Kris Kindle: Conor Pope's top ideas for under €50

Where to shop to raise your Secret Santa game and presents that are best avoided

The season is upon us. There is just no escaping it any more. These pages will be cover to cover Christmas in the weeks ahead but we thought we'd start by helping the Kris Kindlers out there – not the office ones where a hat for a fiver from Penneys will do grand – but for the family Kris Kindles where you might have a slightly higher budget to play with

Five deadly ideas for under €50
"We were somewhere around Barstow, on the edge of the desert when the drugs began to take hold" or maybe "it was a bright cold day in April and the clocks were striking thirteen"? If the recipient likes a good read, then original letterpress prints inspired by the openings of some of the greatest book of the 20th century might be perfect. The prints can be bought online from source at for €50.

Edison or antique filament light bulbs are all over the place nowadays. We love the concrete block lamp selling in the splendid Designist shop on Dame St in Dublin or online at for €46.50.

When it comes to unusual and thoughtful gifts is brilliant. A Game of Thrones Monopoly or Risk game? Check. A glass whiskey decanter shaped like a globe? Check. A Subboteo light? Obviously. The site is easy to navigate and gifts can be ranked by price or person making it almost impossible to get it wrong.


The trick to getting the most thoughtful Kris Kindle present is finding great shops selling unique stuff. We have a soft spot for Moo Market in Stoneybatter, Dublin 7, not least because of the owner's determination to source her merchandise locally.

She sells gorgeous candles made with soy wax, recycled wine bottles and real perfume from a designer husband and wife team in Kildare for €32. There is jewellery made from recycled T-shirt fabric by beorKNOTtobe (€22) and Brian Lowry prints inspired by place names – Blessington, Chapelizod or the Pigeon House in Ringsend – for between €18 and €28.

We've said it before and we will say it again. We love the Hairy Baby T-shirt people. Their unique T-shirts and hoodies, which can be found on are a scream and we love the new (to us) line of Withnail and I T-shirts although we're not entirely sure you'd get away with wearing a "Monty, you terrible c***" at the Christmas table even with the asterisks which they have helpfully included.

And five things to avoid.
If you are buying aftershave or perfume for less than a tenner on Moore Street or in your local pharmacy you are probably on the wrong track.

Deodorants are best avoided too as too much may be read into the gift by the recipient.

Novelty ties, socks, jumpers – basically anything with the word novelty in it – will not gladden anyone’s heart.

We have a lot of time for own-brand products but maybe not at Christmas? Nothing says "I really couldn't give a rashers about you" quite like some Lidl chocolates that cost €1.99. That's not to say the chocolates are bad – they are probably lovely – but just not as a Kris Kindle gift.

Vouchers. Yes, yes, yes, we know they’re popular but they are soulless and absolutely devoid of imagination. You may as well give someone a crumpled €20 note and be done with it.