Beneath all of this frivolity, cynicism and forced humour there is a more serious note. Christmas is hard, and for many reasons for many people. And when the over excited, overgrown kids start ramming it down your throat on the 1st of November, those of us who don't 'feel' the magic have just that bit longer to feel crap about it.
In an age where economies are shrinking, the differences between these two services from the perspective of the driver are severe. Essentially, it comes down to diametrically opposed scenarios: in one the driver needs to pass time-consuming, rigorous and expensive tests, in the other, you have a dude with a mobile phone.
My sister was officially in labour. It was a little surreal since I just rolled over and continued to snooze, conscious of the pain she was about to endure and the chaotic hub of emotion about to let fly, but geographically and mentally I couldn't have felt further away. Winnipeg, CA - 3,630 miles away from Dublin city.
How do Japanese celebrate holidays? New Year is the biggest holiday of the year in Japan．Since 1873 Japanese have been celebrating New Year according to the Gregorian calendar on January 1 of each year, although some parts of Japan, such as Okinawa, still celebrate it according to the Chinese calendar.
Politicians do a disservice to the public to pretend otherwise. It is possible to celebrate difference while encouraging cohesion, but that is not by - out of fear or misplaced respect - ignoring the symbols that divide. It is possible to laud tolerance while criticizing those (flag-wavers?) who undermine it.
When it comes to cocktails the Cubans have been doing it right for years; The Mojito, The Daiquiri and The Cuba Libre each originated here, the hailed home of rum. Cuban bartenders were once hands-down the most celebrated in the world and their influence stretched far and wide. Feeling nostalgic? No need, Cuba's drinking culture lives on and it's just a cool as when it began.
The word "tradition" is so often misunderstood to mean the dragging heels of a conservative past, whereas modern traditions actually include our calendar customs such as Halloween and April Fools, our music and dance, our games and sports, almost all the foods we eat, the stories we tell, and so much more.
Our society is built around expectations. Expectations as to how we look, how we behave, the type of job we should have, the type of person we should marry, the trajectory our life should take. Often these aren't even conscience thoughts about a person, just things we naturally assume to be the case. But why?
As Christmas 2013 draws to a close, it must be said that I have plenty to be thankful for: my family are in fine health, I am generally happy, plus I got One Direction's calendar for the upcoming year. However, as the inevitable Christmas Day argument ensued, I began to ponder other annual occurrences that most families experience specifically during the festive season...