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Festive tidings from our rich and famous

Christmas was once a private family ritual. But in the age of Twitter, all manner of yule-tide shenanigans goes online

By Victoria O'Hara

Christmas holidays used to be a time when celebrities could step away from the public glare.

But some of Northern Ireland's best known faces have taken to social media to share thoughts and moments in their homes during the festive period.

Photos of turkeys, pets dressed up in festive outfits and with their loved ones have been posted on Twitter for all to see.

Giving a glimpse into how they were spending the holiday period, stars from across television, music and sport tweeted messages for fans to read and share.

Golfing champ Rory McIlroy showed he was enjoying a few days of relaxation away from the golf course with his family - but revealed he was still enjoying watching sport.

With golf on a television and a glass of red wine sitting on a table, he wrote: "No better way to spend Christmas Eve than watching this with my dad."

Broadcasters Eamonn Holmes and his wife Ruth Langsford also tweeted pictures of him transformed into Santa for the big day.

Two photos of the This Morning presenter dressed in the big red suit and white beard with his wife sitting on his lap were posted onto Twitter.

He said: "Santa has a Dilemma. @RuthieeL says she has been Good. But she forgets Santa sees everything. Pressie or Bag of Soot?"

Meanwhile, Ruth also wished her followers a Merry Christmas and included a picture of their dog dressed in a festive scarf.

She tweeted: "Happy Christmas my lovely Twitter friends from @EamonnHolmes Ruth, Jack & Maggie! Have a wonderful day".

Former Blue Peter presenter Zoe Salmon showed that she was spending time in the kitchen with her family with a snapshot of the festive meal being prepared.

She wrote: "My dad and the turkey... #ShowMeYourTurkey #ChristmasDay2014."

The man with the self-styled biggest show in the country, Stephen Nolan, revealed there was some minor drama in his kitchen on Christmas day. "Somehow - and this is true - Big Audrey lost the gravy today," he said. But the man who had successfully lost stones in weight during the last 12 months also said he was enjoying his food.

"But the turkey and potatoes were lovely. Strawberry vienetta &jelly next," he added.

The Radio Ulster and 5 Live presenter later tweeted that his thoughts had turned to feeling blessed to have his family around him.

"I'm sitting here bantering mum about spuds being cold & she is shouting back. I'm actually thinking how lucky I am that she is still alive," he said.

Meanwhile, Belfast boxer Paddy Barnes posted a lovely picture of him and his daughter on Christmas morning.

Wearing a festive red dressing gown and pyjamas and arm around his daughter, he jokingly said: "Told her Santa isn't real!"

And Snow Patrol's Jonny McDaid, from Co Londonderry, who this year got engaged to Hollywood actress Courteney Cox, shared a photo of the couple together.

"Happy Holiday times with my girl @CourteneyCox," he said.

Winter Olympic snowboarder Aimee Fuller braved the cold and tweeted a picture of herself and friends in the freezing local waters.

"Christmas Eve dip in the Belfast Lough!! @DiscoverNI woop," she said.

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