The perfect gift for everyone on your list
The key this year is local. If you can, buy your Christmas gifts from local suppliers this year. Ireland is a treasure trove of amazing products, whether it’s clothing, homeware, art, toys, stationery… whatever it is you’re after, really. And if the person you’re shopping for is in desperate need of a night out or short break away, or even just a small treat, a voucher to their favourite restaurant, café, hotel, guest house, spa, hairdressers, beauty or nail salon might be just the ticket, and would go a long way towards supporting Irish businesses that were hit especially hard this year by the lockdown. Ireland’s Blue Book is a great place to start if you’re not exactly sure where they’d like to go, while The Westbury in Dublin is a lovely option, as it can go towards a stay, meal, drinks or afternoon tea (and vouchers purchased before the end of November receive a 10% discount).
The list of Irish brands and creative businesses you can choose from is too long to cover adequately here, but here are just a few key suppliers we think you’ll find something pretty special from: One Time Before allows you to create a personalised storybook for your child, incorporating your own childhood stories to help them understand what life was like when you were little – a sure keepsake they’ll treasure forever that will bring you endless nights of bonding in the nearer future. Stable of Ireland creates beautiful cashmere and wool scarves for both men and women, plus accessories and stunning throws and blankets – a wonderful place to start for everyone on your list. Scout is another one-stop-shop for beautiful woollen and cashmere scarves and accessories, plus a gorgeous range of natural soaps, shampoos, candles and other self-care essentials that will feel like a real treat to the recipient; and their kids’ range of jumpers, scarves and hats are unbelievably adorable. We know little ones will have sent their well-thought-out lists to Santa, so it’s likely you’ll be ordering from Smyths and the like, but if you’re looking for something different, check out Jiminy for eco-friendly toys, and Lucy & Me for gorgeous playroom furniture and wooden dollhouses.
For beauty, check out Irish brands Skingredients by The Skin Nerd, Voya, Nunaïa, Modern Botany, The Burren Perfumery, The Handmade Soap Company, and Pestle & Mortar. For lovely items for the home with that personal touch, check out Jam Art Prints, Slated, Arran Street East, Article, Designist, Kilkenny, and Irish Design Shop. Ireland is home to a lot of great candlemakers, so if you’re looking to give the gift of home fragrance, there’s no reason to opt for the global brands; try Brooke & Shoals, Max Benjamin, FieldDay, Cloon Keen, and new natural, sustainable brand Put Your Feet Up, which was established in the midst of the pandemic. And don’t forget the books – avoid the likes of Amazon and support local bookshops (many in your own area will do click and collect or online orders and post out your items for delivery; they’re also wonderful sources of intel as to the best books for the person you’re shopping for… bookshop owners actually read and can offer you an informed recommendation!). Here are just a few we’d recommend, but again, check your neighbourhood: Dubray Books offers a free gift consultation service to help you shop for someone special; call 01 211 7090 (9am-6pm daily), email email@example.com or schedule an appointment online at dubraybooks.ie/dubray-gift-consultant. And these independent bookshops are well regarded for their knowledge and personal, attentive service: The Gutter Bookshop in Dublin City and Dalkey, Kennys in Galway, and Scéil Eile Books in Ennis, Co Clare.
From all of us at Unislim, have a safe and happy Christmas.