DCSIMG

Christmas all wrapped up

TAKE the hard work out of shopping for imaginative and original items this year with our ultimate gift guide, so all you need to do is pour yourself a glass of mulled wine and decorate the tree.

Little angels

Jenny Jackson, 8

Chorister, St Mary's Music School, Edinburgh

Christmas past

"What I really like about Christmas is a few days before, when we decorate the tree. My dad doesn't like getting the tree early, so when we do pick one up there's only really small or really big ones to choose from - we always go for the big one. It's great, even my little brother helps us. We normally buy some new decorations every year.

"I like opening presents on Christmas morning, and I like seeing what everybody else gets as well, because I'm quite nosy. I sometimes buy little presents for the family.

"I hope that my brother doesn't wake me up at midnight, like he did last year. He's only four years old. I'd prefer to get up a bit later, more like 7am."

Wish list

"I would like a piano - I play the recorder at the moment, but I'm sick of it. I think playing the piano will help me with my music. I'd also like some magical powers - I love reading books like The Faraway Tree, which have lots of adventures. If I had magical powers I would be able to stop it raining. A bigger garden - like the one in The Secret Garden - would be good too. There would be swings and roses, and we'd have adventures in it."

Or how about...

• Bratz mania continues unabated with Bratz Chat, an electronic Q&A game for girls to play with their friends - they'll soon find out how well they know each other. (19.95, Jenners)

• Not only will these festive orange-and-red tights keep little pins warm, they will brighten up the long dull winter days. (6.50, Okaidi)

• If the house isn't big enough for a pet, why not adopt? For 15 a year, you can adopt a donkey at the Scottish Borders Donkey Sanctuary, paying for its upkeep. You can even make an appointment to visit your donkey.

• Keep small hands busy with Penguin's Flower Fairy Sweet Pea's Garden - Special Things to Make and Do book, which contains 14 fairy crafts and includes stickers to decorate the creations. (4.99, Waterstone's)

• This cute little Marimekko rucksack is perfect for carrying homework, books and pencil cases to school and back. (48, The Lighthouse)

• Little girls will have the world at their fingertips with a sparkly Glitter Babes nail set, which comprises three nail varnishes, a buffer, nailbrush, foam toe separator and nail dryer. (12, Boots)

• Transport young minds to a world of enchantment with C S Lewis's all-time classic Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. A great read, the story is also currently captivating a new generation on the big screen. (5.99, Jenners)

Ollie Smart, 8

Actor, appearing as Tiny Tim (two young actors share the part) in A Christmas Carol, Royal Lyceum, Edinburgh (today to December 31)

Christmas past

"Last year was my favourite Christmas so far. I got up at 3am, and at the end of my bed was my filled stocking, which is quite cool as it has 'O' for Ollie on it. I woke up my brother Harry, and we went to Mum and Dad's bedroom and tipped the contents of our stockings all over them. I didn't go back to bed, but stayed awake and played with my toys while my parents tried to sleep.

"I got a big box set full of The Lord of the Rings DVDs and about five or six figures from my mum and dad. They also gave me a CD player, and I got the U2 album How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb from my auntie and cousin Rebecca. I played it all day, as I'm a big U2 fan. I love Gorillaz as well, and if I don't become an actor I'd like to be in a band."

Wish list

"If they're good enough for Wayne Rooney, these Nike 90 football boots must be the business. (21.99, JJB Sports). I'm a big fan of Star Wars, so I'd like The Revenge of the Sith DVD. And I'd love an electric bass guitar."

Or how about...

• The football to match those funky boots won't get lost in the crowd. (19.99, JJB Sports)

• Damon Albarn and the rest of Gorillaz can do no wrong, and their latest offering, Demon Days, is essential for all music-lovers. (10, Fopp)

• Keep up those hip oversized trousers with this jazzy orange (4) belt. (5.50, Okaidi)

• Celebrate 25 years of the Rubik's Cube, with a special edition version of one of the most challenging puzzles ever. Can you master it before it drives you mad? (9.99, Toys R Us)

• Young skaters need to protect themselves before they hit the streets - literally. Get them properly kitted out with a Stateside Skates protective helmet and a pair of Anarchy knee pads. (19.59 and 15, Boardwise)

• Stand out from the crowd in this cool yellow snowboarder top. (7.90, Okaidi)

Trendy teenagers

Katie Leung, 18

Actor (Cho Chang in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire), Motherwell

Christmas past

"I love Christmas, it's my favourite time of the year. When I was younger, between three and eight years old, we always had a reunion at my cousins' house, with relatives visiting from all over Scotland. We'd have a big family feast, which was always amazing, and as there were so many of us it meant that I got lots of presents too."

