By Cherie Messore

O’Connell & Company Celebrates ‘Women’s Little Christmas’

Some folks call it Little Christmas. In the church community it’s the Epiphany. But in a traditional Irish home, Saturday, January 6 is Nollaig na Ban, or “Women’s Little Christmas,” and O’Connell & Company will celebrate it from 5pm to 10pm at the American Legion Post 1041 (533 Amherst St. in Buffalo).

The event began a few years ago as a social gathering for the theatre company and the community it created around “Diva by Diva: A Celebration of Women.” This year company founder and artistic director Mary Kate O’Connell expanded the event to be a fundraising event. She said, “I chose this because of the wonderful sisterhood it created the last time we gathered. With this as a fundraiser we can give people a much more affordable and entertaining evening.”

It’s a perfect fit for this lively and pay-it-forward centric company. The tradition in Ireland says after all the hard work women do to prepare and make Christmas, the men take on all the household duties for the day, thus closing down the holiday season. As a result, parties of women with their friends, sisters, mothers, and aunts, are common in bars and restaurants on this night. The women laugh, sing, exchange fun gifts, read poetry and prose, reminisce, visit and, oh yes, drink Guinness, and maybe a wee bit of Jameson.

In other words, it’s just another night of fun and fellowship  (for a good cause). Actors from the Company lead the singing. Local poets and other friends of the company will share readings, stories, and overall merriment. Inviting the public to join in the fun and support the company will “increase the circle friends for the company,” says O’Connell, and create another reason to enjoy the spirit of the season with good friends, food, and some hearty laughs in the bleak mid-winter.

Men of the company will be in the kitchen serving up  Corned Beef, Cabbage, Salt Potatoes, Roasted Carrots, Rye Bread, Homemade Cookies, Irish Coffee, green wine spritzers, and lighter libations.

Basket raffles, auction items, and 50/50 drawings will support the company and its charities that help women and child in need.

Reservations are required by January 2, 2018 at $25 per person, and parking is free and plentiful. Click here to reserve your place and pay on the spot. Or you can reserve your tickets and pay at the door (save the service charge the website will charge and use the cash for basket raffle tickets!) by emailing oconnellgetinfo@aol.com (use “Women’s Little Christmas” in subject line. Include # of tickets required and your full name. CASH ONLY will be taken at the door. )

Slainte!