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11 invaluable tips to help you survive an Irish family Christmas

There’s a lot of Roses and sprouts to get through.
1. Be the first in the family to buy your mother’s present

If you’ve already bought her the traditional annual foot spa/scarf and gloves combo/Lily of the Valley smelly set, then nobody else can swoop in and steal your idea.


If you leave it too late, all of the decent mammy presents will be taken by brothers and sisters, leaving you panicking in Tesco at 5.55pm on Christmas Eve, holding an oven glove and a festive box of tea bags.

2. Get to that second layer first

Sure, you can wait around eating substandard digestives and custard creams, or you can grow a pair and go straight to the second layer, harvesting jammy dodgers, pink wafers and jelly stars.

This MUST be done in secret however. There is nothing worse than being labelled a second layer villain at Christmas.


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3. Prepare your “ah here, WHO’S AFTER STARTING THE SECOND LAYER?” exclamation of disgust

The only way to negate your guilt is to head the accusations off at the pass.

If you make it known that you’re furious that the second layer has been violated it can’t have been you that made the first illicit dive under the layer divider.

The perfect crime.

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4. Stockpile some batteries

Even the smuggest of households finds themselves wanting for batteries over the festive period.

Ensure that you are the smuggest one of all by whipping out a packet of AAs on St Stephen’s Day when Titanic is about to start on UTV and the remote control has given up the ghost.


5. Prepare your “oh deadly, slippers” face

You will receive slippers, and you will like it. Another top tip is to refrain from pointing out that you’re actually wearing the slippers they got you last year. Nobody wants to hear that.

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6. Ditto for your “a voucher, you shouldn’t have” face

If you think about it, vouchers are the perfect present. You get to buy something you actually want and you don’t end up spending the money on pints and sweets.

Still though, an envelope is not the most thrilling thing to be handed on Christmas morning.

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7. Curly Wurlys are smaller. Deal with it

The sooner you accept this harsh truth, the sooner we can get through this selection box for breakfast.



Curly Wurly

8. Humour your mother/father/aunty when they proclaim “next year we’re not bothering with the turkey”

They said it last year, they’ll say it next year, and yet the turkey always materialises. Just humour them.

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9. Don’t put the wrappers back in the Roses tin

Lead by example. And avoid World War III.



10. Keep a handle on your commitments

You may be suffering from that common Irish delusion that you have six weeks off between 24 December and 2 January.

You don’t.

You don’t have enough evenings to meet the friend that’s home from Canada, the one that’s up from Cork, the one that managed to get a babysitter and the one you snogged three years ago and still fancy a bit and keep your promise to your mother to visit Aunty Kathleen.

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11. Pick up the cracker prizes off the floor

Nobody wants to step on one of these after too many sherries. Nobody.

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