Monday 16 September 2019

The gift of life

Aoibhin Garrihy with her husband John Burke and pet dogs
Aoibhin Garrihy with her husband John Burke and pet dogs
Spa-licious package at the InterContinental
Fitbit Charge 3
Brown Sugar
Kiehl's Christmas offering

There are only three weeks left until Christmas, but don't panic. Let Santa's little helpers, Sarah Caden and Liadan Hynes, lead you through LIFE's annual gift guide - packed with gorgeous ideas, suiting every pocket, for your nearest and dearest.

Fit for Purpose

Fitbits just keep getting better, and the Charge 3 has boosted swim-proof design, an impressive seven days of battery life, a range of good looks and switchable straps.

Fitbit Charge 3, €149.99, Harvey Norman

Fitbit Charge 3

Gorgeous Gabrielle

Named for Coco herself; beloved by all ages. A new icon.

Chanel Gabrielle Eau de Parfum, €97, Chanel counters nationwide


Sports Mad

Let them get lost in 30 years of sports writing from the Sunday Independent. All from the comfort of their own sofa. 'On the Seventh Day' edited by John Greene, published by Mercier Press


Off the Cuff

Give him something gorgeous for going back to work.

Mont Blanc cufflinks, €305, Hartmanns of Galway, William St, Galway, tel: (091) 562-063, or see


Into Thin Air

Thinner, greener, with a battery that lasts all day. Melt their heart with Mac.

MacBook Air, from €1,129, see


SB154 Lovely Lake Break

If they won't take a winter dip in the lake, then a voucher will allow them simply enjoy the view from the cosy restaurant or even the hot tubs.

Wineport Lodge, Glasson, Co Westmeath, tel: (0906) 439-010, or see


Print It

A pocket-size rocket of a photo printer, which produces snaps on sticky-back paper to peel and press on anywhere.

Canon Zoemini, €149.99, Currys PC World


Something Spa-cial

The InterContinental Dublin has a Spa-licious Delight package, which includes two 25-minute treatments and afternoon tea.

Spa'licious Delight, from €130 per person, InterContinental Dublin, Ballsbridge, D4, tel: (01) 665-4602, or see


Sugar Rush

Brown Sugar salons manage to span the generations with their mix of locations and offerings, and even have the bearded blokes covered with their Sugar Daddy barbers. Scatter the vouchers like Christmas confetti.

Brown Sugar, for salons and vouchers, see

Brown Sugar


Hey, Buddy

For the child who needs incentives. Or the parent who needs their child to behave. Buddy McSpuddy is the leprechaun who arrives with a book and a crock of coins, to be doled out as rewards to the lucky little ones.

Buddy McSpuddy set, €29.95, Arnotts; Toymaster; selected toy shops


The Pure Drop

Jo Malone's Christmas scent this year is pure and pretty, and comes in an iridescent glass pot that is just a little bit unicorn.

Jo Malone London White Moss and Snowdrop Deluxe Candle, €150, Arnotts; Brown Thomas


Merry Maryborough

It's close to the action of Cork city, but with a cosy charm and animals for the kids to pet; Maryborough vouchers are a family treat.

Maryborough Hotel & Spa, Douglas, Cork, tel: (021) 436-5555, or see


A Hot Cup

Hot-drink pods, but not as you know them. The cute-looking Vivy2 does tea, hot chocolate and even a chai latte. Thirty-six drink varieties are possible, and, yes, some are coffee.

Tassimo by Bosch Vivy2, €44.99, selected stockists nationwide


Spanish Case

SuperValu has a case of gold-medal-winning Spanish red wine on special offer until December 12. Buy now, gift later.

Six bottles of Casa de la Ermita Selection Rey Limitada, €50, SuperValu nationwide


Life of Luxury

Ugg slippers are the ultimate will-never-buy-it-for-themselves luxury gift.

Ugg slippers, €105, Arnotts


Towering Beauty

This print of Dublin's Pigeon House will find fans among any Dublin Bay-side inhabitants.

Print, €45; or with frame, €120, and stockists nationwide


Put A Ring On It

Irish designer Chupi's fine-jewellery collection is the perfect thing if you're thinking of popping the question this Christmas.

Drop In The Wild citrine and silver ring, €219, Chupi,


Beard Up

Embrace his beard and give him some grooming goods from David Beckham.

House 99 by David Beckham Seriously Groomed Beard & Hair Balm, €25, Boots


Christmassy Kiehl's

The Kiehl's Christmas offering features art by a different creator every year. This year it's the turn of illustrator Andrew Banneker, whose geometric designs lend a sharp seasonal edge to classics like their buttery Creme de Corps.

