Here’s to a holly jolly Christmas…

Posted on: 6th December, 2016

Category: Image

Contributor: Louise O'Dwyer

The excitement is bubbling, the holiday season is fast approaching and I, for one, can’t wait. I love the smell of cloves and cinnamon. I love baking mincepies and Christmas cookies and smothering the house in fairy lights. Christmas is such a wonderful ending to the year – parties, gatherings and celebrations – what a beautiful way to say ‘goodbye’ to another year. Yes, it is an emotional time and that too needs to be celebrated.

We are creatures of habit, we tend to do what we always have done… I faithfully buy the RTE Guide every year but I don’t think I ever open it! We always buy too much food and then have to throw it all out, or in my case, I get to watch my dogs waddle around like fattened turkeys after the holidays! So this year, how about we tone it all down, just a little? How about we stop and think about the presents that we are buying and who we are buying them for?

I want to share a few much loved gifts with you; gifts that women or girls really love and use. What is the point in getting another voucher for your Mum when you know that she has yet to use the one that you gave her last year or for her birthday? People give you clues all the time about what they actually do like and use, without ever saying a word. Look at their handbag, chances are if they have been using it for quite a while. They love the make and size but would adore a new one, most probably the same brand. A good wallet or purse is essential but we all know that this is where you just can’t do cheap and cheerful because they inevitably fall apart. A leather purse is a must – the choice of colours available will delight anyone and everyone. So you don’t need to ask, you just need to look for the signs.

Teenage girls can be difficult to buy for, in fact so can someone in their 20s. I guarantee you that a set of really good make-up brushes will tick all the boxes. This is the generation that Google and YouTube every new make-up look and will spend hours practicing, so good make-up brushes are a must. I’m not going to name any in particular, ask at the beauty counters in department stores and choose whichever is in your budget.

We all know that there are certain stages in your life where you could end up with five or six weddings in a year, maybe even more. I met someone the other day and she said she would love to get a gift of a few spray tans, as she had three weddings in March and April. Do you know anyone who loves to have sun-kissed skin and would love to get a gift of a spray tan? Always look at the person when you are buying a gift, don’t buy something that you would like for them, choose something that shows them that you thought about them.

I have more body lotions than you can possibly imagine but I adore Green Angel. It is therapeutic and sensual and it’s made in Ireland. I think I have every single one of their products and it feels like a luxury spa-day-at-home when I use them. I have to say that their hand scrub and cream is the best that I have ever used. The seaweed day cream with Neroli is simply gorgeous. These products are wonderful for someone who is a ‘cream junkie’ and does actually use them. They are simply luxury in a jar.

Women adore pretty nightwear. They might not always buy it for themselves but if it were bought for them, of course they would wear it. It does not have to be slinky and see-through, I’m talking about elegant and graceful that could be sexy, depending on your humour! I can never say enough about giving a woman a gift that reminds her that she is a woman, something feminine is always a winner.

One of the best presents to give your jet-setting sister or friend is a gorgeous carry-on size bag, especially if she keeps borrowing your one. This is the ideal gift for someone who takes advantage of the many cheap flights to wonderful destinations around Europe at the moment. With amazing sales before the holidays, you can snap up an incredible deal on something that will last many years.

I’ve mentioned this before but I think that it is good to remind you about a gift of a couple’s massage. This is a very special present that you could give to your parents, your exhausted ‘New-Mommy’ daughter and her exhausted husband, the list goes on. This is an opportunity to give a gift for two people to chill out and spend time together.

With all of this gift-giving, don’t forget to treat yourself to something wonderful. This is the year that you can splurge on something sparkly, something dazzling, the more sequins it has the better. Who says that it has to be expensive, a little bit of glitz and glamour to throw on might come in the form of a sparkling scarf, some eye-catching earrings, a ‘look at me’ bobble hat, a sequin covered bag or maybe some shimmering eye-shadow. Just go for it!

Have a wonderful December and enjoy the whole month. Make sure that you surround yourself with twinkling lights, roaring fires, lots of mulled wine, a surplus of silliness and Christmas crackers. Fill your social diary to overload, you can always catch up on your sleep in January. Reach out to all of the people that you cherish. Make lots of plans with lots of people. Give yourself a huge hug…until we meet again next year.

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Have you ever wondered how you can see whales and dolphins from the headlands? This is your opportunity to learn. Cork Nature Network are delighted to be able to offer an exciting event at the Old Head of Kinsale. All levels welcome. The event will be guided by Emer Keaveney, who will explain what to look for and which species can be seen from land. The event will include an optional tour of the lighthouse which costs €10 payable on the day. Those not wishing to avail of the tour can attend the whale watching event at no cost.
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