HAVE YOURSELF A MERRY LITTLE CHRISTMAS
Christmas is a magical time, a gets everone in the Holiday Spirit of giving. We give all sorts of things at Christmas. We give our loved ones presents under the Christmas tree and kisses under the mistletoe. We give Christmas greetings to our neighbors and to our friends, and we give smiles to strangers. Christmas is indeed a very special and magical time of year. It brings back happy memories of family gatherings and charming traditions that have been passed down through the generations. Christmas carols, gift exchanges and family feasts are just some of the enduring traditions that make the season one of the world’s favorite holidays. Christmas means something different to every person and family, and memorable times to cherish a lifetime.
As the Celtic Thunder 2016 North America tour comes to a close, the guys are off to celebrate this holiday with family, friends and loved ones. Here are some wonderful Christmas Messages to everyone from the Celtic Thunder Guys this Christmas..
CELTIC THUNDER HOLIDAY GIFT IDEAS
Have you had a look at our new Celtic Thunder online holiday store?? It’s chock full of amazing items to the suit all budgets. Surprise the Celtic Thunder fans in your life with a gift of genuine CT merch. From music CDs and DVDs, CT T-Shirts and Hoodies, Holiday Ornaments, Posters, Calendars, there is so much to choose from! Also check out our amazing selection of Irish and Celtic goods, yummy candies from Ireland’s premier chocolatier, Butlers Irish Chocolates, Barry’s Tea, hand crafted jewelry, scarves, tweed caps & Christmas baubles.
Take a look at some of the New Arrivals, and makes excellent gift ideas for family, friends and loved ones!
MUSICAL NOTE HOODIES & SWEATSHIRTS
NEW from Celtic Thunder! Keep your look fresh with the new range of Musical Note Hoodies & Sweatshirts from Celtic Thunder! Choose from a variety colors and sizes and be warm and stylish this fall and winter with your brand new CT Hoodie! Choose from the following colors, Black/Gold, Green/ Gray and Navy/Gray. Available in sizes: SM - 2XL and made of 100% Cotton.
CELTIC THUNDER DESIGNER SCARVES
Enjoy this stunning collection of beautiful Celtic scarves from top Irish designer Patrick Francis. Patrick Francis Designs is an Irish owned company that has been synonymous with luxurious high quality products for a generation. They specialize in classic yet contemporary designs, using only the best natural fibers available. Silks, Cottons and Pure New Wools create luxurious products that lightweight warmth and softness in an elegant & subtle Celtic Design.
||IRISH CHRISTMAS TREE BAUBLES
“Nollaig Shona Duit” (null-ig hun-a dit) is "Merry Christmas" in Gaelic! The Irish like many other nations, celebrate Christmas with a variety of Irish Christmas traditions all their own. Decorate your tree with Irish Christmas ornaments straight from Ireland. Or spread some Irish Christmas joy by sending an Irish Christmas Card. Share in the unique Irish Christmas custom of adorning your home with holly, and surprise your loved ones with an Irish Christmas gift. May Irish Christmas blessings abound!
OUR CHRISTMAS GIFT TO YOU!
Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year, and everyone at Celtic Thunder is very greatful for all the wonderful support, encouragement & feedback from everone, and we would be delighted to share in the Holiday Spirit with you! For a limited time, you may download 'Christmas 1915' Video & MP3 FREE as our gift to you. The Video and MP3 are a Celtic Thunder Fan favorite across the world, and from the Celtic Thunder Christmas DVD/CD.
FREE ALBUM WITH EACH QUALIFYING ORDER
For all orders over $50 (not including postage and packing) placed between December 1st and 13th December, we will send you your free copy of Celtic Thunder Christmas Voices on CD. A wonderful collection of Christmas and Holiday songs performed with the usual Celtic Thunder aplomb and backed by an 80-piece orchestra. What an amazing way to get you and your loved ones into the spirit of the holidays!
CELTIC THUNDER CRUISE 2017
BREAKING NEWS!!! A brand new Celtic Thunder 10th Anniversary Cruise is planned for 2017.
We will be releasing details about our 10th Anniversary Cruise very soon, so keep an eye on your inbox and make sure to check out next month’s Celtic Times for more information. It’s going to be our biggest cruise yet!
FEATURED ALBUMS FOR DECEMBER
This month we have 'hand-picked' some of the most popular Solo Albums that would make excellent Gift Items for family and loved one's with Celtic Thunder's Harpist, Seana Davey with 'Harpophelia', Percussionist Berry Kerr with 'Boy in a Boat', Celtic Thunder Performer Damian McGinty with 'This Christmas Time' and Celtic Thunder Performer Colm Keegan with 'I'll Never be Alone'.
CELTIC THUNDER - 'HOME' ON DVD
Celtic Thunder’s DVD Celtic Thunder - Home is a wonderful collection of the show’s fan favorites and best-loved songs set to a background of spectacular scenery of Ireland. Celtic Thunder will serenade you as you are transported to places of immense beauty such as The Cliffs of Moher, Carrick-a-Reed Rope Bridge, the wilds of Donegal or indeed the garden of Ireland, County Wicklow. You will witness the majesty and splendor of the Irish countryside, while Celtic Thunder set the tempo with their recordings of much loved Irish standards Danny Boy, Mountains of Mourne, Carrickfergus, Black is the Color and many more.
