Missing your loved ones who have moved to sunnier climes? Remind them of your love with these slightly awful gifts from home. Nicole Buckler reports from the front lines of naff gift shops.
Yes it is that time of year when we start to think about sending gifts abroad. Here are some largely awful ideas, just for you. You are welcome.
Have your loved ones stopped smelling like home? And by home we mean like a blanket bog in Wicklow, some sturdy hill ferns on the Sugarloaf and like Bertie Ahern? Then you need to immediately correct this situation by sending your loved ones the Irish Spring Original Body Wash. At US$7 it’s not so cheap compared to the body washes you can get in eurosaver that make you smell like a little old lady. But it is good value when you think that your loved one could smell like Powerscourt Waterfall in just one wash.
The people who are flogging this product claim that, “the Irish Spring body wash variety keeps shower time interesting.” I thought that was what other naked people were for. And they go on to claim that the body wash has “all the freshness of Ireland, in one convenient bottle.” I like the way they think Ireland is fresh. I do too, when I’m stuck on the M50 in a cloud of carbon monoxide. MMmmm suck in that freshness, people.
But this product has its fans. One dude reviews it as, “The BEST Irish Spring out there in my humble opinion. I’ve tried the Irish Spring with Conditioner but I prefer the original formula. Using a small amount about the size of a quarter, it lathers up nicely. I use it for body wash and shampoo. The fresh scent wakes you up and leaves you smelling clean for several hours. My only complaint is that the 15 ounce bottles end up empty way too soon. You’ll need to keep a spare.”
I really think the world needs more reviews of body soaps on the internet, we wouldn’t want to waste our time doing useful things like feeding the homeless.
But be careful folks, there’s danger out there. One reviewer said her product, “arrived frozen and exploded in the packaging. I guess some things are not meant to be shipped. Hope to try again in summer.” Yes we all love summer, mostly for the safety it affords us from frozen Irish body washes.
Is your loved one taking on an Aussie drawl or a Canadian tone, eh? Well remind them of where they came from at once by reinstating their Irish accent with this gum. Called “Instant Irish Accent gum” it is also used by people with boring accents to instantly acquire the sought-after Irish brogue. Which obviously, then, helps them to pull.
The reviews aren’t entirely supportive however. “I’m giving this 4 stars due to effectiveness. My speech and cognition ended up impaired for days! From the moment this touched my lips to 3 days after the last chew, Irish accent, Irish thinking, Irish eating, Irish drinking! How these people actually function is beyond me. I started to eat raw potatoes covered in mutton, dunking the whole concoction in a huge glass of mead. Worst of all, I watched that terrible movie Beowulf constantly.”
Others were more forthright with their criticism.“It didn’t even work, it’s the worst thing ever I don’t even know why I brought it. It was a waste of money.” And others say, “I can’t believe I paid 15 dollars for regular flavoured gum which had no effect on the way I spoke!” Well haters are gonna hate.
Send your loved one this gum. Remind them of where they are from, and to speak like the good Irish individual that they are. It is just a snip at US$4.35 + shipping.
We Irish love our whiskey. We even spell it differently to the Scots, who don’t use an “e” mid-word. And it’s their loss. Because Es are great. So if we love whiskey this much, why the hell would we want to water it down with ice-cubes? That is as naff and boring as all hell. So enter the awesome product that is whiskey stones.
All you do is throw them the feck into the freezer on the morning of the day you plan to get toasted. Then by evening time they are ready to clink around your glass as classily as all hell. People used to just go right ahead and post bottles of whiskey to loved ones abroad. But those pesky terrorists changed all that. Sending liquids through the post is now becoming entirely fraught with annoying new laws. But this is a great gift compromise to send abroad to remind emigrants of their Irishness.
The stones come in an elegant pouch, making you feel like you might also aspire to owning a manbag one day. For just $25.99 they are the pricey end of a gift that could possibly get lost in the post or eaten by a bear in Canada, but worth the risk. And here’s something I bet you didn’t know. In the old days, Scandinavians chilled their whiskey with frozen rocks, ergo the phrase… “Whiskey on the rocks.” Those scandos are good at everything, from skiing to drinking to giving us Ikea. Sigh.
These bad boys are made from natural soapstone: apparently the only material which comes in contact with your drink and does NOT change its taste. And due to its high density, it holds the temperatures much longer than granite, marble or any other whiskey stones substitute. And get this, the stones have smooth edges so they don’t scratch the bejaysus out of your glasses. It’s like a 50s housewife’s dream. I had better go lie down with all the excitement.
