When I’m giving a gift, I think of the recipients and the conversations I’ve had with them. I ask myself what hobbies they have, what their prized possession is, what would make life sweeter, easier or just bring a smile. Those little details are what cue us in on a good gift. One of the greatest gifts my husband ever gave me was 10 Post-It notes, each filled with reasons why he loved me. I think sometimes we get so caught up in what people might think of us via our gift giving choices that we lose touch with why we are giving gifts in the first place. A gift shows I’m thinking of you, that you’re my friend, I’m thanking you and I love you. This season, remember that the best gifts aren’t always grandiose, they more often are the small things you do to show you’re listening and you care.  
  
To help, here are a few fun gifts that are all under $30! Happy Holidays

Stationary Collections by Alexa Pulitzer You know that friend you have that just oozes creativity, taste and coolness? Well, meet Alexa. These traits easily translate into her collections. From the moment you see or touch her stationary collections you become aware of their “Old World” sophistication. I have given her papers as gifts and been met with delight each time. Her papers will inspire you to pause the text messaging, Facebook posting and e-mailing for a moment to really connect by writing something beautiful to someone you care about. Somehow your words look sweeter and more genuine when framed against such artistic papers. wwwAlexaPulitzer.com for retail locations

The Fortune-Telling Birthday Book This is one of those captivating gifts that make for hours of fun. Forget fortune cookies and crystal balls this little book can predict the future. The small book interprets birthdays and is a cute, handy place to record birthdays too! Hazelnut 5515 Magazine St., 891-2424

Exceptional Holiday Ornaments Belladonna has an impressive display of unique ornaments in the shapes of alligators, martinis and champagne bottles – they’re too cute! Be sure to check out everything: soaps, fragrances, books, cosmetics, décor and even gifts for a favorite pup. There is so much to see and the spa is heavenly. Belladonna, 2900 Magazine St., 891-4393

Esque Polished Globe Cranberry Candle Every time I enter the shop on Magazine Street called Hazelnut, I find some glorious little treasure. My new fave, Esque candles, add elegance to any setting. Shimmering swirls of gold are spun inside the blown glass globe as a candle artist layers colored wax. Each candle comes nestled in a satin gift box and holds a spectacular fragrance. Talk about gift giving in a snap! Hazelnut, 5515 Magazine St., 891-2424

Balms Away Makeup Remover One of Oprah’s favorites, this vitamin-infused makeup remover leaves you spotless while hydrating and restoring skin. The palm-sized tin is wonderful for travel and as a stocking stuffer. Beauty 101, 2728 Magazine St., 895-2869

Tocca Laundry Delicate Affordable luxury and a great present, this delicate detergent provides a gentle wash ideal for lingerie and fine fabrics. Used for hand-washables or in your washing machine, it leaves your fabrics delicately scented. Mmmm, just yummy. Beauty 101, 2728 Magazine St., 895-2869

Frasier Fir Votive Candle To me this is the smell of Christmas. One whiff
of this soft smell of mountain fresh Frasier Fir and I’m 10, sitting in front of a decorated tree trying to guess the gifts. This fragrance brings back memories of extraordinary moments and sets the mood for creating a new traditions to savor and to share. Earthsavers, 5501 Magazine St., 899-8555

French Macaroons at Sucré Joel Dondis has a lasting place in my heart for bringing my favorite Parisian indulgence to New Orleans. Tariq Hanna, the Executive Pastry Chef and fellow French Bulldog parent (her name is appropriately “BonBon”) not only produces authentic “macaroon Français,” he has also successfully introduced magical new macaroon flavors that are picking up national acclaim. These treats are delicious, delectable, and paired with the lavender infused hot white cocoa, are simply the pièce de résistance. Sucré, 3025 Magazine St., 520-8311

Laura Mercier Petite Eye Palette A pocket-sized solution to creating elegant eyes without an overstuffed makeup bag.  Three Sateen eye shadows highlight and define to create a variety of holiday looks. Perfect stocking-stuffer or last minute gift idea. Bamboo Apothecary, 4112 Magazine St., 895-1664

Brow Envy by Too Faced This fool-proof kit has all you need for brows that are arched defined and fabulous. With all the A-list parties you are sure to attend, gorgeous brows are a must! Beauty 101, 2728 Magazine St., 895-2869

The Lip Scrub-by Sara Happ (Try Peppermint) Packs a concentrated punch of fresh. Cool and refreshing. It eliminates dry, flaky skin to leave lips ridiculously soft, supple and will help lip-color stay put. Earthsavers, 4112 Magazine St., 895-1664

Stila Cosmetics Stila products are your key to the basics with products that serve a dual purpose. Stila has found a new home at Earthsavers! Ask for resident makeup artist Barrie to really get a tour of this cool line. Some of her favorites are the Smudge Pots- unique gel eyeliner and shadow in one, the Eye Shadow Trio and the ultra-high shine lip-gloss in a nifty click pen. Earthsavers, 4112 Magazine St., 895-1664

Lip Lingerie by Dianne Brill Looking more like a decadent sweet, once you slip this pouty lip-gloss from its ruffled bonbon paper, it leaves your lips looking glamorous. Vitamins and humectants leave lips feeling delicious. Beauty 101, 2728 Magazine St., 895-28691

The Art of Shave Starter Kit in Lavender Bamboo Apothecary knows the secret
to a good shave. The Art of Shaving’s products, assure a fine shave while
relieving and refreshing. The kit offers about 2 weeks worth of essentials- perfect for travel. Easily a great gift for any man! Bamboo Apothecary, 4112 Magazine St., 895-1664 a