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Paper Goods

Give the people what they really want -- something they can pick out themselves. Here's our selection of the season's best gift certificates for all tastes and budgets.


SWEET SPOT: A well-stocked gift basket from Dylan's Candy Bar.  

$20 and up
Sweets for the sweet: A $25 certificate to Dylan's Candy Bar, which carries over 5,000 kinds of candy -- from gummy Coca-Cola bottles to Harry Potter–inspired chocolate frogs -- lets recipients customize their sugar highs (1011 Third Avenue, at 60th Street; 646-735-0078).

Hand it off: Save a friend -- or at least her hands -- with a Rescue Me Manicure ($18), the signature treatment at the wildly popular Rescue Nail spa, which includes a lavender-and-arnica-oil cuticle rub followed by a citrus hand exfoliation (21 Cleveland Place; 212-431-3805).

Coffee talk: Give a week's worth of morning caffeine with a $25 Starbucks gift card, or pair a $20 card with a box of Starbucks après-coffee mints and gum ($7.95;
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Let the games begin: A $20 gift certificate to the ESPN Zone's massive game arcade means aspiring sports stars can hone their skills at the air-hockey table or inside the Daytona deluxe race car (1472 Broadway, at 42nd Street; 212-921-3776).

Reel love: A pair of tickets to the Ziegfeld is the perfect gesture for the cineast. The classic theater has the city's largest screen. Tickets are $10 apiece. (141 West 54th Street; 212-307-1862).

Sports pack: A Chelsea Piers gift card can be used at any of the complex's facilities ($25 will get you 148 tee-offs at the driving range, an open session of rock climbing at the field house, three hours' worth of basketball -- you get the idea). The certificate can even be used at the spa for products or services like the fifteen-minute "express" manicure or pedicure, each of which is $12.
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Tech team: A $25 Apple gift card can be put toward anything in Apple's new store in Soho, including the latest Superman and Powerpuff Girls computer games, Apple classics like the iPod, Canon digital cameras, and JBL Creature Speakers (103 Prince Street; 212-226-3126).

SHEER BLISS: The Bliss Box 50 includes a manicure plus soaps, creams, and scrubs.  

$50 and up
Beauty in a box: A Bliss Box 50 holiday package ($50) includes a "Blisscertificate" for a hot-cream manicure, a huge bar of the company's famous lemon-sage soap, high-intensity hand cream, and trial samples of lemon-sage body butter and lemon-peel scrub. The certificate is good for a year and can be swapped for other products.
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Party prep: Those who have yet to try that pricey Japanese hair-straightening treatment -- but have days when they wish they had -- will appreciate a $46 Bumble & Bumble blowout (146 East 56th Street; 212-521-6500).

Eye opener: A $50 certificate to Haven for a For Your Eyes Only facial treatment -- an eye-area massage to undo dark circles, fatigue, and expression lines -- is perfect for pre-holiday refreshment, or post-holiday recuperation (150 Mercer Street; 212-343-3515).
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In vino veritas: At Italian Wine Merchants, wine buyer and co-owner Sergio Esposito will help the recipient of a $50 gift certificate navigate the store's well-edited selection of Italian wines, which start at $9 (108 East 16th Street; 212-473-2323).

Boogie nights: Is your husband a hazard on the dance floor? A pack of five dance classes ($60), from flamenco to ballroom, at the 92nd Street Y will get him back on his feet -- and off yours (1395 Lexington Avenue; 212-996-1100).

Phone home: Make sure someone keeps in touch with an AT&T PrePaid Phone Card. A 300-minute card is $50.
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Art and crafts: Kick-start someone's creative efforts with a $50 gift certificate to Pearl Paint. This art-supply center on Canal Street has it all (308 Canal Street; 212-431-7932).
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Room service: Let the recipient decide among a stay at the Ritz in Paris, a trip to Gleneagles in Scotland, or a close-to-home dinner at Jean Georges with a certificate from the Leading Hotels of the World and Relais & Chateaux ($50 and up) that can be used at any of their affiliated properties.
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Hair repair: Help your friends tend to their winter hair with a certificate for Frédéric Fekkai's Protein Rx fortifying hair treatment ($60) with soothing soy and milk protein (15 East 57th Street; 212-753-9500).

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