Dr Ciara Kelly: 'Spare a thought for those not feeling the spirit of Christmas'
Happy Feast of the Immaculate Conception to you. Not to be confused with the virgin birth - Jesus being conceived without sex -the immaculate conception was Mary, mother of God, being c
The booze shopping - only at Christmas do we imagine that we need to have the whole contents of a bar available in case anyone drops round - even though no-one drops round anymore and most of us have disconnected our doorbells.
The school WhatsApp groups are a minefield as people try to decide, if a fiver or a tenner, is the acceptable contribution to various collections for various people. It isn't even just the fact that all that money adds up. It's the stress of organising eight small presents per child, on top of everything else.
But the real issue that makes some people dread Christmas isn't the money, the stress or the work load. I think the hardest part for people is probably the fact that Christmas shines a giant fairy light on what you don't have by way of friends or family.
Or you are the only person who hasn't pulled together a giant group of friends who have your back and whom you can laugh and cry with.
Feeling out of step with the 'Joy to the World' narrative isn't easy. And who do you say it to? Admitting to loneliness, or despair, is difficult at the best of times. Admitting it at Christmas is nearly impossible.
Maybe invite a friend you haven't seen for coffee. Or maybe ask someone you know doesn't have many people in their life - around for a plate of food. Maybe reach out with your time and your company, rather than just your cash.
Easing someone's loneliness is probably the best present you could ever give them.Read more: Independent.ie
Event Guide: Christmas happenings this weekend to get you in the festive spiritWondering what to do this weekend to get into the Christmas spirit?
Orange weather warning issued as country to feel effects of Storm Atiyah - Independent.ieAN orange weather warning will be in place from 9am on Sunday for eight counties. Call Greta she can protect us from the evil wind Why in the fuck would you name it 'Atiyah'?
Katie Byrne: 'Fairy lights, camera, reaction: The scourge of the Instagram Christmas tree' - Independent.ieIs your Christmas tree up yet? And by up, I mean on Instagram, where it has presumably been decorated with likes and festooned with compliments and heart-eyed emojis. When I was a kid, Christmas Trees were green, not this artsy, fartsy crap. Utter shite.
Your Money: 16 tips on how to avoid the financial strain this Christmas - Independent.ieThere are less than three weeks to go, and you may be in a fluster. I'm a firm believer in forward planning, so this week I thought I'd look at the best ways to get ahead before Christm Send everyone your love for Christmas. 1 don't spend money you don't have You need 16. I'll give you 1. Treat it like any other day, and don't spend more money than you take it. It really not rocket science.
Christmas Corkers: 100 wines for the festive season - Independent.ieChristmas wine is not just for the big day, it makes sense to plan ahead and have a few bottles to cover all occasions, from casual whites and reds for informal occasions, to family fav
In Pictures: Belgian man decks out his garden with 25,000 Christmas lights - Independent.ieThe Belgian village of Hamme-Mille became Christmas central on Saturday when 'Elf Serge' turned on more than 25,000 lights in his garden. Very nice Not as bright as the forest fires ragging around the planet !