Having had an enjoyable stroll through Galway city and county, it is abundantly clear that Galway literally has everything that anyone could possible want for Christmas, and at a price that despite the budget, we can afford. Also shopping in Galway is fun! And the shops are making every effort to meet our limited pockets by having bargains and beautifully decorated shops. Then after a hectic few hours shopping, and everyone sorted, a hot mulled cider, or a cool German beer in the Bier Keller, at the Eyre Square Christmas market tent, is a blast! Her are some of my suggestions:
Present for mother - It’s always good to pamper the mammies over Christmas because of all the cooking they do but also you want to go out as many nights over the festive season without getting into trouble. One gift which is extra special is Pandora bracelet and charms. The bracelets start at €49 and charms start at €22. It is a thoughtful gift and throughout the year extra charms can be purchased. Another gift which goes down well with the mammies is spa treatments. The new salt spa in the Radisson hotel has received great reviews. Not only does it clear chest problems it is also hugely relaxing and will help Mammy wind down after the successful Christmas dinner making and clean up. Another gift which is proving popular is the fish tank therapy in the Eyre Square shopping centre. These fishy friends will nibble all the dead skin from your toes. The shop has vouchers on offer so drop by and treat mammy’s tired toes.
If you would like to treat your mother to some new clothes and shoes but you are not sure what exactly to get her then pick up a voucher from ‘Áil Rúin’ in Clarinbridge. Áil Rúin design centre has a range from handmade clothes to unique designer pieces. Your mother will receive the best shopping advice as she tries on all the eye catching outfits.
Present for Father - Every father is different when it comes to presents. Usually dads get new socks, razor and a Lynx box set. They never do complain but why not try something different this year. For under €100 you and your siblings could treat Dad to falconry. On the two hour walk, Dad can get an insight into the birds and also get to handle them. Check out greatdaysout.ie for more information. If your Dad hasn’t taken up the wonderful sport of golf yet then be the first to encourage him. Mullarney golf in Salthill offers swing instruction to chipping, bunker play and putting. It’s sure to put a smile on Dad’s face and earn an extra night out over the festive season.
Present for boyfriend - If your boyfriend hasn’t expressed any interest in anything then why not treat him to some adrenaline pumping activities. For only €75 you can treat your man to a day spent shooting at targets and racing around dirt tracks. It’s any boy’s even man’s dream. Check out greatdaysout.ie for more information. Your boyfriend may be a Pro Evolution Soccer fanatic so if you don’t mind sparing your quality time for hours of Playstation games then that will make all his Christmases come true. If it is a ring you hope to receive then look into flights to Antwerp as it is the diamond capital of Europe. Flights to Antwerp don’t come cheap or easily accessible. It does involve a stop over in the UK but let’s face it, the ring will cost him a lot more.
Present for girlfriend - It is usually advised to steer clear of lingerie. It’s a no go area for all you boyfriends but saying that it is one of the best gifts. If you plan on braving it and treating your girl to some new underwear my best advice is to get lingerie from her drawer (when she’s not in the house ) and take it to a lingerie store and they will get the fitting correct. Make sure the lingerie you take is a bra she wears most frequently and not her first training bra! ‘Change’ on Eglington Street offers a very friendly service to their customers. The store has a great variety of colours and the prices are very reasonable. If she has a Pandora charm bracelet and you plan on buying another charm, make sure to get one she doesn’t have already. That mistake has been made too many times. Make it an extra special Christmas and treat her to a gold charm.
Present for Brother - Brothers always seem the difficult ones to buy for. They will have no problem letting you know if they don’t like getting a Lynx box set every Christmas. Usually they tell exactly what they want, the colour and where to get it. A more compelling present is an autobiography. Easons has a range of them from Pele to Paul Carberry and Phil Lynott’s story. A very special gift would be tickets to go see Bruce Springstein in the RDS on July 17th. If he is sport mad then you could get him a personalised photograph from the team dressing room with their name on the back of a jersey. This unique gift can be found on gifts.ie If you get a chance to pop into the Christmas market then make sure to take a look at the funky and crazy hats on display. Angry Birds has taken android and iphones by storm. The crafty crazy birds are available in wooly hats.
Present for Sister - For most girls make up, clothes, hand bags and shoes are always a winner. A voucher to have her makeup done in Mac will always go down well. If it is a hand bag you wish to get her then take a trip into any of the high street shops such as Topshop, River Island or Monsoon. They have a great selection of bags that vary in price. Any bag from any of these stores will be adored. Seeing as the frost has set in maybe get your little sis a funky hat such as Bert and Ernie or even a farm animal from the Christmas market. From ‘Beddy bears’ to ‘Gaoithe mór’, from’ Tribal Planet’ to ‘Cover your Bits’, you are sure to pick up colourful socks and some fuzzy hats that will make for a warm and cuddly Christmas.
Present for children u10 - For young children, you always have to be sure of their age because getting a nine-year-old a jigsaw for three years isn’t cool. If make and do is something the child likes then check out Toymaster’s sequin art and bead set. It’s sure to keep the young ones busy for the day but may result in your house looking like it’s Christmas all year. If outdoor activities is what you’re in search for then head down to Argos. They have a massive selection of toys from water guns to Ben Ten skateboards and Hello Kitty roller blades.
Children u6 - As children are beginning national school most are beginning to learn Irish for the very first time. An ideal and helpful present would be ‘Babóg’ the Irish speaking teddy. He has 10 numbers, colours and shapes to be learned. Babóg has a pop up shop in the Christmas market so be sure to drop by. One of the most magical treats for children is a visit to Santa. Santa Claus himself will be in the Christmas market every Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
Present for colleague, classmate - This is without doubt the most difficult present you will have to buy all Christmas. The majority of the time you have to buy for someone you see once a day at the photocopy machine or a classmate that you have never sat beside. The edible lingerie and singing fish are always purchased for someone like this? This year try to get something that will be of benefit. Facebook is where to start your creeping and see what that person is into. Do they have an ipod? iTunes vouchers would be much appreciated. Do they go travelling much? A travel set is always useful and little bottles and pocket sized goods that will even get through Ryanair is available in all good chemists across the city. See do they wear much jewellery. The Galway market on Saturdays offers a huge range from colourful bracelets to scented candles and woolly hats.
Best gifts under €10 - Penney’s is always hit when it comes to presents under €10. The store has some of the cutest T-shirts and funkiest jewellery. Another option is to head into the Christmas market and find some unusual gift. You can personalise Christmas souvenirs and decorations or even get some wooden crafts. In the Eyre Square shopping centre a Christmas decoration pop shop has been allocated in the lower level. Why not get a personalised decoration for the tree. It’s sure to last years and will be a constant reminder of the fun had at the Christmas party or under the mistletoe.
More great ideas next week