Executive Gift Guide 2011

  1. Thirty Holiday Gift Ideas
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    Thirty Holiday Gift Ideas

    Ah, holiday shopping. The notion fills some with delight, others with dread. Either way, let us make it easier. We’ve selected 30 intriguing gifts, priced from $11.50 to $3.5 million, that cannot disappoint. Regardless of your attitude toward shopping, may we suggest that you well, get on with your buying? Fearing recession-dampened consumer spending, many retailers will have lighter inventory this year, warns Marshal Cohen, chief retail analyst for the consumer market research firm NPD Group. “If you wait too long, you’re going to end up with the dregs,” he says. So peruse these gifts—most of them offered for the first time this season—with a sense of purpose and pleasure. Merry Christmas, happy Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and Chinese New Year, and Eid Mubarak from all of us at Businessweek.com.

  2.  Organic Chocolate Truffles
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    Organic Chocolate Truffles

    $11.50
    A great Secret Santa gift or stocking stuffer, this slender box from Vermont’s Lake Champlain Chocolates holds five truffles: Ethiopian Coffee, Ginger Lemon, Honey Fig, Vanilla, and Aztec. All-natural, preservative free, and kosher-certified.
    Where to find: Lake Champlain Chocolates; some Whole Foods stores

  3. Zabar’s NY Original Toasting Bagel Bag
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    Zabar’s NY Original Toasting Bagel Bag

    $24
    A friend or colleague who’s missing the big city will enjoy this simple gift of 18 assorted authentic New York bagels. They come in Zabar’s “Go Green” small shipping bag.
    Where to find: Zabar’s

  4. Victorinox Tomo
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    Victorinox Tomo

    $24
    From Victorinox Swiss Army and Japanese designer Kazuma Yamaguchi comes this petite but empowering tool that holds a knife, nail file with cleaner, and scissors. The packaging and carrying case are made of recycled and reusable pulp.
    Where to find: Victorinox Swiss Army

  5. ASPCA Complete Guide to Dogs
    5

    ASPCA Complete Guide to Dogs

    $25
    If you have a friend or colleague who is thinking of acquiring a canine companion, this is the gift. It includes descriptions of the personality and physical attributes of 150 breeds, as well as training instructions and 650 photos and illustrations. Best of all, 40 percent of the purchase price goes to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
    Where to find: American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals

  6.  Waterfall Arc Desk Pen
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    Waterfall Arc Desk Pen

    $29
    Talk about character. This aluminum pen and holder come from Wendell August, the Grove City, Pa., forge that has been hand-hammering fine metalwork since 1923. Each writing implement is unique.
    Where to find: Wendell August

  7. Velvet-Trim Tee
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    Velvet-Trim Tee

    $30
    With its cotton fabric and comfortable styling, the long-sleeved top pairs beautifully with jeans and the rayon-silk trim at the neck and cuffs make it a fine choice to go under a nice suit jacket. Available in seven colors. Machine-wash and -dry.
    Where to find: L.L. Bean

  8. Petit Mendiant Pendant
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    Petit Mendiant Pendant

    $40
    That lacquered sugar-cookie Christmas tree ornament is a boring old tease compared with this highly edible decoration from La Maison du Chocolat, which some consider the best chocolate makers in New York. (Even impoverished NYU students have been known to scrape together two dollars for a truffle.) The disk features thick dark chocolate decorated with flakes of gold and inlaid with almonds, pecans, hazelnuts, and pistachios.
    Where to find: La Maison du Chocolat

  9. Acacia Dog Bowls
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    Acacia Dog Bowls

    $45, $70, $115
    Show how much you love your pet and your planet. A handsome base of farm-grown renewable acacia wood holds a stainless steel bowl. The slightly elevated height makes it easier for dogs to dine.
    Where to find: Unleashed Life

  10. American Flag Bow Tie
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    American Flag Bow Tie

    $45
    This classic silk bow tie from preppy retailer Vineyard Vines covers all the bases. The red color makes it Christmas-like and the U.S. flag pattern makes it relevant year-round. On a further patriotic note, the tie is handmade in the U.S.
    Where to find: Vineyard Vines

