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Classic gifts

And if you're looking for the ultimate in classic children's gifts, then you need to go to FAO Schwarz (713-623-8292) and Stop, Look, and Learn (713-528-6508). Both stores have great selections of stuffed ani-mals (some of them big enough to ride). Also, look for the blast-from-the-past, state-of-the-art rocking hobbyhorses. And if you really want to experience that feeling of nostalgia, then we dare you to get the tykes a broomstick horse just like the one you had when you were a kid.

Gifts For the Kid in All of Us

Just because we've aged a bit since our days of playing freeze tag and hide-and-seek, that doesn't mean that Christ-mas is no longer exciting and fun. Quite the contrary! For who doesn't like the excitement of shaking a package and trying to figure out what's wrapped inside? And if I had a nickel for every time I se-cretly unwrapped a gift before... um, seeing as Mrs. Malibu might possibly read this someday, perhaps I ought to keep some things to myself. Suffice it to say, though, that I would indeed have a lot of nickels! So for the child in each of us, here are some ideas to that are sure to bring a smile each and every time they are given.

Renaissance Platinum is available in Houston at jeweler Louis Tenenbaum.
Renaissance Platinum is available in Houston at jeweler Louis Tenenbaum.

Jewelry is perhaps the most timeless of all gifts for women. Necklaces, earrings, rings, bracelets and so much more, it makes no difference. As long as it is sparkly and shiny, then it will be a winner. Earn extra marks if you add that one little accessory that all women love to whatever jewelry you buy: a diamond! When Moses came down from Mount Sinai and shared with his people the commandments given to him by God, the first was undoubtedly "diamonds shall forever be a woman's best friend." Or was it Mel Brooks who said that? Regardless, I.W. Marks is the place you need to go. I.W. Marks, 713-668-5000, is the largest independent jeweler in greater Houston. The legendary store surpasses local and national diamond jewelry sales averages for a single store and does as much business as a 15-store chain.

If diamonds are a woman's first love, then chocolate would have to be her secret (or maybe not-so-secret) fantasy. The Chocolate Bar (713-520-8599) has an unrivaled selection of tempting treats. Other places, though, that can help calm that sweet tooth are Chocolates, Etc. (713-522-7488), Chocolate Designs (713-622-5990), Elan (713-355-2100) and See's Candies inside Rice Epicurean stores.

What woman wouldn't love to be treated like a queen? Well, if royalty for the day is the order, then Cite is the place for them to be. Cite (713-789-7820) is a full-service hair salon that specializes in the art of helping a woman get in touch with her inner royalty. When she leaves the salon, she will walk with a new purpose in life...or at least she'll look like she does. And that's what counts.

Another gift that's always a favorite for a man to give a woman is lingerie. Who enjoys the gift more is obvious, but wo-men are typically fond of it, too. Any-thing that is soft to the touch is a can't-miss gift idea for the fairer sex. Top Drawer Lingerie (713-993-9931), Linens Unlimited (713-529-4446) and any Vic-toria's Secret store have fantastic selections of soft, silky and sensual delicates.

For the men, watches make a great gift idea. You can find a watch to fit your taste (and budget) at Walzel (713-627-7495), Surprises (713-877-1900), Saks Fifth Ave-nue (713-627-0500) or department stores such as Dillard's and Foleys. While you're peru-sing the watches, look around. A new wallet might make a great choice. How about that leather CD case? Or a new pair of cuff links? All would make for wonderful gift ideas.

Speaking of watches, we all know someone who has an old watch that doesn't work buried in a drawer somewhere. Actually, if we're all painfully honest, we may ourselves have an old watch that we once loved just sitting around, unused and forgotten, collecting dust now. Diamonds and Time (713-974-4040) can help you get that old gem of a timepiece back in working condition. They buy, sell, and trade jewelry and watches. They also have an expert watch repair technician on site.

Off the Beaten Path

Looking for something to give to your married friends? Ligne Roset (713-629-7722) is the place to find that traditional gift of sophistication. Here, you can find a Reve d'Edo aluminum tray bowl for only $305. Other ideas include a Reve d'Edo wood box for $155 or $200, a Plix aluminum flower stem holder for $50, a CD rack for $305 or $415, a Nelly table lamp for $196, or a Revue magazine rack for $200. Whatever it is you're looking for, you'll find it at Ligne Roset.

Why not give the gift of...furniture? Yes, furniture. Norwalk - The Furniture Idea (713-599-1599) is Uptown Park's fur-niture store that helps you create the home that's right for you. Whether someone is furnishing a new home or redecorating an older one, Norwalk has something for everyone. They can make a custom sofa in only about 45 days. So plan ahead, and visit the place that's been serving the public since 1902.

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