If you’re of Irish descent and you like to visit the Emerald Isles over the holidays – or even to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in March – then this year will have felt different. The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way we live and temporarily halted our travel plans, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a piece of Ireland in your home. Below, we’ve rounded up some Irish gift ideas to help you feel like you’ve visited until it’s safe to do so once again…
A trip to Ireland
International travel might temporarily be off the cards, but you can bet that Ireland will be ready and waiting to welcome you back as soon as it’s safe to do so. One of the best ways to surprise a loved one is to treat them to a vacation, and where better to go than Ireland? Some of the country’s highest-rated hotels include the Powerscourt Hotel Resort & Spa, which offers first-class facilities and is close to Dublin’s urban delights, and Hayfield Manora in Cork, which exudes period-style elegance. Many hotels are offering tourists the chance to book future trips in advance, with a free refund policy should COVID disrupt your vacation.
If you’re looking for a gift idea for a loved one in your life, you can’t go too far wrong with a Claddagh ring. Manufactured in the country and hallmarked at the historic Irish Assay Office at Dublin Castle, these rings – which are known as fáinne Chladaigh in Irish – are designed to represent love, friendship, and loyalty – the heart shows love, the hands represent friendship and the crown demonstrates your loyalty. It’s the ideal gift idea for your girlfriend or daughter.
Irish chocolate bars
Whether you’re an Irish expat or you’re a fan of Ireland, you cannot beat their chocolate. Sure, brands aren’t quite as popular as Hershey’s or Lindt, but you can’t go wrong with toffee and chocolate bars from Butlers Chocolates, delicious classics from Cadbury like Dairy Milk and Flake bars, or Lily O’Briens, who develop mouth-watering confectionary for the whole family. You can order Irish chocolate in bulk on specialist websites and indeed on Amazon.
Another gift idea to consider for a loved one is a traditional Aran sweater, which can be shipped to your home from Ireland. Aran got its name from the islands at Ireland’s westerly point and is a diamond stitch that creates warm and costly sweaters, originally designed for fishermen and farmers. Aran sweaters have become increasingly popular in recent years, first modernized by Grace Kelly in the 1950s on the cover of VOGUE Magazine. Today, they are not only super warm and comfortable, but they’re a fashion statement in their own right.
Which of these Irish gifts sounds most appealing to you? Let us know and check back to World Around U soon for more advice on bringing the rest of the world closer to home during these unprecedented times. We’ll be back with more advice for the holiday season soon!