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Village People

November 09, 1996|CYNDI Y. NIGHTENGALE

Go to town for the holidays with lighted villages.

Department 56's Original Snow Village and the Heritage Village Collection make it easy to personalize your town. With hundreds of houses and accessories available, there's something for everyone.

For instance, the Village Lanes Bowling Alley will strike the hearts of your favorite bowler, especially when paired with shoes and a bag. Pizza lovers will fall for Pisa Pizza; for coffee fanatics, there's a Starbucks Coffee house, which can be given along with a mug, some beans or other accouterments.

For the village collector, the Dickens Village and North Pole series each has a Start a Tradition set, with two lighted buildings, accessories, trees and snow.

"Everyone wants to give a gift with a personal touch, and this is a great way to do it," says Joan Serena, vice president of retail and consumer marketing for Department 56, which is based in Eden Prairie, Minn.

The village pieces range from $20 to $60, and each dealer has many items on hand to make it easy to put a personal stamp on the gift.

The General Store in Huntington Beach will have a decorating event featuring the North Pole series through Monday to benefit the Ronald McDonald House. Call ([714) 897-2688 for information. For the nearest dealer, call (800) 548-8696, or visit the web site at www.department56.com

Home Improvement

Computer software for home improvement projects abound, but Showoff!, a new series of PC programs, gives you a sneak preview before the work begins.

After putting a photograph of your home on computer, nearly every element can be altered with the software. You can add brick, stucco, a new roof, shutters, a deck, plants and more, and see how it affects your home's appearance.

Product photos are part of the software, with specifications and dealer information. Altered house images can be placed in a library for future reference.

The Showoff! series includes five programs ($50 each): "Build Your Home," "Landscape," "Remodel Exterior," "Remodel Interior" and "Decks, Pools & Hot Tubs."

Showoff! is available through Home Depot and Egghead retailers or by calling (888) 374-6963.

The company's web site, www.showoff.com, features a free demo, product information and technical assistance.

Tea-Ball

Baseball lovers aren't the only ones who enjoy T-ball.

When you gotta have tea, the souvenir stand teapot, offered through the National Baseball Hall of Fame & Museum catalog, will be a hit.

The hand-painted ceramic pot holds enough tea to share with a friend when you're rehashing the Yankees' World Series victory or what's next for the Angels or Dodgers.

To order, call (888) 425-5633.

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