By Kathleen Fueston
|The Diamond or center of town in Derry/Londonderry.|
|The new blankets of lights.|
I have never been outside of the United States during the Christmas and New Year’s holidays until now. It was a wonderful experience to walk the streets of Derry/Londonderry on the first night we arrived and see evidence of the holidays all around us. The lights on the streets where very lovely "blankets of lights" that covered the four streets that feed off of each side of the Diamond- the center square of town. There were Christmas trees and nativities in the shops and Christmas wreaths on many of the memorials around the town.
|Christmas tree in the shopping center.|
Come to find out, the “blankets” of lights were new this year. They also had the older style of lights hanging around the town, but the new lights had been positively embraced by the community. There were articles in the paper about the lights and when we went to the BBC Foyle Radio Station, we were told that a group of citizens were asking the City Council to keep the lights up the whole year for “the City of Culture” events that would be occurring throughout 2013. I haven’t been able to find out if a decision was made on this proposal, but I think it is a wonderful idea. It was a great example of the community rallying around something positive and uplifting.
|The Tower Hotel - Home away|
|Christmas light on the streets of Dublin.|
|Wreaths at the World War memorial.|
The holidays tend to soften people’s hearts and the New Year is a time to formulate decisions about the changes we want to make in our lives and the world - for the better. I am grateful I got to be in this special place to witness a tradition celebrated worldwide. The time of peace on earth and good will toward all men. In Derry/Londonderry it seems they are seeking to live in peace not just at Christmas, but every day.