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Image Simon Moynihan
Staff Writer

In the online edition of the Irish Times a few weeks back, Conor Pope listed some great websites for sensible, prepared people who wanted to get their Christmas shopping done and dusted nice and early without having to set foot outside the door.

There was some terrific stuff in his list including gems like Hairy Baby and the Geek Store, but many of them are UK or US sites and I’d be sweating too much to start ordering foreign gear at this late stage of the game. I’d be afraid my Christmas grub and presents wouldn’t make it until the New Year!

So what’s a panic-stricken last minute man like myself to do? Well, I thought I’d take a quick look at a few Irish online sellers to see if they could do the job instead.

You might have heard that won a best website award this year? Well, in the same horserace, there was a “Best Retail Excellence” section. And that’s where I looked for some good online Irish retailers. I was hoping they’d live up to their “best-excellence” monikers, and I’m glad to say that most of them did.

Three of the last five winners of the Eircom Spider for Best Retail Excellence are grub and grog sites - which should get the Christmas dinner sorted. Great news for me as I’d rather endure the Third Circle of Hell than go grocery shopping next week.

So without too much ado, we've got:

Somewhere for the wine – 2011 winner - The

This is a nice slick and easy to use website, there’s even an online chat section. If you order 12 bottles of wine, you get 10% off and free delivery. They say you’ll get your order the next day too. Normal deliver is a tenner so probably best to go for the dozen. Or you can go with what they call “clicks to bricks”, which is buy online and collect in store. They are located in Dublin 2, and it’ll save you a tenner on delivery for smaller orders. They also have a selection of wine in boxes and whatnot for gifts.

The turkey – 2010 winner – James Whelan Butchers -

I’d never in a million years have thought of buying meat online, but this is a really nicely put together site. Pat Whelan writes a foodie blog and Christmas is well covered with articles on bronze turkeys and the size of the bird you’re going to need. And speaking turkeys, they have free range, bronze, organic and even boneless. So plenty of choice for the Christmas necessities. I shot them an email to see if they could deliver in time and they said there’s still slots for Wednesday and Thursday next week. Deliver is a tenner, or free for orders over €100.

The fixins – 2009 winner – The Organic Supermarket -

These guys have a huge range of really interesting stuff, all organic of course. And they’ll do a family box of seasonal veg for the Christmas dinner. But I think you’ll have to contact them to say what you want in it. Delivery is next day and costs €6.50 -  ideal for last-minuters like myself. For presents they do hampers, wines and gift certs. You can choose the contents of your hamper, just give them a call.

Huge presents for loaded people – 2008 winner –

Ok, I’m not sure how this one is going to fit in with Christmas, but it’ll certainly help you ponder your next new car as you while away the hours until the Christmas break. Lots of videos, demos and just about everything else you can think of to make choosing a Toyota easy. There doesn’t seem to be a “buy now” button though. Which is probably a good thing because my credit card limit doesn’t stretch that far.

Mostly “guy” presents – 2007 winner - Mick’s

I’d never heard of Snow Socks until last year, but these guys sold more of them than anybody. This year, they must have millions in stock as they’re offering 10% off any Snow Socks and throwing in a free can of de-icer. They sell just about everything and have “free delivery on everything” too. If you’re buying gifts, they also have a really cool feature - enter your car registration number and it’ll show you just the right parts for your car. A truly worthy “best excellence” winner.

Honourable mention – Hairy

Even if you don’t buy anything, this site is hilarious. They sell mostly Irish interest t-shirts and we’re not talking club colours here. We’re talking shirts with slogans like “Fierce Swanky Altogether”,  “A1 Sharon” and “How’s she cuttin’?” They even have famous movie slogans in Irish like “An bhfuil tusa ag caint liomsa?” The site is very good too and they’ve won awards for it. An excellent place for last minute presents!