Obviously Santa will be taking care of all the big toys for children everywhere but if you are looking to supplement his sack with some toys of your own from all the big names that might well end up on lists, this Munster-based World of Wonder Toys will have everything that you need and a whole lot more besides.
Anyone familiar with Galway’s Quay Street will know Wooden Heart well. It has been selling wooden toys since the late 1970s in Galway, and while it has been online for considerably less time than that, the range of old school toys is impressive.
Jiminy, based in Co Kildare, is an eco toystore – “to inspire a playfully sustainable world” – with more than 700 toys and books for all ages from teenies to teenagers.
A lovely looking site, the Toy Shop has a manner of toys for inside and outside, scooters, puzzles, costumes and all the rest.
Nimble Fingers, the Dublin toyshop that inspired the Late Late Toy show is celebrating its 60th birthday this year and has all manner of toys for little ones, including a lot of make and do type things.
Lottie and Finn Dolls are a world away from most of the dolls you see on toy shop shelves. For starters the company is based in Letterkenny, Co Donegal and it focuses on body-positive dolls doing smart things so you can expect none of the “don’t ask me, I’m just a girl” fast fashion nonsense you might find elsewhere.
Mimitoys is not the place to go in search of loud plastic toys that will shatter ears of a Christmas morning, but if you want environmentally sound wooden toys, art supplies, and bath toys, then you won’t go far wrong.
Looking for Lego? Byrnes should have you covered, with a whole lot more besides.
Little Ones is a very cute shop in Ennis, Co Clare crammed with all sorts of lovely of presents from Ireland and elsewhere. We liked the look of the spyware – in the most kid-friendly sense of the word – it has for sale this year. The range of books is impressive, as are the cuddlies and the toys.
A wonderful site, Sensory Learning Supplies sells toys for children of all abilities, but with a keen focus on those which will appeal to kids with additional needs.
“Timeless toys, endless possibilities,” Fuddy Duddy promises, and as taglines go, it is hard to fault.
There are some pretty amazing looking doll’s houses and wooden kitchens and bunk beds on Litter Dreamer’s site, as well playhouses, tool boxes and more, mostly made of wood.
The Connemara Smokehouse is Ireland’s first Food Économusée. And what is that? A “heritage business that earns its keep by combining economy and culture”. It sells organic smoked salmon, wild peppered smoked mackerel and smoked tuna.
This year these skilled smokers celebrate their 40th birthday, offering some of the finest smoked salmon in the country. Hederman also sells fancy looking seafood and ships all over Ireland – and indeed to many other countries.
There is something lovely about a Sheridans Cheesmongers shop in the run-up to Christmas, with all those cheesy smells promising so much. But if you can’t make it to an actual shop, at least you will be able to get the cheese, cured meats, crackers and other accoutrements delivered to your door.
A French cheese bar in Dublin run by a man from Paris called Comte? How could we not include something like that on a list? Iciar’s range is limited – certainly when compared to what you might find in Sheridan’s - but it does look lovely.
You don’t have to travel to Sligo to experience the oysters from there as Sligo Oyster Experience will have them to your door within 24 hours of ordering. Hampers include candles, sauces, seaweed and – perhaps most importantly – wine or champagne.
Fun fact. Man of Aran Fudge was one of the earliest products reviewed on the Pricewatch page of this paper. It got five stars then and would get five today too – there is Bailey’s Fudge, salted caramel, chocolate, honeycomb, and that’s just for starters. Free shipping on orders over €50.
The Galway-based Gourmet Tart Co has been selling sweet treats to locals for years and has significantly widened its reach with an easy-to-use website. It delivers hampers all over Ireland for an additional fiver. As the site says, by “buying a Gourmet Tart hamper you are directly supporting 70 local jobs”. And supporting local jobs is the point of this list.
This family business from Enniscorthy, Co Wexford is a social enterprise “passionate about local Irish food”, aiming to encourage “Irish food producers, growers, and cottage industries to sell and export their products online”. We like its motto: “If it’s not grown, raised, produced, or caught on Irish registered trawlers it will not be sold on our site.”
