Left it too late to post presents home from abroad? Don’t panic
These gifts for all the family can be ordered online in time for Christmas delivery
The perfect gift: Snowcovered landscape reflected in the lake, at Glendalough, Co Wicklow. Photograph: Eric Luke
A Heron flies over the waterfall on the Dodder river. Photograph: Cyril Byrne
The Irish Hotair Ballooning Championships over Trim during early morning sunrise. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons
Colourful dawn over Dublin as the sunlight created colours in the morning sky. Photograph: Cyril Byrne
Foggy day on Dollymount Strand. Photograph: Eric Luke
Missed the closing date for sending parcels back to family and friends in Ireland in time for Christmas? Fear not; we’ve scoured the internet for suggestions for gifts that can be delivered to your loved ones in Ireland before December 25th.
Yes, it’s a cliché to suggest that dads will want to play golf and mums want to be covered in fragrant oils and massaged into submission but for the sake of expediency, our gift suggestions are classified under potential recipients.
The whole family
If you want to impress the foodies at home, a hamper from Hampers & Co should do the trick. Its suppliers include the Scullery, Cooleeney Farm Cheeses, Crossogue Preserves, Lough Derg Chocolates, Tipperary Crystal, Brown Thomas, Guinness, Nicholas Mosse Pottery and Avoca Handweavers. Prices start at about €30, with more than 50 Christmas hampers, including the Extravaganza for €184 and the Ultimate Christmas Hamper for €1,000, which could feed a village. Get your order in by December 16th for delivery in Ireland before Christmas. Hampersandco. com
Or try the Great Taste Award Gold Hamper (€160) from Irishgourmet.ie. This is filled with artisan foods that have won an award from the prestigious Guild of Fine Food in the UK. It includes such delights as Skelligs chocolate truffles, Butler’s sea salt chocolates, Delicoso honey, Ummera smoked salmon and Black Wild truffles. Irish Gourmet promises to deliver a hamper anywhere in Ireland within a few days of receiving the order – so there is plenty of time to get in before Christmas. Irishgourmet.ie
Mums and dads
A half-day blissing out to recover after Christmas would probably go down well with any member of the family. It can even be combined with a trip to the sales if you plump for a Half-day Indulgence voucher (€249) from the Buff Day Spa, which is next to the Gaiety Theatre on South King Street in Dublin city centre. The weary will get a Swedish massage, luxury manicure with mask, pedicure and facial. TheBuffdayspa.com
The Spa Sula at the Westport Plaza hotel in Co Mayo will post vouchers worth from €25 to €500 to the recipient for you if you book by phone or online. A two-night spa break with bed and breakfast, one evening meal and a spa treatment costs €179 mid-week. That includes time in the wonderfully soothing spa suite. For Dubliners, the train to Mayo can help to make this even less stressful. westportplazahotel.ie
Golf is not just a game, it’s a whole language too – and few companies speak it better than McGuirks Golf. It has a wide range of golfing gear at its stores in Ireland that can be ordered from the website for delivery. Buy a single glove for €11.95 or make it easy on yourself and select a gift voucher for anything from €10 to €250. mcguirksgolf.com
Or nurture your dad’s inner hipster with a pair of Donegal tweed cufflinks from Orwell and Browne in Kilcar, Co Donegal. They cost €35 online and come in such colours as lichen orange, forest green and speckled wine. During checkout you can add a personal message to be included with the branded velvet bags. Order online before December 19th. orwellandbrowne.com
Brothers and sisters
Book a day out with Shearwater Sea Kayaking in Howth, Co Dublin, for anyone with a sense of adventure and who won’t mind getting dunked in the water. The able instructors at Shearwater will guide them through the basics of how to control a kayak in the sheltered waters of Howth Harbour before they are taken out into the open sea. Participants say it is a lot of fun and quite demanding. shearwaterseakayaking.ie
Beer-lovers will appreciate an O’Brien’s case of 15 craft beers from around Ireland. There are two options, one for €41 and one for €50. Beers in the case include Galway Bay. Wicklow Wolf, White Hag and the Full Irish. There is no special Christmas wrapping, but you can add a message during the checkout process. Order it before December 16th to guarantee delivery for Christmas. obrienswine.ie/mixed-cases
Treat aspiring chefs to a day with the professionals at Cooks Academy in their shiny kitchen in Dublin city centre. Choose from gift vouchers for more than 50 short courses covering such areas as Italian dishes, vegan cooking and baking. Prices range from €70 for a course in knife skills to €450 for the week-long Essential Winter Cooking class. cooksacademy.com
To get health-conscious foodies all a-quiver, organise a day or an evening in the kitchen of Maggie Lynch, who runs the Soul Food Company in south Co Dublin. Choose from Taste Health (€130), Gluten-free cooking (€130) or A Taste of Thailand (€70) class, for example. Lynch, who runs the cookery classes for the Irish Institute of Nutrition and Health, takes pride in making sure her dishes are as delicious as they are healthy. Gift vouchers are available in a range of prices. thesoulfoodco.ie
Uncles and aunts
Send them to the hills with a Mountain Proficiency Course in the wilds of Co Kerry. There they can learn everything from understanding the contours of the land to reading the weather from Piaras Kelly, an experienced mountaineer who is a training officer with the Kerry Mountain Rescue team. Booking is a little awkward (but worth it) as you will need to call or email Kelly, who will then post on the gift voucher or send the recipient an email. KerryClimbing.ie
Sunday lunch at Harvey’s Point Hotel in Donegal is a sumptuous feast and something of an institution with regulars making the trip from around Ireland. Lunch costs €30 per person. Book a voucher online and a personalised email will be sent instantly to you, or to the recipient. Now that’s efficiency. harveyspoint.com
Alan Ardiff’s kinetic jewellery has earned him a place in the hearts of those with an eye for something different. In his silver pieces, birds peck, stars spin and hearts do cartwheels. His website advises ordering online by December 20th for delivery before Christmas, but you would be best advised to get in sooner.
Order a distinctive piece of Irish-made jewellery from Stonechat jewellers, which claims 40 per cent of its jewellery is made in its Dublin workshop. It will wrap the gift beautifully before dispatching it. Stonechat has a wide range of contemporary pieces and its necklaces, for example, cost from €80 to €800. Delivery in Ireland is free. stonechat.ie
For those who have everything
Irish Times photographers have produced a gallery of images that will make a unique Christmas gift. Each print is mounted and framed, and signed by the photographer. They include a snow-covered landscape in Glendalough, Co Wicklow, by Eric Luke, a heron flying over the Dodder by Cyril Byrne and a photo of the 2016 All-Ireland football champions Dublin (unsigned) by James Crombie of Inpho.
Fully mounted in a black frame, they are 56cm x 40cm (22in x 16in). Prints cost €100 if collected from The Irish Times office on Tara Street, Dublin, or €120 delivered anywhere in Ireland. The last day for ordering is December 16th.
All proceeds go to our charity partners Women’s Aid and Féileacáin. There are 19 striking prints from which to choose. See the full selection on irishtimes.com/charityprints