Holiday gift guide

<i><b>Calendar writers and critics make holiday gift-buying suggestions. Items involving 'Dexter,' '<a class="taxInlineTagLink" id="ENMV000105" title="Star Wars (movie)" href="/topic/entertainment/movies/star-wars-%28movie%29-ENMV000105.topic">Star Wars</a>' and <a class="taxInlineTagLink" id="PECLB003244" title="Thelonious Monk" href="/topic/entertainment/music/thelonious-monk-PECLB003244.topic">Thelonious Monk</a> make the cut.</b></i><br>
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It used to be relatively easy to pick out an entertainment-related gift: a holiday music CD, a ticket to "The Nutcracker," a poster from <a class="taxInlineTagLink" id="ENMV0011015" title="Home Alone (movie)" href="/topic/entertainment/movies/home-alone-%28movie%29-ENMV0011015.topic">"Home Alone"</a> and you were good to go.<br>
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But in the confusing new world, entertainment choices are everywhere and seemingly endless; it's easy to get lost in Web "clouds" and app forests. To guide you through the thicket we asked Calendar writers and critics to select some prime choices for your holiday gift buying.<br>
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For each area -- movies, TV, theater, classical music, etc. -- we have four categories of gifts: digital and nondigital, splurge and bargain. We cover the waterfront, items as varied as an <a class="taxInlineTagLink" id="PRDCES000000029" title="Apple iPad" href="/topic/services-shopping/apple-ipad-PRDCES000000029.topic">iPad</a> app that lets you make music by recording sounds from everyday life, Dr. Ward's Classic Throat Lozenges so you won't cough during a Mahler symphony at Disney Hall, pocket-sized flash drives designed as characters from "Star Wars" and T-shirts saluting Thelonious Monk.<br>
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So dig in, the selections are delicious. And if none of them work for you, "The Nutcracker" is coming back to town.

( Smule; Mimoco.com; Friend or Foe Clothing; Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times; Image Entertainment )

Calendar writers and critics make holiday gift-buying suggestions. Items involving 'Dexter,' 'Star Wars' and Thelonious Monk make the cut.

It used to be relatively easy to pick out an entertainment-related gift: a holiday music CD, a ticket to "The Nutcracker," a poster from "Home Alone" and you were good to go.

But in the confusing new world, entertainment choices are everywhere and seemingly endless; it's easy to get lost in Web "clouds" and app forests. To guide you through the thicket we asked Calendar writers and critics to select some prime choices for your holiday gift buying.

For each area -- movies, TV, theater, classical music, etc. -- we have four categories of gifts: digital and nondigital, splurge and bargain. We cover the waterfront, items as varied as an iPad app that lets you make music by recording sounds from everyday life, Dr. Ward's Classic Throat Lozenges so you won't cough during a Mahler symphony at Disney Hall, pocket-sized flash drives designed as characters from "Star Wars" and T-shirts saluting Thelonious Monk.

So dig in, the selections are delicious. And if none of them work for you, "The Nutcracker" is coming back to town.

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