  11. Bittercube Bitters
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    Bittercube Bitters

    $48 for a six-pack
    Professional or amateur mixologists on your list will relish the possibilities of these cocktail flavorings. Wisconsin-based business partners Nicholas Kosevich and Ira Koplowitz prepare the bitters by hand, peeling citrus fruits, weighing spices, and decorticating (not a spelling error—check Webster’s) vanilla beans.
    Where to find: Bittercube; liquor stores

  12. Money Tree Plant
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    Money Tree Plant

    $50
    One doesn’t see a braided trunk every day, hence the uniqueness of this bonsai tree, which comes in a ceramic planter. The tree can live outdoors or indoors, even under low light.
    Where to find: 1-800-Flowers.com

  13. SuperHero Backup and Charger for IPhone
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    SuperHero Backup and Charger for IPhone

    $60
    This convenient IOmega device enables iPhone-dependent people to back up all their data—photos, phone numbers, and so forth—and recharge on the go. It comes with a 4GB SD card and works with Apple iPhone 4, 3GS, 3G, and iPod Touch (4th generation).
    Where to find: IOmega; Staples Office Supply Stores; Fry’s Electronics

  14. Quintessence Parfum d’interieur
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    Quintessence Parfum d’interieur

    $60
    Everyone could use a little home fragrance sometime, somewhere, but it doesn’t have to come in an artless aerosol spray can. Parisian perfumer Quintessence offers an elegant black bottle you can leave in plain sight and even show off.
    Where to find: AHAlife; Zezé Flowers store and organic cafe;

  15. Let’s Rock! Elmo
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    Let’s Rock! Elmo

    $70
    Talk about a party in a box. The hottest toy of the 2011 holiday season features the popular Sesame Street character with a tambourine and drum set that Elmo—or a child—can play. From Playskool. Batteries included. Ages 18 months and up.
    Where to find: Hasbro; Toys R Us

  16. Swiss Unlimited Pure Metal Edition Cologne
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    Swiss Unlimited Pure Metal Edition Cologne

    $99
    No one will mistake this for a perfume bottle. The solid metal case holds a men’s cologne that combines the scents of genepi, silver fir, and absinthe. 2.5 fluid ounces
    Where to find: Victorinox Swiss Army; Bloomingdale’s

  17. Nature Cufflinks
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    Nature Cufflinks

    $130, $210, $195 (left to right)
    These silver dress-shirt accoutrements offer formality with a touch of whimsy. Choose from fishing lure, stag’s head, or acorn.
    Where to find: Thomas Pink

  18. Anna e Alex Seal Bracelet
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    Anna e Alex Seal Bracelet

    $140 each
    Bracelets are the fashion accessories of the moment. These stretchy velvet ones from Italian designers Anna e Alex offer a bit of classic style as well, with silver engraved seals—meant as “covenants of love or friendship”—that suggest Roman-era inscriptions.
    Where to find: Anna e Alex

  19. Sulwhasoo Shine Classic Compact
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    Sulwhasoo Shine Classic Compact

    $150
    Powder simply smooths out skin tone or gives foundation more staying power, but its delivery and formula don’t have to be prosaic. Korean cosmetics maker Sulwhasoo took inspiration from the plum-blossom motifs that grace Buddhist temple doors in designing the compact, using the blossoms to make the powder it contains for a delicate scent.
    Where to find: Bergdorf Goodman

  20. Rosetta Stone Version 4 TOTALe
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    Rosetta Stone Version 4 TOTALe

    $179
    To help a friend or associate learn a new language is to give a gift that will reward long after Christmas. The Rosetta Stone package includes software for Macs, PCs, or iPads, three-month online access to Rosetta Studio (where learners can chat live with native speakers), and more. Available in 24 languages.
    Where to find: Rosetta Stone

  21. Custom-Etched Bottle of Silver Oak Cabernet Sauvignon
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    Custom-Etched Bottle of Silver Oak Cabernet Sauvignon

