Wishlist: Must-have Christmas gifts and the joy of Ikea

From past times to exciting times, Esther N McCarthy wraps up some must-have gifts.

How adorable are these Santa Christmas decorations? They’re the creation of Argentinean Guadalupe Cabrera, who sketches, designs and handmakes every piece herself in her studio in Dublin. Available to purchase online for €12 here.

A lovely addition to any Christmas stocking is our very own Irish Examiner / Evening Echo 2018 Calendar. It’s called Times Gone By and we’ve scoured our archives to include a beautiful selection of black and white images of Cork. One of my favourites is the photograph of Patrick’s Hill captured in 1905. Besides the clothing of the people and the horse and cart, it hasn’t changed a whole lot. Readers can order online from Irish Examiner photo sales website or pop into our Oliver Plunkett Street shop, Tel. 021 4802 393. The calendar is yours for €10 and a donation of €1 from every calendar sold will be made to Cork Penny Dinners.


Exciting times people. First, we get the news about a spanking new online shopping channel giving me, I mean, everyone, access to IKEA 24/7. Now we hear that Carrigtwohill in East Cork is being lined up by the Swedish retailers for its second full retail store here in the Republic. Oh, happy day.


I love this Touch Mel London serving bowl from Avoca, what beautiful colours. Perfect for festive dinner party. It’s €36.95, find out more here.

You can’t beat a piece of art that makes you think. Presenting “Crop Rotation” by the talented Wexford-born artist, Jimmy Lawlor. This is part of the Killarney Art Gallery’s Christmas Exhibition 2017. Gallery owner, Declan Mulvany, promises there’s something for everyone here. Find out more at here.


I love these Irish-made Arckits that have just hit the shelves. Perfect for any budding builders out there, they’re the brainchild of Irish architect, Damien Murtagh. He says he hopes the play kits will “encourage kids to use the power of their imagination to design and build their own dream cities”. If your little ones are into Lego or Minecraft, these kits will be right up their street.

See what I did there? They come with unique components inspired by iconic styles of world architecture and can be built as solo units or with each other. They start at €19.99 to €69.99 and are available worldwide in the likes of MoMA and Guggenheim New York. Here you’ll find them in Easons, Art&Hobby, and Arnotts.


I spotted this traditional design at the Tiny Traders Village in Galway recently. They’re made by Michael Mhat and this one is €20, he has lots more designs, check them out here.


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