50 Last-Minute Holiday Gift Ideas for the Irish Mythology-Lover in Your Family

photo of Irish gifts: mythology book, wool sweater, flat cap, bodhran drum, necklace

Irish Myths is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn a small affiliate commission.

“In a life of hardship and of earthly toil
There’s a need for anything that frees us
So I bid you pleasure and I bid you cheer
From a heathen and a pagan”

Jackson Browne, “The Rebel Jesus” (from The Chieftains’ The Bells of Dublin)

Look, folks, I’m going to level with you: I am not a Christian. I was raised as one, sure. Confirmed, even. But it’s been a hot minute since I’ve dabbled in organized religion. Like the narrator of “The Rebel Jesus,” I’m a heathen through and through.

But that doesn’t make me a grinch.

I LOVE the holiday season. I love Christmas. I lead the caroling in my house. We’ve got a tree up. Lights and garlands on the front porch. Multiple advent calendars—including an adult one that instructs my wife and I to enjoy daily treats like antipasto, chocolate truffles, and oysters and white wine.

Now, I could embark on a high-minded diatribe on the origins of Christmas, and explain how it is really just a repackaging of pagan winter solstice celebrations like Saturnalia and Yule, and how even the ancient Celts got in on the action, celebrating Midwinter (a.k.a. Grianstad an Gheimhridh or Meán Geimhridh in Irish) by gathering mistletoe from oak trees…

But that’s not what this post is about. To paraphrase Jackson Browne, I’m here to spread pleasure and cheer. And I figure a good way to do that is by helping you out, dear reader, with some last-minute Irish Christmas gift ideas.

50 Irish Christmas Gifts for Celebrating Irish Culture, Mythology, and Folklore

(Pssst. You can use the links below to navigate to different sections. Or just keep scrolling to see the whole list.)

☘ HOLIDAY-THEMED GIFTS ☘

1. Celtic Tree of Life Raw Cedar Ornament

To the ancient Celts, the tree of life represented balance and harmony. It also symbolized the three stages of life: birth, death, and the transition of the immortal soul to the Celtic Otherworld. You know, fun holiday stuff. But seriously, this Christmas tree ornament—in addition to looking cool—smells wicked good. See price…


2. Royal Tara Irish Christmas Ornaments

This set of four baubles, featuring four well-known Irish symbols, will be sure to give any Christmas tree a bit of fanciful Irish flair. You’ve got your Celtic cross, you’ve got your Claddagh, you’ve got your harp (the official emblem of Ireland), and of course you’ve got your shamrock, complete with Celtic trinity knot embedded within. See price…


3. Celtic Knot Ornaments Made from Recycled Wood

Okay, no more Christmas tree ornaments after this, I promise. It’s just that on a list like this, you’ve got to have a few ornaments, ya know? And these ones are pretty cool. There are four different styles of Celtic knot, including the famed trinity knot, a.k.a. the triquetra, a.k.a. the trefoil knot, a.k.a the Irish lovers knot. While its original meaning among the ancient Celts is unknown, the knot has come to represent eternal love. See price…


4. The Bells of Dublin

This is one of if not THE greatest Christmas albums of all-time. Enough said. Okay, fine, I’ll say a little more. The Chieftains, of course, are masters of their craft (traditional Irish music), and for this album they’ve teamed up with an incredible assortment of international artists. My favorite track is “St. Stephen’s Day Murders” featuring Elvis Costello. There’s nothing like a good murder song to celebrate Christmas. See price…


5. A Simply Delicious Irish Christmas

For those unfamiliar with Darina Allen, she’s been called the “Queen of Irish Cooking” as well as the “Martha Stewart of Ireland.” But to clarify, Ms. Allen has never been arrested for insider trading, as far as I know. I have Ms. Allen’s book Forgotten Skills of Cooking sitting up on my shelf right now. It’s a beautifully illustrated, easy-to-follow cookbook, and I’ve heard her Christmas cookbook is similarly superb. Bon appetit! Errr, I mean, taitneamh a bhaint as do béile! See price…


