By Peg Prendeville

Sincere sympathies to Martha Fitzgerald, her children Sandra and Kenneth and extended family in Ballyguiltenane/Glin on the death of her husband Willie at a young age during last week. Death is difficult at any time of year but even more so coming up to Christmas. Our thoughts and prayers are with them all.

It is lovely, at this time of year, to see our young people returning from foreign lands for the Christmas season. We welcome them all and hope that, if it is their wish, that one day they will be able to return for good.

I take this opportunity to wish a Happy Christmas and New Year to editors Domhnall and Lillian and my fellow correspondents, Pat, Tom and Kathleen and all readers of the Knockdown News column. Go mbeirfimid beó ar an am seo arís. See you in 2014!

I will end the year with the Kerry Christmas Carol. I am not sure who wrote it but it is a lovely, easy gentle way to lead us into next week.

Brush the floor and clean the hearth,

And set the fire to keep,

For they might visit us tonight

When all the world’s asleep!

Don’t blow the tall white candle out

But leave it burning bright,

So that they’ll know they’re welcome here

This holy Christmas night!

Leave out the bread and meat for them,

And sweet milk for the Child,

And they will bless the fire, that baked

And, too, the hands that toiled.

For Joseph will be travel-tired,

And Mary pale and wan,

And they can sleep a little while

Before they journey on.

They will be weary of the roads,

And rest will comfort them,

For it must be many a lonely mile

From here to Bethlehem.

O long the road they have to go,

The bad mile with the good,

Till the journey ends on Calvary

Beneath a cross of wood.

Leave the door upon the latch,

And set the fire to keep,

And pray they’ll rest with us tonight

When all the world’s asleep.