Christmas presents: Gifts for men

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Subjected to a perennial onslaught of useless gizmos and novelty boxer shorts, it is hardly surprising that many men seem a little harried by the entire christmas gift scenario. About their true desires however, men are notoriously reticent and remain difficult to please. But according to a reliable source, the most important factors to bear in mind are surprise, humour and practicality. And if your imagination fails you, booze and football paraphernalia are always a winner.

Stocking Fillers:

Grow It Yourself Supermodel Seeds, pounds 2 from BHS, branches nationwide.

Cuban Cigars, from pounds 6 at Davidoff of London, 35 St James's Street, SW1. Tel: 0171 930 3079.

Jameson's whisky, pounds 11.99 from all good off-licences.

Under The Tree:

Year's Subscription to The National Geographic, pounds 24 from National Geographic Society, Freepost G1/306, PO Box 19, Guildford, Surrey. GU3 3BR.

Tel: 0171 365 0916.

Ben Sherman button down Oxford Shirt, pounds 30. Call 0800 592 549 for nearest Ben Sherman stockist.

Delta of Venus by Anais Nin (Penguin) pounds 6.99, 1930s erotica available from all good book shops.

Vintage World Cup '66 England Football Strip, pounds 35 from Soccer Scene, 30-31 Great Marlborough Street, W1. Tel: 0171 439 0778/0171 437 0242. Mail order.

Utterly Extravagant:

Flying lesson, pounds 139 per hour at Red Letter Days. For further details call 0800 634 5555.

Patek Philippe wristwatch from pounds 5,175, at Patek Philippe Exclusive Salon, 15 New Bond Street, London W1. Tel: 0171 493 8866.

Harley Davidson from pounds 4,995, at F.H. Warr, 104-106 Waterford Road, London SW6. Tel: 0171 736 2934.