Five very different gifts that have one thing - good design - in common

Public Citizen Bike by Public Bikes. The sleek, lightweight, $495 Citizen is the newest model from Public Bikes, a company launched by the founder of Design Within Reach to make European-style bikes for folks on this side of the pond. With upright handlebars, fenders to protect work clothes from puddles, and tires wide enough to handle curbs, Citizen was built with an urbanite in mind. The company is based in San Francisco and ships bikes direct and ready to ride. (Available at publicbikes.com)


The Brelli. Rainstorms tend to turn the city into an umbrella graveyard. End the needless slaughter and impress an environmentalist with the gift of a Brelli, the biodegradable umbrella that's made of bamboo, organic cotton, and biodegradable plastic. The eco-friendly materials are both smart and strong - the umbrellas are wind-tested up to 40 m.p.h. The pictured Brelli is an original Brelli ($48-62) customized with a set of BrelliMarkers ($24). (Available at thebrellishop.com)


Ramekins by Mustardseed and Moonshine. These glazed ceramic ramekins ($36-250) are almost too beautiful for food prep. Use them instead to store paper clips and earrings, or collect them all and mount them on the wall in a brilliant botanical spiral to get you through the winter. The bowls, handmade in South Africa, are replicas of flowers including freckle blossoms, daylilies, poppies, and delphiniums. (Available at Maleka Fine Linens & Home Decor, 33 Coulter Ave., Ardmore, 610-896-7181)


Good Little Piggy by Materious. These fat little piggies are a matched set - the baby bank nestles into its mama. Together they make a $54 philanthropic piggy bank that teaches kids about charitable giving. The designers suggest that children use it to learn to set aside 10 percent of their income. When the baby bank is full, it's time to make a donation to the charity of the child's choice. With proper use, Good Little Piggy teaches a lesson that will last a lifetime. That's one priceless present. (Available at goodlittlepiggy.com)


Stepladder by Design House Stockholm. The Porsche of stepladders, this model ($295) is a dream for anyone keen on design and short on space. When folded, the piece is a mere two inches wide, and thanks to its high-gloss red frame, it may be the first stepladder that's OK to store somewhere besides the basement. (Available at designhousestockholmusa.com)