What I got for Christmas: a baby, a 1,500-piece jigsaw, a 12-foot scarf
“I didn’t do too shabbily for presents myself, with my brother Seán getting me Neil Young’s Waging Heavy Peace. He knows me well. My sister Kate knitted me a Doctor Who scarf, surely 12 feet in length. She knows me well too.
“And, best of all, my niece and nephews gave me my Christmas present, which was a really cool set of Caran D’Ache watercolour pencils and watercolour paper. It was, as the comic-book guy from The Simpsons would never say: Best. Christmas. Ever.”
RÓISÍN O’DEA AND HER HUSBAND JOHNNY MURPHY, HEADFORT, CO GALWAY
Róisín: “My husband Johnny and I were going out together about 10 years, and we always spent Christmas apart. We got married this year and, as is tradition, Johnny came down to me this year to spend it with the bride’s family, so we had Christmas dinner with my parents and sister, and my aunt, in Headfort Co Galway.
“The day was not much different from the normal way. He knows us a long time now, and Mam made him a trifle in a break from our usual dessert tradition.
“I got practical presents for Johnny such as the top he is wearing in the picture and a sports bag, which he told me he needed. I work as a researcher on the Ray D’Arcy Show on Today FM and we had Ian Rush, the Liverpool FC legend, on a few weeks ago and I got him to sign a Christmas card to Johnny, as he is a massive Liverpool fan. I also got him a little funny couch potato toy, which has a slot for a remote control and snacks. He is a bit of a couch potato himself.”
Johnny: “Róisín’s family are a lot more into present-giving, and the ceremony of giving presents. They sit around the tree and one by one everyone opens their presents.
“I got Róisín a chain that she had her eye on. In terms of a fun present, I got her a ‘onesie’ in River Island. It was embarrassing having to ask someone working in the shop for her size.
“The Ian Rush card she got me was a massive surprise and the last present I opened. The couch potato present means now I have an excuse to use it. I can see that present really coming back to haunt Róisín.”
ANNIE WEST AND HER DAUGHTER AMY WEST, CO SLIGO
Annie: “On Christmas Day, there was the five of us, and my mother-in-law, who is nearly 90, and my brother-in-law and his wife came along after the dinner.
“I am awful to buy presents for, as I don’t need anything. So I think they go through this horrendous thing of trying to decide what to get me every year. I told my kids to buy me a jigsaw. I got a massive 1,500 piece jigsaw of the map of the world in the 1400s. I was up until 2am trying to get it started.
“My daughter Amy is the easiest to buy for at the moment. She is studying graphic design and I used to have a book by the designer Bob Gill that I robbed from college years ago. Then it disappeared, when someone robbed it off me. She told me a few weeks back that Bob Gill was speaking at a conference she was going to, so I had to look for the book and try to get her a copy. I managed to track one down, and she was over the moon.
“The farmer I am married to, Alan, doesn’t need anything. I got him a tie. He got me a turkey. We downplay the commercial aspect of it and I don’t understand spending a fortune on some shiny object.