A-Z OF CHRISTMAS GIFTS

From advent calendars to Zen, by way of time-conscious dogs, yuletide premiums are plentiful, suggests Anna Burford-Taylor.

A is for the ahhhh of pleasure from recipients when they open the envelope containing your personalised advent calendar. For minimum orders of 1,000, Belgium's Best will create a bespoke calendar to your design, complete with the most important bit of any advent calendar - 24 delicious chocolates, each in its own personalised wrapper. The cheaper option offers two standard design calendars, each boasting its own Christmas-type wrappers.

B is for Boxing Day. However, if you don't want to be as desperate as Bridget Jones, who spent hers at a turkey curry buffet, Cottage Delight has the answer with its Boxing Day Turkey Revival Kit. OK, it contains a korma curry paste, but there's also chutney, mayonnaise and jam. You are able to choose from numerous other condiment, confectionery, cake and hamper offerings to ensure by the end of the festive period you end up the size of Santa.

C is for Christmas carols. Telstar has the rights to recordings of St Paul's Cathedral Choir, or Christmas hits from the past 30 years. Your recipients can ring in the sounds of the season on CDs, enhanced CDs (E-CD), DVDs or vinyl and cassettes. "Lots of our quotes are on the E-CD format because companies can incorporate their own TV ads and product info, as well as band footage and interviews, says Telstar's head of commercial marketing, Dominic Caisley.

D is for Dundee cake, that seasonal alternative from north of the border. Highland Fayre has morsels to suit almost every palate. "We'll always get our Dundee cake and salmon from Scotland, but we're rarely asked for 100 per cent Scottish or English products. Most of our hampers are bespoke. It's so customer-led, says managing director David England.

E is for espionage, or, more specifically, the L'espion digital camera from Firebox.com. This tiny camera - about the size and weight of a matchbox - takes up to 80 low-resolution pictures and 10 high-resolution shots. It even has 10-second video footage, perfect for stalking colleagues in the stationery cupboard during the Christmas party. At at a price of £40, supplying one to your best clients won't break the bank.

F is for Father Christmas, of course, and why settle for a picture of him on a straightforward card when you could have an edible item sporting Santa's image mounted on chocolate? Candy Cards are fine sugar, "printed onto Belgian chocolate, with the option of reproduced logos. The minimum run is 150, with options of a gift-box combo of six pralines and a Candy Card champagne bottle. From Sweet Temptations, the card will certainly leave a sweet taste in recipients' mouths.

G is for the grand comeback, as with these playground stalwarts of the Seventies, Top Trumps. The collectable cards can be based on anything, whether it's the latest Buffy the Vampire Slayer series, The Simpsons, or your own product range. They're available from Winning Moves.

H is for Hamleys, and what better store could there be to get locked in overnight during the Christmas season? Red Letter Days is offering just that as an experience (legally, it must be said), but sadly it's only open to kids, and, for the price, it helps if their parents are at least minor royalty. For a nominal £10,000, kids can bed down or not under the watchful eye of Hamleys' helpers and dream of how to spend their £500 of vouchers. A gift only for those at the very high end of high achievers.

I is for interiors. Your hard-working staff can learn about all that's swish and hip by becoming interior designers in just one day. Out with the chintz and in with the super-retro kitsch when you take the first step to a Wallpaper*-esque lifestyle, in an experience offered via Capital Incentives.

J is for James Bond. Yes, another Bond movie is due, so why not jump on the 007 bandwagon and delight your clients with some James Bond playing cards, from Carta Mundi.

K is for Kickmaster, two snazzy pieces of kit from MV Sports, designed to hone the footy skills and put the office team at the top of the league. The hand-held Techni Trainer records the speed of each shot and the number of kicks made, while the Target Shot is a goal set that can help improve shooting accuracy.

L is for the LCD on Wesco's Rocking Rover Time Dog Alarm. It's the most sensible thing about this otherwise crazy invention that will probably drive recipients - wait for it - barking mad. The futuristic doggy has electric-blue ears and, if you press his nose he'll tell you the time. Or roll him upside down for musical antics. Suitable for children aged three years and over with brave or foolish parents - or those 'difficult' clients who have kids.

M is for mountain bike - what's more traditional than a shiny new two-wheeler under the Christmas tree? Universal has launched its new range, Silver Fox - an enhanced version of its Muddy Fox line - with dual suspension, aimed at both adults and children. The bikes can be branded with company colours and logos. Similar ranges have been used by clients as diverse as Ericsson Mobile, Strongbow and Weetabix to raise brand profile.

