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Put a little green in your Christmas with some cool Irish gifts. Photo by: Google Images

An Irish Christmas Gift Guide for 2013

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Put a little green in your Christmas with some cool Irish gifts. Photo by: Google Images

Christmas is one of the most recognized holidays in the world, observed in over 160 countries from Argentina to Zimbabwe. For those of you who would rather have a root canal than think about holiday shopping, help is here. This Christmas, think Irish Christmas Gifts

A country that takes the yuletide season so seriously is a great place to draw inspiration for the perfect Irish Christmas Gifts. 

Irish Mohair Throw.
Irish Mohair Throw.

When you’re looking to create a cozy, welcoming atmosphere, an Irish Mohair Throw goes a long way. Mohair is well known for its fine silk-like quality and is often used to make items designed for warmth and comfort. It also takes well to dyes, which is why products made from this material often showcase many festive colors. Whether you’re spending an evening curled up on the couch or looking to add a few decorative touches to the living room, a charming little Irish throw makes a cheery addition to the home.

Since all countries have their own definitive garb, finding clothes that reflect the Irish experience is as easy as clicking a mouse. 

When determining which clothes to purchase as gifts, it helps to keep the following in mind:

Style: The pattern, type of collar, length of the sleeves, and extras such as buttons, zippers or ties are all factors that give a garment its unique style. Who do you know that would like that particular style?

Form: Is it big and bulky or does it hug the figure? Does it allow freedom of movement? Will it itch?

Function:  Different clothes are designed for different kinds of weather. A moderate change in temperature can mean the difference between a jacket and an overcoat. Is the recipient prepared for rain, snow, or a deep freeze? It’s always best to give them something that they can really use.

Color: A nice color can make pretty a sweater beautiful, while an ugly color can ruin it.

The Irish touch: What is it that makes the clothes Irish? All of the following apparel pays homage to Irish culture, ranging from a simple nod to iconic symbol.

Guinness Rugby Shirt.
Guinness Rugby Shirt.

Guinness is one of Ireland’s oldest breweries, with a rich history spanning over 200 years. The company has lent its image to dozens of officially licensed products, including this Guinness Rugby shirt.  It’s a tribute to both Ireland’s biggest spectator sport and its most famous beer. The black and cream colors represent the head and body of a perfectly poured pint, while 1759 commemorates the year the very first Guinness was brewed. It’s a great gift for beer lovers who also enjoy casual fashion statements.

Guinness Zip Hoodie.
Guinness Zip Hoodie.

In addition to rugby shirts, Guinness also offers an exceptional looking hoodie; the Guinness Zip Hoodie.  This form-fitting jacket is made from 100% cotton fleece, a warm and lightweight fabric that is a popular alternative to wool. The hood is a sensible substitute for a hat since there’s no chance you will accidentally leave it in a coffee shop. Once it’s zipped, the wearer is encased in a snug cocoon that will starve off the cold for hours while allowing full mobility.  This comes in handy for those brisk winter days where temperatures are just high enough to invite people to spend time outdoors, making it an excellent gift for people who enjoying walking, running or shooting baskets year-round.

While the Guinness label adds that touch of Ireland to any item, for truly authentic Irish Clothing look no further than the Irish Aran Sweater. It first appeared on the Aran Islands in the early 20th century, when the wives of local fishermen began knitting them for their families and as a way to earn extra money. The sweaters gained worldwide attention when enterprising businessmen started exporting them in the 1950’s, and they have been one of the most widely recognized and cherished aspects of Irish culture ever since. 

Men's Heavyweight Aram Sweater.
Men's Heavyweight Aram Sweater.

This men’s heavyweight Irish Aran Sweater is a fine example of the sweater’s appeal.  Made to withstand the bracing cold of the harsh island winters, this strong, durable fabric is wrinkle resistant and machine washable. But the defining feature of any Aran sweater is the Irish knit patterns, with each distinctive pattern representing something unique. The honeycomb design featured on this sweater is often associated with the sweet rewards of an honest day’s work. A practical blend of form and function, it’s sure to appeal to the busy bee in your life.

Ladies Irish Aram Cardigan.
Ladies Irish Aram Cardigan.

For something a little more fashionable there’s this Ladies Irish Aran Cardigan.  It wraps around the wearer and is fastened in place by a single hardwood button, which combined with the draped collar offers a casual feel. Despite its loose fit, like all Aran sweaters it is knitted from high quality wool that retains body heat while repelling moisture. Finally, the patchwork arrangement exhibits several traditional Irish knit patterns. With its laid-back look and warm, comfortable fit, it’s no wonder that this sweater is a top seller.

Ladies Aran Cable Hooded Cardigan.
Ladies Aran Cable Hooded Cardigan.   

When looking to give an Irish Aran Sweater as a gift, both the men’s heavyweight sweater and the ladies cardigan are timeless classics. However, because everyone has their own personal tastes, the sweaters are also available in a variety of styles and colors. For those who prefer something a little different, there’s this Irish aran cable hooded cardigan. Much like Aran sweaters are based on clothing worn by fisherman in the British Isles for centuries, this apparel offers a new twist on an old favorite. It’s longer than average and features a zipper instead of the usual buttons, as well as a hood and pockets. A bold charcoal color adds the finishing touch. Despite its somewhat unconventional appearance, the cable knit pattern and high quality wool material clearly indicate that it’s still part of a proud Irish tradition.

As the items featured here have demonstrated, Ireland has served as inspiration for hundreds of terrific gift ideas. From the sister who enjoys winter hikes to the stylish niece to the cousin who spends his weekends cheering on his favorite team, an Irish gift brings joy and happiness to all. So this holiday season, when you’re making a list and checking it twice, remember to think Ireland!

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