What to buy for the most awkward people in your life this Christmas

From the family mutt to the guy who works with your husband, Esther N McCarthy has selecting presents all wrapped up

Fadó, fadó, gifts at Christmas were a simple affair. A toy for the child, a box of chocolates for the mother, socks for the dad, and a box of biscuits for everyone else. Thanks a million, job done, let’s have some turkey now.

For better or for worse, the present-giving circle has rippled out of all control. The teacher, the boss, the godfather, his wife and kids, the au pair and her three friends, the neighbour’s new puppy and the dentist receptionist who squeezes you in for a last-minute appointment.

It’s hard work, but fear not, we have some suggestions for those hard-to-buy-for people on your list this year.

But, if all else fails, there’s nothing at all wrong with a nice box of biscuits.

The Best Friend Who Needs a Break

Monart Spa offers lots of treats, including a new-year package.
Monart Spa offers lots of treats, including a new-year package.

Give the gift of peace to your bestie with a Monart Destination Spa voucher.

Located just outside Enniscorthy, Co Wexford, Monart offers all sorts of luxurious treatments, including a new year retreat, Pilates Reformer breaks, a visit from world-renowned masseur Matthew Gale every summer and a visit from two Shaolin masters each autumn. See monart.ie An added bonus, all vouchers are expiry-date free. And sure she might need to you to come along for the company. Win, win.

The Little Girl Next Door

Three has partnered up with children’s charity Barnardos to present the magical story of ‘The Girl and the Cloud’.
Three has partnered up with children’s charity Barnardos to present the magical story of ‘The Girl and the Cloud’.

Three has partnered up with children’s charity Barnardos to present the magical story of The Girl and the Cloud. Not only are you giving a lovely gift, but you’re getting a tick in the ‘nice’ column too, as all proceeds go to Barnardos and the 13,000 families they will support this festive season. Featuring the work of the renowned Bantry illustrator Mark Wickham, it’s on sale now for €8.99 in 3Stores, Eason stores nationwide and all Barnardos stores.

The Little Boy Next Door

Skellig Wars are sharing the force this Christmas, T- shirts, from €24 and hoodies, from €39.
Skellig Wars are sharing the force this Christmas, T- shirts, from €24 and hoodies, from €39.

Let the force be with the little ‘Star Wars’ fans with a Skellig Wars T-shirt. Nothing says happy Christmas like a cool tee celebrating both the ancient world of Irish monks and the blockbuster world of modern Hollywood, am I right?

T- shirts, €24 and hoodies, €39 from www.skelligwars.com.

The Family Mutt

Christmas pet jumpers €6.99 from Aldi stores.
Christmas pet jumpers €6.99 from Aldi stores.

Ah sure, it’s nice to have something under the tree for Fido, isn’t it? Let your furry baby join in the excitement of Christmas morning with this cosy jumper from Aldi. Choose from fair isle in blue or pink, Santa, reindeer or merry Christmas designs. The come in sizes S-L and are on sale in all 128 Aldi stores nationwide this week for €6.99 while stocks last.

The Cousin Who Just Got a Mortgage and Can’t Afford To Hang Around in Coffee Shops For A While

Nespresso Magimix Inissia black coffee machine, €99.
Nespresso Magimix Inissia black coffee machine, €99.

Introduce them to a home espresso experience with the Inissia machine, with its simple, chic design, and fun colours to make the coffee experience a pure pleasure. Priced at €99, it is available in the Nespresso Boutique, Duke Street, Dublin and in the Nespresso boutiques in Brown Thomas Dublin and Cork and from www.nespresso.com.

The Godfather Who Actually Babysits the Kids

iD are offering a prepay Christmas gift bundle that includes a 4G smartphone, along with a special gift: A virtual reality headset, a Jawbone UP2 fitness tracker, or Bluetooth stereo headphones, from €99.
iD are offering a prepay Christmas gift bundle that includes a 4G smartphone, along with a special gift: A virtual reality headset, a Jawbone UP2 fitness tracker, or Bluetooth stereo headphones, from €99.

You need to keep this fella sweet. iD are offering a prepay Christmas gift bundle that includes a 4G smartphone, along with a special gift: A virtual reality headset, a Jawbone UP2 fitness tracker or Bluethooth stereo headphones, from €99. The offer lasts until December 24, and you can save an extra tenner if buy online at www.idmobile.ie. You can also get them at Carphone Warehouse or iD stores nationwide.

The Mum You Share Party Drop Offs With

The Body Shop personalised body butter, €20.99.
The Body Shop personalised body butter, €20.99.

This is a thoughtful gift, but not too expensive. You simply select a Body Shop body butter for €20.95 and pick the animal you want on the lid and you can print the name of the recipient. It completely eliminates the recipient re-gifting it. Ha! This service is only available in the Grafton Street store in Dublin.

The Guy Who Works with The Husband Who Always Gets Him Something, So You Better Get Him Something In Return

Regatta Great Outdoors navy sleet hat, €20.
Regatta Great Outdoors navy sleet hat, €20.

How awkward was it last year when the fella came home with a gift from a workmate and was entirely nonchalant about not giving anything back?

Morto.

Make sure you get in first this year with this snuggly Regatta Great Outdoors navy sleet hat at €20.

The Muinteor

Modern Botany Oil, a unisex product, €35.
Modern Botany Oil, a unisex product, €35.

Getting the right gift for the teacher can be tough. They’re probably blue in the face from tins of Roses and bath salts.

Getting your child to make them something is probably the best thing to do, but you know, if you don’t have the time to order a kiln to fire his/her own mug, try this Modern Botany Oil. It’s 100% natural oil (unisex too) that can be used on the skin, hair, and nails.

The ingredients include calendula, arnica, flax and chamomile, all ethically sourced. It sells for €35 from Lloyds Pharamacies, and selected Lifestyle stores.

The Granny

Happy Homes in Dhaka, Bangladesh, is supported by ActionAid and provides somewhere safe for homeless girls to sleep. €18 will buy a toy.
Happy Homes in Dhaka, Bangladesh, is supported by ActionAid and provides somewhere safe for homeless girls to sleep. €18 will buy a toy.

Your grandmother most likely bought you some of your favourite toys as a child, so she might like the idea of helping to give something special to a little girl with no family of her own: The gift of play.

Happy Homes in Dhaka, Bangladesh, is supported by ActionAid and provides somewhere safe for homeless girls to sleep, to get essential healthcare and education.

As a token of your donation, they will send you a paper card and bookmark. Check out gifts.actionaid.ie for more information and a full range of ethical gifts. Toys, €18

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