora during this extraordinary year. You can find out more about this below.
The community continues to surpass itself with innovative outreach and events. This month we launched our online Winter Solstice Art Series with Irish Network Boston and a team of talented artists based in the Boston area. We continued our virtual First Friday Series this month (though we look forward to the return of the mince pies next year!) and hosted a virtual Irish Christmas Chat Night with the Rian Center. We teamed up with the wonderful folks at the Irish Pastoral Center to bring small gifts to seniors in the Boston area, to let them know they are in our thoughts at this time of year. The Irish Cultural Center of New England hosted its annual Christmas draw virtually. Our friends in the Maine Irish Heritage Center hosted a wonderful celebration of all things Irish in Maine. Amherst Irish Society hosted a Winter Solstice celebration of music, poetry, story and song.
And we can look forward to some great events in January too. The Consulate will host another virtual bookclub. Our friends at the Irish American Partnership will host an online version of their annual Nollaig na mBan (Women’s Christmas) event, with a stellar lineup of speakers on 6 January. Read the details below for these events and more.
While we cannot be with you in person to celebrate Christmas this year, please do stay in touch virtually. We look forward to the time when circumstances will allow us to meet again in person. But until that happy day arrives, stay safe, take care of yourselves and one another.
Nollaig Shona Daoibh, Happy Christmas,