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

**** TONY TONI TONE, "House of Music," Mercury. The trio has cooked up slow-simmering jams that are long on retro-soul authenticity. It's a sign of their own youthful spark and ingenuity that they can make a sound so old and familiar seem new again.


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).

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