The final, pre-Christmas build up is now upon us and we're reaching peak excitement levels! As part of our collaboration with the lovely folk at Arnotts, where you can shop for every single loved one under one roof, over the next 12 days we'll be catching up with some of Ireland's most familiar names, finding out what Christmas means for them and what they'll be wishing for. Today, our resident nutritional guru and owner of Dalkey's Select Stores Oliver McCabe talks us through his most magical Christmas.
What is your earliest memory of Christmas?
My earliest memory of Christmas was going to see Santa at Arnotts with my Mum, getting up early to beat the queues and heading in on the old diesel train. Santa gave me a gift of ?The Muppet Show? annual which I cherished and couldn't wait to read as we boarded the misty platform at Connolly train station back to Dalkey.
Describe your perfect Christmas?
My perfect Christmas would be to visit Lapland with my partner Niall. It would be a guaranteed white Christmas holiday with reindeer, sleigh bells and Santa. It would be so festive to roast chestnuts in a snow-covered adventure with carol singers, mulled wine and lots of gifts.
What do you like most about Christmas - the build up or the week itself?
I love the few days before Christmas Day as usually I'm working away and I love the atmosphere that's created through the customers preparing for the big day. I give my clients little gifts at Christmas as it's always the best feeling and important to give back to those who keep you in business.
What are the essentials in your household when it come to Christmas day dinner?
My essentials at Christmas dinner are Bailey's for the perfect pre-Christmas aperitif, lots of fresh dill and cr'me Fraiche for the Irish smoked salmon starter, local goose fat for the most scrumptious roast potatoes and a few bottles of organic Italian Valpolicella (best wine for the heart) to have with the pudding. A little essential tip would be to have few drops of milk thistle in water before the day begins to cleanse all the booze correctly.
What does Christmas mean for you?
I love the down time at Christmas to spend time with loved ones, unwind, relax, sleep, going for forest walks, putting on a turf fire and simply just chilling out whilst staring at the twinkling lights on the Christmas tree.
What presents are you hoping to buy this year for your nearest and dearest?
I hope to buy my partner Niall the new Christian Dior aftershave. He adores it and so do I. I usually do Kris Kindle with my family so I'll probably buy a designer slick wallet or purse to keep the chosen one content. My nephews and nieces love the Minions so any toys would gladly be received. Plus my VBF will be receiving a Jo Malone fragrance.
What's on your own wishlist??
I would love Santa to bring me a new state of the art compact video camera with tripod so I can produce my own cookery videos for social media. I would also love to be able to edit the videos so if that exists on one camera then I will be a very happy camper. I also would love some new cookery books and there are so many to choose from this Christmas. Plus love a new kitchen food mixer. That would keep me busy entertaining into the New Year.
Browse the gallery above for Oliver's curated gift guide. For more shopping inspiration, head in-store or visit arnotts.ie online.