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Holiday Gifts For Acquaintances

This time of year, most of us face a challenge: What do we get for people we want to give a gift to, but don't know really well? Folks such as hostesses, co-workers, teachers, neighbors, and everyone in between.

On The Early Show Tuesday, master stylist Colin Cowie shared ideas that can help. And a bonus: These items might also fit the bill for people you know well, but who are hard to please!

These perfect gifts range from wonderful foods to one-of-a-kind personalized gifts and those with a little bit of bling.

There's something for everyone on your holiday gift list.

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Cowie's suggestions, and comments:

Food

Any type of food gift is always appreciated because, frequently, they're things people don't splurge on themselves, and they're always delicious.

  • Jacques Torres "Wicked" Hot Chocolate $18 www.mrchocolate.com

    This hot chocolate is extra special because Jacques doesn't make it with cocoa powder -- he makes it with real chocolate. The result: a thick, rich, creamy hot chocolate that bursts with flavor. The Wicked Hot Chocolate features allspice, cinnamon, ground, sweet ancho chili peppers, and smoked, ground chipotle chili peppers!

  • Dale & Thomas Popcorn $30 - $60 www.daleandthomas.com

    Oprah Winfrey chose this popcorn as one her favorite things in her magazine, and it's good because the flavors are a cut above any other popcorn you've ever tasted. There are ten flavors, including the "Customer's Favorite" which is three flavors (Hall of Fame Kettle Corn, Dale's Caramel, and Chocolate Chunk N'Caramel) and the "Sumptuous Sampler," which has five of their famous flavors in it.

  • Teuscher Champagne Truffles $32 www.teuscher.com

    These are simply the best truffles anywhere. They're acclaimed as the finest by gourmets and critics alike worldwide.

    Glitz

    What's a holiday without a little glitz? Everyone is all about bling-bling these days, so here are a few fun glitzy gifts:

  • Moet & Chandon Swarovski Bottle $40 & up www.morrellwine.com (The personalized bottle is about $40 plus $4 per letter, but is NOT available online)

    This is already the best-selling champagne in America, so the only way to make it better is to showcase it in a spectacular bottle with Swarovski crystals.

  • Swarovski Crystal Iced Ear Bud $65-$90 www.crystalicing.com

    This is simply the most glamorous way to talk on your cell phone! Get it customized in any color crystal you want; match it to your phone!

  • Csquared by Colin Cowie for Wal-Mart mirrored picture frames $20 for 3 www.walmart.com

    These frames look fabulous anywhere, and they're only $20 for the set of three!

    For more gift ideas, to go Page 2.

  • Personalized

    Personalizing is very hot right now, and a personalized gift for anyone shows that you took the extra time to really think about him or her and add that special touch.

  • Bamboo Cotton Throw $49 www.westelm.com

    This blanket from West Elm is actually made with bamboo fiber and cotton, so it's lightweight and baby-soft.

  • Waffle Travel Bag $52 www.smartypantsshop.com

    This is a great travel bag because it's a nice size, and the waffle weave gives that spa-like feeling. It comes in a variety of colors, so it's perfect for girls and guys.

  • Personalized Stamp $40 www.finestationery.com

    This is a great gift, because it can be used to personalize so many things (stationery, cocktail napkins, books); it can also be made as a return address stamp.

  • Cardways Gift Card $5 plus amount of gift www.cardways.com

    For anyone who loves gift cards, this is a new way to personalize the gift card: Send in a picture you want on two-thirds of the card, and the store name is on the last third. That way, you're not just giving a gift card; you've gone that extra step to make it personal.

    Home

    A gift for someone's home is a nice touch to show you're thinking about him or her and can be a terrific gift for a host or hostess.

  • Pier 1 Room Diffuser $10 www.pier1.com

    This is another option to a fragrant candle, can even be taken with you when you travel, and it's only $10!

  • "Life, A Journey Through Time" $40 www.barnesandnoble.com

    A coffee table book is always a thoughtful way to thank your host for including you, plus it's beautiful to look at.

  • Roost Mother of Pearl Servers $28 Living on 7th, Brooklyn, NY 718- 788-1651

    These are very chic servers and are a terrific host/hostess gift.

  • Stirrings Simple Martini Set $15 www.stirrings.com

    Even if you aren't a bartender, your martinis will always taste delicious with these mixes, and your guests will love them!

    Cashmere

    Everyone loves cashmere, and these are decadent gifts that the recipient is sure to love and appreciate.

  • Cashmere socks $18.50 www.bananarepublic.com
  • Hot Water Bottle and Cashmere Cover $45 www.landsend.com
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