Kiehl's Creme de Corps, €43, Kiehl's shops, Wicklow St, D2; Dundrum Town Centre, D16; Arnotts, D1

Kiehl's Christmas offering


Classic Cream

Granny calls it Ulay; you call it Olay. Whatever name you give it, this classic brand remains a bestseller and a welcome gift.

Olay Total Effects SPF 30 7 in 1 Anti-Ageing Moisturiser, €21.99, available nationwide


Rosanna Davison

Nutritionist and model

I get a bit embarrassed asking for presents as I have all I need, but fleecy Christmas jammies and new slippers are always appreciated. Christmas is all about family and friends, spending time with loved-ones and catching up with pals. I plan to spend Christmas Day at our family home in Wicklow. Lots of eating, drinking, snoozing, singing and silly jokes!

One of my earliest Christmas memories remains one of my favourites to this day. I was three or four years old, and woke up on Christmas morning to find a huge Fisher-Price kitchen from Santa in my bedroom. It was incredible — with an oven, microwave, sink and various cookery utensils, pots and pans. I remember my mum and dad running in and sharing my excitement. I think it helped to kick-start my interest in food and nutrition.


Treat Them Tenerife

Send them off to enjoy winter sun in style with a seven nights, three-star, all-inclusive break in Tenerife from €419 per person sharing. No cooking, no cleaning — yes, please.

For more information on this package and more winter sun from €299 per person sharing, see


Top of the Cooking Class

Neven will bring them back to basics with this collection of 50 foundation-stone recipes.

‘Neven Maguire’s Home Economics for Life’, published by Gill


Smart Specs

Frame his Christmas in style with these smart spectacle frames.

Lyle & Scott glasses, from €129 and part of a 2-for-1 offer, Specsavers


Colour Swatch

Swatch has a swathe of options in line with the autumn/winter 2018 Dark Wonder trend. Your young loved-one will get it.

Swatch Pure Purple watch, €60, Arnotts; Swatch Store, 55 Grafton St, D2


Party Prep

They will have to chill out with this set, consisting of body lotion, body wash, body scrub, and body oil.

Clarins Spa at Home Set, €59, Clarins counters nationwide


Merry Merrion

Give them a Twixmas

city break with a voucher for the Merrion Hotel. Including horse-racing and day-spa options, or just let them chill in the capital.

The Merrion Hotel,

Merrion Square, D2, tel: (01) 603-0600, or see


Scent Sensation

A super-cool black atomiser and a coffret of eight vials of the By Kilian fragrances. From Good Girl Gone Bad to Love Don’t Be Shy, there’s one for every modish mood.

By Kilian Discovery Fragrance Gift Set, €185, Brown Thomas


All Mouth

This toothbrush practically has a brain, detecting when they’re brushing too hard, or

at the wrong angle. Even the colour seems to whisper that they should chill out.

Oral-B Genius 9000 Orchid Purple Electric Toothbrush, €320, Boots


Lip Magic

We love these Harry Potter lipsticks - and they change colour.

Harry Potter House Pride Lipstick Set,

€13, Boots


Love IT

IT cosmetics for your It girl.

IT Girl Volume 2, €56, Brown Thomas; Arnotts


Santa’s Little Secret

Our secret high-street favourite is the jewellery collection at & Other Stories. See these earrings for an example of the gorgeousness available.

Earrings, €25, & Other Stories


Sofa Saver

Refresh their sofa with this cheery cushion.

Vinter cushion, €14, IKEA


Snap Away

The snap-and-print Instax camera is new and improved, with options to choose your best shots before you print, motion and collage modes and, obvs, improved selfie functions. Available in beige or black.

Instax Square SQ20 camera, from €200, Fujifilm stockists nationwide


Gift of Glengarriff

Hand over a voucher for the revived Eccles Hotel and tell them that Pippa Middleton latterly enjoyed  the view out to Garinish Island.

Eccles Hotel, Glengarriff, Co Cork, tel: (027) 63093, or see


Dream Palette

Dreamy eyeshadow colours that run from pale pink to a sparkly taupe, in a red and gold geometric-patterned case. A chic treat.

Giorgio Armani Fantasy Palette, €57, Brown Thomas


Band Of Beauty

If it’s good enough for Lady Gaga… She’s not the only celebrity fan of Joanne Hynes’s jewelled hairbands; Laura Whitmore has also worn them. The ultimate non-obvious jewellery gift.

Joanne Hynes at Dunnes Stores hairband, €100, selected Dunnes Stores branches


Let There Be Light

Wild blackberry will be a welcome scent in the post-Christmas calm down.

