For our annual gift guide, asked contributors and assorted luminaries to tell us what's high on their holiday wish list -- and what charity they'd like their friends to support.

What's on their wish lists?

Sir Nigel Sheinwald, British Ambassador to the United States
On his list: Bose headphones

There is an old and almost certainly apocryphal story about a British ambassador in Washington in the postwar period. He arrived in the autumn, and was approached by the Washington Post, which was doing a feature on what various ambassadors wanted for Christmas. Reluctantly, he agreed to give an interview. In the final paragraph, the Post reported that the French ambassador wanted "Liberté, fraternité et égalité pour tout le monde"; the German ambassador wanted "a Europe united, free and based on the rule of law"; the Soviet ambassador wanted "the onward march of the Proletariat leading to the ultimate victory of democratic socialism"; and the British ambassador said he'd be glad of a new pair of slippers and a small box of crystallised fruits...

My answer is: a new set of headphones to use with my iPad, particularly for long flights. My oldest son, an ex-D.J., recommends Bose 'phones.

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Sheinwald's holiday charity: UK Prostate Cancer Charity.

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