We were very taken by the Rocky Road Christmas Bauble Collection we found on Hazel Mountain Chocolate’s site. You’ll get four “smooth and creamy 42 per cent milk chocolate hollow baubles with interior lined with crunchy rocky road malted pieces, petit-beurre biscuits and marshmallows”. The site sells all manner of festive treats and chocolatey goodness. The cookbook is lovely too.
We reckon you will struggle to find more beautiful looking – and indeed tasting – chocolates anywhere, and they all come from a small chocolate factory in Galway by award-winning pastry chef Gráinne Mullins of Grá Chocolates. There is a lovely looking Christmas range too, although if recent years are anything to go by, you might want to get your spake in soon.
As you might expect from one of the most well known chocolate operators in Ireland, Christmas is a big deal and it has all sorts of festive specials including advent calendars and Christmas-themed assortments. One of the nice things about buying a coffee from Butlers’ shops – which we’ve missed while working from home – is the free chocolate. You can buy the full range on their website.
Craft gin makers from Co Louth, Listoke Distillery have some gorgeous hampers with its award-winning Listoke 1777 Gin, Wise Owl Whiskey, Galway Crystal glasses and handmade truffles.
Some very fancy whiskeys, gins and vodka’s can be found on Dingle Distillery’s site, as well as cute Christmas baubles – that contain gin – and hoodies that are, sadly, alcohol-free.
Another option for the spirit lover in your life, Clonakilty Distillery is a small-scale producer that sells whiskeys, gins and vodkas as well as gift hampers, hip flasks and the occasional hat.
Whiskey, gin, poitin, sure the monks of Glendalough would be only delighted by what they’d find here.
We love everything about We Make Good, a social enterprise, which matches emerging designers with makers from marginalised backgrounds around Ireland, who are supported to find employment and develop their skills. The products are gorgeous, from handprinted table linens to tweed teddies, beeswax candles, notebooks and much more.
There are few better presents than a good night’s sleep and the ethically and locally made weighted pillows developed by Síne Dunne of Siest Sleep promise to help adults and children sleep more soundly and for longer, as well as reduce pain and anxiety.
The most Irish of fridge magnets? Check. Irish-themed prints? Check. Street signs and road names that can be personalised? Check. Quirky Irish Icons is a deadly site for stocking fillers and more.
We only recently came across Oui Chef which sells the very finest of kitchen implements, from corkscrews and the sharpest of kitchen scissors, to those little tweezers fancy Dan chefs in high end restaurants use to dress up your plates. Worth a visit for the foodie in your world.
Faerly is a site where you will find, as they say themselves, “faerly good things”. And what does that mean? “Gifts from small Irish makers and eco friendly brands. We love gorgeous gifts that are created with love, made locally and handcrafted by real people. We love gifts that support other small Irish businesses like ours and indie brands that champion ethical products.”
Promising “a handpicked collection of socially and environmentally conscious children’s pieces for play, the home and to wear”. Maypole Lane is an “independent, Irish business based out of Cork”. We say it all looks super cute.
Lovely posters of stirring images from all over Ireland that can be bought framed or unframed. With the Christmas Connections Campaign, “One for You, One for Me Under the Christmas Tree”, shoppers can opt for a print of their favourite holiday spot, home county, favourite pub or somewhere they have visited before, and choose another print to give to someone else from Ireland Posters.
Would you like to do more with your photographs? This Donegal-based website can help you out; although be warned that Do More will close its Christmas order book at the end of November, so don’t be hanging about.
If you fancy coming across as an imaginative gifter, you could do worse than starting your search for novel presents at Designist. The shop sells all manner of cool and unusual things, for adults and kids, as well as mountains of stocking-fillers.
“We do the wrapping so you don’t have to,” is just one of the alluring promises made by Wild Atlantic Living based on the Clare coast – hence the name. It has got bigger and better since we first encountered it at the height of the pandemic. There is lovely stuff for adults and children, as well as homewares and books.
Scout is a super funky gift shop with a pleasing eco-aware approach to shopping, where you’ll find sheepskin slippers made from Sligo wool, Aran jumpers for all ages, felt teddies, gorgeous stationery and much more besides from Irish and international designers.
This Sligo-based shop has been operating for more than 30 years showcasing Irish designers and artists. Shop on the Cat & the Moon’s site safe in the knowledge that everything you find there has been made or created in Ireland.
