Grand pants, Tayto globes, and more

Forget the socks and smelly candles, Jonathan deBurca Butler picks some weird and wacky gifts to spice up your Christmas stockings

Grand pants, Tayto globes, and more

EVERY year, Christmas comes in like a maniacal child and goes out like a bloated and hungover stuffed toy. At the end of it we are left with nice memories, vouchers we may never use, endless pairs of socks and, if you’re my auntie, another smelly candle. But there is more to Christmas than just jumpers with reindeers and if you look around there are some really bizarre and interesting gifts for every budget.

OSI maps

Ordnance Survey Ireland are offering prints of historical maps of cities, towns and villages around Ireland for €70. Using modern technology matched with an archive of maps dating as far back as 1837, the OSi will provide you with a map of your town or village as it was in the 1800s. A nice idea for those who live abroad.

* www.osi.ie for more details

Va-Va-Voom

If you’re willing to spend a bit on that speed merchant in your life then Rally Ireland are offering a day of driving around their track in Scotstown, Co Monaghan for €445. The price includes two rally stages in a BMW 325i, two stages in a Nissan 350Z and two stages in a Ferrari. One stage is equivalent to six laps around a 1.1km track. * www.rallyschoolireland.ie

‘Crisp’ white snow

He has become something of a legend over the years and now there is even a theme park in his honour. But you can have a bit of Mr Tayto on your mantelpiece this Christmas for just €6.99 with a wonderful Mr Tayto snowglobe. Well worth its salt … and vinegar.

* www.taytocrisps.ie

Oh-Jingle-Bells

If a friend or family member likes singing but has never pushed themselves, this package from songgift.ie might just get them out of the shower and on the road to fame. For €99 the gift recipient can record a track of their choice. The company recently added a studio in Youghal to their impressive list of available studios across the country.

* www.songgift.ie

I’m smokin’ in the rain, just …

Poor smokers get a tough time these days so why not give them a break or just stop them from moaning with an outside smoker’s kit. It includes an umbrella (obviously) with an attachable ashtray for £13.50 (€17).

* www.prezziesplus.co.uk

Fly me to the Moon

You could be waiting a couple of years for this one but if you have a spare $200,000 (€155k) you can book a sub-orbital-flight in space. Virgin Galactic are still testing their spacecraft and although they have failed to pin down an actual date for the first flight they have said it will be soon.

* www.virgingalactic.com

That’s pants

Ok, so we did say you might be sick of socks and jocks but these are a bit special. For €18.99, you can obtain a pair of Emergency Canned Pants from www.grandgrand.ie. These are basically a pair of green Y-fronts in a can with the word ‘GRAND’ emblazoned on the backside and a patriotic harp on, what they call the ‘business side’. And they come in a can so you can carry them around for, erm, emergencies.

Please Please Me

For the foodie and Beatles fan in your life why not try a Sergeant Pepper Mill. It’s tall and red and looks a bit like Paul McCartney with that wonderful handlebar moustache of the time. A cute addition to the kitchen cupboard for €17.45.

* www.iwantoneofthose.com

Poor Teddy

For the loved one with a weird sense of humour, you can get a teddy-bear lamp for €125. It has the body and limbs of a cuddly lil’ teddy bear but that smiling face has been replaced with a lampshade. Designed by Matthew Kinealy this gift is a bit dark even if it ultimately gives light.

* www.suck.co.uk

New you

You’ll need to have a strong relationship for this one but if you do why not get someone a makeover for Christmas? There are vouchers for makeovers, personal shopping and a consultation with a personal stylist from €50 to €420. Be careful who you buy for.

*www.fashionstylists.ie

Nothing

Don’t buy anyone anything and instead get them to help you give the money you would have spent getting them presents to people who have nothing. Instead of spending €500 on presents, buy 100 gourmet sandwiches and hand them out to the homeless. That really would make for a memorable Christmas.

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