Wish list

"I'd love to take snowboarding lessons. I've never tried before but it looks so much fun. I could do with some new shoes and clothes as well. I haven't got my winter wardrobe yet, though I've been to New York and bought a few things there - it's good to go abroad and see the different trends. And I'd love a car. I'm a bit of a tomboy, so it would have to be a boy's car, such as an Audi."

Or how about...

• Hit the slopes with this cool junior snowboard. (100, Boardwise)

• Fashion designer Julien MacDonald has created a range of goodies for Boots, including this striking jewellery box (15).

• Ski and surf label White Stuff has some great clothes this season, including the lotus willow skirt (49.95) and hitcher denim jeans (45).

• Benefit does gorgeous beauty products, and its Bad Gal Gear, containing liquid eyeliner, eyelashes and mascara, doesn't disappoint. (22.50, Frasers)

• Clarins' Peak: An Eye Tale is a cute little book containing four different shades for eyes and cheeks, plus a mirror. (18, Jenners)

• Origins' limited-edition Ginger Glimmer body lotion will not only leave your skin feeling smooth but give it a glittering shimmer too. (22.50, John Lewis)

• A cool keyring will ensure keys won't get lost, especially if you attach it to a handbag strap. (15, Baggatt)

• Sweet-toothed friends will be over the moon with a chocolate fountain. (89.99, www.firebox.com)

Fraser Doherty, 16

Entrepreneur, Doherty Preserves, Edinburgh (0131 539 6676 )

Christmas past

"A few years ago my family all went round to my gran's house for dinner, and after our belt-bustingly decadent meal we recovered in her living-room - there's always lots of fun. Without prior warning, two of my aunties came in wearing hotpants, like the Cheeky Girls, and performed a song. Without doubt, this is one of the funniest, if not the scariest, events in my life, and certainly my favourite Christmas memory so far."

Wish list

"In an average month, I peel between 2,000 and 3,000 kiwi fruit, so a really good fruit-peeler would be nice. (6.95, Lakeland). And, since I'm a notoriously disorganised person, it would be handy to have one of those Personal Digital Assistant hand-held computer things. They're also rather flash. (159, John Lewis). Because I'm still 16, my parents have to drive me around Scotland, to all the shops I supply with jam. It's my birthday just after Christmas, so I'll need driving lessons to take the strain off my mum and dad."

Or how about...

• Start the day with a burst of freshness from Lacoste's essential shower gel (16, Boots)

• Monopoly, the classic property board game, comes to the Scottish capital and takes players from Edinburgh Castle to Holyrood Palace and back up the Royal Mile through the Old Town. (25, John Lewis)

• The Entrepreneur's Book of Checklists, by Robert Ashton, is perfect for anyone who wants to set up their own business but doesn't know where to start. (12.99, Waterstone's)

• Own a piece of the well-known haulier Eddie Stobart with this Corgi (6) toy lorry. (7.95, Jenners)

• (7) Philips Cool Skin is perfect for those who are starting out in the world of shaving. (70-150, Argos)

Hip young things

Adele Bethel, 30

Singer with Sons & Daughters, Glasgow

Christmas past

"The best Christmases I've ever had were when I was a kid, although Christmas dinner cooked by my mum is always good. When I was six, I got a replica of the police motorbike from the TV series CHiPS. I rode it outside even though it was freezing and pretended to be Eric Estrada, the main character."

Wish list

"If I could have anything, I would love a month in a spa in Hawaii, the Jefferson Airplane CD box set and the entire MAC make-up range."

Or how about...