    $189 and up
    Recipients will cherish the vessel long after they’ve savored the wine within. A great way to show off a corporate logo or commemorate any special occasion.
    Where to find: Silver Oak; (888) 202-2006

  22. IPhone 4S
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    IPhone 4S

    $199 and up
    The latest version of the iconic smartphone features Siri, an intelligent assistant that responds to spoken commands such as “how many calories are in a sesame seed bagel?” and “do I need a rain coat today?” Has iOS 5 and iCloud.
    Where to find: Apple online; Apple stores

  23. Philips Norelco SensoTouch 3D 1290X
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    Philips Norelco SensoTouch 3D 1290X

    $279.99
    This electric shaver for men features a touch-sensitive power button that illuminates when it senses movement. Its maker promises “an extremely close and comfortable shave in fewer strokes.”
    Where to find: Amazon.com; Best Buy stores

  24. Men’s Castle Jacket
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    Men’s Castle Jacket

    $475
    Irish clothier Thomas Pink teamed up with English manufacturer Lavenham to create this quilted jacket styled with patches and black watch tartan lining.
    Where to find: Thomas Pink

  25. 3D Display MotorStorm Apocalypse Bundle
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    3D Display MotorStorm Apocalypse Bundle

    $499
    This just-introduced Sony Playstation features 3D display, 24-inch LCD screen, and two-player mode with individual full HD screens.
    Where to find: Sony; electronics retailers nationwide

  26. IPad2
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    IPad2

    $499 and Up
    There are two kinds of people: those who have iPads and those who wish they did. The new model, the iPad2, comes with App store, Safari, iCloud (which enables you to synch your docs, photos, and music across all your iOS devices), iTunes store, and more. You can also send a text from your iPad to your iPod Touch or iPhone.
    Where to find: Apple online; Apple stores

  27. Fidelio SoundSphere with AirPlay: DS9800W
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    Fidelio SoundSphere with AirPlay: DS9800W

    $799
    This just-on-the-market Philips speaker system wirelessly plays music from your iPhone, iPad, or iPod. In other words, you can text from your iPhone in the living room while the Soundsphere blasts its tunes from the bedroom.
    Where to find: Amazon.com; Apple stores

  28. House Check Bowling Bag
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    House Check Bowling Bag

    $1,295
    Gifts from Burberry combine trendiness and timelessness. Introduced this autumn, the structured purse features the classic Burberry plaid with red polished bridle leather.
    Where to find: Burberry

  29. The Macallan 60 Years Old in Lalique
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    The Macallan 60 Years Old in Lalique

    $20,000
    The French crystal house Lalique designed and created just 400 of these Curiously Small Stills decanters to hold 750 milliliters of Macallan’s sexagenarian single-malt Scotch whisky.
    Where to find: Macallan

  30. 2012 McLaren MP4-12C
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    2012 McLaren MP4-12C

    $229,000
    Put this piece of automotive pulchritude in a sports car lover’s driveway on Christmas morning and he or she will surely build a small shrine to you. The vehicle features dihedral doors, a 592-horsepower, 3.8-liter, twin-turbo V8 engine, and a carbon fiber monocell chassis.
    Where to find: McLaren North American dealerships in the U.S. and Canada

  31. The Elizabeth Taylor Diamond
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    The Elizabeth Taylor Diamond

    $2.5 million to $3.5 million (auction estimate)
    Originally known as the Krupp Diamond, this 33.19-carat gem was purchased by Welsh actor Richard Burton, husband No. 5 and No. 6 of Elizabeth Taylor--she of the violet eyes, two Academy Awards, eight marriages, and many, many jewels. Rumor has it that prospective purchasers of the ring that features the epic stone—mounted in platinum and flanked by tapered baguettes—will have to outbid a certain international soccer star and a hip-hop mogul. (Those who prefer not to enter the fray can purchase various catalogs or books depicting ET’s jewel collection for $150 to $2,500, from Christie’s.)
    Where to find: The Collection of Elizabeth Taylor: the Legendary Jewels, Evening Sale, Tuesday, Dec. 13, Christie’s

    Update: The ring sold to an "Asian private" buyer for $8.8 million on Dec. 13.