When it comes to Christmas shopping, the world is divided into two types of people. First, there are those who thoughtfully and methodically buy their presents over the course of the year and have them gift-wrapped and posted out by the beginning of November. Second, there are the rest of us, who often only realise Christmas is around the corner when colleagues remind us on December 24 that there is no need to come into the office the following day. For us, present-buying is confined to a few mad hours - minutes sometimes - between closing time at the pub or wine bar, where office Christmas drinks are served, and closing time at the shops. Fortunately, there are those who recognise our weaknesses and whose businesses are sympathetically and obligingly situated to compensate for our shortcomings. Tayma Page Allies is one of them. Her shop, Tayma Fine Jewellery (www. taymajewellery.com), is nestled in the heart of Lan Kwai Fong in D'Aguilar Street, making it the perfect place to stop off for last-minute shopping after an office Christmas drink. Ms Allies recommends that if you are buying at the last minute, bracelets, necklaces and earrings are the items to choose. 'To buy rings you have to know the person's ring size - so it's safer to choose something else,' she says. 'Earrings are a good choice and I do a range called day-to-night, on to which you can clip extra pendants for the evening. As for the men - cuff-links are a good choice. 'Last-minute shoppers tend to be men. Often, I can help them choose because they are buying for customers I know, otherwise I tell them to bring it back if it's wrong. I'm right in the middle of Lan Kwai Fong, which is ideal for someone who has left it to the last minute and gone drinking on Christmas Eve.' Ms Allies, who has been in Hong Kong for 20 years, says her shop will stay open later than the usual 6.30pm, if people call in advance and tell her they are coming. 'The funny thing is I tend to get my last-minute rush at the end of November because people who love jewellery know that to commission a piece takes two to three weeks. Those who are really last-minute shoppers can come in on Christmas Eve and I can still guarantee they will find something gorgeous to buy from the ready-made collection.' Joseph Kam Wai-tsun, manager of Amigo Jewelry, (2nd floor, Metropole Building, Peking Road, Tsim Sha Tsui), says diamonds are the thing to choose if you want to impress this Christmas. 'Choosing a piece with a birthstone is a good idea if you know the birthday of the person you are buying for but, in my experience, people always prefer diamonds or pearls,' he says. 'Even the buyers prefer them. They come into the shop and it's the diamonds that catch their eyes.' He recommends pendants - something that can appeal to all ages. All that glitters is not jewellery, of course. A special dress can add sparkle to Christmas and a quick dash to Star House in Tsim Sha Tsui could help you choose a last-minute present that will put some extra glamour into December 25. Designer Diane Freis ( www.dianefreis . com) has her headquarters in Star House, 3 Salisbury Road, and has arrested the attention of fashion-lovers worldwide over the past two decades with her designer dress range. This season's collection showcases glamorous knitwear, black-beaded separates and a flirty cocktail range - just the thing for the New Year party. The collection includes slinky, body-hugging numbers in glittering pink, silver and black, and rich ruby reds. If it is something less ambitious but equally classy you are after, you can always resort to a box of fine chocolates - the gift that comes to the rescue of last-minute shoppers every hour of every day somewhere in the world. See's Famous Old Time Candies has had shops in Hong Kong since 1975 and is famous for having more than 90 varieties of delicious chocolate fillings. The chocolates are flown in fresh from California and a variety of special presentation packs for Christmas are available. See's has outlets in The Landmark, Fashion Island, Harbour City, Ocean Terminal and Festival Walk. For the more practical-minded, how about a laptop - and what could be a safer and more reliable choice than an IBM Thinkpad. Weida Technology (Room 2106, Nanyang Plaza, 57 Hung To Road, Kwun Tong) recommends three models of the X31 Thinkpad at prices ranging from $12,988 to $15,888; each comes with a three-year warranty. OM World in North Point (Unit 5-8, 35th floor AIA Tower, 183 Electric Road) has a range of house and lifestyle products, which make good gifts. The range starts at $20 for stationery up to $20,000 for a painting and varies from Indian decorative stationery and jewellery, to beauty products, table and glassware and paintings.