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From news reports to church hymns: Here's what makes Irish people cry at Christmas

‘Yep, I’m crying again.’

I HOLD MY hands up; I have yet to watch Santa Claus leave the North Pole on the Six One news on Christmas Eve, and not cry.

I have tried – genuinely tried – to hold back the tears many, many times over the years, but I never manage to.

Source: RTÉ News/YouTube

There’s a whole host of factors at play here, and when combined, I’m reduced to little more than a weeping mess; awkwardly using the heel of my hand to stem the flow of tears.

The footage conjures memories of my own childhood when my parents would excitedly usher me and my sibling in the direction of the TV to watch Santa take off on his annual trip.

Then there’s the accompanying report where the great and the good over at RTÉ, along with a host of experts, come together to provide the public with an update on Santa’s progress, and in their own perfect little way contribute to the magic of Christmas for millions of children across Ireland.

shutterstock_657734428 (1) Source: Shutterstock/faithie

And then there’s the knowledge that the final shot of the man himself and his legion of loyal reindeer taking off in the direction of our little country will have sent shivers of excitement through every child I know, and yep that’s it, I’m crying again.

It’s just so wholesome; that’s what it comes down to.

To be fair, Christmas is an exceptionally emotional time, and I’m not the only one who finds themselves randomly dissolving into tears over the festive season.

And with that in mind, here are just some of the things that make Irish people cry across December.

1. The falsetto part, people.

I’m not religious at all, and not many songs bring me to tears, but O Holy Night sang properly in falsetto gets me every time. When it gets to the ‘fall on your knees’ bit I have to wipe away tears. It’ll get me going just thinking about it.

2. Yep, we’re guilty of shedding a tear over this too.

Christmas ads – the Lidl one where they end up doing up the grandad’s old house and his wife is dead – always gets me. Oh, and airport clips of troops coming home for Christmas would also be up there.

3. This is an especially difficult one.

Thinking about all the kids who think Santy won’t know where they are because they are living out of black bags in hotels. No child should have that worry.

4. Well, this is fair enough.

The song ‘Christmas Shoes’. Can’t cope with it.

5. A classic, to be fair.

The ending of It’s a Wonderful Life always makes me cry at Christmas.

6. And they’re not the only one.

Not a crier, but every single year I sit down and watch It’s a Wonderful Life on my own because no one else in my family likes black and white movies, and every year I bawl my eyes out. It’s the only film that makes me cry. It’s probably the only thing that evokes emotion in me at all.

 7. Seriously, this is one tearjerker.

Watching It’s a Wonderful Life always make me bawl crying. Oh, and when all the kids come out at the Pope’s mass.

8. Yeah, we get this.

I don’t know why, but I always cry on Christmas morning when my family and I are opening presents. It just makes me sad, and I know how weird that sounds. I suppose I see us all getting older, but still putting effort in to make Christmas morning as magical as when we were kids, and that’s it, I’m holding back tears. Unsuccessfully holding them back though.

9. Yep, they’re not alone on this one.

Every year my mum and I watch Love Actually and every single year we bawl at the bit where Emma Thompson is playing Joni Mitchell in her bedroom crying because she found out Alan Rickman bought his secretary an expensive necklace.

10. Another shout-out for the RTÉ folk

When RTÉ news show people arriving at the airport for Christmas at home.

11. Another shout-out for this banger.

I live on a farm and every year at around midnight on Christmas Eve when it’s dead quiet, I go out to the cows and calves and listed to O Holy Night in my earphones. And I cry every time, it’s just the peacefulness, and Christ, the cows and calves seem so content!

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About the author:

Niamh McClelland

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