• There will be no doubts about what to wear on Christmas Day if this stunning strappy dress is in your stocking. (165, Reiss)

• Make a statement with some vibrant make-up from MAC. Stand out from the crowd with the mystical mist eyeshadow, lip glass pearlizer and sheer pigment. (9, 10.50 and 15, Harvey Nichols)

• Capture Christmas on this silver Olympus digital camera, which has six million pixels, three times optical zoom and a massive 2.5in LCD screen. (199, Black & Lizars)

• For a much more personal gift, go for a Lejaby bustier in plum. (130, Boudiche)

• Margrave of the Marshes, the autobiography of the late John Peel, which was finished off by his wife Sheila Ravenscroft, is a must for any music fan. (18.99, Waterstone's)

• Accessories are a safe bet if you're unsure what gift to buy - this bangle will impress.(6.50, Soto)

• Wide belts are incredibly flattering, so this gold number is bound to go down well. (59, Reiss)

• It's not too fast - the 300w electric motor on this electric scooter only reaches 12mph - but it is great fun and a very stylish way to get around (249, www.funrider.co.uk)

Style counsellor

Sebastian Coles, 25

Jeans buyer for Top Shop, Brighton

Christmas past

"All my Christmases have been memorable, as it's always a big family occasion with about 15 of us gathering at my parents' house in Somerset. One of the best presents I ever got was a He-Man Castle Greyskull from my parents, when I was eight. I loved it. It had lots of different features, such as trap doors. I didn't ask for it. It was a complete surprise. It's still going strong too - I passed it on to my nephews. It's about 3ft-high - perfect for tiny people."

Wish list

"I'd like a pair of Oraqle trainers. It's a Japanese brand - they're like fancy Converse, really. I'm into anything fluorescent at the moment, so maybe a zip-up fluoro hoodie would be good. And I want to read Tracey Emin's memoirs, Strangeland (14.99, Waterstone's) which have just been published."

Or how about...

• Once only for older men, young singers have given the Dunhill brown leather cap a new lease of life. (180, Harvey Nichols)

• This luxurious aftershave balm is the perfect gift any image-conscious gent. (16.50, L'Occitane en Provence)

• Recycling has never been so cool with this Oki-ni and Freitag bag, which is made from old truck tarpaulins, cycle inner tubes and used seatbelts. (115, Cruise)

• The West Wing: The Bartlet Years is the perfect gift for fans of the Martin Sheen series. The box set includes seasons one to six - all 132 episodes of the president's two terms. (199.99, HMV)

• The new MP3 sunglasses integrate a 256-megabyte music player and shades at the same time. (119.99, Woolworths)

• At last, blokes' fashion is coming alive with colour. This light-blue (6) tree-print hoodie by Grail, and Baracuta's lime-green jacket are must-haves for any discerning young gun. (140 and 135, Harvey Nichols)

Mother superior

Barbara Rafferty

Actor, River City

Christmas past

"When I was about seven, I wanted a doll's pram. But when Christmas came, there was no pram. I was quite upset. 'Did Santa forget something?' asked Mum and Dad. I said, 'No, no, it's all right.' They pointed to the curtain, and behind it was the pram. It was fabulous.

"This Christmas, all the family and grandchildren are coming to our house. It will be wonderful. I'm a Christmas maniac."

Wish list

"My husband usually buys me something exquisite. This year I'd like a Mont Blanc pen. And I'd like a surprise - maybe a trip to somewhere beautiful and warm. Most of all, I wish parliament would put more money into services. Then we wouldn't need things like Children in Need."

Or how about...

• Sit back and relax with a silk eye-mask. (32.50, Boudiche)

• Instead of buying a gift for someone, give the money to Sight Savers. Just a small donation can buy a life-changing cataract operation for an child in a developing country. (27, www.giftofsight.co.uk)

• Hollywood icon coasters make a great stocking-filler. (9.99, Vincaffe)

• A silk cushion is perfect for weary heads and looks great on the sofa. (30, Soto)

• Afternoon tea will never be the same with a Freud teapot. (60, www.iroco.co.uk)

• Not quite chilled yet? The After the Rain bath gift set contains bath essence, soap and hand cream, plus a facecloth and candle. (14.99, Arran Aromatics)

• Find inspiration for the holiday of a lifetime in (6) Caribbean Island Dreams, by Joan Tapper (19.95, Waterstone's).

