Esther N McCarthy has a quick shuffle through the price brackets for her pick of the festive season’s wishes.
Happy Homes in Dhaka, Bangaladesh, is supported by ActionAid and provides somewhere safe for homeless girls to sleep, to get essential healthcare and education and take part in daily activities to help them overcome the difficulties they face. For €18 you can give the gift of play, this will buy toys for a little girl with no family of her own. Check out www.gifts.actionaid.ie for more information and a full range of ethical gifts. Toys, €18.
These stylish battery-operated candle lanterns are giving us a warm glow all over. A nice gift for a neighbour, perhaps. Available for €13.95 from Griffins Garden Centre, Dripsey. www.griffinsgardencentre.ie
For something different for the sporty spice in the family, have a squint at these personalised handcrafted 26” Irish hurleys. Enter the family name to create your unique family crest coat of arms hurley. The surname will appear on the shaft or you can pick an alternative message. €37.99 from www.irelandsshowcase.com and don’t forget to allow up to one week for it to be prepared and for delivery.
For the music dude, and not a bad coffee table book either, think about The Guitar Collection by Tony Bacon. The artbook is a beautiful collection of images and texts featuring some of the most notable guitars and the guitarists who used them from the past 100 years. The book comes with a 10” vinyl of Smoke On The Water, recorded in 1989. €49.95 from www.earbooks.net
A Season of Sundays 2014, sponsored by Carroll’s, is an annual book, this year focusing on the 2014 GAA season, the highlights, lowlights and off-beat moments for the GAA enthusiasts out there. €24.95 in bookstores nationwide and online at www.sportsfile.com
Made near Ballinspittle in Co Cork, La Bougie have some beautiful products. I got a gift of a room diffuser last year, and it’s still going. Fierce exotic names such as Dark Rose & Myrtle, woody and zesty Sage and Bitter Orange and fresh and floral Lichen and Winter Jasmine. The room diffuser fragrances are €29.95 and I can attest to the long lasting reeds, but you can get replacements for €19.95.
This ingenious EZ store and display Li’l Davinci art cabinet is a great pressie for parents out there. It can boost your little artists’ self esteem, encourage your children’s artistic talent and build a time capsule of treasured mementos. It collects all your children’s art work and certificates into one handy cabinet. It frames up to 50 A4 pieces and costs €28.95, www.birthdaygifts4children.ie
If there’s a big cheese in your life, they might fancy this gift. A Big Cheesy Christmas Hamper to make their very own Mozzarella and ricotta cheese. Each kit makes 10 batches of cheese, in about an hour. Sounds simple. The hamper includes the kit, as pictured, as well as a cheese board, a cake kit, the Big Cheese chutney, mince pie flavoured popcorn and a bottle of The Big Red wine. Available for €80 from www.bigcheesemakingkit.com . A Big Cheese kit is also available from www.mrmiddleton.com at €29.99 The kit contains enough ingredients to make 10 batches of cheese and includes step by step instructions as well as citric acid, organic sea salt, vegetarian rennet, butter muslin and dairy thermometer. You don’t need any fancy equipment at home, just a large pan and a spoon. The range includes Mozzarella & Ricotta Cheese Kit and a Goat’s Cheese Kit, also at €29.99
If you have a coffee devotee that needs a nice pressie, why not give them membership of the 2015 Robert Roberts Coffee Connoisseur Club. The fee of €49.99 gets the bean bunnies eight special coffee deliveries every six weeks from different locations across the world. It comes with preparation and tasting notes, a nifty folder in which to house ‘coffee knowledge’ and a certificate that can be presented to a loved one at Christmas. The coffee is hand-roasted 1-2 weeks prior to posting and the coffees chosen are 100% Arabica and in limited supply, so are not available to buy just any old place. www.Robert-Roberts.ie
The blue, New Looxs Alba double pannier bag is a stylish and practical accessory for safely carrying your bits and bobs on the bike, ideal for everyday use and a nice present for the cyclist in your life. Available in a range of colours and prints, €64.99 from The Bike Shed, Barrack Street, Cork, 086-6028228 or find them on Facebook.
Alan Horgan designs classic and contemporary bespoke furniture from his studio in Cork’s Blackwater Valley. This gorgeous Elm knife holder is a good example of his blend of practicality and beauty and Alan locally sources his timber where possible and recycles waste products, so it’s environmentally friendly to boot. €60 from www.alanhorganstudio.com
A small bit of shameless promotion here, but this is a really a lovely gift from the Irish Examiner archive. It’s a complete edition of the newspaper from the day you were born. The birthday edition is hand-bound and includes major news events from that decade, including all of the All-Ireland football and hurling finals. You can order online — www.irishexaminer.com/shop or call 01 295 2173. The €120 plus €10.50 delivery includes personalised embossing on cover and don’t forget to allow five to seven working days for delivery before Christmas.
All that glitters can be gold, like this 9ct yellow gold and diamond ring €495 from the RARE Pebble Christmas Collection. Available in silver, 9ct and 18ct gold and diamonds, – perfect for the festive season and the glamor puss in your life. 01-5557220. www.facebook.com/RareJewelleryDesign
Do shaol... do thuras (Your life... your journey) claims this gorgeous silver and gold ring with a diamond. Based in Schull, West Cork, Enibas stocks designers like Alan Ardiff, Chupi, Maureen Lynch as well as its own collection designed and handcrafted by Sabine Lenz. This ring is €129 and more information is on www.enibas.com
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