6. Irish Resin Stone Santa Figurine

Look, this seven-inch tall Santa Claus may have been designed by a dude from South Carolina (folk artist Jim Shore), but you don’t need to tell Grandma that, now do ya? Just look at this Santa. He’s smoking a pipe. He’s got his staff. And there’s a Celtic-knot inspired pattern on his coat. Bring the gift of kitsch to your loved one this holiday season. See price…


7. Carved Woodcut-Style Irish Snowman

Tis the season to be honest, and let me tell you, that Irish Santa figurine I just showed you? Not my favorite. But this six-inch tall Irish snowman figurine? Adorable. I’d gladly stick him right up on my shelf next to my Darina Allen cookbook and that creepy elf-on-the-shelf doll that spies on my children. See price…


☘ MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS ☘

8. Donner DLH-002 Lyre Harp with Gig Bag

Truth be told, I almost gave this spot to a lyre harp that has fancy Celtic knot designs on it because I thought that would be more fitting (given the theme of this list). But then I read the reviews and discovered that the quality was lacking. As a retired pub musician, I couldn’t do that to you, dear reader. So I found this beaut instead. It’s mahogany and has a bone saddle. It may not be sentient like the Dagda’s harp, but it’s still pretty cool. See price…


9. Irish Penny Whistle (Key of D)

Have a friend or family member who’s looking to get even with an arsehole neighbor? Give the gift of the Irish tin whistle a.k.a the penny whistle. It’s particularly effective at creating noise pollution when placed in the hands of children. As the old slogan goes: “Tin whistles. No, that’s not a banshee shrieking. That’s a tin whistle!” See price…


10. Waltons Handcrafted 18″ Trinity Bodhrán

I may not be able to pronounce bodhrán correctly, but I sure as hell love to play it. Give me a tune in 6/8 time (or 3/4, or 4/4, or 9/8, I’m not picky), and I’ll happily piddle along. Wait, does piddle mean pee? Whatever. It sounds like the right word. This is a nice bodhrán, by the way. Not only well-crafted but easy on the eyes. A non-musician would be happy to receive it just to hang it on the wall. See price…


11. Handmade Maplewood Musical Spoons

A lack of drums never stopped any percussionist I know from making noise… I mean music. Many-a-night in the pub, someone would pick up a pair of spoons and start tapping away. Of course, these wooden ones sound a lot nicer than the impromptu metal ones. (I have a pair, they’re lovely.) See price…


☘ SWORDS AND KNIVES AND STUFF ☘

12. Custom Damascus Steel Celtic Sword

A sword for Christmas?!? My 12-year-old self is freaking out right now. But here’s the thing: Swords (and other weapons) have an integral role to play in Irish mythology. For example, did you know that the Ulster king Fergus mac Roth used his sword Caladcholg to level the three bald-topped hills of Meath? That’s one hell of a sword. (Note: this is not that sword.) See price…


13. Hand-Forged Vintage Celtic Pocket Knife

Alright, you got me: I don’t have a story to go with this one. This knife just looks wicked, wicked, wicked cool. And given that it has a 5-star rating on Amazon after nearly 2,000 reviews, one has to assume that the quality is top notch—no pun intended. (Get it? Cause knives can cut notches in things? I know, I’m reaching. I’m sorry. I’ll show myself out.) See price…


14. Personalized Celtic Dagger

The recipient of this stainless steel dagger (which can be engraved with the name or message of your choosing) will feel like a High King of Ireland seated on the Hill of Tara with a foot placed proudly on the Lia Fáil (Stone of Destiny) as he or she… opens her mail. Decorative sheath included! See price…


15. Celtic War Sword

Full transparency: This is called a “Celtic War Sword” but you shan’t be going to war with it any time soon. It’s a display piece. A bit of hip candy, if you will, for your cosplaying or your fantastical photoshoots or whatever. It might be safer than a Red Ryder BB gun but you could still definitely take your eye out with it so, please, whomever you gift it to, tell them to be careful. See price…


☘ FOOD & DRINK ☘

16. A Little Bit of Ireland Gift Box

I gave this to my dad for Christmas last year. It did not disappoint. The gift, I mean. I continue to disappoint him, as is tradition. I think we’re getting off track here. This gift box is full of tasty Irish treats, including cheese. You’ve got a mild Kerrygold Dubliner cheddar. You’ve got a sharp, mature cheddar. A mild, creamy Cashel Blue. Then there’s some Follain Irish Jam and, my favorite item in the box, Bewley’s Irish Creme Coffee. I am literally drinking a cup of it right now. See price…


