Nicole Diver's shopping list in Tender is the Night always springs to mind around this time of year, if only for the sheer out-there unlikeliness of receiving any of it: the lovebirds, the scarves, the rubber alligator (why?), the travelling gold and ivory chess set....
But there are still a few objets de desire that one might wish for this Christmas, to make the heart beat a little faster. Oh and can I recommend that for divine inspiration and the perfect start to the Christmas wish list, no matter who you're shopping for, visit India Knight's Posterous.
1. A bottle of Julian Temperley's Alchemy - his own Somerset cider brandy
2. Any of the gorgeous new Penguin bound editions of the classics
3. A box set of Katharine Hepburn films (now one can indulge on a winter afternoon)
4. Some luxurious new pyjamas
5. A Lartigue photograph (I did mention this was fantasy, right?)
6. Or indeed a Cecil Beaton photograph, perhaps of the Jungman sisters
7. Or maybe Brassai in his French phase
8. A winter rose bush
9. A beautifully bound copy of T S Eliot's poems
10. A jewel ring
And I wouldn't say no to Sacla's tiny jar of anchovies and white truffles, which when melted and gently heated in butter, then swirled with a little Prosecco, make the most incredible sauce for tagliatelle.