CELTIC THUNDER $500 GIFT BASKET CONTEST
To mark the launch of our Celtic Thunder Holiday Shop, we are giving away a Celtic Thunder Gift Basket, choc full of Celtic Thunder goodies and a winner has been choosen! This extremely lucky winner will receive a Hamper full of Celtic Thunder swag, Irish candies and other amazing treats! And the winner of the $500 Gift Basket is, DRUM ROLL Please! Our Facebook contest to Win a Hamper of CT goodies worth over $500 has now ended! And the Winner is..... Tori Morris from Joplin, MO!
BUSY DAYS – DAVID MUNRO
Being a singer, musician, production assistant, lighting technician or any normal job that you would expect in a theatre becomes different animal the moment you start to tour it all round a vast continent.
Essentially everybody in every department is doing the same job that they do for every show day with the important distinction that we are in a new theatre or arena every day.
So how does that impact the Musical Director’s job?
BUSY DAYS - MELANIE CARMICHAEL
Laundry. That's how my day starts and that's how it ends. In between? All the laughing.
We arrive at the venue we're playing, I put a wash on and head to catering. Because sausages. This part of the day is where the crew all become human beings again after a long night on the bus. I'd like to say sleeping but a lot of the time we stay up making our jaws sore from laughing. Even though we spend all our time together every day, when we get on the bus after the gig we are all eager to tell each other stories about how our day went.
AUTHENTIC IRISH RECIPES
The traditional Christmas meal in Ireland is very similar to Thanksgiving dinner in the US and Canada, with Turkey & Ham being the most commonly featured meats. Check out some of this months tastey dishes you can prepare for your family this Christmas and have them coming back for more! To start, a Smoked Mackerel Pate as the Appetizer or for serving for canapés. Roast Crown of Turkey with Orange & Rosemary or Ham with Port, Orange & Redcurrant Glaze will get everyone's mouthwatering. Add in Parsnip & Cheddar Bake and Broccoli & Sugar Snap Peas as the sides to complete the festive meal. For Dessert, Chocolate Pots with Nutty Biscuits - a popular Light Dessert in Ireland to satisfy your sweet cravings.
IRELAND'S CHRISTMAS MARKETS
For the perfect festive experience wrap up warm and head for the buzz and bustle of Ireland’s Christmas markets. Combining amazing shopping opportunities with the chance to sample the finest artisan food and drink, while soaking up the Irish yuletide atmosphere, these markets are fast-passes to a winter wonderland in cities, villages and towns across the country.
NEW YEARS FESTIVAL DUBLIN
RING IN 2017 WITH IRELAND’S BIGGEST NEW YEAR CELEBRATION – NEW YEAR’S FESTIVAL DUBLIN!
A THREE-DAY CITYWIDE FESTIVAL FROM DEC 30 2016 TO JAN 1 2017
Now in its third year, The New Year’s Festival Dublin 2016 will be bigger and better than ever with an amazing program spanning three days from the 30th December 2016 to the 1st January 2017 show-casing the best of Irish talent in the areas of music, culture, arts & entertainment.
Gather together in the heart of the Dublin with your family and friends as the city comes alive over 3 days for fun filled New Year’s festivities. Bringing together some of the country’s best talents, NYF Dublin offers a host of free and family friendly activities and events guaranteed to engage, entertain and excite!
IRELANDS BLUE BOOK
A Castle, a Manor, and a Townhouse... Ireland’s Blue Book adds three new properties to its collection for 2017.
Ireland’s Blue Book is delighted to announce the addition of three new properties to their collection of Country Houses, Historic Hotels and Restaurants for 2017. Joining the collection are Belleek Castle, Co. Mayo; Hilton Park Manor, Co. Monaghan; and The Tannery Townhouse and Restaurant, Co. Waterford.
The announcement was made at the association’s Annual General Meeting in Dunbrody House, Co. Wexford, on November 8th 2016. The new additions bring the total number of properties in the collection to 50 for 2017, the highest number since the Blue Book association was founded in 1974.
AER LINGUS - 2017 SUMMER SCHEDULE
Aer Lingus Announces its 2017 Summer Schedule. New U.S route from Miami to Dublin plus extra flights on existing routes from Los Angeles, Chicago and Orlando to Dublin
NEW YORK, N.Y. – November 15, 2016 - Aer Lingus today announced its 2017 summer schedule, including further expansion of its Long Haul network with a new Miami to Dublin route, operating three times per week from September 2017.
The new Miami route is in addition to Aer Lingus’ existing transatlantic routes Boston, Chicago, New York, Orlando, San Francisco, Washington and Toronto to Dublin and Boston and New York to Shannon, as well as the new routes from Los Angeles, Newark, and Hartford, which commenced this year.
