What these real women want for Christmas 2021

Well here we are again, another year older, another year sicker of covid and masks and all those things. Another year of gift guides telling people that what we really want is fur-lined loafers and €500 eye cream. Cashmere bed socks might be the last word in luxury but there are other ways to spend €60 on me that might get a better reaction. And less scratching. 

So here is is, the 2021 version (The first of this series was back in 2014!) what these real women want for Christmas annual post, with real life actual things that real life actual women want and that real life people can afford. Every year when I write this post I want some of the things in it for myself. We still have some of the original contributors joining in, together with a newbie. Hope you get some inspiration!


For anyone who’s followed these wishlists over the years Elizabeth needs no introduction, she’s been here since the beginning. Everyone’s favourite alpaca farmer, a Cork woman in exile in Offaly, an amazing cook and all round good egg with discerning taste. Here’s her wishlist.
This year I’ve decided against including any big ticket items, mostly because having spend so much time at home over the last 18 months ( or has it been 18 years!!!) I’ve realised that ‘stuff’ can be the thief of joy, not the bearer of it…that said I’d still crawl over hot coals for a Makers & Son sofa but since we are dealing in reality these some of the things that would bring me joy this year.
This gorgeous quilt from Ib Laursen…so timeless and cozy
And from the same collection and shop, these perfect enamel candle holders.
Continuing on the candle theme, my husband routinely wonders if it’s dinner or a séance that he’s attending, these candles from another beautiful Irish store are just stunning
And last but definitely not least, this platter from one of my favourite shops in the country, would feel right at home in my ever expanding, but frequently used, Ardmore Pottery collection.

Steph is the newest contributor to this annual post, this is her first appearance here.  You can find her on instagram here. I did one of her Tribe Talks back in early covid and had a great chat. She’s a HR professional and her website Stephbe.ie is where she,in her own words shares her “passion for HR, coaching, creating a better relationship with yourself, tips and tricks for success, selfdiscovery, infertility support, books and being a mum.” Her instagram is uplifting and encouraging, her jokes slightly cringe, 


I think I am really easy to buy for, as I get genuine pleasure in the little things. There is also no limit to how many of these basics I would love to own. Pyjamas, books, socks, candles and any smelly stuff makes me curl my toes with pleasure!
However, when I got the opportunity to virtually shop I did think of a few “bigger” gifts I would love.

The Coat:
I am a proud member of Newbridge Gospel Choir. It’s been so good to be back singing together again. Needless to say most of our gigs are out doors. We wear black as our uniform and I don’t own a black coat. My go to brand for coats is Ted Baker as I know I will have them forever.

The PJ’s
Like I said, I can’t have enough pyjamas in my life and I’m obsessed with this Savida set.

The trousers
I love clothes. I get great pleasure from them and wear things over and over and over again.
I’m also a big fan of pleather and have my eye on this pair of Poco trousers.

I’m not a bit greedy, even one of these things (with a book and a pair of socks) would make me very happy.
But, if I could ask Santa for one more thing (apart from world peace and the end of COVID) it would be this super cute bag in one of my most favourite colours from Irish Accessories Designer Nikki Hoyne.


Next up is Lucy, another of the original cast, you can find her on instagram at Learnermama.  I loved all the information she shared about her Paris trip with her children at October midterm. Lucy has had a rough year and deserves a very relaxing Christmas. 


Last year I had high hopes for 2021, but it all came crashing down very quickly when my sister died suddenly and unexpectedly on the 15th January. She had a lot of stuff and as we have worked through clearing through her stuff I have inherited a few extra bits I did not expect to have and so will definitely try to keep things simple this year and my list of wants is not very big. That said there are a few items on my wish list:

Hollywood Style Mirror

Every year I seem to do really well on getting things I have put on this list with the exception of one item – a Hollywood style mirror.  I think it’s the third year it is on my list. I’d still love one so I will leave it here.  I also need a full length mirror but wouldn’t be fussy about it having all the lights and razzle dazzle.

Robot Vacuum 

One of the household tasks that is the bane of my life is our kitchen/diner/family area open plan floor cleaning. I could vacuum and mop all day every day and it would still be a mess. I would love to have a robot vacuum specifically for this room (although it is welcome to the rest of the house!).  I also believe some models come with a mop function. This is literally my dream household appliance. 

There is a reasonably priced one on Ali Express which has the mop function too. If I don’t get it for Christmas it may just appear on my January shopping list.

White Towelling Robe

When I take a bath or shower I always put on a white towelling robe afterwards and sit and relax while I dry.  With washing and drying the towelling material tends to get a bit rough and worn out over a few years so would love a replacement for my current one. They are available in the likes of Arnotts, M&S and H&M.

