Holiday Gift Guide : Calendar’s little helpers offer suggestions in pop, jazz, holiday, family and classical music, plus videos, computer games and books. (Good news: They’re easy to wrap.) : VIDEO! : Fast Forward to December With These


From favorite films to collectible classics, video is the most versatile of gifts. There are programs for all ages, inter ests and budgets. And one size fits all.

General Interest

“ABSOLUTELY FABULOUS,” BBC Video ($19.98 each). For the sweetie-darling on your list, Britain’s hottest comedy import since “Fawlty Towers” will never go out of style. Four volumes, 12 episodes, two seasons’ worth of unfashionably rowdy and rude Edina and Patsy.

“THE BEATLES BOXED SET,” MPI Home Video ($79.98; [800] 323-0442). Absolutely Fab. It’s Beatlemania in a box, not to be confused with the “Anthology” set coming out in April. This package includes special editions of “A Hard Day’s Night” and “Help!” with added behind-the-scenes and musical footage, “Magical Mystery Tour” and the documentary “The Beatles: Their First U.S. Visit.”


“DREAMFIELD,” Crescenti Moon Productions ($19.95; [800] 358-3576). If you buy it, they will watch. The real-life Field of Dreams in Dyersville, Iowa, has become a pilgrimage for baseball purists. James Earl Jones hosts this documentary, originally broadcast on ESPN, about the people who have visited the former cornfield made immortal by the 1989 Kevin Costner film.

“HOOP DREAMS,” New Line Home Video ($19.98). This documentary, one of last year’s most acclaimed films, chronicles six years in the lives of two aspiring Chicago inner-city basketball players. Buy one for the members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ documentary committee so they can see what they missed.

“JAMES BOND GIFT BOX 1,” MGM/UA Home Video ($44.92). Who can say (Dr.) no to classic James Bond? From MGM/UA Home Video with love comes the best of the Connerys, remastered and repackaged: “Dr. No,” “From Russia With Love,” 'Goldfinger” and a bonus: “Behind the Scenes With ‘Goldfinger.’ ”

“LITTLE WOMEN,” Columbia TriStar Home Video ($29.95). Gillian Armstrong’s Oscar-nominated film starring Susan Sarandon and Winona Ryder has been elegantly dressed up in a set that contains a sterling silver-plated locket, a keepsake case and the “novelette” version of Louisa May Alcott’s book.

“THE NATURE ARCHIVE SERIES,” Shanachie Video ($99.95; [800] 497-1043). Get wild with this six-volume series of classic episodes from the Emmy- and Peabody Award-winning PBS series. Titles include “Man’s Best Friend,” “Meerkats United” and “The Bee Team.”

“SCHINDLER’S LIST LIMITED EDITION COLLECTOR’S BOXED SET,” MCA/Universal Home Video ($79.98). Steven Spielberg’s Oscar-winning masterwork is presented on two videocassettes in letterbox format. Also included: Thomas Keneally’s novel and an exclusive picture-disc CD soundtrack and pictorial booklet.

“STAR WARS TRILOGY,” Fox Video ($49.98; $19.98 each). May the Force be with you through Jan. 31, when the first movie and the boxed set of George Lucas’ epic trilogy will be pulled (“forever,” it is warned) from the video market. The films have been repackaged and remastered in THX and contain film-specific interviews with Lucas.

“THAT’S ENTERTAINMENT: THE ULTIMATE MUSICAL TREASURY,” MGM/UA Home Video ($49.92). If you thought the “That’s Entertainment” trilogy had exhausted MGM’s vaults, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet. This boxed set contains all three films, plus an exclusive bonus 105-minute volume, “That’s More Entertainment,” hosted by Michael Feinstein and including more numbers not included in the previous compilations.

Holiday Themes

“GINGERBREAD HOUSE PARTY,” Ice Entertainment ($19.95; [213] 467-1840). Jeanne Benedict invites families to start a new holiday tradition by demonstrating how to design, build, bake and decorate festive gingerbread houses.

“A LIONEL CHRISTMAS,” TM Books Video ($19.95; [800] 892-2822). For model train enthusiasts of all ages, this nostalgic program from the creator of “I Love Toy Trains” will get the holiday off on the right track.

“POPE JOHN PAUL’S CELEBRATION OF CHRISTMAS,” Hemdale Home Video ($14.95; [213] 966-3760). This 75-minute program was filmed in 16 countries and includes the Holy Father’s rendition of the Nativity, re-enactments, children’s voice-overs reading quotations from the Bible and renditions of Christmas carols and songs of the season performed by choirs from around the world.

“SANTA CLAUS,” A&E; Home Video ($19.95; [800] 423-1212). From cable network A&E;'s “Biography” series comes this delightful history of the jolly old man.