A few of my favorite things from and honoring the Emerald Isle and the 40 shades of green (my blog about life in Ireland is 40 Shades of Life, by the way) that make this island legendarily beautiful with the warmth shown by its population, both here and around the world – plus some clovers and shamrocks thrown in for good luck.
If you’re in love with all things Irish and art, you MUST own this tee-shirt from Maggie O’Neill.
There is only one problem with owning a ‘Kiss Me I’m Irish’ tee shirt and that is if you are any normal humble non-flirtatious sort of person it only gets worn once a year. However, if you go with a truly Irish tee, you can wear it any day you want, but look super cool on St. Patrick’s Day because you’d be wearing with the Irish sport – Hairy Baby! Started in Cork, Ireland, its wares are quickly gaining worldwide popularity. Some are simple designs while others are catchy phrases – some of which are in Irish! I own, wear, and love my navy tee stating Is maith liom Cáca Mílis (I like cakes) and my husband owns a sweatshirt stating Tóg Go Bog É (take it easy). The cotton is unbelievably soft and it is sweatshop-free organic clothing so you feel good on the inside and the outside when you wear your Hairy Baby apparel. If I had to equate it to an American business, I’d say it’s like a cross between Ben & Jerry’s (the quirky and cool part) and American Apparel (the sweatshop-free cotton stuff part) with both being globally responsible and kind to their communities.
Father Ted as a series captures quirks, humor, and hilarity that seems to be uniquely Irish – or I would have ‘gotten’ the humor back in the States. And some of the lines from ‘Father Ted’ have seeped into every facet of culture and conversation. If you fancy yourself Irish or feel you understand Irish culture and have not seen Father Ted, go on and order it already. Father Ted – The Definitive Collection on DVD is available from Amazon.co.uk and from Amazon.com.
As the traditional Irish blessing goes, ‘May the Road Rise to Meet You…’ …particularly when you are carrying groceries home in a reusable shopping bag. At least you can be kinder to the wind and earth by bringing your own bag to the store, like Eire Blessing’s Tote Bag ($15.59). Gift idea: Fill it with yummy treats (like fresh-baked scones) for a new neighbor or friend going on a road trip.
The history of the iconic Claddagh ring is long and stems from the little fishing village of Claddagh on a stony beach in County Galway, Ireland. The design has symbolic meaning, the two hands representing friendship, the heart standing for love, and the crown expressing loyalty. If the ring is worn on the right hand with the heart facing out it means the wearer is available. If the ring is worn on the right hand with the crown facing out, the wearer’s heart is taken. It is often used as a wedding band and in those cases the ring should be worn on the left hand ring finger with the crown facing out. There are many styles, both modern and traditional, of the Claddagh ring, but it is Thomas Dillon’s of Galway that claims to be the birthplace or the ring and the oldest jeweller in Ireland (Est. 1750).
If you have Irish ancestry, your clan has a historic knit pattern. You can purchase a Clan Aran Sweater in your clan’s knit for about $230 each. This is an ideal gift for someone who holds their Irish roots dear, but perhaps does not have all the ties to its history. Blarney Woollen Mills has traditional Aran Sweaters for €45 each and right now a buy-two-get-one-free sale.