You might think of Carroll’s as the shop where American tourists go to stock up on trinkets but this site offers a whole lot more. Mind you, if you’re in the market for a Guinness coloured Aran jumper flecked with bodhrans and dancing leprechauns you might find that here too… or maybe not.
One of a growing number of cottage candle makers in Ireland, Waterford-based Milis sells soy candles made using sustainable and natural ingredients.
Who are Mimi and Martha? They are a mother and daughter team behind this great site selling all manner of beautiful homewares and crafts, from Cork’s Badly Made Books to Aoife Slattery Ceramics, that will brighten up any Christmas morning.
Not only do we love the name of this site, we love almost everything that we found for sale from My Shop Granny Likes It. We had a particular soft spot for the Galway pub playing cards, although that probably says a lot about our misspent youth.
Another Galway-based site, Cloon Keen sells luxurious artisan perfumes and candles inspired by the Irish landscape.
This is a very special site stocked full of Irish products made by Irish survivors of cancer. The Shop That Nearly Wasn’t supports artists, authors, painters, jewellery designers and other makers, while also supporting cancer research in Ireland.
Cogs the Brain Shop, whose physical store is in Stephen’s Green Shopping Centre in Dublin, has a most excellent site with the cleverest of games and toys that children young and old will love. We like how you can search for games based on very specific ages. This is the kind of site that will make you wish you were young again and had someone like you buying presents for you.
Hen’s Teeth is a lovely site and a lovely shop selling lovely things. There is stuff for your body and your home, condiments and books and bags and the occasional T-shirt, as well as an extensive range of prints.
An Irish family design studio creating unique gifts made of slate. There are cheeseboards and candle stick holders as well as very swanky tableware. Gifts from Slated can be personalised and because it is made of slate, it will most likely last a lifetime.
The Book Resort offers a whole lot more than just books. The site owners put together gift boxes with books, chocolates, fancy candles and more, delivered in a carefully put together box. We love the emphasis on Irish suppliers.
Carraig Donn is a popular place to buy a present, a fancy frock or a Christmas bauble. The site covers homewares and clothes as well as jewellery and accessories. Free and fast delivery on orders over €59.
Caboose brings many of the best Irish artisan food producers together in one place. There is a huge amount of stock for sale, from fish and dairy to wine and chocolate. You can shop for individual products, or lovely hampers.
We will leave the description of Studio 22 to the people behind it. “Beautiful gifts and hampers for sale from our studio in the heart of Marlay Park, Dublin. Irish made and sourced giftboxes with stunning gift wrap and bows with every purchase.”
“The best in Irish crafts and design,” promises the Irish Design Shop run by jewellers Clare Grennan and Laura Caffrey who, in addition to their own jewellery line Names, offer an extensive range of beautiful products by established and emerging makers, with a focus on handmade and heritage crafts.
We love the idea behind Design Ireland. It acts as a platform for a huge number of home-grown designers who create everything from homewares to clothes, jewellery, accessories and beauty products. This month there are more than 2,000 products for sale, each and every one with a story to tell.
The Word Bird offers personalised and original pre-printed word art by Susan Brambell. We have to say, we love the notion. You give the artist a list of words – your favourite poem, the song you first snogged to, something highbrow or silly – and she will craft them into a shape of your choice. The result is a lovely, personalised text-art gift. There are ready-made options if you’re lost for words.
If you’re looking for novel gifts covering everything from aromatherapy oils to zebras (wall mounted zebras as it happens, not real ones, like) you will find them at Finders Keepers, with an emphasis on sustainability too.
Jando, a printmaking studio in Smithfield, has a neat line in architectural and landmark-themed screen prints. We also love their sound wave range – essentially a framed print of a sound wave, maybe of a loved one saying something lovely. Even more special is the QR code discretely positioned in the corner of the frame that links to the audio of that person saying the lovely thing. And isn’t that just lovely!
Green Dot is a Clonakilty-based site where you will find some beautiful, ethically focused Irish craft and design and some excellent eco toys.
Cuando makes it very easy to find novel presents for everyone in your family, chocabloc with unique gifts from makers and designers from all over Ireland.
