Classic designs with presents in mind

Ø 1) Do you like to give Christmas presents? When do you start doing Christmas gift shopping? What kind of presents do you buy? Do you exchange Christmas presents at work? Is it easy to choose presents for colleagues? Is it a custom to buy presents for the executive in your organization?

Ø 2) Skim the text and make a list of things recommended as gifts for an executive.

Buying for a busy executive can be a nightmare. They are usually very choosy, and often already own most of the consumer durables which they feel they need. The Sunday Tribune has come up with a few gift ideas which may suit the man or woman who has everything. Helen Kilmartin, owner of the Presents of Mind and Minima shops in Dublin, says many consumers are shifting away from gadgets to stylish, well designed versions of more traditional gifts.

One product which is proving popular is the Anna Corkscrew by Alessi. Available in a range of pastel colours, the Anna takes the classic corkscrew design and toys with it so that the corkscrew resembles a little girl.

Staying with the utensil theme, a colander from the Philippe Starck range could be the perfect gift for someone who doesnt have a huge amount of kitchen space, and for whom cooking is not the pinnacle of an evening. Having drained the pasta, this rather stylish colander can then be given a quick wash, and hey presto it becomes an ice bucket.

Cocktail shakers are also making a reappearance this year, presumably in the hope that Ireland will follow recent trends in the US where old fashioned drinks have made a comeback in recent years.

Another variation on a classic theme is the Stuffed Shirt, which is available from Presents of Mind. The Stuffed Shirt is a compact leather case with enough room for a single pressed shirt and a small range of toiletries. A built-in toilet bag is included in some models as well as a sewing kit with extra shirt buttons and a clothes brush. With a few small changes the case could easily become a stuffed blouse.

Novelty cuff links could suit the executive who feels slightly constrained by the conservative dress code favoured by the world of business. The choice includes cars, teddy bears, tennis racquets and road signs, but the most attractive pair features antique hot and cold taps.

Stephen Cloonan, the managing director of Harry Moore, offers three or four suggestions for the man or woman who appears to have everything. The JVC DV1 is arguably the quintessential executive toy on sale this Christmas. It claims to be the world's smallest and lightest digital video camera, and its sleek silver design is bound to attract the fashion conscious. However, its £1,799 price tag means than in reality the DV1 won't find its way into too many stockings. Typically, though, a camcorder can be had for £500-£600 while there are budget models for as little as £399.

The new Canon Ixus camera echoes the attractive silver design of the DV1, and comes with the latest advanced photo system (APS) technology. It offers three types of prints, and the date and a title can be printed on the reverse of each print. TheIxus is also incredibly mpact, and is not much bigger than a pack of playing cards.

But small is not always beautiful as the television market is moving towards ever larger models. Wide-screen televisions with dig stereo for the full home cinema experience are becoming popular with prices ranging from £650 to £1,600. A more modest television option could be a subscription to Sports or one of the movie channel packages.

Mobile phones are still a popular gift, but remember, when choosing a mobile system, GSM phones can be used in many foreign countries, while the analogue models are for domestic use only.

Ø 3) What do these prices refer to:£ 650, £ 1,600, £ 1,799, £ 500-600, £ 399?

Ø 4) What do these names refer to:GSM, Canon Ixus, Stuffed Shirt, JVC DVI, APS, Sports?


Bulletin Board

Ø 1) Have you ever sent a message to a bulletin board? What kind of message was it? Do you read messages left by other people? Is it of any use to you or only a waste of time?

Ø 2) Look at the heading and the subheadings in the text and say what questions they are devoted to.


Information for Bulletin Board should be sent to Diane Summers, Management Page Editor, FT, Number One Southwark Bridge, London SE1 9HL,


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