With Christmas day fast approaching, many people find themselves lost in the mania of the preparation for the holidays.

Despite most people in Ireland being less well off financially this year, here at IrishCentral.com we think we is more important than ever to give thanks for what we have and so in true Christmas spirit we have come up the top ten people of 2010 to celebrate.

Michael Flatley

Love him or hate him, this is man who is still flying the flag for Irish dance around the world. The Lord of the Dance creator recently embarked on yet another world tour, which showcases the true talent and beauty of Irish dance. Talking about his age recently Flatley said 50 is the new 30.

READ MORE- Michael Flatley is the top lord again

Emma Donoghue

Just one of Ireland’s countless literary talented, Emma Donoghue wowed critics this year with her latest novel “Room”. The Irish writer’s seventh novel was shortlisted for the 201 Man Booker Prize. Born in Dublin, the award winning author now lives in Canada with her family.

Narrowly missing out on one of the world’s most coveted literary prizes, Emma reminds us why Ireland was once described as the land of saints and scholars.

READ MORE- Irish author Emma Donoghue philosophical after Booker miss

Conan O’Brien

Considered one of the funniest Irish-Americans around, Conan O’Brien had a tough year after his late night talk show with NBC was bumped by Jay Leno.  Walking away with a golden handshake, Conan launched his new show entitled “Conan” in November with cable television station TBS.

From a whale watching incident with Tom hanks to a dance lesson with Chritstina Aguilera, Conan’s new slot has proved to be a popular, testifying to the funnyman’s talent.

READ MORE- Tom Hanks drenched in water on Conan O'Brien's new show-SEE VIDEO

Maureen O’Hara

Celebrating her 90th birthday earlier this year, Maureen O’Hara still remains one of Ireland’s favorite Hollywood starlets. Fit, healthy and more glamorous than ever, O’Hara recently told the Irish press that it is one of her dreams to discover Irish acting talent. Plans for a new drama center have been unveiled in her west Cork home village in her honor.

With her trademark red locks, the Quiet Man star recently posed for the latest Newbridge silverware line, showing the world that even in her retirement, she still has the star quality.

READ MORE- Maureen O'Hara gives some sage advice to Irish models

Olivia Wilde

Probably the hottest Irish-American star in Hollywood right now, Olivia Wild’s career continued to flourish this year. Having first rose to stardom playing the role of Dr. Remy Hadley in medical drama “House”, her latest film sees the Irish beauty transform herself to play the female lead of Quorra in “Tron Legacy”.

Born to Irish parents, the 26-year-old has spent a considerable amount of time in the Emerald Isle. Having studied at the Gaiety School of Acting in Dublin, she claims that was “instrumental to (her) success”.

READ MORE- Olivia Wilde is grateful for her Irish roots – SEE PHOTOS + VIDEOS

Gabriel Byrne

Another celebrated Irish actor, Gabriel Byrne has never forgotten his Irish roots. Outspoken about his views on Ireland’s ailing economy, the award winning actor makes regular trips to Ireland to donate his time to charities such as the Irish Hospice Foundation.

The “In Treatment” star was appointed as Ireland’s first and only cultural ambassador last March by the Irish Prime Minister.

READ MORE- Ambassador Gabriel Byrne calls on new Irish leader to 'fill vacuum'

The Rubberbandits

 Becoming a Youtube sensation over the past week, the Limerick comedy duo have reminded us all the importance of laughter in times of hardship.

Their comedy single “Horse Outside” is a good lesson in cutting back on costs.

READ MORE- The Rubberbandits ‘Horse Outside’ gets almost 1.5 million hits on YouTube – SEE VIDEOS

Mary Byrne

“X-Factor” star Mary Byrne was thrust into the public limelight this year when she appeared in the Simon Cowell’s talent show. The 51-year-old Dublin woman wowed judges with her performances on the show and made it to the final stages.

She may not have won the coveted spot, but she has secured a record deal which means that this is only the start for the talented single mother.

READ MORE- Mary Byrne signs record deal- SEE VIDEO
Jane Lynch

This Glee star was recently nominated for a Golden Globe for her role of Sue Sylvester in the hit musical comedy series. The Irish-American actress also scooped an Emmy earlier this year for the same star role.

Lynch opening speaks about overcoming her battle with alcohol and coming out after splitting from her husband, showing everyone how her determination won through in the end.

READ MORE- Irish American stars win big at the 2010 Emmy Awards - SEE VIDEO

Your average Irish paddy

In the wake of one of the harshest budgets in the history of the Irish state, it is no surprise to anyone that Irish people have had a rough time of it this year. But despite the economic hardship, they will protest, they will march but above, they will survive.

READ MORE- An old pub, a cold day, a warm welcome - despite all the hard times, Irish spirits still up