Amora, based in Bray, Co Wicklow, has “beautiful gifts for the ones your love” with all manner of Irish products including candles, soaps, leather handbags, wallets and gloves, art, jewellery, woollen scarves and throws, tweed hats, fleece jackets, felt art, cool jigsaws and more.
“For the stars of your stories,” says jewellery designer Chupi on her site. The range is getting bigger and better with each passing year, and the stars of your stories will be doing very well to get a gift from here.
Edge Only sells very swanky jewellery all ethically made in Ireland, featuring edgy designs for men and women in solid gold and sterling silver.
Rothlú, with striking and sustainably made jewellery, has its home in the Ox Mountains in Co Mayo. Some of the materials used may otherwise have ended up in landfill, something you might struggle to believe when you see how stunning it is.
Alice Claire Horgan, a jewellery designer from Oysterhaven in Co Cork, draws her inspiration “from the sea and the wild surrounding countryside, beaches, and headlands of Ireland”. She specialises in handmade silver and gold contemporary jewellery for men and women.
Some unique jewellery options are available from Sí Jewellery with the option to have pieces made to order.
Looking for handcrafted necklaces and other pieces made with ancient Irish script? Well, here you go, Ogham Treasure has all you need.
Each piece from No 22 Jewellery is designed in Dublin and crafted using sterling silver and thick gold-plating. With prices ranging from €32-€75 this “demi-fine jewellery is made accessible to all without losing any of the sparkle,” the site tells us.
Fresh Cuts is a sustainable fashion brand designed in Ireland. What makes the new knitwear line special is the fact that it has been created using dead stocks laying idle from previous seasons – in line with the brand’s overall mission of putting sustainability at the heart of everything they do.
Clothes by Fódla are all produced in an eco-friendly and sustainable fashion, and has the independent certification to prove it. T-shirts are made with 100 per cent organic cotton, while recycled polyester is used to ethically make sweatshirts, gilets and windbreakers. The design and printing takes place in Dublin, while 5 per cent of each sale goes to homeless charities around Ireland with socks, scarves, gloves and hats frequently donated as well.
The Hannas know a lot about hats, and have been making them in Donegal for three generations, employing dozens of people. The quality really stands out, and you’ll struggle to find a better flat cap anywhere. They are also – as it happens – on trend.
“Gifts to treasure,” Magee 1866′s site says. While this long standing Irish clothes shop sells Donegal tweeds and throws that are timeless, there is also a range of contemporary clothing and furnishings to give your home the Hygge effect with an Irish twist.
“Eco friendly changing robes for warmth, cosiness and convenience,” says the Vicro Robes site. Sure where else would you get it?
Nothing says Happy Christmas like a pair of novelty socks. And they have come a long way in recent years. Irish Socksciety, a Galway-based company, sells high quality and inventive socks to make you smile. We also like their Vitamin Sea package for the sea swimmers in your world.
The Polly & Andy range includes some lovely colourful seamless socks made with bamboo, with 10 per cent off first orders.
If there were ever a time to give someone the gift of a warm jumper it’s now, with the cost of living crisis seeing energy prices going through the roof. The Sweater Shop is an Irish-owned shop that has all manner of jumpers as well as slippers, shirts, capes and more. It certainly won’t leave you cold.
Who are Sock Co Op? Why don’t we let them tell you. They are “a small Irish design company based in Dublin. We create unique unisex panoramic socks that celebrate beautiful landmarks and places of Ireland.”
The Hairy Baby lads are going strong with their collection of genuinely funny T-shirts, sweatshirts and hoodies. They also have mugs and tote bags and socks.
Ohh! By Gum is a great name for a shop, we reckon, even if it doesn’t give you much of a clue as to what it sells. And what does it sell? Everything. There are homewares, clothes for men, women and kids, gifts, books and more. Not bad for a little shop in Clifden.
Staying in the west of Ireland, Spailpín, a Spiddal-based shop, sells Irish-language T-shirts, hoodies, jackets and greeting cards.
The Company of Books, based in Ranelagh in Dublin, has more than 3,500 titles in stock with free delivery on orders over €30.