• The Christmas Yearbook is a lovely way to keep treasured memories of Christmas past. (18.99, www.2littleboys.co.uk)

• Send a friend to a (8) cookery class at Myres Castle, in Fife, with Christopher Trotter. (95, including lunch, www.myres.co.uk)

Michelin man

Andrew Fairlie, 41

Head chef, Gleneagles

Christmas past

"At the beginning of the 1990s, I was the chef at the five-star Disneyland hotel at EuroDisney. My partner and three-year-old daughter moved to Paris with me. It was our first Christmas in France, and as we were opening our presents a friend of mine phoned, pretending to my daughter that he was Mickey Mouse and wishing her 'Merry Christmas'. The thrilled look on her face is probably my favourite festive memory."

Wish list

"I'd like my restaurant to get a second Michelin star and I want my driving licence back. I had a brain tumour last year, which meant my licence was automatically suspended. I should get it back in July. It has been a nightmare not being able to drive. And it would be perfect if Celtic could get another Jinky Johnstone. He was the greatest player the club ever had."

Or how about...

• The official Jimmy Johnstone calendar 2006 - a good reminder of the winger. (8.99, Celtic Collection)

• A sterling silver lid for a jar of Colman's mustard will add a bit of class to the dining table. (69, www.iroco.co.uk)

• The Lea & Perrins Worcestershire Sauce Cookbook is full of recipes that will inspire cooks of all levels. (6.99, Waterstone's)

• The International Watch Company has collaborated with Mercedes to create a new edition of Ingenieur watches, including the AMG chronograph. (4,400, Hamilton & Inches).

• Keep fuelled up with liquid refreshments while on the move with this (5) Thermos in-car travel mug. (8, John Lewis)

• The River Cottage Christmas Pig-In-A-Box delivers organic and ready-to-eat delicacies to your door, including black pudding, sausages, liver pt and chorizo. As they say, you get "everything but the oink". (From 65, www.rivercottage.net)

• Who wouldn't want to open the curtains and see a shiny new Subaru Impreza 2.5 WRX STI in the drive with a big bow tied round it? (26,995, Town & Country)

• Get a grip on a cold steering wheel with these classic leather-palmed driving gloves. (25, Marks & Spencer)

• Thrill-seekers will rise to the challenge of diving with sharks at Deep Sea World, North Queensferry. (145 for a three-hour session - including induction, time in the test pool and 45 minutes in the shark tank).

Inspirational friend

Dawn Breslin, 36

Lifestyle coach, Bath

Christmas past

"My favourite Christmas memory dates from when I was nine. My mum, a nurse, had to work on Christmas Day, so my dad took me, my brother and my granny to Gullane beach. It was snowing and there was nobody else there. The only sign of life was some rabbits. It's not a traditional Christmas memory, but there was something really poignant about watching all the little bunnies whizzing about on the beach, leaving wee animal footprints in the snow."

Wish list

"I live in Bath but I'm moving back to Scotland next year. I'd like to find the perfect house, with huge windows overlooking the sea. Ideally, it would have a big wooden extension on stilts, with a natural interior and an open fire. It would be the perfect venue for my workshops.

"I wish we had a more caring society - I'd love people to have more access to coping strategies. These would offer hope and understanding at a time when there's so much suffering and adversity in the world.

"I'd love to get the funding to set up a charity to work with people who are in adverse situations, giving them access to skills and development to set them up to get them back on track."

Or how about...

• Candles bring a festive feel to any room. These Arch candles make quite an impression. (20 for three, Soto)

• A L'Artisan Parfumeur scented kite, with aromas of smoked tea, honey and spice, will make any room smell good. (35, Frasers)

• Keep cash safe with this classic turquoise purse. (30, Frasers)

• The Life gift set contains body lotion, toner, foam bath, moisturiser, hand softener, foot balm, a scrub and an organic cotton flannel. (35, Neal's Yard)

• Restaurant Martin Wishart gift vouchers will buy a three-course lunch and a glass of champagne for two people at the chef's Michelin-starred Leith eaterie. (60)

• This Essential Spirit organic luxury hand-made soap gift box is great for someone with a conscience. (20.50, mail order)

• Slippers can be a boring present but not if you get these stylish brocade ones (20, Fraser)

Gadget guru

Gavin Munro, 30

Designer, Edinburgh

Christmas past

"My best Christmas ever was seven years ago when I was working in Toronto. I was away from my family but I spent the day with friends - a bunch of 20-somethings who couldn't cope with lunch with Grandma and all the crazy aunts who get too merry on half a bottle of sherry. We went out for a gorgeous lunch then hit the pub for the rest of the day. We watched hockey and basketball on TV all afternoon. It was fantastic."

