9 Things That Happen Every Irish Christmas!

It's as inevitable as drama in Fair City on Christmas night.

Woman screaming christmas

You’ll defo watch the Toy Show

It doesn’t matter how old you are, come Late Late Toy Show night you’ll be parked in front of the telly in your pyjamas, cringing and howling and perhaps even weeping at the sight of a Billie Barry dance routine. Only difference is, being a grown up means you can drink wine. Yaaaass.

You shift your ex down the local

It’s a Christmas tradition as ingrained as mince pies. As soon as it’s past midnight on Christmas eve, fueled by a few too many festive tipples in your hometown watering hole you inevitably plant the lips on that ex who’s home for the holidays. Never mind that you can’t stand the sight of him any other time of the year. What better way to spend Christmas day than dying with the sheer mortification of it all, eh?

Fairytale Of New York is played on repeat

We don’t know what it is about this song. Maybe it’s ’cause The Pogues are a national institution or we’re just suckers for belting out a few dirty words. Whatever it is, this tune gets pulled out at every Christmas shindig from November through New Year and you screech along with the lyrics as if your life depended on it. Sometimes, you even cry.

Someone gets far too locked at the office Christmas party

It all starts off civilised until Carol from marketing forgets she can’t handle her Prosecco and ends up puking in the office’s perforated bin. If it’s an especially wild night you’ll all end up in Coppers at 4am, and at least two of your co-workers won’t be able to look at each other come January because they scored during the Five megamix.

You get a fresh pair of pyjamas from your mam

Penneys definitely has a run on PJs in the lead up to Christmas because every year without fail, you can count on your ma having a brand new fleecy pair for you under the tree. If you’ve been especially good she might just get you a hot water bottle and fluffy slippers too.

You get dragged to mass

You may not dream of going any other time of year, but there’s a lot to be said for a good Christmas Eve mass and even though you have to be dragged kicking and screaming every time, secretly, you sort of enjoy it. It’s good for a nose at the neighbours if nothing else – hasn’t Peter from across the road aged well?

Family games get far too competitive

Your super competitive uncle swears blind he isn’t cheating and your auntie (the one who’s a bit too fond of a tipple) always wants to turn Cluedo into a drinking game. Like clockwork, tempers flare calamity ensues, and the Monopoly board inevitably ends up on the floor… along with everyone’s dignity.

You run into every Tom, Dick and Harry you went to school with

That wagon who pulled the chair from under you in science class has no qualms telling you all about his gap year in Botswana, and as for that gal who was a total nightmare to you the whole way through school? She’s reminiscing about ‘the good times’ like you were bessie mates. Also beware the high school sweetheart you never got over, because you know full well he’s going to pop up when you least expect it.

The 12 Pubs

We’re not quite sure where this tradition came from, or when it’s going to die, but we do know that nothing good can come from it. The best laid plans of only drinking beer to stay sober(ish) get shelved early, everyone gets separated and bad life decisions are a given. It’s all in the name of good craic though, which is what makes us Irish. Merry Christmas!

This article first appeared in the December issue of STELLAR Magazine. Our January issue is on shelves now. 

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