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December 2005

All I want for Christmas

Our top tips for gifts with that je ne sais quoi!

’Tis better to give than to receive. We’ve put together some gift ideas that will, we hope, meet the wishes of everyone on your to-buy-for list.

THE STUDENT: School equals stress. Why not lighten the load for the scholar on your list and help him or her get organized? Semikolon; Papeterie (Schellingstr. 34, Tel. 272 54 92) is packed with snazzy school supplies in a variety of colors, styles and price ranges. Or, for some real stress relief, consider a gift certificate for a massage at the Müller’sches Volksbad. Prices start at € 14 for 20 minutes.

THE THRILL SEEKER: When something wrapped with a bow just won’t do, think outside the box. How about a two-hour, roof-top tour of the Olympic Stadium, culminating in a 40-meter-long, mid-air abseil to the pitch below? Tours run from March to October and cost € 40 for adults and € 30 for children ages 10–15. Reservations must be made in advance by calling Tel. 30 67 24 14.

THE HEALTH NUT: The holidays are a tough time for those trying to stick to a rigid dietary regime. Instead of sabotaging it with calorific fruitcake and chocolate Santas, create a healthy snack tower with some delights from the Spanisches Fruchthaus (Rindermarkt 10, Tel. 26 45 70). Choose from buckets of dried pineapple rings, strawberry pieces, raspberry bits, papaya chunks, banana chips, etc., (all € 2.50–6.95 per 100 g), then throw in some mixed nuts for an added crunch (€ 3.50, 100 g). Once you’ve got the goods, pick up four or five boxes of varying sizes, fill ’em up, stack ’em up, throw on a bow and, voila, you’ve got a gift sure to satisfy any sweet tooth. You’ll also get brownie points for creativity.

THE OUTDOORSY TYPE: Why not splurge on a sled? The suped-up Stiga Bob Snow Power has metal frames, a steering wheel and even foot brakes and is available at SportScheck for € 79.95. Or how about renting a camel for the adventure seeker on your holiday gift list? The Rent-A-Camel farm in Allgäu offers gift certificates for one-hour rides at € 55 a piece. For more information, visit

THE GIRLY GIRL: Adorned with ribbons, roses, beads and bows, the slippers at pia rennt (Marienplatz 8, Tel. 24 33 11 81) are certainly fit for a princess. Each pair costs € 45 and has a flexible leather sole and plush interior for cushiony comfort. See

THE PARTY ANIMAL: Here’s a blast from the past—Top Trumps cards. The latest German edition, though, features Munich bars and clubs. Bars are rated on various factors, including beer prices, bar length, etc. And what’s more, each card is also a voucher for drink offers at the respective location. Sets cost just € 9.80 and can be ordered online at To win a pack, see our Christmas treasure hunt on page 20.

THE THEATER BUFF: Thought nothing could beat a gift of front row tickets? How about a present that goes behind the curtain? The Nationaltheater gives backstage tours for just € 5, taking visitors through the royal box, backstage, underneath the stage and even revealing how special effects are created onstage. Visit or call Tel. 21 85 10 25 for more information and dates. Or give them a € 60 TheaterCard for the Münchner Kammerspiele, which entitles holders to half price tickets for a year (Tel. 23 39 66 00).

THE ARTS LOVER: Gift options perfect for those who appreciate the arts are available at the Haus der Kunst (the € 25 Dauerkarte good for the run time of one exhibition) and the Lenbachhaus (a season pass costs € 20 for adults, € 10 for children and students and € 30 for families). If you’d rather give them the chance to pick out a piece of artwork for themselves, consider a gift certificate for the contemporary photography gallery LUMAS (Brienner Str. 3, Tel. 25 54 88 30), available in € 25, € 50 and € 100 denominations.

THE LOVED ONE ABROAD: If you wish to send your loved ones back home a piece of Germany, head to Münchner Romantix’s (Pfisterstr. 6, Tel. 290 40 91). Inside the cozy shop you’ll find a treasure trove of traditional German goodies, including gorgeous table linens (€ 70–€ 250). Send a traditional Christmas shadow box card along with it (also available at the store) and some gebrannte Mandeln (caramelized almonds) for extra holiday cheer.

THE ANGLO-PHILE: Looking for a present for a lover of all things English? Head to Pomeroy and Winterbottom (Reichenbachstr. 38, Tel. 201 69 01) and pick up a dainty egg coddler. These fancy pottery cups (€ 22.90) are pretty simple to use. Fill the cup with raw egg, bits of veggies and meats, cook it in boiling water for a few minutes, and you’re ready to dine in true British fashion.

SOMEONE WHO HAS EVERYTHING: Some people are impossible to buy for. For something different, how about a romantic carriage ride? Coaching in Bavaria offers day-long trips to Neuschwanstein and Hohenschwangau, for € 250. You can never go wrong with flowers—so head to Kokon, choose a vase and let the staff fill it with an artsy flower arrangement (see above) to fit your budget. (Lenbachplatz 3, Tel. 552 51 40). Or treat them to a Munich Found subscription—a snip at just € 30 a year! <<<

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