For those of us who prefer a calmer, more old-fashioned approach to the holiday, there are plenty of gift-buying options that don’t involve battling rabid crowds for the last Twilight-themed Tickle Me Elmo doll on the shelves. Over the next few weeks, I’ll present gift ideas that struck my fancy – some related to Irish Echo advertisers, some not – to help you find the perfect present for everyone on your list. I welcome suggestions as well, so email me your best gift-giving tip at firstname.lastname@example.org. Each week, I’ll print my favorite, and the person who sent it in will receive a free, one-year subscription to the Irish Echo. (If more than one person submits the same idea, I’ll pick the winner’s name out of a hat. A Santa hat, of course.)
So here we go . . . and happy shopping!
For the music lover…
An iPod Nano, loaded with a fab selection of Irish music, makes a very cool gift for the high-tech music lovers and technophobes alike. The recipient doesn’t even need a ccomputer — just sync the iPod with your machine, wrap it up, and stick it under the tree. Great sites for Irish music in digital format include www.emusic.com (a subscription service which charges a flat fee per month and allows you a specified number of downloads), amazon.com, and iTunes.com. The new Nanos come in a range of gorgeous colors (I’m partial to the green one, in case anyone’s wondering) and include a video camera, pedometer, voice recorder and FM radio receiver. They’re available from most major electronics retailers, but if you order directly from Apple (www.apple.com) they’ll engrave (and ship!) it for free. Starting at $149 for the 8GB model, $179 for 16GB.
The Very Best of Enya (Warner Bros. Records) The standard CD features all the best-loved songs from Donegal-born singer Enya Ryan’s long career – or opt for the special CD/DVD combo, which includes all of the New Age music superstar’s music videos, which are commercially available for the first time.
Andy Cooney: The Magic of Christmas Cooney’s Christmas album will delight his fans and enchant anyone who enjoys the sounds of the season. To order, call (800) 714-3272 or visit www.dararecords.com.
The Irish Tenors: Christmas
Featuring the current line-up of Anthony Kearns, Finbar Wright and Karl Scully, the group’s new CD is a treasure trove of holiday classics. On sale now.
A Taste of Ireland…
Looking to send a taste of Ireland to someone on your list? Then point your browser (or grab your phone and call) FoodIreland.com. You name it and they have it in stock: Taytos, Malteasers, Barry’s Tea, Donnelly’s Irish sausages, Weetabix — you name it. Send one of their Christmas hampers, which start at $39.99 (the Christmas Cheer Basket, #590004, pictured above, is $59.99 plus shipping). Or treat your friends or loved ones to a complete Irish breakfast, packed in mini cooler and shipped to their door. Visit them at www.foodireland.com, or call them at (877) 474-7436.
I can’t think of anyone who wouldn’t be thrilled to find tickets for one of the farewell performances of “Riverdance” under the tree this year. The show, which has dazzled audiences around the world since 1994, returns to New York’s Radio City Music Hall for eight shows, from March 17-21, 2010. Tickets are not on sale to the general public yet, but Irish Echo readers can secure some of the best seats in the house by visiting ticketmaster.com and entering code ECHO. Don’t miss out! For more information, call (212) 307-7171 or visit www.radiocity.com/riverdance.
Sow those wild oats, baby!
Who knew that the next group of calendar-worthy sex symbols wold be found herding cows and tending sheep on farms across Ireland? Not me – but after flipping through the pages of the Irish Farmer Calendar 2010, which benefits B
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