NOW look. I know. It’s November and I’m already talking about Christmas gift guides. I KNOW! Ok? I know.
But there’s method in my madness. Some of the beautiful little handfuls of gorgeousness below are hand made and limited edition, so if you don’t get in early, you might miss out.
Plus, I’m a parent now, I can no longer browse for gifts in a timely fashion, instead I have to wait for The Beast to be occupied for five minutes and then panic buy on the internet and I want to spare you that. I want you to have a lovely list to hand, for all your gift needs so that you don’t end up with some monstrosity you purchased at 2am. I’m doing you a favour here!
So without further ado here’s my Christmas Gift Guide. (This is my guide for adults, I’ll be doing a children’s version later on in the month. These are all items that have simply caught my eye as lovely things, this Gift Guide isn’t affiliated with any of the companies featured here, I haven’t been sent anything for free, nor paid for this post, or sponsored for it in any way.)
- First up the stocking filler to beat all stocking fillers. A Bite Size Natural Skincare Set from Bia Beauty in County Cork, featuring a cleanser, moisturiser, eye gel and skin superfood. This little set features some of Bia Beauty’s most loved skincare, in a mini set so you can try them to see do they suit your skin, before buying the larger version. Packaged in a dinky little box, this sweet set is only €12.95 and the sample pots contain enough product for about ten days – two weeks depending on how much you use. A friend bought me this set earlier in the year and I just fell in love, I think everyone in the world that I know is going to be getting one of these for Christmas, my poor postman is going to develop a hernia lugging them up my driveway.
- Next up we have some beautiful stationery from Emily at The Nest, who is bringing back her stunning Book of Days journal for 2017. Full of brand new illustrations and paintings created in her studio in the Midlands, this gorgeous diary features a full colour velvety feeling cover with the inside leaves being a heavy silky material, with miniature landscapes printed throughout. There’s even a dinky envelope on the back page where you can keep important receipts. Priced at just €20 this is a truly unique gift. As well as the Book of Days, this year for the first time The Nest is introducing lined and unlined notebooks with beautiful original artwork on the front cover, priced at just €9 each, perfect for the stationery lover in your life. Pre-orders for the Book of Days finishes mid-November so if you want one, you’ll need to move fast.
- Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without some tree decorations and Letter Lane Studio based in County Limerick has created the most gorgeous wooden ornaments which would grace any tree, big or small. Made from birch plywood, the ornaments feature festive sayings like ‘Merry and Bright’ and ‘Jingle Bells’ and they can be bought individually or in a bundle. They’re €4 each or three for €10.
- If you’re looking for a small but perfectly formed gift for a colleague or your child’s teacher, look no further than Tara Robinson Designs, based in County Limerick, who has this beautiful slim bookmark available for just €15, which can be personalised with a name or date or even just a favourite quote. Stylish and practical.
- Also from Tara Robinson Designs check out this gorgeous leather cuff, which can also be personalised, a really unique gift for the love of your life. Priced at just €30 it’s sure to go down a storm.
- Most of us would mainly associate Tesco with groceries, but the supermarket also has a decent homewares section where you’ll find this pretty ceramic oil burner priced at just €5.60, which let’s face it is an absolute steal. Add in a wax melt, wrap it up in some crepe paper and ribbon and you have a really gorgeous gift for under your tree. I’ve already bought one of these for myself!
- While you’re in Tesco check out the clothes section where you’ll find Touchscreen Gloves in both men’s an women’s sizes. Both fabric and leather gloves, where the thumb and index fingers have a special kind of material which allows you to use your phone or tablet without having to take off your gloves. Nifty! I’m not really sure how it works, I suspect it’s magic. Prices range from about a fiver for basic gloves to around €15 for leather ones. As far as I’m aware Tesco is no longer delivering clothes etc, so you’ll have to buy in store.
- This Christmas give a year long gift with a magazine subscription. What’s better than getting post every month that’s not a bill? Exactly, nothing. Easons has a full range of subscriptions to choose from or you can go direct to the magazine of your choice. For example at the moment National Geographic is offering a year long subscription plus a free world map and a free fleece jacket, for just €39. Not too shabby at all!
- Combine Christmas with some activism. Why not give the gift of some original artwork from a group of pro-choice artists, part of the Someone You Love exhibition, with all proceeds going to the Abortion Support Network. Browse the catalogue here. A personal favourite is this piece from Irish artist Róisín Blade Illustrator.
- Sometimes the best gift is the gift of giving, so consider a donation to charity as a gift for someone this year. You can simply donate some money in a friend or relative’s name, or you can buy a little gift/trinket with the proceeds going toward the charity. You can even purchase medical supplies to send out to disaster zones, for example, with just a few clicks. Pretty much every charity in the world has the option to give a donation as a gift, so just get Googling and find a charity that means something to you. I’d be here all night if I listed off the various charities out there (you might get some ideas from last year’s Charity Guide) but I think this year my main international donation will be going to Médecins Sans Frontiéres (Doctors Without Borders) who are currently operating in Syria and Haiti.
Honourable mention: Gifts are all very well and good but for many of us it’s the Christmas cards that make Christmas so I want to give a shout out to Lemon Squeezy, based in County Mayo, who makes the quirkiest, most beautiful hand made cards in the world. She also makes beautiful perosnalised Santa cards as well which are sure to delight your little ones. Check her out, you won’t regret it!