17. Traditional Irish Breakfast

I LOVE Irish breakfast. It is the greatest breakfast in the world. That is an objective fact. I still remember the first time I went to Ireland and tried black and white pudding. I was sixteen. I thought the black pudding sort of tasted like dirt. Now I’m addicted. This Irish breakfast package includes one pound of Donnelly Irish Sausages, one pack of Donnelly Irish bacon rashers, one black pudding (YUM!), one white pudding, brown bread, a half-pound of Kerrygold butter, a can of Batchelors Irish beans, and a box of 40 Irish tea bags. See price…


18. Traditional Irish Soda Bread Mix

St. Patrick’s Day 2012. I’ve just started a new job a couple months prior. I take it upon myself to bake an Irish soda bread and bring it into the office. Only…I have cats. Two cats. So naturally the Head of Sales finds cat hair in his piece of soda bread. I still think about that…and laugh. Anyway, this bread mix includes everything you need except the milk. (Cat hair is also not included.) See price…


19. Personalized Guinness Pint Glass

Now THIS is a gift. I got one for my future brother-in-law for his birthday this year and personalized it with his name. He’s my future brother-in-law because he’s going to propose to my wife’s sister—only he hasn’t done it yet. We’re all waiting. When’s it gonna happen? Before Christmas? He already had “the talk” with my father-in-law, asking permission and all that nonsense. But that was months ago. What is going on? (For the record, I never asked for permission before proposing to my wife because that is some seriously archaic misogynistic bullshit if you ask me.) Anyways, this is a great pint glass! See price…


☘ CLOTHING ☘

20. Patchwork Flat Cap (100% Irish Wool)

Back in Boston, where I’m from, we’d call this a scally cap. Yes, I wear one. I am a walking cliché. I also have a shamrock tattoo, a decades’ old decision I seem to regret a little bit more with each passing year. But I digress. THIS hat is much nicer than any scally cap I’ve ever owned. It’s the genuine item, as they say. Made by one of Ireland’s oldest weavers in County Tipperary. I tip my hat to their fine craftsmanship. See price…


21. Mucros Weavers Irish Alpaca Scarf

The following is a true story: I’ve never liked scarves. Never saw the point. If you have a good winter coat, it goes right up to your chin. Your neck is protected. Who needs a scarf? THEN, last year, I was gifted a scarf made by the Killarney-based Mucros Weavers. And truth be told, I never wore it. But THEN my wife tried to put it in the donation bin, and I couldn’t let it go. I put it around my neck and sat at the dinner table with it on, and it felt like my neck was wrapped in a fluffy cloud. The end. See price…


22. Mucros Weavers Vintage Flapper-Style Cap (100% Irish Wool)

Turns out the miracle-workers at Mucros Weavers make more than just scarves. They are in the millinery business as well. “Millinery” is a fancy word for “hat-making.” Stick that one in your brim and save it for later. Anyway, this one is marketed as a “ladies” hat. Do with that information what you will. I think you’d look great in it regardless of your gender. See price…


23. Aran Cable Knit Wool Sweater

I mean, if you’re doing a round-up of Irish gifts and you don’t include a wool sweater from the Aran Islands, what are you even doing? WHAT ARE YOU EVEN DOING? See price…


☘ JEWELRY ☘

24. Connemara Marble Stud Earrings

Do I know anything about jewelry? Irrelevant. What I do know is that Connemara marble is a green stone that’s found only in Ireland, which makes these particular earrings pretty unique. Factor in the sterling silver Celtic weave border and damn. You’ve got yourself a nice gift for a special someone. See price…


25. Connemara Marble Brigid Cross Necklace

If you don’t mind, I’m going to keep riding the Connemara marble train to another stop. Here we have a Brigid’s cross necklace. The symbol is now associated with Brigid of Kildare a.k.a. Saint Brigid but it actually dates back to pre-Christian Ireland. You see, before there was the saint Brigid, there was the goddess Brigid, and the two are often conflated in folklore. The Brigid’s cross is said to protect homes from fires, a belief that likely originated with the OG Brigid as she’s the goddess of protection, healing, and blacksmithing. See price…