Foil Arms and Hog Merch

The very last gig I went to before the pandemic was Foil Arms and Hog, the comedy trio who publish new sketches every Thursday on their social media platforms.  It was a great gig. We got to meet the guys after and they have continued to entertain me during lockdowns and very dark days.  They have a range of merch and their hoodies and jumpers look super comfy.  Would love one to add to my comfy clothes collection.

Electric Toothbrush

Not so long ago I think I had an electric toothbrush on my list and it was duly delivered.  However, an incident earlier this year with a sink full of drain unblocker and toothbrush falling over meant I have not used that electric toothbrush since.  I am now back to plain old manual toothbrushes and I really miss my electric version.  A brand spanking, drain unblocker free new model would be a very practical but great present. Any old one will do but loving the look of this one.



Next up is another of the founding mothers for this series, except when Andrea wrote her first Christmas wishlist back in 2014 she was a working mum of three young kids, and now a mere seven years later she’s a bestselling author with FIVE novels under her belt. Her children have grown up a bit too. I always love Andrea’s wishlist, especially her very clear hints to her husband. Any of Andrea’s novels would make a great gift. 



Queen B Ice-blue Anna Sweatshirt

I’m obsessed with sweatshirts since I started working from home six years ago – my uniform every day is sweatshirt, jeans, and runners – so I was thrilled to discover (thanks to my sisters) Queen B Athletics. Queen B is an Irish-owned clothing company, based in Carrigaline, Co. Cork (where I grew up) and selling in pop-up shops in Dublin too but available everywhere via the power of the internet. They do gorgeously bright colourful sweatshirts, beanies, leggings, sports bras – everything you need for a run or a walk or, in my case, working from home. The one I have my eye on is the ice-blue Anna sweatshirt

Kinvara 24 Hour Rosehip Serum

I’ve gone from being a dab-of-moisturiser person to full-blown skincare fanatic in the last two years, and love trying new products. For what it’s worth, I was always skeptical about skincare products until I started a skincare routine myself and noticed the huge difference. 

Kinvara is a lovely Irish skincare brand and for the last two years, I’ve been a loyal daily user of their oil cleanser – I can’t imagine ever using anything else. I’d love to try some other products in their range, like the 24 Hour Rosehip Face Serum

Skelligs Chocolate

I LOVE Skelligs chocolate and although I own an unopened box right now, I suspect by the time this blog post goes to print, it’ll be gone. So if you’re reading this and you’ve got me in the family Secret Santa – you know what to do! I’ll share, I promise. 

MaryK rose gold chain

Christmas is all about sparkle, even in these less-than-sparkly times, and I have my eye on this rose gold chain from MaryKJewellery. MaryK is a local jewellery designer and I’ve got into the habit of celebrating each book publication by taking a trip to Halo Jewellery in Glasthule and buying a new Mary K chain or pair of earrings. I don’t own anything rose gold though, so if anyone* wants to change this situation, consider this my strong hint. 

(*my husband)

Anxious People by Fredrik Backman

I loved Bear Town and A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman, and Anxious People sounds like just the right kind of book for curling up by the fire between Christmas and new year. 

And finally, meeeeee

Here I am, writing my begging list again. Full disclosure, I share gift wishlists with my family every year but I still do love a surprise, I use my family wishlists for this post, or something I have dropped very heavy hint to.

In the past year, much to my own surprise,   I’ve learned that I don’t hate running and lots of the gifts on my wishlist this year are about making sure that I keep up the habit. My sisters tell me that my wishlists are predictable, pjs, jewellery, knitwear. In these crazy times I think consistency is commendable. Here are the hints I’ve been dropping for this Christmas

Top of my list and after much research is a Garmin Venu Sq Music, my fitbit charge has died and since I’ve started running I’ve started tracking some stats to get myself better paced. I like the moss green colour as I consider it to be practically neutral.  

Running gear – I’d love a running half-zip or jacket.  More leggings always come in handy too,  since lockdown 1 I have a Sweaty Betty obsession and more pairs are always welcome

A good book – I always love a good book – this year I have my eye on Claire Keegan “Small Things Like These”. 

A cosy jumper – since work from home is still on the go, my uniform is jumper and jeans, and the jeans aren’t on display on Zoom calls. My favourite jumpers are Sugarhill Brighton, available from loads of Irish boutiques and this lightning one is one of my favourites.

Art I love getting new wall candy at Christmas. My favourites this year are this print of Ballycross Apple Farm by Simone Walsh and this print of a Tunnock’s tea cake (my favourite treat) by Orla Walsh.

THANK YOU to all my contributors as always, I hope this post helps you drop hints

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