Christmas can officially start now as our glittering, jam-packed December issue hits shelves says Klara Heron
Dear reader, welcome to the December issue of Irish Country Magazine. I’d like to start by thanking you for being here and giving us your support throughout 2022. It has been a standout year for the magazine and that’s all down to you continuously picking us up in the supermarket, sharing the magazine with your loved ones, and signing up for a subscription.
Speaking of subscribing, we have a spectacular Christmas Subscription Offer, where every subscriber gets a free luxury gift. Be quick – when they’re gone, they’re gone, as they say!
Hopefully that’ll sort out a few gifts for you (it keeps giving all year long, what’s not to love?) but if you need more inspiration, we have gift guides aplenty this year. Seeing as we all have “more month left at the end of our pay checks” as I heard financial expert Eoin McGee describe it, we’ve found lots of brilliant ideas under €50, plus the most spectacular gifts across fashion and beauty.
If you’re a regular listener of Catch Up, Louise McSharry’s weekly podcast that’s quickly climbing the charts, her interview with Kate Demolder for our cover feature gives an excellent insight into why the podcaster lends her voice to so many topics that matter to her. Plus, she shares how this year, at 40, she has taken back control of her career.
Not to divert from the merriment, but if you’ll allow me, I’d like to share something that struck me recently, that I think many of you will relate to, especially this time of year when the ones we miss feel ever so near.
In October, my best friend gave birth to her baby girl, and another of my oldest and dearest friends died. Joy merged with a devastating loss within 72 hours of one another and in the starkness of this circle of life happening before me I wondered how I could feel such happiness and such deep sadness side by side.
I think the reason why, is love. As we welcomed baby Billie, and said goodbye to our fabulous Heather way too soon, my family, friends and I talked about love. It’s endlessly miraculous to me how people can waltz into our lives and grow our hearts.
Heather featured in the magazine earlier this year as our Inspiration interviewee. Courageously sharing her story of her cancer diagnosis, she magnificently modelled her stoma bag in the hopes it would help people to not feel embarrassed or alone on their journey. She was passionate about spreading awareness of bowel cancer, and urged readers to get checked. If you would like to, you can read her interview back on irishcountrymagazine.ie/heatherskinner.
Heather was greatly inspired by the incredible Vicky Phelan, whose legacy of fighting for the women of Ireland will forever stay in our hearts and minds. You can read our fond memories of Vicky, on page 8 of the magazine.
These brave women’s legacies, along with the impact of all those we have lost too soon, will long remain. And so will the love. Despite the sadness, their love always stays with us. It really is the greatest gift we get as humans.
As a final note, I’d like to wish a fond farewell to our colleague, Róisín Healy, who after seven years writing for the magazine has left us for her next career adventure. We are all so happy for her and we will miss the passion, insight, creativity and friendship she brought to Irish Country Magazine. Thank you for the memories, Ró!
On behalf of all the team, we wish all of our readers a very Happy Christmas.