Random presents to give random people on random occasions
I am a big fan of receiving random presents. I love a surprise, especially in gift form and, despite the fact that I pretty much buy everything I want (such a brat), I'm easily pleased. (Note #1: My friends would deny this, and most have told me that I am impossible to buy for. I find this really weird. I love everything! If in doubt, buy me some nice stationery and a succulent and we'll be laughing.) Anyway, as the years pass (sob), I find that each new year brings with it more occasions for random presents. Weddings, births, baby showers (what are we, Americans?) and so on – occasions on which one might want to buy a gift for the person (or persons) in question. (Note #2: I don't for a second think that gifts are mandatory for any occasion, and I know that, in what are still straitened times for some people, nobody ever minds if they don't get a gift. But, y'know, some people buy 'em. So here we are. No pressure etc.)
I consider myself an expert at gift-buying – although I am less good at, er, buying those random presents in a timely fashion (but better later than never) – so I have put together a little list of the kind of things I would love to receive, for any occasion. I've tried to make them all gender-neutral, including some Irish options, too! Let me know if you end up taking my advice (or if you think I'm batshit because I truly believe it's better to know the truth).
Ringsend vases by Brookwood Pottery
I have a real soft spot for the Poolbeg chimneys at Ringsend, despite the fact that I have never lived in Ringsend and have no idea what they are for. Still, these vases touch a little patriotic part of me – I think they'd make a great wedding present for a couple living abroad, who wanted to be reminded of home. The best part? They're hand made, and €60 for the pair. (FYI Brookwood Pottery: up your prices.)
If the vases aren't your poison, Clover Rua has a cute Poolbeg chimneys print* for €12 or you could buy a massive photographic print (20" x 20") by Maggy Morrissey* for €149.
A laser-cut wooden phone case by Cutly*
Okay, so this may really put the "random" in random presents – but I just bought one of these Cutly iPhone cases* (they do cases for Samsung, too) and I love it. It's a nice, simple, inexpensive gift for someone who likes smart design and needs a phone case. They come with rubber bumpers, so they're functional, too (I cannot stand pointless iPhone cases that don't protect your phone – why bother?!) and you can get a variety of wood finishes, which is a nice touch. There's also an option to add initials or a message, which is maybe a little twee, but I know some people dig that kind of thing!
Cutly are UK-based, but if you want an Irish alternative, The Eco Owl* is an Irish Etsy shop that does similar phone cases. (Disclaimer! I haven't tried anything from The Eco Owl so I cannot vouch for how good or bad their stuff is, but their Etsy shop has five stars and – at the time of writing – 376 reviews, so you're probably pretty safe.)
Concrete cracked-egg candle holders by Joce & Co
Full disclaimer! A couple of weeks ago, Joanna from Joce & Co got in touch and offered to send me a few bits in the post. I wasn't asked to mention her shop, nor was I compensated for doing so – I just really liked her designs!
Joce & Co is another Irish brand specialising in concrete – think jewellery, candle holders, a gorgeous serving platter and even an amazing concrete side table that is going on my Christmas list. This broken egg tea light holder (above) is just one of the bits you can buy from the online shop (and a cinch at €18.99), but there's loads to choose from. What I really like about the idea of buying concrete for someone is that, because it's grey, it'll pretty much go with any interior décor – so you won't need to know anything about how the recipient of your gift has decorated their home. That and, well, it's kind of cool.
I'm also a big fan of this concrete serving platter. Would that I were fancy enough to offer cheese courses to my guests. (Would that I were fancy enough to ever have guests.)
A gold plant stand from Urban Outfitters*
So, let's just get one thing out of the way. I would not call this a "plant stand". I don't know why Urban Outfitters has called it a plant stand – the Zoe plant stand*, to be specific. I would more call it a side table/shelf unit, although I guess that's less catchy. Anyway, I adore this – it's very Pinteresty (which is the madey-uppy word I use for anything I think would look good on Instagram) and cool and not rose gold, which makes a nice change. It's £200 (around €224), so it fits firmly into the "random presents for someone I really love or need to suck up to" category, but I think it's something those people would really appreciate.
If you are genuinely buying this for someone who you think will use it as a plant stand, mind you, you could save yourself €180 and go for this one from Ikea (which I now want to buy for my back garden – this always happens when I do any kind of shoppable post, I end up wanting everything!).
I have spoken before about my deep and enduring love for Avoca, and I have to say, it's always a safe bet when it comes to last-minute random presents for weddings and especially christenings. Nothing is more versatile than a lambswool throw; it works for a baby, for a couple (so cosy on the couch!), for a birthday... and Avoca's are gorgeous. They have a whole host of colours and patterns, and prices start at €69.95 for a small lambswool throw – increasing for larger sizes and also for cashmere blends.
If you're on a budget and want to go for something a little more vintage-looking, Lilly Rose Bou on Etsy* has a gorgeous crocheted baby blanket made of granny squares for just €20.
*These are affiliate links. If you click through and buy something as a result, I’ll get a small percentage of the sale (even if it’s not the exact thing I linked to). The site will keep my “referral” on file for 30 days – so, even if you don’t buy something immediately, but go back and shop a few days or weeks later, I may still get a cut. It won’t cost you anything, but it will help me continue to create content on rosemarymaccabe.com and beyond. I will always disclose if a post is sponsored or contains affiliate links; for more, check out my disclaimer.