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Smart Consumer: The family who hope to buy an Irish Christmas

We enlisted the help of The Crafts Council of Ireland to source Irish-made craft goods that would fit their budget and taste requirements.

The McElgunn family of four from Belturbet, Co Cavan estimate they will spend over €900 this Christmas. Recently wed parents, Maria and Liam stress that giving children Shannon (9) and Finian (4) a memorable Christmas is top of the priority list. "We are all struggling with mortgages. Everyone is feeling the same pressure, worrying about how to pay the bills but at the end of the day, Christmas is Christmas and you have to do your best for the children," said Maria.

Three months ago, Maria started a new full-time job working for a jewellry wholesaler after months of part-time work, but Liam, a civil engineer, has recently been put on a three-day week.

"Things will be a little tighter this year but luckily I had saved a little money and we were able to get some of the shopping done in November but we still haven't shopped for the rest of the family," she said.

Allowing around €250 for food shopping, the family will probably spend an additional €650 on gifts for immediate and extended family members.

Shannon and Finian have already written to Santa, with requests for a Flicka 3 scooter and Moxie Girl with radio control jeep, Cooking Mama 4 3DS game, a Fabeffex craft game and a Fireman Sam and Thomas the Tank Engine.

Golf lover, Liam has already been given a golf bag from Maria, purchased through donedeal.ie while Maria is partial to jewellry, bags and shoes.

We asked the Crafts Council of Ireland to come up with some budget-friendly gift suggestions for the McElgunn family.

For Maria they suggested A Box of My Treasure earrings (€25), Handmade Soap Company soap (€4.50) or a Moth to Flame medium glow Globe Candle (€35).

Liam could choose from Wild Goose Studios framed prints (€50-€55) or a De Bruit leather iphone cover (€30). Suggested gifts for grandparents included A Castle Arch Pottery Caspian Dish (€25) or Colm De Ris Bowl (€65).

Meanwhile, aunts and uncle could choose from Handmade Soap Company moisturising body cream (€11.95-€24.95), Amie Organics Candle (€18.95), or crafted glassware from the Jerpoint Glass Studio (€46.50/€51.50/€57.50).

Additional gifts for Shannon, Finian, and their six nephews and niece might include McCul for Kids Fleece Hoodies (€25), Nosey Rosie & Friends child's spikey hat unisex (€20) or The Handmade Soap Company bubble bath (€9.95).

For those with busy schedules, giftgenies.com features a quirky top fifty list of Irish gifts, competitively priced.

"Buying Irish is not something I have ever really thought much about before but this has definitely given us food for thought," admitted Maria.

Happy Irish Shopping!


Irish Independent