Christmas can be an expensive time of year for everyone, especially for those of us who are studying and aren’t earning a regular income. When I was younger, I was able to get away with presenting my family their gifts without actually having to put my hand in my pocket. I relied on my sibling to buy the presents and include me as part of he ‘present ceremony’. Now that I’m older, I realise that I too have to give back in order to have a sense of giving and being independent. I’ve saved up my pocket money all year and set a challenge for myself this Christmas to shop on a budget.
Galway city has an array of wonderful shops. As I walked up Shop Street on this particular chilly evening, the atmosphere I felt was so special. Christmas was weeks away yet I felt like it was tomorrow. All the lights were twinkling overhead and I was being entertained by the buskers who were not yet finished for the day. This definitely helped me to get in the festive mood.
The shops I visited, in my quest for securing presents on a strict budget, offered a wide variety of gifts for all the family, and friends too. These are all quality presents that I could afford and will be proud to give on Christmas morning, I was pleasantly surprised at what I found.
For €5 and under: Barna Gifts has personalised Christmas tree decorations (any name available,just ask ), €3.99 or three for €10. These little Santas are a great gift for those of us with unusual names that never get printed. Other, non-personalised, decorations available also in this price range include angels for €3.99 and snowman figures for €3.50. Eason stocks a must-have Mrs Brown’s Boys DVD (the original series ) which is an ideal gift for friends or siblings for only €4,99. Christmas story books including classics such as The Night before Christmas and A Christmas Carol, which are great for young cousins or siblings, sell for only €2.99. McCambridges stocks Butlers chocolates including a box of Santa and snowmen pair for €4. Christmas crackers with chocolate inside are only €2.
For €10 and under: The calender stalls in Eyre Square Shopping Centre (opposite Penneys ) offer a wide variety of calenders, from celebrities to pets, for a reasonable €9.99. Penneys has a great selection of comfort gifts which include Ugg-style slippers for €6, fluffly pajama set at €10, and cosy socks for only €3. McCambridges sells Christmas novelties (available in gold or red ) for €7.95 filled with Butlers chocolates. It stocks ornate tinned biscuits which start at only €5.20. Disney character tins are available for children for €4.45. Barna Gifts has Christmas spice scented cones in a red chiffon bag, which are perfect decorations for by the fire, for €8.99. The famous saying ‘keep calm and carry on’ is available on a mug and comes in a matching red and white round tin for €8.99. Eason sells a tiny book light (available in a variety of colours ) for €9.15. This won gift of the year previously for Christmas time.
For €15 and under: Yankee Candle sells a The Night before Christmas tealight holder. This adorable candle holder is one of its most reasonable products for €10.95. Boots has a Fairtrade Boots own brand body wash gift set for €13. This set includes a body wash, scrub, and body butter. It is available in cranberry, mango, or cocoa butter. Eason sells a great selection of books including recent offerings of The Good Room by David McWilliams and The Untouchables by Shane Ross and Nick Webb for €13.99 each. The Cookie Creation Kit comes with a book and cookie cutters for €12.99. Cupcake and cooking juniour chef versions are also available for the same price. Barna Gifts has Lily-Flame festive candles for €10.99 each. Candles from the collection include Mistletoe Kisses, Snow Fall, and Fairy Dust, and Ho, Ho, Ho. These are very decorative not only on the outside of the tins, but on the candle inside too. Wooden Heart in Quay Street sells the Scratch Map travel edition for €14.95. This is a great gift for any age, the idea is that you scratch off with a coin from the map of the world, the places you have been or have ambitions to see