The Irish expat community reveal what they really miss at Christmas

With an estimated 1m Irish-born people living abroad and many not returning home again this Christmas, research conducted by The Paddy Box, a box of Irishness that is delivered worldwide, has revealed what quintessentially Irish Christmas traditions expats miss most.

When asked what Irish Christmas traditions people miss when spending Christmas away from home, the local pub comes out on top. A whopping 63% of respondents said festive drinks in their local and the chance to reconnect with friends at Christmas time. Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve was the next most popular answer followed by Horse Racing on St. Stephen’s Day, The Panto and a Christmas Day Swim following close behind.

While the local pub reigns supreme, what do Irish emigrants miss the morning after festive drinks? The top hangover cure is unsurprisingly the hot chicken fillet roll with 29% of people surveyed saying they missed this iconic Irish snack. A close second on the list was the breakfast roll (23%), which Irish comedian Patt Short once sang so passionately about! Tayto crisps also proved a popular hangover cure with 18% craving the famous Irish crisps brand.

Staying on the subject of food, Irish people abroad said they missed a Christmas morning fry-up with 38% saying they craze a ‘full Irish’ with real Irish sausages. A tin of Cadbury Roses on Christmas Day came second, with 15% saying they missed the mix of the classic tin of choccies.

When it comes to our characteristics as a nation the overwhelming feature Irish people living abroad miss is our ‘sense of humour’ with a huge 67% saying they missed our unapologetic banter that can’t be replicated abroad. The Irish have forever been known for our warmth and hospitality so it’s no surprise that 21% of Irish people abroad surveyed saying they miss the Irish ‘friendliness’. Other notable traits were our obsession with talking about the weather and the ‘Irish Goodbye’!

As an Irish person living abroad how do you make it feel a bit more like home? This was the question The Paddy Box asked, with the Late Late Toy Show coming out on top. A very significant 35% said streaming Ireland’s most watched show (and what is now arguably an ‘Irish institution’) helped it feel more like Christmas which is not surprising as RTE announced this week that viewers watched this year’s show from *150 countries, including from all 50 states in the USA and all eight Australian territories. When it comes to music 25% of people said playing The Pogues, Fairytale of New York on repeat helped give that nostalgic feeling of home!

Speaking about the findings, Founder of The Paddy Box, Mark Loftus says, “We ship to over 30,000 Irish people living abroad every year, so we hear daily what people are missing most and our care boxes are tailored to this. Our survey findings demonstrate what a unique country Ireland is when it comes to our tastes, activities, and personality traits and this becomes even more apparent at Christmas time. It’s hard to sum-up what being Irish is in words but living abroad really drives our uniqueness home!”

Have friends or family living abroad and not coming home this Christmas? Well fear not… a care package for anyone missing Christmas back home in Ireland has arrived just in time for the festive celebrations. Forget the socks and scarves, what people abroad really want is a nod to our unique Irish culture and this comes in the form of The Paddy Box. Bursting with quintessentially Irish staples like Tayto crisps, Barry’s Tea and Cadbury chocolate, a gift of a Christmas Paddy Box is guaranteed to bring a bit of nostalgia with all the prep, packaging and postage done for you! The Christmas Box is priced at €59.95 and is available at



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