Irish Gift Ideas From Kirsten
One of our Irish Fireside subscribers Kirsten Walsh shared her ideas for Irish gifts. Her suggestions and descriptions were just so good, I had to ask her to let me share them with you…
Being an American Irish, I try to delve into my Irish side as much as I possibly can. I am a musician, so most of my ideas stem from musical roots.
BODHRAN – An Irish drum, seen in Riverdance and Lord of the Dance specials, they are typically made out of goat skin and have a loose, boomy sound. A beautiful instrument with a round wood frame which the skin is pulled tight over and wooden supports which form a cross which the player can hold.
There are two really good shops, both ship to the Americas, one in Roundstone owned by Malachy Kearns and one in Spiddal, which I am blanking on the name. Malachy Kearns helped provide all the drums for Riverdance.
There are several different styles of the drum — tunable, basic, etc. — so if it is just being used as a display piece, a basic one is good. The front of the drum is typically painted with some sort of Celtic design, and the makers at Roundstone will do it custom for a bit more. Great as a musical gift and for the person who likes to display their Celtic heritage. Drums can range from 70 euros on up. http://www.bodhran.com/ .
CELTIC CLADDAGH RING – A standard in the Irish-American tradition, the rings were made popular for the teens by the TV show “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”. Originating from the village of Claddagh, rings typically are given as an heirloom or as a gift from a lover, it symbolizes friendship, loyalty, and love, in a very Celtic style. When the heart is taken, the wearer has the heart pointing towards their own heart; and when their heart is available, they wear it with the heart pointing out.
The standard ring is just the one design, while many recreations are now prevalent. Prices range anywhere from five dollars on up, depending on where you get it.
CELTIC HARP – I was given one of these just for fun, and I love it. Once again, it is a great display piece of the heritage. The smaller versions are compact. Standing at aprx 2 ft. high, the harp can fit most places and have a good range of string tonality. A great instrument to learn on, and a basic one isn’t very difficult, and occasionally at Celtic festivals, you can find them for a good price.
IRISH WISHING STONE – I’m sure every culture has these, but I consider ours quite special. The few I have are made from Connemara Marble, which is a beautiful green stone from Connemara, near Galway. With a small section in the center smoothed out so one can rub their thumb or finger into it. When you do, make a wish, and it will come true. http://www.connemaramarble.com
CONNEMARA MARBLE CHARMS – I have a small necklace from a shop in Spiddal which specializes in Connemara Marble, that has a gold harp and the bass of the harp has a chunk of Connemara Marble in it. I consider it one of my more special gifts, and my way of wearing my heritage proudly. Prices range depend on the charm selected.
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Our Irish Fireside Holdiay Gift Guide is due out at the end of the month. AND if you love Irish and Celtic gifts, you’ll love our HOLIDAY GIVEAWAY. We’ve got all kinds of FREEBIES to give away throughout December. www.irishfireside.wordpress.com/free-stuff