I started this blog back in 2012, and in 2014, sick of reading ridiculous Christmas gift guides I decided to write my own. I enlisted my blogger friends and they dutifully came up with a list of what they wanted for Christmas and “What real women want for Christmas” was born. And then I have done it every year since! Some of the blogs have since passed on but many of the same original contributors remain, and without them this series couldn’t happen.
Every year I say I am going to publish this in November and I think every year it gets later and later, but here we are, a list of gifts that these real women, who are all mothers and in or around my age, and who have a range of different interests, would like for Christmas. It’s been the strangest year ever so we all deserve something extra special. Hope you can find some inspiration for what to get someone in your life, or what to ask for, or better still buy yourself!
Andrea (aka Officemum aka Andrea Mara, Author) has been contributing to What Real Women Want for Christmas since the very beginning. Back then she was a blogger with an office job, these days she’s an accomplished author with three (highly recommended) books under her belt, check out her website here. Here’s Andrea’s list:
Sweatshirt: I’d love this “GRMA, Next” sweatshirt from Irish website beanantees.com. If I’m going to live in sweatshirts 365 days a year, I may as well have a collection of very nice sweatshirts.
Skincare: A friend told me recently about Skinformulas.ie and in my bid to try more Irish skincare brands, I’m eying up their Vit A Restore Serum
Ceramics: I spotted Sarah McKenna’s beautiful ceramics in Meadows & Byrne before lockdown and have been promising myself ever since that I’ll buy something from her collection. I haven’t manged to do so yet, but maybe if I put it here, someone will buy it for me . . .
Book: The book I’d really like is Malibu Rising by Talyor Jenkins Reid but it’s not out until May, so Santa would have to be very magic indeed. Instead, I’d like All the Wicked Girls by Chris Whitaker or The Unseen World by Liz Moore.
Jewellery: Even if I’m staying home, jewellery makes me happy, and I love the look of this “Causeway” chain by Irish designing duo Juvi
Another of the original cast, Naomi kept us entertained and educated on her instagram and Science Wows with 100 days of science during the long homeschooling lockdown, and since bringing that to a close has been working away on projects both DIY and scientific and sea-swimming in the Atlantic.
Here’s what Naomi would like for Christmas:
I think maybe I’ll skip the usual comments on how the year has gone, and move straight on to my wish list this Christmas.
As we did a little painting and decorating during lock-down (who didn’t really) I am on the lookout for some nice prints to finish things off and I absolutely love the prints by Galway designers Grey and Ginger. With their use of sustainable materials they tick the local and eco boxes nicely.
Staying with the DIY and decorating theme, I would love a pair of hairpin legs to complete a little project I have started; and a tin of Tikurila Taika gold paint or WRX spray from The Paint Hub would make great stocking fillers.
Now that my little dips into the Atlantic have become more frequent I think it is time to up my game with a warm and practical changing robe. I love these ones from local business, nug changing robes . I think it could definitely get my New Year off to a warmer start.
Speaking of the sea, I could do with a restock of my favourite perfume, Inis, which claims to instantly refreshes and makes you feel close to the sea, no matter where you are
Sadhbh has been contributing since 2014 too. Sadhbh is the author of three Irish language picturebooks. You might have spotted her new book, Geansaí Ottó, on the Late Late Toyshow (the excitement!) Sadhbh was the Writer in Residence with dlr libraries until recently and her ‘Scéal Trail’ (an outdoor reading experience based on Geansaí Ottó) is a wonderful festive activity for families if you happen to be in the Dún Laoghaire area over the festive season.
Here’s Sadhbh’s Christmas wishlist:
I’m asking for these slippers,
I’d like the the new English Irish dictionary (nerd)
A candle From Tinteán- see here.
And a new chair for my ‘home office’ (which is really just a desk squeezed into the corner of my bedroom) I’ve been making do with an old kitchen chair since March and my back is not happy with me. I can’t fit a proper office chair into the space but I’d really love this dark green velvet chair to add a bit of luxury to my working day!
Lucy aka Learnermama has been contributing since the beginning too, she’s still blogging, sharing her family trip to New York from 2019 earlier this year, to inspire is all for when normality returns.
Well hasn’t 2020 been one hell of a rollercoaster ride! I certainly won’t be sorry to see the back of it. To be fair in the scheme of things I have been lucky. My husband still has his full-time job and I have been able to mind and home school the kids when necessary. My thoughts are with those that haven’t been as fortunate. Hopefully 2021 will bring hope and positivity to all.
In my post last year, I had focused on a less material possession type of list and this year has certainly brought the realisation that I don’t need a lot of material things to a whole new level. That said, there are a couple of items that I have realised may come in handy as we face a brand-new year!
It was on my list last year and it is still here! My dressing table is almost complete – just missing the finish touch of a nice mirror with lights. Nothing fancy, just something that would make doing my makeup that bit easier. I do plan to start actually wearing makeup again in 2021.
