I’ve been on the road a lot these last few weeks for performances and events all over TX and LA. I love seeing towns and cities come to life with twinkling Christmas lights and decorations. But when I see a single candle in the window it takes me back to being a boy growing up on the West coast of Ireland. All the Celtic countries have a similar custom of lighting a candle at Christmas to light the way of a stranger. In Ireland, we have the lovely tradition, passed down from ancient times, of “The Candle in the Window“. On Christmas Eve, just after dark, the youngest child named Mary or John would be the one to light the candle, often using a scooped out turnip for the candlestick! In every household there was always a Mary or John….(if God forbid there wasn’t, the honor would fall to the youngest child). The last time I was home in Connemara for Christmas, it was so heartwarming to see villages come alive with the flickering glow of candlelight in every window, saying “Welcome Home”. Nowadays, people continue to place candles (usually battery operated or electric for obvious safety reasons) in the window, echoing the message of our ancestors of reaching out to our fellow man, to help light the way for him or her in some small way. The candle in the window is sign of welcome, and of the love and warmth of the home and the people in it. It is a symbol of safety and peace. Wouldn’t it be grand if we would continue this ancient tradition year round, and always remember to reach out to our fellow man.
I wish each and everyone of you a blessed Christmas and may there always be a light to help light your way.