Christmas in the bag


CHRISTMAS SPIRIT  It’s lovely to give or be given a gift, no matter how small.

Gift sets can make great presents

Maggie Gibbons

‘Are you all set for Christmas?’ This question drives me mad. No, I am not! Life is too short, time has sped up and the world is upside down. But speaking of being ‘set’, let’s look at some gift-set ideas for all you kindred spirits – last-minute shoppers like me.

Love bombs
Remember bath cubes? To me they were just a big waste, as they ended up in a gloopy mess at the bottom of the bath. Enter the bath bomb, the posh replacement that fizzes up for a glorious explosion of fragrance.
AromaWorks Aromabombs create the most luxurious bathing experience with pure essential oils and himalayan sea salt. All AromaWorks products are not tested on animals and synthetic-chemical free. Their Serenity blend is divine, with notes of lemongrass, neroli and geranium. A real treat for bath lovers. You can get a box of two for €18 at pharmacies nationwide. The AromaWorks Light Range Gift Set set has two bath bombs and a delicious smelling candle, with lemongrass and bergamot, for €19.
For your favourite man, their Men’s Indulgence Set (€54) contains body wash, aftershave lotion a candle and face flannel – no bombs though.

Skin treats
Apivita is a natural, holistic beauty care range using ingredients ‘derived from value-added bee products and medicinal plants, enhanced by cutting-edge green cosmetology’. I love their holistic approach to health and beauty. They do lots of gift sets too – like ‘Nature’s Greetings’ (€26), which comes a colorful and festive re-usable box, and contains ‘Tonic Mountain Tea’ shower gel, a shampoo with chamomile and honey, and cleansing gel with activated charcoal and propolis – and is for both men and women.
Filorga, another gorgeous brand rooted in science. The Filorga Intense Lift Luxury Box (€79) is a limited-edition gift box that includes an ultra-lifting radiance cream, an ultra-lifiting serum and an ultra-lifting night cream. You will save about a packet by buying the set rather than the individual products.
Irish skincare brand Skin Formulas do an Oil and Milk Duo (€39) that contains a bamboo cleansing mitt and thier Oil and Milk Cleanser, which transforms from a velvety oil into a conditioning milk that leaves skin silky smooth.
Aveeno do a lovely Daily Moisturising gift set (€19) that features four full-sized products – a moisturising body wash, a body lotion, an after-shower mist and a hand cream.

Mum’s the word
Do you know a new mum who has enough baby clothes to dress the entire country’s newborns? If she wants to bottle feed, consider getting her the MAM Welcome to the World gift set (€30). Designed to help mums start bottle feeding, it includes three anti-colic bottles, which can reduce colic by up to 80 percent, as well as a dummy and dummy clip. What a great idea!

Light touch
Is there anyone out there who doesn’t love a candle? It’s always appreciated. Clew Bay Candles is a Louisburgh-based company that evokes wonderful memories with their scents, like Irish Turf Fire, Old Head Woods and Clare Island Mist. For Christmas, they have Mulled Wine and Berries and other gorgeous fragrances. Candles range from €10 to €15, and there are gift sets too. Visit, or call them on 087 3990852.

Shop local
Most of the gift sets above can be purchased in chemists. Do please support your local chemist this year – they carry wonderful gift ranges. You could also support your local hairdresser, beautician or massage therapist by buying vouchers. And remember, gifts from your local boutique and bookshop will go down a treat too. All of these purchases will be massively appreciated. We all have enough, we know that; it’s just lovely though to give or be given a gift, no matter how small. As my mother always said, it’s the thought that counts!


Maggie Gibbons is an Image/Style Consultant based in Louisburgh. She can be contacted at