And here we have another competition winner – this time Geraldine McNulty, aged 8, who created this in-no-way-terrifying image back in 1980. There’s a host of angels, some shepherds with their sheep, and Mary and Joseph going for a more modern colour wave of red and yellow rather than the traditional blue-and-beige.
Irish Christmas has a strong Catholic tradition of remembrance, with graves being decorated with holly and ivy wreaths and a tradition that anyone who died between Christmas and “Little Christmas” on 6 January would go immediately to heaven. Christmas trees go up on 8 December as the feast date of the Immaculate Conception. It’s not all church-based – Santa (or Santy) still visits and it is customary to leave him not only a mince pie but also a Guinness.