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Spare Time, Perfect Presents 

Holiday gifts that help relax, energize and enrich

Photos by Romney Photography

Even the family dog could use a little stress relief now and then. The Slobber Wick Squeak doll, $8, will keep chew residue to a minimum, and the Dino Cuz rubber toy, $7, will make fetching even more fun — both from Canine Culture (8110 Hampson St., 373-5139;
Whether it's a last-minute getaway or an annual holiday trip to visit the family, this red patent leather weekend bag by Murval will ensure a stylish arrival — $56 at Orient Expressed (3905 Magazine St., 899-3060;
"Friendship is like a cookie, sweet and wonderful." It says so right there on the plate that comes with Anastasia Gourmet Baking Company's ginger spice cookies — $16.99 at Jolie Secret (4224 Magazine St., 896-1020).
You've learned a lot from Zagat's and The New York Times bestseller lists; now it's time to make your own list of favorites and new books or restaurants to check out with these specialty journals, $10.95 each at Scriptura (5423 Magazine St., 897-1555;
This brown patent leather wine caddy by Toss Design is ready to travel, even if you're only going as far as the Lakefront, perhaps for a romantic picnic — $65 at Plant Gallery (Lakeside Shopping Center, 3301 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 846-5157; 9401 Airline Drive, 488-8887;
Your pint-size crafter will be ready for her next art project with a Hello Kitty Craft Kit that comes in its own pretty pink case — $12.50 at World's Best Toys (The Shops at Canal Place, 333 Canal St., 586-1006; 701 Metairie Road, Metairie, 828-1575).
Give the gift of rich, chocolate indulgence with a box of Truffes Fantaisie truffles, $8; or for the nut-lover, a box of Mi Noix du Perigord (chocolate-covered walnuts), $12; both by Truffettes de France at Blue Frog Chocolates (5707 Magazine St., 296-5707).
Set the stage for some old-fashioned family fun on movie night — or any night — with Orville Redenbacher's gourmet popcorn popper by Presto, $31.99 at Harry's Ace Hardware (3535 Magazine St., 896-1500).
Pack light on the path to wellness with this yoga mat tote, handmade in India from sari fabric — $55 at Life: A Lifestyle Boutique (1138A S. Carrollton Ave., 267-0380;
Lounging will be the only activity on the agenda with a luxurious silky robe with velvet accents by Goody Goody — $80 at Renaissance & Romance (1827 Hickory Ave., Harahan, 737-7630).
Treat someone to a six-month membership at the St. Charles Avenue Athletic Club (1600 St. Charles Ave., 523-2582; for the price of only five months' dues. New members get a discounted $50 initiation fee (normally $150) through the end of the year. Throw in a club T-shirt for $12.
All net proceeds from the House of Blues (225 Decatur St., 310-4999; holiday "Give" pin, $6, will benefit the International House of Blues Foundation, a nonprofit organization that promotes the arts in schools. The "Give" T-shirt, $28, was designed to be a reminder to cultivate the art of giving in our daily lives throughout the year.


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