There is something about Ireland that makes everyone fall instantly head over heels. For some, it’s the accent. For others, the Irish humor is what sets the pulse racing. Or maybe what melts your heart is the taste of a freshly brewed cup of tea, or the unmistakable smell of a turf fire in winter. While we still can’t travel to Ireland, we can recreate that Irish feel at home, with these Irish holiday gifts to remind us of the Emerald Isle.
2020 has been a year, so it’s no wonder comfort-fashion is in style. Aran sweaters, originally worn by Ireland’s island fishermen used to be made of unwashed sheep’s wool, which made them waterproof. These days, the wool is squeaky clean, and the sweaters’ knit patterns and cozy elegance have made them a favorite with everyone from Marilyn Monroe to, more recently, Taylor Swift in the promo for 2020’s best-selling album Folklore.
More than 20 years on from its final episode, the legendary sitcom Father Ted still holds a very special place in Irish culture. The adventures and mishaps of Catholic-priest antihero Father Ted have given rise to so many iconic lines. And where there’s a catchphrase, there’s merch! Like this T-shirt—from “deadly” Irish clothing company and Father Ted-retailer, Hairy Baby—referencing the time Ted represented Ireland at the Eurovision Song Content with an… unusual… number about the depth of his feelings for a particularly lovely horse.
New Irish author Colm Boyd gives that famous Irish sense of humor free rein in his hilarious first book, The Illustrated Book of Songs. This is the gift every music buff and lover of Irish wit will want this festive season. There’s a list of songs for every occasion, ranging from Songs about Getting Dumped, to Songs to Cry Along with While Drunk and Lonely, and Alternative Christmas Songs. And, yes, The Pogues’ “Fairytale of New York” obviously gets a mention.
Top o’ the morning to yourself, what’s the craic? Who hasn’t dreamed of mastering the perfect Irish lilt? Well, now there’s a product that claims it’ll have you whispering sweet nothings like Colin Farrell in no time. Does it work? Who knows? But, sure, it’s worth giving it a go. At least you won’t sound like Tom Cruise in Far and Away. State o’ him!
When you’re Irish, certain things just taste like home. From comforting cups of Barry’s tea, to smooth-as-sin Butler’s chocolates, not to mention that quintessential crunch of Tayto potato chips—the ‘most-missed’ food by Irish emigrants, according to a study by Behaviour & Attitudes on behalf of Checkout magazine. Now, you can have them all, with this hamper chock-full of Irish chips, chocolate and tea, as well as goodies like soda bread, lemon shorties and whiskey fudge.
Who would have thought that Irish football (and hurling) shorts would become 2020’s hottest garment? April saw the worldwide success of steamy Irish TV drama Normal People, featuring heartthrob Paul Mescal scene-stealing in a pair of rather flattering sports shorts. Viewers swooned, and fashion editors were soon mentioning the humble GAA (Gaelic Athletic Association) in the same breath as Gucci and Prada.
You’ve no doubt sipped your fair share of Irish whiskey, sampled some Irish liqueur and maybe even gotten locked on Poitín, but what about Irish gin? Turns out Dingle Original Gin, made by the Dingle Whiskey Distillery, is making quite a splash internationally, having been named the World’s Best London Dry Gin and also winning the overall award for World’s Best Gin 2019, at the World Gin Awards 2019.
The weather outside is frightful, but a turf fire is so delightful, especially at the pub. Because it’s not just the great booze that draws Irish punters to the bar—it’s also the crackle and warmth of the fireplace. No turf bogs in your neighborhood? Not a problem! This personalized, ceramic pub comes with “mini sods” that smoulder to create that unique smell of an Irish winter’s evening on the town.