Marriage – An Unlikely Blessing
Marriage’s benefits are hardly something The Irish Catholic has skimped on extolling in the past, but one thing perhaps neglected in these pages is how it may lower the risks of developing dementia.
A study of worldwide studies suggests that single people are between 24% and 42% more likely to develop dementia than married ones. The survey, published in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry, suggested that the risk difference might be partially explained by single people having poorer physical health than their married peers.
Widowed people also seem to have higher rates of dementia, which may be linked to increased stress levels. It is thought that couples have more opportunities for social engagement than single people, with social interaction already established as being linked to lower dementia rates and better health in general.
Skating away the holiday in Wonderland
Christmas Wonderland in City West offers an unusual family day out over the festive period, with an 800 sqm ice rink complete with little penguins, special children’s skating area and twinkling Christmas lights.
Other seasonal ice rinks open this month include Galway Skates in Salthill, Killarney on Ice, and in Belfast, Ireland’s only Olympic sized ice rink in the Dundonald International Ice Bowl.
Ice Skating is becoming more and more popular in Ireland and new ice skating rinks are opening up all around the country offering ice skating, ice dancing and even ice hockey for all ages. Most open only over the holiday period, but any families who catch the skating bug over the Christmas can skate all year round at rinks in Belfast, Cork, Dublin, Galway.
Moving Crib is still a moving experience
It’s been less than two months since Dublin’s much loved Moving Crib almost went up in flames, but the blaze at the St Martin Apostolate on Parnell Square was suitably tackled and the crib is open again for its 61st Christmas.
Open from 2pm to 6pm Monday to Friday, and from 11am to 6pm on weekends, the crib is one of Dublin’s most popular free attractions over the Christmas period – though groups are urged to book.
Featuring over 100 handcrafted metre-high figures, the crib doesn’t just feature the Nativity – though everything in it builds towards that. Rather, its tableaux start with Adam and Eve and takes in such other tales from Salvation history as Noah’s Ark, all leading up to the birth of Christ.
Children should bring along a leaf with them, drawn, coloured in, and cut out, with their name on the back – to add to the Garden of Eden. There could be a prize in it!