Reviews are good. “I like my whiskey straight and cold, so these were perfect for me. They are very beautiful stones too. I wish they were a little larger so I didn’t have to use so many at once. You have to be careful about not freezing them wet!” Eoou.
And here’s some advice: don’t swallow them mid-swig. I know you think I’m crazy for saying that but…I know you better than you know yourself.
With our loved ones abroad, we want them to still be celebrating in style. And what better way to celebrate than to plaster the place where you eat with a flag of our overly green nation? It is green, it’s orange, it’s white, you can’t ask for more than that. At US$8.46 it’s not so much a bargain when the reviews say things like, “The quality of the plastic of the tablecloth was adequate for once or very infrequent use.” But hey, who is going to use this tablecloth more than once after everyone has wiped their faces with it and then used it as a slip-and-slide when Melbourne gets hit with another heatwave? Go forth people. Eat then slip and slide. This tablecloth is all your dreams come true.
If you don’t want to spend any money but you still want to send all that is Ireland to a loved one abroad, then tell them about this app. Yep you heard me, this app is free. It is the kind of app you can lose yourself in, and pretend that you are a high king of your clan, rather than the peasant labourer that you are. Go on ye all, immerse yourself in the mystical world of the Celts: prove yourself as a fearless Celtic tribe leader!
Wild things are promised. You can recruit a wild horde of slingers, axe men and other barbaric warriors to send them into battle and take over the villages of thousands of other players. Expand your small village into a settlement by using the mysterious power of magical artefacts and runes. Establish strategic clans with other players and exchange dearly sought-after resources. Entertain your subordinates in the village tavern (do NOT spill the ale) or send them on missions to earn decent loot. Prove your tactical skills and let the world tremble before you! Lead your tribe on the way to glory and become the greatest ruler of all time! Or not.
Reviews are good. “I’m loving this game! It’s a game of tactics and you have two weeks to strengthen your village before anyone can attack you. I was invited into a tribe within a few days (a very helpful tribe I might add) and this adds to my protection and the strength of the tribe.” Little does he know that very tribe will soon roll him for his shoes, strip his paganism from him, and make him into a Catholic. Oh well, that’s where the fun begins.
Did your loved ones leave Ireland and take their pet with them? Did you get overly attached to it and forget to kidnap it before they went? Well you can still send that Irish dog a lovely reminder of its homeland. Looking stylish and casual, they can don this fancy rag and be the dog that all the other dogs want to hump in the park. And the dog will have many admirers on Paddy’s Day too, instead of the usual little old ladies that secretly feed it Werther’s Originals when you aren’t looking.
This little get-up is made from polyester and cotton, probably in a sweatshop that uses kittens as slave labour. But never mind about that! Your dog will look ace so who cares about those little soft kittens! It’s a bargain bonanza at just US$16.99!
And speaking of dogs, you can send any loved emigrant dog this special little can of God-knows-what.
Yep if the dog is missing the taste of pork offal and mutton hooves, then this could be just the ticket. Makers Merrick say that you can “share this fun Irish dish with your favourite furry friend and wait for the smooches!” Or not, if they have Irish stew breath.
But here’s the good news, you can get a case of 12 for US$29.99. Throw in the Irish accent gum and the dog will feel like he’s right at home in Ireland.
Yes here it finally is, for that grandchild or niece who is obsessed with Barbie. It is all the stereotypes of Irish women made into a single outfit for this doll of the world. Reviews are littered with Celtic joy: “I got this for my 3 year old. She loves her Irish girl Barbie. She has other Barbies but this one is unique; a great addition to her collection!” So give your loved one body image issues with an Irish flavour. It is the best kind.
Yep. Send them some briquettes, and why the hell not? Even in a heatwave, Irish emigrants would like nothing other than filling up their barbeque with these bad boys and giving their kangaroo sausages a good flavouring of Ireland. And even better! Gift-wrap is available!
And here’s why it makes sense to put them in the barbie. They are 100% Organic, and you can use them in a BBQ to create an amazing new taste for meat, fish and poultry. Yes everyone should mask the flavour of freshly-caught barramundi with briquettes. Is this a gift I hear you say? Only the Irish would know that this is the BEST GIFT EVER.
Want to read about more Irish gifts? Then click here.