If you are reading this article in hopes of getting ideas for last minute holiday shopping, then you are really cutting it close.

But if you are really stuck, some of New Canaan's merchants can rescue you with their most popular items this holiday season.

You might want to hurry, though. Chances are your neighbor is already at Design Solutions getting his hands on that old-school handset your dad really wanted this year.

"This retro handset has been really popular this year. You can plug it into your cell phone and it has been a hot seller," Pauline Dora, owner of Design Solutions, said. "It's like an old fashioned handset back from the days when home phones still had chords. It is especially great for those who rest the phone on their neck. Now you don't have to break your neck."

Dora said the sound quality is also much better and it eliminates 99 percent of the radiation that emanates from cell phones. It comes in several funky colors also adding to the aesthetic value.

The other hot item is a portable speaker called the "chill pill."

"It's a small little speaker you can attach to your computer or iPod," Dora said. "It has great sound quality and holds a charge for 10 hours. The reason it's called a pill is because when it's collapsed it resembles a capsule."

And if you want your phone to look stylish while it's blasting Christmas Carols this holiday season, head to M. Milestones for unique iPhone and iPod cases.

"A lot of people have been coming in for cases on their iPhones," owner Dan Mulhern said. "It seems like everyone needs it for their smart phones this year."

The other hot items from M. Milestones are a bit more personal.

"People are always coming in and getting a picture frame they want engraved," Mulhern said. "It is great for pictures from a wedding or other celebrations they want to give to their loved ones."

So while pictures might be great for the adults, what about the kids? Owner Ann Lathrop of The Toy Chest has them covered. Remember Beanie Babies? Well the makers of Beanie Babies are back with a hot-selling item at the Toy Chest called the Beanie Ball.

"They come in 16 styles and the big ones are like 2 feet," Lathrop said. "You can throw them and they will always land on their feet because they are weighted at the bottom. It is really popular right now."

And if you thought Beanie Babies were a throwback, wait till you hear what else people are buying from the Toy Chest.

"We are actually selling a lot of blocks and general puzzles," she said. "We are also having a really strong season with LEGOS. People are really getting back to the basics and buying things for their kids they know will last and are simple. These are things that really stimulate a child's imagination."

But if toys and picture frames are not your thing, then head over to Elm Street Book and stimulate your mind with the new Steve Jobs biography.

"We are selling tons of the Steve Jobs biography," general manager Kathleen Millard said.

"We are also selling a lot of the new Michael Buble album and some seasonal gifts like candles, tabletop items and Christmas tree ornaments."

Whatever you might need, get it quick, because they might not be in stores much longer.

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