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Last But Not Least 

There's still lots of great stuff out there for last-minute shoppers.

The Way to Their Hearts -- Play to their stomachs with gourmet goodies that are always in season: flavored popcorn in a decorative red bucket (this gallon size can accommodate two flavors), prices start at $12.85; a half-pound bag of espresso-praline covered pecans, $5.95; gourmet pretzels that come in a variety of flavors such as English toffee, peanut butter, holiday sprinkles and even sugar-free versions, $14 per pound; and a giant jaw breaker, $1.50; all from Popcorn & Pretzel (623 St. Peter St., 586-8781).

Bottled Magic
-- Playful ceramic he and she chef bottles will protect your valued olive oil, balsamic vinegar or whatever else you need to keep airtight with cork stopper hats by artist Carrie Olsen Garrard, $33.95 each; from Das Schulerhaus (701 Dante St., Suite C, 864-1201).

Food for Good Thoughts -- Enjoy delicious gratitude from the recipient of this willow gift tray packed with edible delights such as Monet table crackers, Mas Portell extra-virgin olive oil, Valfleuri pasta, bourbon teriyaki glaze, Santa Edwiges panettone, Longleaf balsamic vinaigrette, J&M Asiago cheese straws, poppy and sesame crackers, Maille Dijon mustard, Bella Cucina artichoke pesto, Stonewall roasted garlic-and-onion jam, Mas Portell black olive pate and decorative cheese spreaders, $85 (other baskets also available), from Martin Wine Cellar (3827 Baronne St., 899-7411; 714 Elmeer Ave., Metairie, 896-7300).

High Notes -- Tune in to their favorite diversions with these gifts from the Country Store at House of Blues: a bright yellow logo cap, $16; a wall hanging of "Cecil" the cat painted in glow-in-the-dark pigments by artist Glen Fox, $75; a "Shot in the Dark" shot glass that glows in the dark, $3.95; and a cobalt logo pilsner glass, $8 each or four for $25; all from House of Blues (225 Decatur St., 529-2624).
Wake Up Call -- Keep them perky and happy with their favorite hot beverage and a spill-proof holiday cup: a box of apricot green tea bags, $4.25; a half-pound of Windsor Court Blend coffee beans, $5.25; Ghirardelli's premium hot chocolate mix assortment that includes double chocolate, chocolate hazelnut and chocolate mocha, $17.25; and an insulated "Santa's Blast" cup with a top, $8.95; all from PJ's Coffee & Tea (7624 Maple St., 866-7031; 1532 Robert E. Lee Blvd., 282-6154).

Hoop Dreams -- Help your sports fans support a winning team with fashions bearing the New Orleans Hornets' logo, including a warm-up jersey in white, purple and aqua by Reebok, $58; a girl's knit cheerleader uniform with a pleated skirt and purple tights by Third, $36; a miniature logo basketball, $20. If you really want to make it special, include tickets: "Hugo's Holiday Hoop Dream" package includes two tickets to three games, plus a set of four etched drinking glasses, starting at $120; all from New Orleans Hornets. Merchandise can be purchased at the Hornets Nest (Girod Street entrance to the arena). Tickets can be ordered at 525-HOOP or

Perfect Score -- Hit a strike with style to spare with outfits from the internationally known Rock 'N' Bowl. Just in time for the bowl game is a bowling shirt in LSU's purple and gold (or choose a pink version), $30. T-shirt fans will like this white logo version, $15, or go for a brightly colored logo cap, $12; all from Mid City Lanes Rock 'N' Bowl (4133 S. Carrollton Ave., 482-3133).

Look of Love -- You'll get plenty (of loving glances) when your best girl unwraps a beautiful sterling silver collar with a diamond-shaped crystal pendant, $120, from Ruby Ann Bertram-Harker (304 Chartres St., 525-1050; 3005 Magazine St., 897-0811). 

Guy Things -- Dress him up and take him out in style in fashions by Tommy Bahama, including a gold, 100 percent cotton sweater with ribbed cuffs and hem and a Tommy Bahama Relax logo on the front, $85; Indigo Palms relaxed-fit blue jeans, $88; and a tan Relax logo cap, $25; all from Ocean Eddie's Resort Wear (600 Decatur St., Jackson Brewery, 523-7722).

Manna from Heaven -- Delight loved ones young and old with playful treats that are fun as well as tasty, including a green gift tin of jalapeno cheese tabs by Tabasco, $7.99; "Reindeer Tracks" layered cookie mix packaged in a Mason jar by Sisters Gourmet, $9.50; a decorative red tin of chocolate mint cookies by Byrd, $7.99; a pink can of peppermint snaps gourmet cookies, $6.99; a jar of the coveted "That Mustard" honey mustard by Heavenly Ham, $5.50; Bavarian Black Forest Cocoa in a decorative snowman bag, $6.50; and a cylinder of "Magical Reindeer Food," $1.50; all from Heavenly Ham (5300 Tchoupitoulas St., 891-5100).

The Royal Treatment -- Make mornings, tea times and coffee breaks even better with "Santa's Little Buzz Nuggets" chocolate espresso beans, $2.25 for a quarter-pound bag; a white coffee mug with the Royal Blend logo on it, or a large blue logo tea cup, $4.95 each; a chrome tea pot infuser ball or mesh cup infuser, $1.95 each; all from The Royal Blend (621 Royal St., 523-2716; 222 Carondelet St., 529-2005; 204 Metairie Road, Metairie, 835-7779).

Celestial Choice -- Make her see stars with a gift of stellar jewelry that depicts the heavens: a platinum Milky Way ball pendant necklace with diamonds, $2,580; and matching earrings, $2,365; both by jewelry artist Barbara Heinrich, from Katy Beh (3701 Magazine St., 896-9600).

Keeping Time with History -- A lightweight textured-metal clock has a rendering of the old Crescent City Sewerage & Water Board meter cover on it, $45; from The Craftivist (8227 Oak St., 314-0002).


Dance the Night Away -- Outfit a favorite dance partner with the right accessories: a roomy dance bag with adjustable straps, $50; a CD case to keep favorite dance tunes close at hand, $30; an instructional tango video, $20; a logo T-shirt, $10; a silver key chain, $15; and silver pen for filling a dance card, $20; then add a certificate for dancing lessons: six private and group lessons, $130, or nine for $195; all from Arthur Murray Dance Studio (3939 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 455-8248).


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