CHRISTMAS MEMORIES: We asked some familiar faces from Causeway Coast and Glens to share their special moments with us...
For Nat King Cole, it was chestnuts roasting on an open fire. For Chris Rea, it was driving home for Christmas.
By Una Culkin
Published 18th Dec 2023, 10:02 GMT
Updated 18th Dec 2023, 10:02 GMT
We all have our own special Christmas memories – whether it’s of a nativity play, a loved one coming home or a much-longed for present sitting under the tree.
Maybe it’s just sitting in front of your favourite Christmas movie with a selection box.
Here some of the best known faces from the Causeway Coast and Glens area have shared their special Christmas memories with us.
1. Mayor Steven Callaghan
The Mayor of Causeway Coast and Glens, Councillor Steven Callaghan said: “I have always loved Christmas and, as a child growing up in Glasgow, I very much looked forward to family outings with my parents, brothers, and sister.
“Each Christmas we would journey to Partick and my parents would take us to the circus and funfair. I loved seeing the tigers and elephants and was always amazed by the sights and sounds of the funfair amusements. Christmas to me is a time for family and friends and for making memories with the people you love.” Photo: Causeway Coast and Glens Council
2. Deputy Mayor
The Deputy Mayor of Causeway Coast and Glens, Councillor Margaet-Anne McKillop said: “I am the oldest of six children and I look forward to spending time with family at Christmas time.
“My favourite present ever was a packet of markers so I could draw, and I remember we used to hang out Daddy’s socks to get mandarin oranges for Christmas. Of course, when it snowed in Cushendall we used old turf bags to sleigh down the hill which was fun.
“My best childhood memories are of making paper chain decorations and shortbread with my mum as Christmas is a special time to come together with family and friends.” Photo: Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council
3. Sarah Travers
Portstewart media consultant and former BBC TV journalist Sarah Travers said: "I think my favourite Christmas memory would always have to be being part of the church choir when I was young at midnight mass on Christmas Eve in Star of the Sea Church. John Corrigan was at the helm - the church packed - (a number joining the congregation after a few drinks at the local hostelries full of Christmas spirit).
" The music was always incredible featuring some of our best local singers. Since then watching and listening to the Dominican choir (my old school and my children’s) every year is an absolute joy. The late Fr Brian Mullan’s children’s mass was also legendary and very entertaining on Christmas morn. I adore the warm sense of community spirit and kindness in Portstewart/Portrush with all the local families and their visitors from all denominations and none greeting each other like old friends do. "This is the true meaning of Christmas to me and I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else at this time of year." Photo: Bespoke Communications
4. Caring Caretaker
Coleraine's Caring Caretaker aka David Boyle has been a regular part of the Christmas scene in Coleraine town centre over the years. Sitting outside his "wee hut" from the start of December until Christmas Eve, Davy raised tens of thousands of pounds for many charities. So it's no surprise that one of his favourite Christmas memories relates to his seasonal sit out.
"Sitting out in 2010 the year of the big snow. Seeing children playing in the snow in the town centre. Having to walk up and down to the town from home as my car was snowed in. I had to wear a number of layers to keep warm and drank lots of hot coffee." Photo: David Boyle