26. Traditional Sterling Silver Claddagh Ring

This one falls under the same category as the Aran wool sweater. It is obligatory to include a Claddagh ring in a list of Irish gifts. I don’t make the rules. Speaking of rules, here’s how the Claddagh works: if you’re in a relationship, wear it with the crown pointing inward (toward you); if you’re single, wear it with the crown pointing outward (away from you). Yes, this is how my friends and I showed our relationship statuses pre-Facebook. See price…


27. Sterling Silver Men’s Claddagh Ring

This is a more dude-friendly iteration of the traditional Claddagh ring. I really like the look of it. The black background created by oxidizing the silver—very cool. It’s actually advertised as a wedding band, which means maybe my future brother-in-law could wear it… assuming he ever gets around to proposing to my wife’s sister. See price…


28. Silver Anam Cara (Soulmate) Bracelet

Earrings, check. Necklace, check. Ring, check. Okay, so here’s a bracelet. It’s sterling silver and is engraved with the phrase “anam cara,” an anglicization of the Irish anamchara meaning “soul friend.” It isn’t necessarily a romantic thing, but people sometimes interpret it that way (re: soulmate). This could make a great gift for a lover or a bestie or anyone in-between. See price…


☘ DECOR ☘

29. Fairy Light Tree

Just look at this freakin’ thing. I want one. I want one in my living room right now. It’s also fortuitous I came upon this because just this year I learned what “fairy lights” were all about. They’re actually bog farts. The technical term is ignis fatuus. It’s when decomposing organic matter releases gas and the gas combusts, creating flickering lights above the bog. In addition to “fairy lights,” ignis fatuus is known as will-o’-the-wisps, fool’s fire, and jack-o’-lanterns. Yes, before it was used to describe carved pumpkin lanterns, the term “jack-o’-lantern” referred to fairy lights. Go ahead and impress your friends with that one. See price…


30. Celtic Symbol Sacred Geometry Wall Sculptures

These speak to me. I like that they’re wood. I like the level of detail. I like that there’s four of them: a Tree of Life, a trinity knot, a Brigid’s cross, and—the one we haven’t talked about yet—a triple spiral, a.k.a. a triskele, a.k.a. a triskelion, a.k.a. a tri-spiral, a.k.a. a spiral of life, which symbolizes the cycle of life, death, and rebirth. You can find triple spirals carved into ancient stones all over Ireland, including at Newgrange, which dates back to 2500 B.C.E. and, according to Irish mythology, is the home of the Irish love-god Aengus Óg. See price…


31. Bronze Statue of the Horned Celtic God Cernunnos

He was one of the most widely revered gods in the ancient Celtic word, and today he’s still one of the most recognizable. Cernunnos, lord of the wild things, has big old antlers coming out of his head. He’d make a great addition to anyone’s hearth, home, or altar. See price…

P.S. If you’re worried about Cernunnos getting lonely, there are also statues available of the Celtic sun-god Lugh and the Celtic goddess of war, the Morrigan.


32. Personalized Celtic Cross Whiskey Barrel Lid

Made from the lid of an aged oak whiskey barrel, this sign would fit perfectly on the wall of any man cave, woman cave, den, or home pub. Who has a pub inside their home? I did at one point. I found a bar and barstools on Craigslist when I lived in Montréal and had my then-girlfriend (now wife) help me carry it across the city and holy crap, she’s still with me and we have two children together. Can you believe that? I hardly can. Go ahead and personalize this sign with the name of a friend or loved one. They’ll appreciate it. See price…


☘ KIDS’ BOOKS ☘

33. The Children of Lir

“On a little green island in days of old / A story of magic and courage was told / There once stood a fortress, four children lived here / Along with their father, the mighty King Lir…” It’s one of Ireland’s most famous and enduring myths, reimagined as a rhyming tale suitable for young children. Author Laura Ruth Maher and illustrator Conor Busutill have truly outdone themselves. See price…