Scandal by Jean Paul Gaultier Perfume
Another from last year’s list that still needs ticking off is a new perfume. My little miniature Jean Paul Gaultier bottles are running low, in particular Scandal, and I would love a large bottle of it.
I actually managed to get through 2020 without running out – the lack of social outing, indeed hardly leaving the house, meant my need for fancy perfume was limited but I would like to kick 2021 off with starting to put some effort into my self -grooming again. 2020 really saw that side of things slide.
I did do quite a bit of walking in 2020. In particular the first lockdown in March/April/May saw daily walks around our allotted space. I have tried to continue walking each day – a lunchtime walk with my husband who has been working from home has been nice but I know the day will come when he will be back in the office, even if not full time, and I will be on my own.
I reckon a nice pair of Air Pods so that I can listen to a podcast or some music on a daily walk would fit the bill nicely, especially since I am coming up for a phone upgrade and hope to get a nice shiny phone to go with them.
Interior Design Consultation
We moved into a new house just over 2 years ago and while most of it is set up from a practical point of view, I really feel it needs to be taken up a level with regard to décor While I am very organised and tend to be good at setting up organisational systems, an interior designer I am not. I just seem to lack that ability to do those finish touching. The house dressing bit. I would love for someone to come in and give me guidance on each room in my house. I am then very happy to go off and arrange the jobs myself – I just need that initial expertise regarding style and colour.
A Hug from my Dad
I have followed all the public health advice that has been issued, even if at times I have found it difficult (and at times certain rules illogical). As a result, I have not hugged my Dad since March. As he lives on his own since my Mum died, this has really broken my heart. I would really love to get a nice big Daddy bear hug for Christmas. I know it is probably not going to be sensible to have that level of close contact this year but the hope being that my Dad at least would be in line for a vaccine in the early rounds and we can be hugging by Easter.
In the pastyear Liz has knocked it out of the park with her food shots on her instagram feed. I’ve saved most of them and the ones I’ve tried have been fantastic. Here’s what my favourite alpaca farmer/airbnb host would like for Christmas.
This year more than any it feels somewhat frivolous to have a wish list that revolves around ‘stuff’. 2020 has taught us a lot and it’s overriding lesson is that it’s people that matter, not things. So if I could truly wish for anything this Christmas it would be that we could all gather together as a family and celebrate. Unfortunately we will have to hold off on that for a little longer. Meanwhile the following are some items that have caught my eye, each of which would add something lovely to our home.
This stunning cashmere throw from John Hanly would be the perfect antidote for this freezing weather
These beautiful candles from Millbee are gorgeous in their simplicity
And finally, the fuel that keeps me sane would taste so much nicer if it was made by this beautiful machine!
I always keep myself til last, then every year I think maybe I’ll leave it as believe it or not, putting this together and making the images takes ages and this is a busy time of year. Also, my success rate for receiving the gifts that I ask for is low. But there are so many lovely things, and maybe you don’t know about them and might like them too, so here’s my own thing that can be bought wishlist for 2020 (My things that cannot be bought involve being able to make plans confidently, seeing people and giving hugs to some specific people). I’ve broken mine loosely into categories – Want, Need, Wear, Read, Do and Home. I also realise that last year I wished for comfy clothes and days out too so clearly I am not particularly imaginative, or else (my preference) I am consistent.
Want: Blaithin Ennis earrings- these are just gorgeous and local to me. I choose the teeny teardrop ones
Need: I treated myself to a Gym+Coffee Hoodie with a voucher I got for my birthday and live in it so I’d love another for the days its in the wash. I have black so any other colour would be appreciated! Also, my other lockdown lesiurewear discovery was Sweaty Betty legging and I really really covet the Luxe fleece on their website too. Either one would keep me good and warm! (Yes, this works for the wear category too)
Wear: A fauna kids sweatshirt – Irish, stylish and they look so cosy, I’d prefer the pink but they’re all out of stock now until after Christmas but this blue one is fabulous too.
Read: Louise O’Neill’s new novel is on my radar, and I’ve leafed through Tiger Tiger Burning Bright a few times and it’s gorgeous, an analogy of animal poems, a real collector’s item.
Do: My 2020 list of things to do got curtailed by covid so I’d really like to go places this year, so a voucher for any family experience would be fantastic, with Armagh Planetarium, Wild Ireland in Donegal and Spike Island all featuring very high on my list for 2021. As is a meal out in a nice restaurant just my husband and I.
Home: Not for me but the house could always do with more artwork (my first port of call would be The Gaslamp Gallery but how to choose between Aaminah Snowdon’s animals and some gorgeous landscapes. I’d love a tripod lamp for the living room too.
Happy Shopping, hope you enjoyed this nose through our wishlists!