BALLYFIN HOTEL RECEIVES TOP HONORS
IRISH HOTEL AWARDED BEST HOTEL IN THE WORLD BY CONDE NAST TRAVELER
Condé Nast Traveler announced in their current issue the results of its 29th annual Readers’ Choice Awards with Ballyfin receiving top honors as the “Best Hotel in the World” with the highest overall hotel score of 99.11. This recognition also marks the debut of the country house hotel on the esteemed awards list, which celebrates the world’s best hotels, resorts, cities, islands, airlines, and cruise lines.
The Condé Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice Awards are the longest-running and most prestigious recognition of excellence in the travel industry and are commonly known as “the best of the best of travel.” Under Editor in Chief Pilar Guzmán, the Readers’ Choice Awards have become more selective and specific to the passions that inspire today’s travellers.
YEAR OF FOOD AND DRINK 2016
NORTHERN IRELAND'S NEW SIGNATURE DISH
Four of the country’s top chefs get creative to find our new dish. Tourism NI has tasked four of Northern Ireland’s top chefs to create three brand new locally-inspired dishes, one of which will be named as Northern Ireland’s New Signature Dish.
Northern Ireland’s New Signature Dish search is part of the Northern Ireland Year of Food and Drink 2016 celebrations and the four creative minds taking part, referred to as the ‘cooking collective’, are Niall McKenna from James Street South in Belfast; Ian Orr from Browns Restaurant and Ardtara House in Derry~Londonderry; Kelan McMichael from Bull and Ram in Ballynahinch and Chris McGowan from Wine and Brine in Armagh.
They have the incredibly difficult task of coming up with three delicious finalist dishes, using only produce from Northern Ireland, explained Susie Brown, Director of Corporate Development at Tourism NI.
PLACE TO EAT - 10 GREAT STEAKHOUSES IN DUBLIN
Ireland is blessed with some of the finest steak in the world, to the point that "Irish Angus" cuts can be found on menus from Tallaght to Timbuktu. To celebrate this important culinary phenomenon we have compiled a short list of some of our favorite steakhouses in Dublin, which cater to a variety of tastes and budgets, enjoy!
PLACE TO STAY - CLAYTON WHITES HOTEL
Clayton Whites Hotel, formerly Whites of Wexford, is the premier hotel in Wexford. Offering a Therapeutic Spa, Leisure Club, luxurious accommodation and a warm and friendly welcome, it truly is a home away from home.
Compared to other Wexford Hotels, Clayton Whites Hotel is uniquely located in the very heart of historic Wexford Town, perfectly situated for your breakaway in Wexford. Only a short walk to the Main Street, a stay at Clayton Whites Hotel allows you to take in all Wexford Town has to offer. Just a 2-hour drive from Dublin, this Wexford hotel is within easy access of Rosslare Europort and Wexford Train and Bus Station.
PLACE TO VISIT - THE SKELLIG RING DRIVE
The Skellig Ring drive, on the southwestern tip of Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way, has been named one of the top regions in the world for travellers in 2017. The region receives the accolade in Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2017, the highly anticipated collection of the world’s hottest trends, destinations and experiences for the year ahead. The bestselling, travel yearbook from one of the world’s leading travel authorities highlights the top ten countries, cities, regions and best value destinations that Lonely Planet’s experts recommend travellers experience in 2017.
IRISH HISTORY - CHRISTMAS TRADITIONS IN IRELAND
We have many traditions around the Holidays in Ireland, some dating back centuries and while we are sometimes not even sure of their origin, they are still carried out to this day around the countryside. Here are some of the most popular.
IRISH SPORT - RUGBY WORLD CUP IN 2023
The Irish Rugby Football Union today formally announced its intention to submit a bid to host the 2023 Rugby World Cup in Ireland. The announcement was made in conjunction with the Irish Government and the Northern Ireland Executive, both of whom pledged their support for the tournament bid.
Speaking at The Royal School, Armagh, An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny, TD, said: "I am delighted to formally announce the Government's support, in conjunction with the Northern Ireland Executive, to formally back the IRFU's bid to host the 2023 Rugby World Cup.
"Ireland will put together a winning bid that will be impossible to resist. We have the fans, the stadiums, and the accessibility to make it a World Cup to remember. Irish people love our sport. We are passionate about sport and we celebrate it.
A CHILDHOOD CHRISTMAS
by Patrick Kavanagh (1905-67)
One side of the potato-pits was white with frost-
How wonderful that was, how wonderful
And when we put our ears to the paling-post
The music that came out was magical
The light between the ricks of hay and straw
Was a hole in Heaven's gable. An apple tree
With its December-glinting fruit we saw-
O you, Eve, were the world that tempted me
To eat the knowledge that grew in clay
And death the germ within it! Now and then
I can remember something of the gay
Garden that was childhoods. Again
The tracks of Cattle to a drinking-place,
A green stone lying sideways in a ditch
Or any common sight the transfigured face
Of a beauty that the world did not touch.