N is for the Naughty Weekend Kit from iwantoneofthose.com. Enjoy two days of lurve with the perfect accessory - a ribbon-tied boxed set including a soft crimson velvet blindfold, two sachets of Love Soak, massage oil and a scrolled parchment with a purple feather complete with instructions. Be advised, though: if you do opt for the Naughty Weekend Kit option, make sure you know your target market very well.

O is for opera, but can apply equally well to ballet music for this treat. Either way, prepare to don your tails and tap your baton as you step under the spotlight before a full orchestra. That'll be the prerogative when you're Musical Director for the Day, through Capital Incentives.

P is for Pick of the Week. Virgin Experience is offering a box of three experiences from which recipients can pick their favourites. Boxed Experiences currently available to experience freaks are: Thrill (off-roading, Ferrari driving or skid control); Rush (microlighting, flying lesson or gliding aerotow); and Sights (two-day break in Paris, Dublin or Brussels). Two other boxes are available - Revitalise is a pamper day, High is a flight in a Virgin hot air balloon. Prices start at £79.

Q is for queasy. But you needn't be if you enlist help from the surprising source of Senator Pens. It's launched Anti-Bac, a pen made from plastic impregnated with an anti-infective additive. Germs that are otherwise easily transferred between people in busy offices are zapped by the anti-bac. The clip is suitable for branding and a variety of colours are on offer.

R is for resonate, because that's just what a nifty little gadget called the Soundbug will do to any surface, from glass to desktops to computers - it even turns a human head into a speaker. In simple terms, the compact item from firebox.com amplifies sound. It can be branded, making a novel corporate gift.

S is for snowman. It would be pretty hard to mail the real thing to your clients, but why not go for a tastier, edible option? They'll be the delighted recipients of six of the little white chocolate fellas, sat in their own rectangular box, which can be printed in up to four different colours with your logo added. Geneiva Chocolates advises allowing four weeks' lead time from receipt of final artwork.

T is for tattoo. Who says you should stop at decorating the Christmas tree? Body Art has a selection of Christmas-inspired temporary tattoos, including robins, mistletoe and holly, ready for clients and staff who want to wear the symbols of the season on their sleeves, or arms, or whatever body part takes their fancy. The designs can be branded with any name and each one comes with a header card in a polypropylene bag.

U is for u-turn - of the vehicular rather than strategic type, naturally. Recipients of this gift can expect to do plenty of these (application of the handbrake is optional) if they go for a Cops 'n' Robbers Driving Experience through Capital Incentives. We're not told if the treat ends in a shoot-out atop the Statue of Liberty, New York.

V is for vanity. For serious partygoers, House of Fraser has a dedicated, London-based team that will turn up at your workplace with the cosmetic equivalent of a concrete mixer. If that's too public, opt for the discrete personal shopping service - staff will stave off the season's excesses with recommendations of clothes fit for royalty and a free makeover to boot.

W is for the wind-up mobile phone recharger, the perfect gift for staff or clients who are always on the move because they'll no longer need a power supply to keep their mobile phones juiced. A good five-minute wind on this gizmo gives you ten minutes' talk time or two hours' standby. Priced at £9.99 from iwantoneofthose.com, this makes a useful and innovative gift that's good for year-round use.

X is for Xmas break - this is definitely the way to earn year-round Brownie points with your most treasured clients. They'll get to put their feet up while someone else struggles with the turkey and plum pudding, at a choice of destinations - such as Tylney Hall, Hook, Hampshire, Ashdown Park Country Club, East Sussex or The Grand in Eastbourne - through Elite Hotels' luxury Gift Voucher Package. If that weren't wnough, a chauffeur-driven car is thrown in, and there's a champagne and canape reception.

Y is for Yuletide jollity. You could be the flavour of the moment by providing the two key ingredients that help things along - booze and chocolate - in one stylish tube. Sweet Temptations lives up to its name with Vodka, Schnapps and Tequila shots, plus milk chocolates filled with flavoured spirits in tin tubes that can be personalised and branded.

Z is for Zen. If you have clients or staff who are more inclined to the "bah, humbug approach to Christmas, then you could help them deal with it philosophically by dipping in to one or more of the 1,000-plus books that have Zen in the title. They come from WHSmith, a recent addition to the High Street Vouchers range of redeemers. Recipients are able to choose from such titles as the Financial Times' Guide to Marketing: From Advertising to Zen or the slightly lower-brow Zig Zag Zen: Buddhism and Psychedelics.

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