Home comforts

The ideal gifts for anyone spending Christmas away from the auld sod

Food operators
One of the things emigrants often miss most about home are our culinary delights which hold a special place in Irish culture, from packets of Tayto to Barry's tea. While there are many companies now set up in places such as Australia and America, Just Like Home is a one-stop online shop where you can order and send food hampers from Ireland to many locations overseas. A deluxe hamper (€49.99) contains everything from Hula Hoops to Munchies to Lyons and Barry's tea. Postage to the US and Australia is either €10 or €22, depending on the size of the hamper, and it takes five to seven days to get to the US or Australia. See justlikehome.ie

True colours
The most consistent piece of clothing for many young emigrants is their county GAA jersey and the GAA Store online is one of the largest website for a variety of GAA-related merchandise and products. You'll get beanie hats and jerseys, gloves, pyjamas (below) and calendars. Shipping costs vary, but, for example, a 2,000g package to Australia will set you back €20.95 and carries a five-10 working- day delivery. The site also has links to some club items, such as jerseys, so you could send an emigrant an item from their local parish, helping the village team go global. thegaastore.com

ET, phone home
The digital age has made keeping in touch with emigrants a whole lot easier, but with new ways of keeping in touch comes new pieces of equipment that emigrants need. Argos has a good range of webcams that are compact and could be shipped easily to the other side of the world . For more high-tech options, try dabs.ie, which has webcams from a few euro up to €1,000, bose.ie has a stylish range of headsets and headphones, and you'll pay somewhere between €100-€200 for a good set.

Like, total tee
Several clothing companies are producing products that contain phrases and sayings that are uniquely Irish. One of the best known is the Hairy Baby company from Cork, who produce a line of Father Ted T-shirts as well as clothing featuring television shows from past eras such as Bosco and Nighthawks. The company recently began offering a range based on the hugely popular Sminky Shorts series (above), and it also does children's clothes. It typically takes about six days for an order to be processed; normal delivery times apply. For more details see hairybaby.com


Amazing Amazon
With so much of our buying done online, sending an Amazon gift card is particularly appealing, seeing as they never expire and can be used from anywhere in the world to buy everything from books to clothing – and they can also be redeemed against Kindles. They can be bought for amounts as low as 20 cents to more than €2,000. They can be delivered by personalised email, a gift card on someone's Facebook page or traditional post and they come with a free gift card or gift box. See amazon.com

Going postal
Cut-off dates with An Post are coming up fast. For parcels it is December 6th for the US and Australia and December 13th for mainland Europe.

For letters, it is December 6th for Australia, December 11th for the US, December 19th for mainland Europe and for parcels and letters it is December 19th for Britain and December 20th for Northern Ireland.

An Post also operates an international courier service; anpost.ie