34. Celtic Mythology for Kids

Christopher S. Pinard has assembled a collection of 20 Celtic myths and made them approachable for the 8- to 12-year-old set. But honestly, I–a thirty-something-year-old-man–am going to get myself a copy because A) I like the illustrations and B) there are stories in here I’ve never heard before. In addition to exploring classic Irish legends, like the origin of the Giant’s Causeway, the book features lesser-known Celtic tales from Scotland, Wales, and Brittany. See price…


35. Irelandopedia

This isn’t technically a children’s book: it’s an everybody book. But my toddler has taken a special shining to it. Illustrator Kathi “Fatti” Burke and her father, retired primary school teacher John Burke, created this masterpiece, which takes you on a tour of Ireland’s 32 counties. See price…

P.S. This book holds such a special place in my heart that I wrote a review of it here on IrishMyths.com. Check out my review of Irelandopedia.


36. Young Fionn: Small Kid, Big Legend

Fionn Mac Cumhaill is arguably Ireland’s most famous warrior. (Of course, Cú Chulainn would disagree.) But what was he like as a child? Author Ronan Moore and illustrator Alexandra Colombo paint a vivid picture of Fionn in his youth, covering popular Irish myths including the Salmon of Knowledge and the Dragon of Tara. A perfect book for the 9- to 12-year-old aspiring warrior in your life. See price…


37. The O’Brien Book of Irish Fairy Tales and Legends

Author and poet Una Leavy has done it, folks. Together with illustrator Susan Field, she’s assembled THE definitive book of Irish folklore for kids. Ten captivating tales await those who are brave enough to face these pages. Stories include the leprechaun-filled classic “The Post of Gold,” as well as “Oisin in Tír na n-Óg,” which explores how the Fianna–the great band of warriors led by Mac Cumhaill–came to an end. See price…


38. Magical Celtic Tales

Alright, so here’s what happened: after researching The O’Brien Book of Irish Fairy Tales and Legends, I discovered that Una Leavy wrote another great kids’ book. This one was illustrated by Fergal O’Connor and features myths not just from Ireland, but from Scotland, Wales, Brittany, and The Isle of Man as well. It’s a cornucopia of Celtic culture, perfect for 8- to 12-year-olds. See price…


39. WolfWalkers: The Graphic Novel

If you haven’t seen the Academy Award-nominated animated feature WolfWalkers yet, shame on you. It is one of my favorite movies of the past few years. Not just one of my favorite *animated* movies, mind you. But any movie. It is a stunning achievement from the Kilkenny, Ireland-based animation studio Cartoon Saloon. This graphic novel adaptation is the perfect companion piece. See price…

P.S. I love this movie so much I dedicated an entire post to it: WolfWalkers and Irish Mythology: The Lycanthropic Lore Behind the Oscar-Nominated Animated Feature.”


☘ BOOK BOOKS ☘

40. The Mammoth Book of Celtic Myths and Legends

by Peter Berresford Ellis

Per the publisher: “From all six Celtic cultures – Irish, Scots, Welsh, Cornish, Manx and Breton – Peter Berresford Ellis has included popular myths and legends, as well as bringing to light exciting new tales which have been lying in manuscript form, untranslated and unknown to the modern general reader.” See price…

P.S. I featured this book on my list of the 7 best retellings and translations of Irish and Celtic myths


41. Castles of Ireland

by Mairéad Ashe FitzGerald

Per the publisher: “Castles of Ireland brings the reader on a tour of more than sixty castles, from the biggest and most well-known to dramatic and atmospheric ruins which had a role to play in shaping Ireland’s history.” See price…

P.S. I featured this book on my list of the 25 most beautiful books of Irish photography


42. Fairy & Folk Tales of Ireland

by W. B. Yeats

Per the publisher: “Combines two books of Irish folklore collected and edited by William Butler Yeats — Fairy and Folk Tales of the Irish Peasantry, first published in 1888, and Irish Fairy Tales, published in 1892. In this delightful gathering of legend and song, the familiar characters of Irish myth come to life: the mercurial trooping fairies; the solitary and industrious Lepracaun and his dissipated cousin, the Cluricaun.” See price…

P.S. I featured this book on my list of the 12 best collections of Irish folklore and fairytales


