Your Money: Festive gifts that keep on giving
Find personalised presents which offer surprises throughout the New Year
It's the laziest of gifts, but for the last-minute shopper, or that difficult person to buy for, you can't beat a voucher. But consider other gifts which don't involve a trudge around the shops on a wet Saturday and which prove that a little bit of thought, at least, went into it. This week I'm looking at subscriptions - gifts that fit into an envelope.
The trick is to find out something about the person: a hobby, something they enjoy doing, and pinpoint a fun gift. Buying one which keeps on giving will be extra special. Here are some suggestions:
The world's your oyster! Of course a voucher for your loved one's favourite restaurant is fine, but maybe the chance to try something new is better. Taste.ie has offers every day which are discounted meals in top eateries. If you can't decide on one, they have vouchers for €25, €50 or €100 with 15pc off using the code 'XmasSale18' at the checkout.
O'Briens Craft Beer Club has three-month (€75) or six-month (€150) subscriptions which deliver six different beers directly to your door. 3fe.com sends a different speciality coffee each month for six months (€70) with notes. Ardkeen.com sends a 'food heroes' quarterly foodie box with seven to ten items for €45.
If there's a vegan in your life, what about buying them a share in the world's first Vegan Exchange Traded Fund (ETF). Costing $25 (€22) each they invest in ethical non-animal tested stocks.
Signing a pal up to the gym may not go down too well, but consider a Fit Box from new Irish company New3Fit.ie. Every month from €29.95 +p&p you get a variety of items, from clothing to snacks and supplements.
Magazine subscriptions may sound old fashioned, but are a wonderful gift to savour: www.subscribe.ie lets you choose from a range of titles from 'Hello!' to Golf Digest (price varies), delivered to the door every week/month.
Your favourite newspaper is also available at €19.99 a month (discounted to €5 in month one) offering every issue of the Irish Independent and 'Sunday Independent' digitally in print layout. See independent.ie/epaper
Papergang is an achingly cool brand, sending a gorgeous box of stationery, cards and stickers from €12.12 (one month) to €121.19 (12 months) and will even plant trees on your behalf (ohhdeer.com).
The young lady
A daughter or niece may like to receive a box of pads/tampons and treats each month. Irish company www.myladybug.ie send them discreetly for €9.99 per month.
Socks are a timeless gift. The London Sock Exchange (londonsockexchange.co.uk) sends a kooky pair a month to your man for £72 per year (around €80).
Clothes and beauty
There are lots of subscription sites to choose from offering everything from cosmetics to labels.
www.glossybox.ie is loved by the younger cohort with a box of sample size make up and accessories delivered every month from €39.75 (three months) to €144 (12 months) plus €5 p&p per box.
Ireland's luxury brand Purcellandwoodcock.com sends a scented candle, 50ml diffuser and scented sachet each month for €25 per month, with a minimum of three months applying.
And Birchbox is finally shipping from the UK to Ireland. Its beauty box is £10 a month + £2 p&p (around €14.50) with five beauty treats.