* Patrick Bradley’s fabulous award winning container house, Grillagh House, is up for grabs — well for 24 hours: “I am giving up my house that featured on Grand Designs for a night, along with a stay at a hotel close by, which is one of the top countryside hotels in the Northern Ireland,” he says. All proceeds to the Simon Community NI. Enter online at: justgiving.com/PaddysGrandDesignDraw.
* Time to snuggle in and get those board games out. This colourful set will pass away some time with younger children and they can colour in the characters too, €3, Tiger Stores.
* BroSheets are a new, quirky Irish brand aimed at men who appreciate hotel quality luxury bedding, without the hefty price tag. Now live online, they could provide a great stocking filler for guys for Christmas. From €79 for a duvet cover, and €29 for a pillowcase, double sets in their Pinstripe or white families, €179, brosheets.com
* With their furry best friends, guide dogs Jack, Ube and Heidi, are Máire O’Leary, 5, and her two sisters, Cathy, 4, and Ena, 3, of Ballygarvan at The Pavilion Garden Centre, Ballygarvan, for the Pavilion Christmas Market, a fundraiser for the Cork-based charity. It takes place over two weekends from today. The market features local crafts and artisan food producers as well as Santa Claus, a farmyard animal crib, school choirs and children’s entertainment.
* Dr Louis Weyhe Funder and Klaus Kristian Sørensen have a special outlet here in Ireland, promoting the best of Nordic design. Shop online or visit them in Blackrock in Dublin, This Droobski lampshade in cardboard starts at €139 and they have a gift list from €40, nordicmakers.com
* Starting this weekend in Tralee, Ballyseedy is hosting Believe a magical world of busy elves, fairies, Mrs Claus, Chris the Town Crier and Santa himself in a 60-minute journey all under the North Pole Dome. An enchanting interactive experience for families to enjoy. ‘Believe’ runs until December 23.
* Want something gorgeous and bespoke for the season? I Am of Ireland, the highly celebrated online store is staging a winter exhibition showcasing their carefully curated collection of Irish art and crafts just a few minutes’ drive from Youghal in Co Cork. The exhibition continues right up to December 24, open daily from 10am to 6pm. For appointments and enquiries please call Emma Hall: 087- 7997317
* Designed by Michael Graves 30 years ago this year, the Alessi whistling kettle with the famous bird on its spout became one of the icons of 20th century design, and has this year been joined by the dragon spout. Any collector would be thrilled to get a piece of Graves-designed Alessi this Christmas. Creamer €50, bowl €60, kettle €119 (depending on spout). Suppliers include Debenhams and Brown Thomas, Cork & Dublin.