Candle, RRP, €31.20; Kildare Village price, €20.80, The White Company, Kildare Village, Nurney Rd, Co Kildare


Documents Bag

This manbag is everything he will want; it’s roomy but neat, simple and discreet.

Hugo documents bag, €316, Arnotts


Sock It To ‘Em

No man should be allowed to get through Christmas without receiving novelty socks. This set is more stylish than your average pair.

DOIY Sushi Socks set, €30, The Marvel Room, Brown Thomas


Watch It

A man’s watch should always be a black dial with a link bracelet- why mess with a classic?

Man’s watch, €60,


Life In Miniature

Just right for any apartment dwellers in your life, this miniature four-section planter means even a tiny kitchen counter can be home to a variety of plants and herbs.

SODA Veritable Smart Garden, €160, Brown Thomas



Fairtrade company The Ethical Silk Company’s products are created from eco-friendly mulberry silk, not to mention being utterly luxurious.

Jaipur silk robe, €195,


The Personal Touch

Nothing beats a monogrammed gift. Irish companies Theo + George and Baal & Tanit have collaborated on a line of monogrammed cashmere. The Ella crew-neck jumper is available in grey, black or pink, with a number of monogram colours available.

Cashmere jumpers, €174 each, Theo + George/Baal & Tanit, see


Write Up

Stationery fans, not to mention Scandi fans, will love anything from Sostrene Grene.

Notebook, from €1.98, Sostrene Grene


Love and Life

Our own Emily Hourican’s third novel tells of mothers and daughters, love and loss, friendship and failure, and layers and layers of guilt.

‘The Blamed’ by Emily Hourican, €16.99, published by Hachette


Plush Prez

Give this little Michael D doll a squeeze, and hear him giggle. And all for a good cause, as 10pc of the price goes to Our Lady’s Hospital Crumlin.

Miggle D Giggles doll, €20,


Merry Marker

SkinCeuticals facials in the spa, the legendary Drunch in the restaurant and the best views over the Docklands from the rooftop bar. The Marker is the ideal urban retreat.

Vouchers and spa packages, Marker Hotel, Grand Canal Square, D2, tel: (01) 687-5100, or see


Making Memories

Restore their beloved family photos to their former glory; all framed and ready to go. You don’t get that on Insta.

Pictorium photo restoration, for services and prices, see


Hot Foot It

Slippers are so 20th Century. Cashmere socks are the toe-warming choice of the sofa-snuggling millennial.

Cashmere socks, €40, Monaghans Cashmere, 21 South Anne St, D2, or see


Deep Bleu

His favourite Chanel scent, now in the more intense parfum.

Chanel Bleu de Chanel Parfum, €128, Chanel counters nationwide


The Gift of Flight

A voucher to suit every pocket, for the operator to suit every thrill, from skiing to cruises and beyond.

Topflight gift voucher, see


Big Losses

Declan Lynch’s brilliant telling of the true story of the Irish man whose online gambling sent him to prison, and cost the Post Office almost €2m.

‘Tony 10’ by Declan Lynch is published by Gill


Brill Brulee

Ten creme brulees, with no need for a blowtorch.

Lily O’Brien’s Festive Creme Brulee Tower, €5, available nationwide, or see


Candle Corner

Rathbornes Dublin Dusk candle is darkly delicious for those who change their candles to suit the season. The four-wick version is luxuriously festive.

Rathbornes Dublin Dusk four-wick candle, €54, Arnotts; Brown Thomas; Avoca; Kilkenny shops; Meadows and Byrne


Curl, Girl

In the 1990s, we all did the flick. Now ghd delivers the effortless curl. ghd Oracle, €199, exclusive to

Peter Mark salons,



Couch Potato

Everyone needs loungewear for that post-Christmas, pre-New Year’s week. This hoody is just the thing for your teenage couch inhabitants.

Hoody, €12, Penneys


On The Cards

A game everyone (over eight) can play after Christmas dinner is a win-win. Give this as a general family gift.

Kids Vs Adults card game, €5.50,

Marks & Spencer


In the Frame

For anyone with a new arrival, this cute frame is as a must.

Teddy Bear Baby Frame, €30, see


Roz Purcell

Model and food guru

I spend every Christmas travelling, and I think it’s the best present anyone can get — getting to experience different countries, seeing different cultures and meeting new people.

I am going to Bali with my boyfriend and two friends. We have our mini Christmas early now, as we are all grown-up. This means we then get to use the holiday to get a brilliant break. I love having the family Christmas the week before and spending time together, and I then get a chance to go and chase the sun.

