Practical makes perfect

The Prague Post

Useful gift ideas for shopping budgets large and small

Has the economic downturn put a damper on your Christmas gift-giving plans this year? Do you dream of an uncluttered life, free of needless material possessions? Want to give a gift that people will actually use year-round?

Some may say, bah, humbug! But, if you answered any of the above questions in the affirmative, practical gifts are the way to go this holiday season.

Some ideas for practical gifts are obvious. If, for example, there are kids on your list, consider buying them clothes. Most kids can do without more toys, and their parents will appreciate it (the kids, probably not so much). Also, gift certificates are always welcome. While not quite as popular here as they are in the United States, local stores are getting wise to this purchasing phenomenon. Our choices include Big Ben for books and Bontonland for music, and the Palladium and Chodov shopping centers.

For those in need of further inspiration, we’ve scouted the gift ideas below, which are nothing if not practical. If the specific items don’t appeal, at least they’ll get you thinking in the right direction.

So go forth wisely, shoppers! And may the sensible force be with you!

WINE TOYS
Oenophiles and anyone else who just enjoys drinking a good glass of wine will love this handy Gastro Set from Neroli. Nestled in a handsome wooden box you’ll find a thermometer, wine stopper, corkscrew and a ring used to stop drips while pouring. Neroli also has a nice Czech wine selection, so make your gift complete and pick up a bottle.
Neroli
549 Kc
Neroli
Chodov shopping center
Roztylská 19
Prague 4
Tel: 272 173 600
Web: www.centrumchodov.cz

BREAD MAKER
Home & Cook
Give the baker in your life a new twist on the typical bread maker with The Moulinex Home Bread XXL Baguette Maker, which will help them perfect the art of baguette-making. This remarkable piece of culinary technology also cranks out pasta and cake. Can a dinner invitation be far behind?
3,999 Kc
Home & Cook
Various locations including Palác Flóra, Chodov and Smíchov shopping centers
Web: www.homecook.cz

LANGUAGE TUTOR
Get your English-speaking friends on the path to effective Czech communication with Linguafilm Czech Vol. 1. This book and DVD combo set exposes learners to real-life situations and vocabulary. The dialogue is phonetically spelled out, plus there’s a guide to Czech pronunciation. Not a course in itself, but a great supplement to a standard Czech language course, and perfect for self-study.
Palác knih Luxor
990 Kc
Available at major bookstores including:
Palác knih Luxor
Václavské nám. 41, Prague 1
Tel: 221 111 364
Or by contacting Linguafilm at:
Tel: 602 684 364
E-mail: info@linguafilm.com

SKIN CARE
Winter can be hard on the skin. Pass along some extra TLC with the Pure Calmille line from Yves Rocher. Products include lotions, cleansers and toners, all made from organically grown chamomile. The chamomile is reproduced and extracted using a natural process, so all of its healing properties remain intact.
Yves Rocher
145–175 Kc
Yves Rocher
Various locations including Palladium and Eden shopping centers and Václavské nám. 47, Prague 1
Tel: 221 625 570
Web: www.yvesrocher.cz

CRUMPLER COMPUTER BAG
This bag company’s motto is “Crumpler makes you sexy.” And who doesn’t want more sex appeal, especially in a very cool but useful computer bag? The Dentist’s Wife, pictured here in green onion, is for the ladies and comes in sizes able to handle a 13-inch or 15-inch laptop. It opens to reveal a plethora of pockets, perfect for stashing lots of sexy things.
Crumpler
2,799 Kc
Crumpler
Národní 32, Prague 1
Tel: 224 947 324
Na Porící 8, Prague 1
Tel: 222 311 340
Web: www.crumpler.cz

AIR CLEANER
Prague’s air quality is notoriously bad, but with this beauty your loved ones can enjoy fresh indoor air year-round. Zepter’s Therapy Air iOn not only filters the air, but “enriches” it with negative ions. OK, so it’s not the smallest of appliances. And it looks like a television. But think about the five-level filter system coupled with a negative ion generator, and take a deep breath. Or two.
Zepter
26,999 Kc
Zepter
Spálená 55, Prague 1
Tel: 221 990 836
Web: www.zepter.cz

HERBAL TEA
No matter what ails your friends and family members, there is an Ayurveda tea to heal them. Everest Ayurveda produces certified herbal teas using leaves from Japan, India and Nepal. Dad’s got a bad back? Get him a box of relaxing Gokshura. Brother is going bald? Pick him up some Bhringaraj for promoting hair growth. These teas are also great for helping New Year’s resolutions — the Slim Tea, for example, or Udana tea for rejuvenating physical power.
Cajový krámek
90 Kc per box
Cajový krámek
Národní 20, Prague 1
Tel: 739 040 624
Web: www.cajovykramek.cz