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If you’re going to hop on Santa’s lap this year, you might as well make it worth your while. Could the Big Guy handle a few depositions? How about having those elves whip up a meticulously researched appellate brief? Santa might even be able to permanently purge your e-mail of those lame lawyer jokes. But it’s the holiday season, so why not dream even bigger? We’ve scoured Atlanta and the ‘Net for gifts that every lawyer, law clerk, judge and legal administrator couldn’t help but love. Some of them are outrageous and eyebrow-raising — but then again, aren’t your boss’ demands sometimes like that, too? The perfect gift for any commuter would eliminate that daily white-knuckle crawl between home and office. Imagine arriving in style, relaxed and primed for work. For $190.50 a day (Atlanta area rates), a limousine can whisk you to and from your office, transforming your hour-long drive into 60 leisurely minutes of napping or watching the news, or perhaps getting a jump on work by answering e-mail or conferring by cell phone with clients. Stanley Nyland, owner of Limousine Bodyguard Service, says that because limo rates are set by the Georgia Public Service Commission, all licensed vehicles should charge about the same fee, which was based on an estimated hour-long drive each way. His limos all have at least one television and VCR, as well as a radio, cassette player and CD player. The quote for this limo service — which includes taxes and tip — also includes a bar stocked with soft drinks and ice. But don’t request a detour to the Chik-fil-A drive-through. There’s no eating in the cars. If you’d like to enhance your image as a force to be reckoned with, consider another of Nyland’s services: a bodyguard or two. He can provide armed or unarmed protection for those times when clients become a tad menacing. Expect to pay $55 to $250 an hour “depending on what the threat level is,” he says. FLYING HIGH Limos are fine, but if you’d really like to snicker at traffic, rise above it all in a helicopter. On the other hand, Jeff Gustafson, operations manager of Georgia Jet in Lawrenceville, notes that to commute by ‘copter, you’d need a landing pad in your yard — try explaining to the kids why you’re plowing up the swing set — and another one atop your office building. Instead, for those times when you’ve got to travel out of town for depositions or meetings, consider bypassing the local airport congestion and chartering your own jet. Expect to pay at least $750 to $2,200 an hour for airtime. “An advantage to doing charter is that you don’t have to use the large airports everyone is familiar with,” Gustafson says. With more and smaller airports to choose from, you’re less likely to be delayed by crowds and more likely to arrive closer to your destination. Georgia Jet provides everything from prop planes, for trips of up to 400 miles, to a Challenger 600, which seats 12 and can travel overseas — perhaps to that important legal seminar in the Bahamas. FOR TOTING AND GLOATING If you’re looking for something extravagant but practical, splurge on a briefcase that costs more than your hourly rate. One of the swankiest models that a lawyer could haul into court is Ghurka’s $1,400 leather Barrister. Big enough to hold legal files and most laptops, the bag has a double-buckle strap and a pen and pencil holder. If you worry about the destruction of the environment during the tanning process (and who doesn’t?), rest assured that the leather for this briefcase was tanned with environmentally friendly materials, including extracts from the quebrado tree. It’s the most expensive briefcase on the luxuryfinder.com Web site, which should tell you something. The aptly named site is a great place to browse for upscale and break-the-bank gifts, which can be conveniently sorted by category, brand and even price. The best hunting is in the “Out of this World” section. Recent offerings included a signed copy of James Joyce’s “Finnegans Wake” for just $12,000 and a Thomas Gainsborough oil landscape, circa 1746, for $110,000. A 52-inch chandelier from around 1815, considered “a Very Fine Quality Early 19th-Century Regency Period” model, is priced at $96,315. SUBLIME SNACKS Food fanatics could do worse than to feast on the goodies in Dean & Deluca’s ultimate gift basket, priced at $1,000. It’s a smorgasbord of gourmet delicacies, including truffled foie gras, osetra caviar (“a fresh tide that tastes deeply of the sea, with dark, herbaceous undertones and hints of nut and fruit”), Provencal oil, Brittany salt, an assortment of spices, cocktail nuts, and bittersweet chocolate paves. Also included: two Spiegelau flutes and a crystal cooler so you can wash it all down with some wine. If you’re a caviar connoisseur, consider a metal lunchbox packed with two ounces of osetra caviar, cr�me fraiche (for contrast, they say), a pair of spreaders, a flask, and something called a tiffin, “to cosset the caviar,” the catalog explains. The goodies are $195. Better throw in four Italian cotton napkins for $80. And speaking of food, if you’d like a night on the town, make a reservation at Bacchanalia, which food critics hail as one of the premier restaurants in the Atlanta region. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution‘s John Kessler says it “has assumed the role of standard bearer for market-driven, fresh American cuisine in the Southeast.” A romantic dinner for two — or an unforgettable partners’ meeting — is a treat for many gourmands, but why stop there? Reserve the entire restaurant for yourself and your special guests, a feat that in restaurant lingo is called a buyout. At Bacchanalia, that will set you back roughly $15,000, the amount the restaurant takes in on an average night, a staffer there says. GROWING STRONG And speaking of romance, think flowers. If you’re going to go over the top botanically, you might as well send them to yourself. For $299, Smith & Hawken will deliver a different budding plant each month for a year. They should continue growing for years in a garden or pot. The flora kick off in December with a giant red amaryllis. February will bring a flowering jasmine heart hoop, and heady stargazer lilies arrive in May. By the time the fragrant paperwhite narcissus arrives on your desk next November, you’ll know it’s time to reorder. If gardening is your passion, sign up for Smith & Hawken’s annual English spring gardens tour for $5,495 per person, double occupancy. During the 11-day jaunt through the English countryside, you’ll visit the famous Chelsea Flower Show and the meticulously manicured gardens at Sissinghurst, Wakehurst Place and Barnsley House, among others. You’ll stay at luxury hotels in London, Wych Cross, Winchester and Bath. The cost — it’s an extra $2,500 if you can’t drag someone along — includes numerous meals and, of course, tea. For airfare, alas, you’d better dig deep into your pockets; you’re on your own there. If you’d prefer to stay closer to home but would still like to get away, splurge on the luxury package at Ch�teau �lan Winery & Resort, just north of Atlanta. The five-night, six-day getaway includes multiple spa treatments, a winery tour and all meals, which can be enjoyed at any of the seven restaurants on the Braselton property. After a salt glow treatment, mango eye and neck treatment, fitness assessment and an anti-stress wrap, either you’ll be ready to return to work, or you’ll be sure you never want to go back. At an extra cost of $77 to $135 per person, you can add a few rounds of golf on any of the resort’s four courses. The double occupancy rate for the luxury package is $3,971, and the single occupancy rate is $2,349. June D. Bell is an Atlanta writer who would appreciate any of the gifts mentioned. Her e-mail address is [email protected]

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