My parents have all their friends calling over from America this year, so there is no space for me at the table! I am really looking forward to seeing what my Christmas dinner will be this year. Every year it is a different cuisine from a different country, and I love to see the amazing ways people celebrate around the world.

Get into Print

A subtle print for the aunts in your life.

Scarf, RRP €25; Kildare Village price, €16.50, Foxford, Kildare Village, Nurney Rd, Kildare


In the Pink

Millennial-pink coasters — what could be more chic?

Coaster, €15, River Island


A Dab Hand

A balm against the biting winter. The companion gift to some cashmere gloves.

Chanel La Creme Main Texture Riche, €56, Chanel counters nationwide


Super Smart TV

The Now TV Smart Stick is the gift for the goggle-boxer who doesn’t want a dish or a contract, but dreams of bingeing on Sky. Special Christmas offers include the stick itself, and one month of Entertainment, Movie and Sport packages for €25.

Now TV Smart Stick, Harvey Norman; Tesco and selected stores nationwide


Cafe Chic

Nespresso’s Christmas collection of coffees always sells out, and this year’s is a total treat: Paris-inspired Madeleine, Macaron and Paris Black. Available in original sizes and the longer-cup Vertuo.

Nespresso Christmas coffee capsules, from €4.70 per sleeve, Nespresso Boutiques, or see


About the Children

A ‘Gift for Good’ from Barnardos will provide children and families in need with anything from pjs and slippers, to books or a full bedding set. Spread the warmth.

Barnardos ‘Gift for Good’, from €18-€100, see


Lasts a Lifetime

Self-Help Africa has Christmas cards this year, as well as lifetime gifts of goats, seeds, beehives or farm tools for families in Africa. This is a gift that goes beyond your own home.

Self-Help Africa gifts,


Christmas Castle

A voucher for Dromoland Castle is the gift of classic chilling. The castle also does bespoke Christmas hampers, though, for a literal taste of the good life.

Dromoland Castle, Newmarket-on-Fergus, Co Clare, tel: (061) 368-144, or see


Chocolate Feast

Something for the non-fruitcake eater.

SuperValu Signature Tastes Enchanted Forest Cake, €10, SuperValu nationwide


Ring my Belle

The sweet delight of La Vie est Belle fragrance, in a 50ml bottle and a handbag-size 10ml spray.

La Vie est Belle gift set, €83.50, Lancome counters nationwide


Bubbly Tunes

Two body washes, a deodorant and a splashproof Bluetooth speaker for the shower. He’ll be in there for hours.

Dove Men+Care Shower Speaker Set, €21, available nationwide


Neck Art

The Trinity is represented in silver and Irish gold on this delicate pendant.

Trinity Tree of Life pendant, €165, jewellers nationwide, or see


Bang for Your Buck

The gift of Bang & Olufsen is the gift of sound. And a compliment to their eye for design.

Bang & Olufsen P2 Bluetooth Speaker, €169.95, Bang & Olufsen, 15 Duke St, D2; Dundrum Town Centre, D16; Donnybrook, D4; Arnotts


James Kavanagh

Blogger and cookbook author

I’d love loads of Kilner jars in all shapes and sizes for Crhistmas this year. I’ve become obsessed with pickling, fermentation and making my own kombucha, so I’m in need of loads of vessels! This year, I’m spending Christmas in my brother John’s new house, with all the family. We haven’t had a family Christmas in two years, so it’ll be lovely.


Kazoo You

Daft enough for all the family. 120 tune cards and five kazoos. Name that tune.

Kazoo That Tune, €20, Harvey Norman


Sky’s the Limit

Sky plus Netflix. It’s enough to induce Homer Simpson-style drooling in your TV-binger beloved.

Sky Ultimate On Demand, €16 per month for existing SkyQ customers. For more information, see



This virtual assistant is small and cute, but with the power to make them wonder how the house ran without it.

Google Home Mini, €59, Harvey Norman


Joy at Johnstown

Not even an hour from Dublin. Afternoon tea. Vouchers for overnights. Dangerously close to Kildare Village.

Johnstown Estate, Enfield, Co Meath,

tel: (046) 954-0000, or see


Heart, Jean-Paul

Keep him smelling good and nice and snug.

Jean-Paul Gaultier Le Male Eau de Toilette set, €81.50, Boots


Always Tan Time

Silly you, thinking they only wanted tan in summer. This gift box has four full-size tan essentials, including the all-important back applicator. Gingerbread smell not included.

Cocoa Brown by Marissa Carter Gingerbread Gift Box, €20, available nationwide


Splash Out

They just can’t settle on a single cologne from

Jo Malone? To hell with it, give them the lot.

