Saturday 24 August 2019

From Waterford to Thailand - what Irish celebrities are up to this Christmas

Roz Purcell in Thailand. Picture: Instagram
Roz Purcell in Thailand. Picture: Instagram
Model and nutritionist Rosanna Davison launches the #lovearealtree campaign. at the Intercontinental Hotel. Picture: Brian McEvoy
Miriam O'Callaghan. Photo: Kieran Harnett
Rosanna Davison with Megan Heavin (5) from Offaly Photo: Colin Keegan, Collins Dublin
Dressed to impress: Rosanna Davison at the launch of the Irish Christmas Tree Growers Association’s ‘love a real tree’ campaign at Dublin’s Intercontinental Hotel. Photo: Steve Humphreys
Nicky Byrne will host Dancing With The Stars with Amanda Byram
Chris de Burgh and Rosanna Davison at the annual Christmas Ward Walk at Our Lady's Hospital for Sick Children, Dublin

Amy Mulvaney and Melanie Finn

We all have our favourite Christmas traditions, but what do some of our best-known celebrities do to mark December 25? We get the low-down from some familiar faces.

Rosanna Davison

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Dressed to impress: Rosanna Davison at the launch of the Irish Christmas Tree Growers Association’s ‘love a real tree’ campaign at Dublin’s Intercontinental Hotel. Photo: Steve Humphreys

"I'll be spending the day with my family and relatives in Dalkey. My mum and dad have hosted Christmas in their house in Wicklow for the past number of years, so it will be nice to have a change of scenery, but no doubt we'll all be chipping in and helping out with the food and drinks!

I'm pretty organised this year and have everything bought, wrapped and under the tree! I absolutely love having the chance to meet up with friends and spend quality time with my family, as we're all so busy that it can be tough to see each other properly during the year. Being able to switch off from work, relax and enjoy the tradition, fun and sense of friendship and community is what I love most. 

Every year, Wes and I will visit my parent's house on Christmas Eve for a glass of wine and to watch the Father Ted Christmas Special, followed by Die Hard. It's become a bit of a family tradition! Then I'll go to his parent's house on Stephen's Day for another big family meal. I love knowing what to expect and looking forward to the various traditions.

After that, we'll head off on holiday to Mauritius with my family to celebrate New Year's Eve on the beach. The hotel in Mauritius hosts an incredible party, with a dinner and dancing, fireworks on the beach and then my dad usually sings for at least an hour and a half. The party goes on until the early hours!

My favourite memories are the Christmases of my childhood, when it was even more magical than it is now and all of my family were alive and healthy. At this stage, grandparents, uncles and various loved ones have moved on, so I treasure my memories of when everybody was together."

Celia Holman Lee

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Celia Holman Lee wearing Oxendales. Image: Lili Forberg

"I’m really looking forward to Christmas. My birthday is in early December so between that and Christmas it’s a happy time. The past couple of years have been wonderful, and when I was young it was so terrific, but in between there had been a lot of sadness, with losing my mother and friends over the years.

On Christmas week I will meet with friends, finish shopping and visit my cousins. I’ll be having Christmas in my house and we’ll definitely be going to a pantomime.

I’ll meet my friends on Christmas Eve in Limerick, but I’ll only stay a while. Christmas is very precious, I can’t afford to be hungover, especially at my age!

On Christmas morning, Ger and I will have a glass of champagne, which we never do in the mornings, but it’s Christmas, and we will exchange presents.

Our four grandchildren, our daughter, her husband, our son and his wife will come over then, and we’ll have the presents under the tree.

Christmas is a time of sadness with joy. It’s sad when you’ve lost loved ones, but then the grandkids bring so much laughter.

My favourite part of Christmas is before we sit down together. We’re all still together and it’s just lovely. On St Stephen’s Day, we’ll go to Limerick Race Course. We really enjoy it."

Maura Derrane

Maura Derrane. Photo: Martina Regan.

RTE presenter Maura Derrane will be having a cosy Christmas in her Waterford home with her young son Cal (2) and her TD husband John Deasy.

“We may just do Christmas Day with just the three of us, just for a little bit of a break. Then we’ll head down to the Aran Islands for New Year’s,” she said.

Nicky Byrne

Nicky Byrne will host Dancing With The Stars with Amanda Byram

RTE presenter Nicky Byrne said he’s relishing the thought of a two-week break from his mid-morning show with Jenny Greene, before work begins in earnest on Dancing With The Stars. 

“The two boys are nine, and Gia is three, so they’re all about Santa. Everybody always comes to our house and we usually have about 16 for dinner. We’ll have my sister’s three kids as well so it’s lovely,” he said.

Roz Purcell

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Last day by this pool until our next pool🌴🌴🌴

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"I will be spending Christmas in Thailand with my sister this year. We came here last year and loved it so decided to come back again. We will miss the rest of our family, but we're a pretty close family and do family dinner as often as we can so it makes up for missing Christmas. I usually go abroad for Christmas, so it has sort of become a tradition now.

Since I was heading away for Christmas I did all my Christmas shopping in advance. My favourite thing about Christmas Day is relaxing. It's such a nice time to slow down and relax. And eat all the delicious food of course!

My favourite memory from Christmas as a child has to be the dessert table. My family makes the best desserts and it has always been the highlight for me!

I'll spend the days after Christmas in Thailand, and I'll fly back for New Year's and then straight out to LA again, so I'll probably spend New Year's Eve sleeping and packing!"

Ryan Tubridy

The Late Late Toy Show host Ryan Tubridy fooling around. Photo: Steve Humphreys

 RTE’s Ryan Tubridy said that the big day all centres around his mum Catherine.

“We all head to her house and have a proper traditional Christmas – we get the big fire going and we have the turkey, the spiced beef, the crackers, Trivial Pursuit and a few beers,” he said.

Miriam O'Callaghan

Miriam O'Callaghan. Photo: Kieran Harnett

Miriam O’Callaghan said she’ll spend the day in her Rathgar home “cooking and drinking and eating”.

“Santa will have come so our youngest child Jamie will be very happy,” she said. “In the morning, we are heading over to my brother’s house for drinks and presents along with my mum, my siblings and all the nephews and nieces so that’s a big get-together.”

Nadia Forde

Nadia Forde at The People of the Year Awards 2016 at Citywest Hotel, Dublin, Ireland - 03.12.16. Pictures: Cathal Burke / VIPIRELAND.COM

"I'm going to go see my boyfriend (Dominic Day) on Christmas, so that will be my time off between Aladdin and The Wedding Singer. I've 10 days in between and those 10 days will be with Dom. It depends how his season lines up and how many games he wins, so it will either be in Australia or Japan.

He's amazing, he's a great guy. I really miss him a lot. At the end of March when I finish work I'll be moving to Australia with him for the rugby season. I love moving about and seeing new places. It suits us perfect. We both love it, we love travelling around."

Online Editors

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