Making a list? Checking it twice? Here are some guidelines to keep befuddled spouses, parents of teenagers and others on the right track.

** CELINE DION, “Falling Into You,” 550 Music/Epic. The Canadian crooner dabbles in more soulful and sophisticated textures, and at times her dilettantism pays off. But she often falls back on her characteristic platform of polite, predictable schmaltz.


Albums and other items in the Gift Guide are rated on a scale of one star (poor), two stars (fair), three stars (good) and four stars (excellent).