Jo Malone London Luxury Cologne Collection, €445, exclusive to Brown Thomas


Travel Delight

Vouchers for the Travel Department and TDactive Holidays can be for any denomination, have no expiry date, and open up a world of guided holidays to the recipient.

Travel Department vouchers, Arnotts; or see


The Eyes Have It

You won’t see them looking weary with this little stocking filler of an eyebag-busting eye cream.

Dermalogica Bright Eyes Ornament, €26.50, salons nationwide, or see


The Life of Francis

Everyone deserves a little bit of Francis Brennan in their lives.

Moccasin slippers, €40, Francis Brennan The Collection, Dunnes Stores


Bag Lady

It bags have had their day; buy her a classic backpack.

Leather backpack, €99; tweed wool coat, €149; cashmere hat, €29, all Carolyn Donnelly —

The Edit for Dunnes Stores


By the Light of a Candle

Candles, from €10, Carolyn Donnelly Eclectic, Dunnes Stores


Beat It

Drums. But electronic ones. They’re not so annoying, right?

E-drum set, €59.99, Lidl


Boxed off

Louis Copeland has curated a collection of Irish design and craft, including homewares, skincare, pottery, stationary, and candles, for Made of Irish, an online shop for those looking to buy Irish this Christmas.

Pre-made hampers, available for €150 and €250, see


Aoibhin Garrihy


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Aoibhin Garrihy with her husband John Burke and pet dogs

Honestly, since Hanorah arrived, I feel like all our Christmases have come at once! Just to have her with us this year is the best gift of all. The first Christmas with her will be really magical. It’s been busy since her arrival though, for sure... so getting some quality down time, and if a little massage voucher for mom was going, she certainly wouldn’t say no!

Every year John [Burke, Aoibhin’s husband, pictured above] and I spend Christmas between Doolin and Spanish Point in Co Clare, and it really is all about family. We’re always racing, and so to retreat to the west and hibernate with family and all of the food is bliss. We will go between both families and enjoy the culinary skills of both moms! I have some amazing memories of Santa nailing it on Christmas morning, but one year, in a break from tradition, he found us in New York. Being in the Big Apple for the most wonderful time

of the year was something special. We had Midnight Mass in St Patrick’s Cathedral and went ice-skating in the Rockefeller Centre.

It was amazing!


A Star is Born

Give her this jumper, along with a pair of simple black leggings, and she is set for those cosy January weekends.

Jumper, €23, F&F, Tesco


Literature for Littles

The Little People Big Dreams series of books for children tells the stories of women who changed the world. Other titles cover the lives of Coco Chanel, Simone de Beauvoir, Anne Frank and Mother Teresa.

‘Little People Big Dreams: Marie Curie’, €12, The Marvel Room, Brown Thomas


Collector’s Item

For some, Christmas really hasn’t begun until they’ve been gifted a Newbridge Silverware Christmas decoration to add to their collection.

Decoration, €35,


Tune Out

Give them the gift of zoning out after  Christmas with these wireless headphones.

Sony headphones, €270, Arnotts

Weekend Bag

Give him this, and a weekend away in January.

Weekend travel bag, €120, Hammond & Co by Patrick Grant, Debenhams

Bee’s Knees

Scented candles aren’t for everyone.

Brookwood Farm hand-poured candle in printed glass,

far left, €30; hand-dipped

12-hour candles, left, €24,


Girl With The Pearl Earring

These hoops are an unusual take on a pearl earring.

Earrings, €99, Pandora, available from Pandora stores nationwide


On the Horizon

If they can’t see it they can’t be it. Move your little one’s horizons beyond princesses with this Lottie Fossil Hunter adventurer doll.

Fossil Hunter Lottie, €20, Arnotts

Pep in his Step

Revive his complexion, restore his vim.

Clarins Men Instant Revitalisers Collection, €69, exclusive to Arnotts; Brown Thomas


Simply Sisley

The annual Eau de Soir limited-edition scent is an indulgence she might not splash out for herself — and this year it’s in very on-trend animal print packaging.

Sisley Eau de Soir Limited Edition Tiger Walk, €228, Harvey Nichols, Dundrum Town Centre, D16; Brown Thomas

Set the Tone

An extra-large bottle of hard-to-beat setting spray for her make-up — and gussied up as a tree ornament, too.

Urban Decay All Nighter Setting Spray Jumbo, €12, Urban Decay, 50-51 Grafton St, D2; Arnotts; Debenhams



A cashmere beanie is a thing of beauty, and of extreme cosiness, too.

Cashmere beanie hats, €125 each, Laura Chambers,


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