If Eason is among the most well established bricks and mortar bookshops in Ireland, Kennys wins the prize for being the most well established online retailer, not just in Ireland but it the world, having first set up shop in the mid-1990s when Jeff Bezos was still knocking about in his garage wondering what to do with himself. It has had a physical presence in Galway for a long time too, serving the people of that city for more than 80 years. The website is stocked with an extensive collection of competitively priced books.
Charlie Byrne’s Bookshop is something of an institution in Galway, and while the online experience doesn’t compare to the in-store one, it is still a great place to explore and to search for both new and second-hand books.
While we have been in Charlie Byrne’s Bookshop on many occasions, we have never been in Just Books, and if the website is anything to go by, we are missing out. Nicely laid out site with loads of present ideas at your fingertips.
More than 100,000 second-hand books with around 75,000 for €2.50 or less. Free delivery on orders over €20 with a 10 per cent discount if you spend more than €100. That means, if our maths isn’t all over the shop, you could buy 40 books for 90 quid.
“We aim to provide something a bit different from the range you find in large chain bookshops, as well as offering the opportunity to discover something new and exciting that you’ll struggle to uncover on a internet bookshop search,” says the Gutter Bookshop’s site. That seems pretty noble to us.
Bridge Street Books, an independent, family-run bookstore in Wicklow town, is a nice shop with a nice site.
This children’s bookshop in Greystones, Co Wicklow has books for kids of all ages – from babies right up to young adults. You will also find a selection of toys and gifts available from Halfway Up the Stairs, and it recently launched a subscriptions and gift box service.
We want to give a big shout out to this lovely book shop with a lovely ethos in a lovely town in the west of Ireland. And why is it so lovely? We’ll let them tell you. “Tertulia, a bookshop like no other, is a magical place located in Westport, Co Mayo. For book lovers, film lovers, Harry Potter fans, Tertulia is a place to relax, enjoy a cup of coffee, meet old friends and new, chat about books and so much more. The mission of Tertulia is to contribute to a positive change in the way the world thinks.”
We love the look of this site by Bags of Books, which is groaning under the strain of all the wonderful kids books on offer.
Ireland is spoiled for choice when it comes to independent bookshops and you will find another one in Kilcullen, Co Kildare called Woodbine Books or indeed online here.
We can’t really carry a list on Irish online booksellers without mentioning one of the longest-established and most recognisable retail brands in Ireland now can we? As you might expect, Eason has an enormous range of books.
Dubray – which is now, of course, owned by Eason – has long been an excellent bookshop staffed by some very helpful and very well informed folk. While you won’t get to meet them when you are shopping online, you will find a very wide range of interesting books to order.
Who knew there were so many different make-up brushes out there? Well these people from Donegal clearly did. We’re not going to lie, we find this world is a bit of mystery, but we’re pretty sure Powder ’n’ Pout will have you covered.
If we know nothing about make-up brushes, we know even less about hair brushes. But the Knotty Brush does. It has all manner of brushes and curlers and shower combs and – well you get the idea. If your hair needs it, this site will probably have it.
The Gardiner Family Apothecary is a skincare company, based in Dundalk, Co Louth, that manufactures, packages, and produces 100 per cent Irish products specially formulated for sensitive skin, with sustainability at its core.
2B Organic sells organic and vegan beauty products, with everything from facial cleansers, body scrubs and “youth elixirs”, which sound like something we could definitely do with.
Indeora sells products which have banned all dodgy chemicals. They have magnesium deodorant sprays scented with natural coconut and vanilla oils.
We are big fans of this lovely brand. The Handmade Soap Company sells gorgeous natural skincare and home fragrance products, free from nasty synthetics. They are also vegan-friendly and sustainably made by hand – as the name might suggest - in Ireland.
This Clare-based family business offers ethical and environmentally friendly alternatives to mainstream soaps, shower gels and washing powders. If you are in the market for plastic and palm free alternatives, Palm Free will have what you are looking for.
It is heartening to see so many ethically minded skincare companies in Ireland. Kinvara Skincare is up there with the best of them. You will find cleansers, scrubs, gift sets and serums here. The company was set up in the west of Ireland by a scientist – Dr Joanne Reilly - who was prompted to act as she struggled to find skincare products for her own “tricky skin”.