By Chris Lane
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Are you looking for a gift for someone who has been itching to start a collection but has had no idea what to collect? Paleo Arts (832-687-3100) can help. They offer fossils and minerals dating back millions of years. They have gifts in the range of $50 to $5,000, so you're sure to find something in your budget. Their selection is perfect for the novice collector as well as the more advanced. For more information about what they have to offer, you can also visit www.paleoarts.com.
If stocking stuffers are what you need, then Buffalo Exchange (713-523-8701) has got you covered. Their accessories make for great stocking stuffers. Choose from novelty socks, funky rings, brace-lets, naughty fishnet stockings, trendy Japanese candy, Chinese paper wallets and more. Or if you're just not sure what to give, they offer gift certificates. Z Bead (713-526-2216) also has great many ideas from which to choose. Located in the Village, they are in the heart of the artistic community of Houston. They specialize in beads, gifts, and jewelry for men and women. Stop by and check out their selection of super-chic artistic imports.
The Gift of Knowledge
There is one gift idea that just keeps on giving, and that is the gift of knowledge. It doesn't matter how old or how young a person is, learning can be an extraordinarily exciting and rejuvenating thing. Many places around town offer classes in everything from foreign languages to cooking. A great place to start is Leisure Learning Unlimited (713-529-4414). Call them for a free catalog of what they offer, or visit them on-line at www.llu.com.
Know someone who is interested in the visual arts? The Glassell School of Art is the teaching wing of the Museum of Fine Arts. They offer a full schedule of classes for the spring, summer and fall semesters. For information, call them at 713-639-7500 or visit www.mfah.org/ Glassell/default.html.
Cooking is always a great skill to have. It's an even better thing to know how to do it well. The Rice Epicurean Cooking School has been home to many of the greatest chefs in the country. For more information, call them at 713-954-2512. Their offerings include classes in caviar appreciation, cooking with game, ethnic cuisine, and courses for the kids. Sur La Table also offers cooking courses throughout the year. Stop by and pick up a gift certificate for that aspiring chef you know. When they get good, invite them to cook for you.
And for those parents you know who never seem to find enough quality time to spend with their children, there are en-richment classes at both Gymboree (713-953-0444) and Stop, Look, and Learn (713-528-6508) that allow the parent and child to spend time together learning something new. Time with a child is a gift that all parents should be fortunate enough to be given, as should we all.