43. Emerald Magic: Great Tales of Irish Fantasy

by multiple authors (including Ray Bradbury)

Per the publisher: “Mythology and magic come alive in this collection of Irish fantasy stories by some of today’s finest authors. From the great Celtic myths featuring the bard Taliesin, the terrible Morrigan, the heroic Cuchulain, or the noble and cunning Sidhe to strange and mysterious tales of today, the stories and traditions of the Emerald Isle hold a strong attraction for many.” See price…

P.S. I featured this book on my list of the 10 best fantasy books based on Irish and Celtic mythology


44. What the Wind Knows

by Amy Harmon

Per the publisher: “Anne Gallagher is pulled into another time. The Ireland of 1921, teetering on the edge of war, is a dangerous place in which to awaken. Caught between history and her heart, she must decide whether she’s willing to let go of the life she knew for a love she never thought she’d find.” See price…

P.S. I featured this book on my list of the top 14 Celtic fantasy romance novels


45. Irish Gothic: Tales of Celtic Horror

by Ronald Kelly

Per the publisher: “Boogies and beasties roam the moors, keen for the echo of lonesome footsteps and the alluring scent of fear and dread. Banshee, selkie, leprechaun, and fairy alike. The restless spirit of the Sluagh and the bestial form of the werewolf, hungry and on the prowl. Ronald Kelly returns to the land of his ancestry and explores the dark superstition and frightful folklore of Ol’ Éire.” See price…

P.S. I featured this book on my list of the 13 best Celtic horror books


46. The Book of Conquests

by Jim Fitzpatrick

Disclaimer: this graphic novel is for Irish mythology super-fans only. (You’ll know why when you see the price!) Per the publisher: “The Book of Conquests published in 1978 is the first of two volumes, which tell the story of the Tuatha Dé Danann, a race of god-like warriors who invaded Ireland about 3,500 years ago leaving an impression still felt to this day. These stories are based on the Early Mythological Cycle of Irish stories.” See price…

P.S. I featured this graphic novel on my list of the top 10 comics and graphic novels based on Celtic and Irish folklore


47. The Wonder

by Emma Donoghue

Per the publisher: “In this masterpiece by Emma Donoghue, bestselling author of Room, an English nurse is brought to a small Irish village to observe what appears to be a miracle — a girl said to have survived without food for month — and soon finds herself fighting to save the child’s life.” See price…

P.S. I love this book so much I reviewed it here on IrishMyths.com (and gave it a perfect rating). Check out my spoiler-free review of The Wonder.


48. Savage Her Reply

by Deirdre Sullivan

Per the publisher: “A retelling of the favourite Irish fairytale The Children of Lir. Aífe marries Lir, a chieftain with four children by his previous wife. Jealous of his affection for his children, the witch Aífe turns them into swans for 900 years. Retold through the voice of Aífe, Savage Her Reply is unsettling and dark, feminist and fierce, yet nuanced in its exploration of the guilt of a complex character.” See price…

P.S. This book is beautifully designed, inside and out. I’ve never seen such elegant, inventive formatting before. It is truly unique.


49. How the Irish Saved Civilization

by Thomas Cahill

Per the publisher: “Every year millions of Americans celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, but they may not be aware of how great an influence St. Patrick was on the subsequent history of civilization. Not only did he bring Christianity to Ireland, he instilled a sense of literacy and learning that would create the conditions that allowed Ireland to preserve Western culture while Europe was being overrun by barbarians.” See price…

P.S. I featured this book on my list of 17 must-read books about Irish history and culture.


50. Neon Druid: An Anthology of Urban Celtic Fantasy

by multiple authors

Shameless plug alert: I compiled and edited this collection of 17 short stories under my pseudonym I. E. Kneverday. NEON DRUID mixes urban fantasy and Celtic mythology, creating a universe where lecherous leprechauns and debaucherous druids inhabit the local pubs, and where shapeshifting water spirits from Scotland and sword-wielding warriors from Ireland lurk in the alleyways. Stories range from tales of supernatural horror, to street-level fantasy adventures, to farcical, whiskey-drenched fairytales. See price…


THANKS FOR READING!

Have any Irish gift suggestions of your own? Leave them in the comments section below!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: