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No Place Like Home 

Gifts for everyone's favorite spot

Get the party started -- Sturdy Melamine snack plates in ivory or black are ingeniously designed with a molded and cutout drink area that securely nestles a cup or can accommodate a hanging wine glass, $45.50 for set of 12, from Loubat Equipment Co. Inc. (4141 Bienville Ave., 482-2554;

A star is born -- Three-dimensional stars in several sizes that can be hung on a wall or placed elsewhere inside or outside a house are fashioned from old barn tins by Peddlers Design, $40 (large), $30 (small); from Armadillo South Architectural Salvage Inc. (4801 Washington Ave., 486-1150)

In time for the holidays -- Gold accents stand out on this solid-wood wall clock case with an antique black finish and raised relief. A hinged door at the bottom of the clock hides a three-shelf compartment; hours are indicated in Roman numerals and minutes in Arabic numerals by Bulova, $125, from Clock & Watch Shop (824 Gravier St., 525-3961;

Collector's choice -- A highly collectible six-footed porcelain cracker jar is in a green and rose pattern with accents of gold and was produced in Suhl, Germany, between 1892 and 1910 with the RS five-pointed star and wreath mark that indicates porcelain created by Prussian Reinhold Schlegelmilch, $530, from Bel et Bon (822 Chartres St., 679-0010;

Pretty bird -- Subtle colors show through on the feathers of this finely sculpted art deco brass pheasant on a slate base created in the 1920s and signed by artist Louis Robert Carvin, $1,499, from La Belle Nouvelle Orleans (2112 Magazine St., 581-3733;

In the spirit -- Much holiday spirit begins in the kitchen, so make sure you dress this most important room for the part with a gift of holiday-themed kitchen towels in textured cotton with embroidered patterns on them, $7.50 each, designed by and sold exclusively at Orient Expressed (3905 Magazine St., 899-3060;

Gift of nature -- A beautiful orange bromeliad, $17, has a wealth of foliage and will stay lovely inside or outside, especially in a rust glazed terra cotta pot, $7.99, with matching drain saucer, $6.50; all from Harold's Indoor Outdoor Plants (1135 Press St., 947-7554).

Light up the season -- Tole candleholders have a square red metal base with gold rope trim and tall, highly detailed palm-tree stems, $80 each, from Royal Crescent Interiors (4118 Magazine St., 891-5600).

Sweeten the decor -- A ceramic leather case sculpture is trimmed in gold and filled with a bouquet of candy flowers by D'Allessandro of Sulmona, Italy, who puts a colored candy coating over a rich chocolate, licorice or almond center and hand-wraps each petal so they will remain fresh for a year, $90, and can be replenished with smaller bouquets, $15; all from Blue Frog Chocolates (5707 Magazine St., 269-5707;

Drink in the cheer -- A glass pitcher with a blue handle has colorful polka dots on the body and stripes around bottom and comes with a clear glass stirrer, $45; a coordinating martini glass has etched circles on it and a copper colored stem with colored stripes, $22, both by MoMo Panache; and a blown glass cobalt decanter has a yellow, green and blue stopper, $99; all from Arabella Fine Gifts & Accents (3902 Hwy. 22, Mandeville, 985-727-9787).

For your favorite things -- Round ceramic trinket boxes have handcrafted lids with floral designs fashioned from ribbons and embroidery, $12 small, $22 large; from You're Invited (7815 Maple St., 324-6842).

Treasure chests -- Decoupage "Carnival" boxes come in several shapes and sizes, each with a ball on the top, ball feet and a clasp closure, handmade and signed by DGD Originals of New Orleans, $52 large round-top, $44 small rectangle; from Judy at the Rink (The Rink, 2727 Prytania St., 891-7018).

Healthy diversion -- For those who want their families to be physically fit but don't want to devote a room of their house to exercise equipment, consider a gift membership to Franco's Lakeview Athletic Club (111 Robert E. Lee Blvd., 286-8801;, which offers state-of-the-art equipment and classes for everything from cardiovascular workouts to swimming at its 23,000-square-foot facility. Members also can enjoy personal trainers, a day spa and physical therapy clinic. Memberships are available in a range of prices. Call the club for details.

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