Hotlist: What we want to see, do and buy this weekend
The wonderful thing about dressing at Christmas is that you have permission to venture into sartorial territory that you wouldn't normally feel comfortable inhabiting. This means all the sequins and lashings of faux fur - or an Alpine jumper with velour leggings.
Essentially, there are no rules at this time at year, but the one guideline to follow is that there should be a red dress in your arsenal - because nothing says Christmas like a dash of crimson. The added bonus is that, at parties, you will be a bright beacon of festive fabulousity in a sea of little black dresses.
BUY: Cami burgundy midi dress, €49, available at Folkster; folkster.com
Shopping for jewellery isn't as fraught with the same dangers as lingerie purchasing but, as a rule of thumb, if you want to give the present of jewellery, look to the type of pieces that she already wears. As a second gifting guideline, there are very few women who won't appreciate something from Irish designer Melissa Curry.
BUY: Fever collar by Melissa Curry, €255, available at Só Collective, Kildare Village; kildarevillage.com
Wexford's National Opera House plays host to a new musical by Artemis Fowl author Eoin Colfer and Liam Bates from Monday until December 23. Noël tells the story of a young girl whose mother goes missing and who enlists the help of Nick, a homeless man with a secret, to find her - restoring Nick's belief in the magic of Christmas.
BOOK: Tickets from €17.50; nationaloperahouse.ie
Pretty in pink
For fans of David Attenborough's Planet Earth 2, and especially episode two, with its wonderful and weird flamingo mating parade, these slippers are essential wearing. High on kitsch value, they're not shabby in the comfort stakes, either. At-home dressing has never been so much fun.
BUY: €20, available at Topshop
It's an all-star cast for Robin Hood and His Merry Men, this year's Gaiety Christmas panto. Red Rock's David Crowley stars as Robin Hood, with Kate Gilmore as his Maid Marian. Two panto stalwarts are also treading the boards here: dame Joe Conlon is celebrating his 27th year in the business, while Nicholas Grennell - who has played chorus member, hero and baddie over the years - as Cedric the Sheriff of Snottingham.
BOOK: Tickets from €27; gaietytheatre.ie
Belle of the ball
There can never be enough panto at Christmas and great theatrical fun awaits at Cork Opera House for what is one of the best fairy tales of all time, Cinderella. We all know the story, of course, and Molly Lynch as Cinderella with Frank Mackey as Fairy Wanda and Barnaby Hughes as Prince Charming bring this production to life, with wonderful scenery and costumes, energetic dance routines and comedy capers aplenty. The last performance before Christmas is this Friday but it's open again on Monday 26 and runs until January 22.
BOOK: Tickets from €25; corkoperahouse.ie
A very worthy event takes place next Sunday, with the 27th annual COPE Galway Christmas Day Swim, at Blackrock, Salthill from 10am-1pm. Hardy souls will be taking a dip in the Atlantic in aid of Cope, which supports vulnerable and isolated men, women and families. The charity worked with 166 families, 493 single people and seven couples affected by homelessness in Galway in 2015, as well as 380 women and 180 children affected by domestic violence. It also delivered 55,000 meals-on-wheels last year. And even if you're not getting into the water, come to cheer the participants on and to donate.
DETAILS: Registration to swim €10 at copegalway.ie/swim