When I found Penny on the Irish Fairy Doors Trail in July, I was a mess. If one last option didn’t solve my medical mystery, I worried that my “Rocky Road to Dublin” would lead to the ospidéal.
Petting the Belleek pig must have done the trick. Five months later, two years of “The Troubles” are finally over!
Penny and the pig still reside at Ha’penny Bridge, but now they have been joined by an elf. See if you can find him on the 12 Elves of Dublin Scavenger Hunt, the Historic Dublin Business Association‘s clever twist on holiday shopping.
Here’s how the hunt works. Through December 16, pick up your “12 Elves“ card at one of the following Historic Dublin locations: Boho 72 Boutique; Chelsea Borough Home; Daso Custom Cabinetry; Dean Insurance Group; Donatos Pizza; the Dublin Ohio Convention and Visitors Bureau Visitor Center; Ha’penny Bridge Imports of Ireland; Johnson’s Real Ice Cream; La Chatelaine French Bakery & Bistro; Our CupCakery; Terra Gallery; and Winan’s.
Then, search these shops to find the elf that’s residing there. Each time you discover an elf, you will be rewarded with a special treat. Track down all 12, and turn in your card at one of these locations to enter a grand prize drawing.
In a matter of minutes, I had amassed a collection of candy canes, mini chocolate bars, Santa stickers, a peanut butter smidgen, a bite-sized chocolate cupcake, and a Linzer cookie morsel.
I had also discovered several Irish Christmas customs, including decorating the front door with holly and greeting others with “Nollaig shona dhuit!,” the traditional Gaelic greeting for “Merry Christmas.” Irish families also place a large red candle near the front window and light it on Christmas Eve as a symbol of welcome. After the youngest family member lights the candle, prayers are said for the departed, and the candle is extinguished only by someone named Mary. Another Irish Christmas tradition is setting the table after Christmas Eve dinner with a pitcher of milk and a loaf of bread studded with caraway seeds and raisins. The door is left unlatched to extend hospitality to the Holy Family or any travelers who might pass by.