Everybody loves Christmas, but as we spend and eat all around us, have we lost touch with the true meaning of Christmas? Apparently not, as all across Ireland, there are people who believe there’s more to Christmas than turkey, tinsel and twelve pubs, who see it as a time to give back, to share with people in need and, in the process, make Christmas more meaningful for themselves.
For many, Christmas can be particularly hard, as they mourn loved ones or struggle to share in the joys of the season. In fact, other people’s celebrations and gift-giving can often exacerbate feelings of isolation, poverty and grief. In The Secret if Christmas, we meet volunteers who try to ensure that others don’t go hungry or go through Christmas feeling lonely. For some, that means singing Christmas carols in nursing homes or fundraising for charities; for others, it means organising Christmas festivals, concerts or special celebrations for sick children, the homeless or the elderly.
In the lead-up to Christmas, RTÉ offers its own Advent calendar, telling 24 different stories of the ways people across Ireland try to bring meaning and magic to the season. Many of these touching and inspiring stories will be told in Would You Believe? - The Secret of Christmas on RTÉ One, on Sunday 10th December, at 10.35pm. But from 1st December, RTÉ will reveal a different story of the Secret of Christmas every day on rte.ie/Christmas like opening doors on a real Advent calendar.
Kate Durrant and her team of St Vincent de Paul volunteers and staff in Cork put together 2,500 special Christmas hampers to ensure that nobody goes hungry in the Cork area during the festival season.