Wish list

"I'd love a Formac Watch and Go. You just plug it into your Apple Powerbook and it lets you watch up to 30 digital Freeview channels.You can even programme the next seven days' viewing and it will record straight on to your hard disk. The very hip British bag manufacturer Knomo has come up with an ingenious security tagging system for your computer bag. Attach one to yours and you can track it and its contents online 24/7. I'd also love a Palm Treo 650, which combines a mobile phone with the power of a handheld computer. You can write messages on the keyboard, send and receive texts and view all your e-mail attachments on the screen."

Or how about...

• Start the new year with a new briefcase - a bright yellow document case will get you noticed. (180, Fling)

• Working late? The Bluetooth i.Tech virtual keyboard will allow you to work in the dark. (114.95, www.easydevices.co.uk)

• The iDeck sound system is designed to complement the iPod.(249, Comet)

• A Paul Smith poppy floral shirt is the ideal solution for brightening up dull office suits. (130, Harvey Nichols)

• The bigger the better: Samsung's 63in widescreen plasma TV is a bit like having a cinema screen in your living-room. (6,420, John Lewis)

• Protect CDs with d_skins, which stay on even while playing. (5.99 for a pack of five, www.dskin.net)

The USB massager will ease stiff necks or hands. (9.95, www.paramountzone.com)

• Nautilus speakers give treasured CD collections unbeatable sound. (35,000 per pair, Bowers & Wilkins)

Cultivated chap

Alan Titchmarsh, 56

TV gardener, Hampshire

Christmas past

"My favourite memory is from when I was a child. My dad, who was a Yorkshire plumber, used to make presents for me, and I can remember one year he made me a zoo out of wood. He carved and painted all the different animals to go in it. It took my breath away. Hand-made gifts always mean so much."

Wish list

"Viewers used to tell me off for kneeling on the ground without putting anything under my knees. I'm aware now of wanting to be more comfortable, so a kneeling mat with a handle would be great. Hozelock garden kneeler (12.99, Dobbies)

"I'd like to have a copy of The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians. I really enjoy listening to classical music, and I've got lots of books on the subject, but Grove is the big one that I don't have. It's the standard work, but it is updated regularly.

"And I'd love tickets to see Billy Elliot in London. I have been once and it was fab, so I'd like to go again."

Or how about...

• Christmas wouldn't be the same without a bottle of whisky to warm the cockles. The Glenlivet 12-year-old single malt is one to try. (22.99, Sainsbury's)

• Monty Don knows a thing or two about gardens. His book, My Roots, is full of top tips. (14.99, Waterstone's)

• This leather outdoor toolwrap makes a great gift for someone who enjoys working in the garden. (65, www.iroco.co.uk)

• When it's too dark and cold to spend much time outdoors, give gardeners the chance to redesign their plots in comfort. The 3D Garden Designer Deluxe is great for those wanting to create their ideal garden. (9.99, www.gameseek.co.uk)

• There are some nifty garden goodies on the market - leather-handled topiary shears make a smart gift. (39.95, Burgon & Ball)

• Mock croc is very fashionable right now, which makes this brown wallet even more appealing. (65, Fling)

• An imaginative combination of plants and edibles makes an original and tasty gift. Give a Fig includes a fig tree, which can be planted outside or kept in a pot indoors and will provide fresh fruit to eat, as well as a delicious jar of fig jam. (35, plus 8 delivery, Gluttonous Gardener)

• Kenneth Turner's hydrating hand lotion contains a subtle blend of jasmine, rose, sandalwood and cedar to keep gardeners' hands soft. (13, www.kennethturner.com)

 
 
 

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