* ’Tis the season to be giving and all that — we like that Kilkenny stores will be offering a complimentary gift-wrapping service with customers invited to leave a donation for chosen charity, St Vincent de Paul. Kilkenny will match every euro donated, with all proceeds going to the charity. While you’re there, check out this cute Enchante Extendable Santa, €29.97. www.kilkennyshop.com
* Santa Claus will take time out of his very busy schedule to visit the Pavilion Christmas Market at Myrtle Hill, Ballygarvan, Co Cork. The market will feature local craft, artisan food, antiques, Santa Claus, farmyard animal crib, local school choirs, children’s entertainment and more Christmas treats. While you’re there, this gorgeous shopping bag in English Rose print could come in handy for carrying all the lovely goodies. €29.95. www.thepavilion.ie
* Bring a little of Marcel Wanders’ whimsy into the home this Christmas with his Fatman creation for Alessi. At €215, this colorfully painted, circular steel clown, unfolds to reveal a two-tiered cake stand. Imagine the aunties’ faces when they get their Christmas pud out from this little beauty. www.alessi.com
* If you’re in Douglas, Cork, pop into the pop up shop at St Patrick’s Woollen Mills. Sarah Smyth Interiors returns with a store bringing heirloom decorations and gifts, all presented within a homely drawing room feel. The store is open from 10am to 6pm, Monday to Saturday and has a rare but fair selection of gifts from Christmas decorations to festive cushions, candles to candelabras and even a pair of vintage skis and ski poles. For more information call in to the store, see www.sarahsmythinteriors.ie or like www.facebook.com/Christmas.by.Sarah.Smyth
* I always wanted a mannequin for my room, but I know there’s really no point because within seven minutes of appearing in there, it would be promptly covered up with a million bits and pieces, never to see the light of day again. And no self-respecting mannequin would wish to be subjected to such behaviour. I love this one, though. The Scandinavians know style, don’t they? It’s from SOUL Lifestyle, Beacon South Quarter; Powerscourt, Enniskerry and now in Arnott’s Homewares, cost €56.
* Cork artist Siobhan Duggan,has a motto — “What fills the eye fills the heart”. Her work has been recognised internationally, and she has unveiled new limited edition prints in time for Christmas which will raise funds for two animal charities; the Donkey Sanctuary and the Irish Guide Dogs. She has painted two donkeys and two dogs and each will have a limited edition run of just 50 prints, at €75 each, framed. with proceeds going to the charities. You can see the pieces on her facebook page www.facebook.com/siobhandugganartist. Her collection features all kinds of creatures from goats and geese to donkeys and dogs and can be found on www.siobhanduggan.ie
* Wouldn’t this melt the chilliest heart? Tufted applique cuddly polar bear on cotton Panama base with seasonal red piping, designed with love in Navan. €26.85. www.scatterbox.ie
* How handsome is this little fella? Handmade from Tipperary Tweed, each bear stands at 18” and has fully moving joints, which are, we are assured, child safe as is the bear stuffing and eyes. Available in a wide range of colours for €65, from swoop.ie where everything is handmade and Irish. Excellent.
* Jazz up the dinner table with the Royal Doulton Fable collection by Karolin Schnoor. From €8, available at Arnotts.
* Go quirky this Christmas with this fabulous rust stag head, €35 from Style 25. Drop into Deirdre in Drawbridge Street, Cork, for more alternative decor ideas. 087-9618593 and www.facebook.com/pages/Style-25.