The holidays can give you a split personality. Your heart wants to play Santa, but your mind -- and your checkbook -- may say you'd be better off being Scrooge. Pull yourself together and get into the holiday spirit with special gifts that won't wreck the budget. Here are a few suggestions, selected from some of the more than 7,000 mail-order catalogues currently available:
Fleet of Foot
Run with the Marines: cadence tapes add "esprit de Corps" to runners' miles. Tape comes with or without percussion. 37 mins. $11.98 (plus $4.90 shipping and handling). Taylor Gifts, 355 E. Conestoga Rd., P.O. Box 8000, Wayne, Pa. 19093-8000.
Fitness Walking Kit has a waist pack with belt strap, pedometer, sun visor, reflective armband, Fitness Walking Handbook, $65 worth of products and coupons from General Nutrition Centers, one-year free subscription to Walking Magazine. $39.95 (plus $1.75). Vital Concepts, 925 Delaware St. SE, P.O. Box 59019, Minneapolis 55459-9904.
Footchargers. Separate slipper-like units enclose the whole foot, use dry heat and three levels of massage to soothe aches, strain. Fits up to size 13. By Clairol. $42.95 (plus $5.95). Boston Proper, One Boston Plaza, P.O. Box 1457, Mt. Vernon, N.Y. 10551-1457.
Hebrew alphabet coloring book uses drawings, words beginning wih each letter to teach 250 modern Hebrew words. 32 pages. $2.50 (plus 85 ). Dover Publications, 31 East 2nd St., Mineola, N.Y. 11501-3582.
Beginners Birdwatching Set includes Roger Tory Peterson's First Guide to Birds, Peterson's A Field Guide to Birds coloring book, 3 1/2-inch windowpane feeder, 5 lbs. sunflower seed and Audubon bird call. $24 (plus $3.95). Duncraft, Penacook, N.H. 03303.
Tie up a Tyranosaurus Rex. Washable polyester tie has king of dinosaurs' likeness in bright contemporary print. 12 1/2-inch length. $8.95 (plus $2.75). Just for Kids, 324 Raritan Ave., P.O. Box 901, Highland Park, N.J. 08904-0901.
Tiny ballet shoes necklace. Pink ceramic toe shoes on satin cord. $4.95 (plus $2.25). The Music Stand, 1 Rockdale Plaza, Lebanon, N.H. 03766-1585.
Solar Organ Music Book. Keyboard runs on attached solar cell. Has color-coded melodies. $11.95 (plus $1.50). Renew America Catalogue, 128 Intervale Rd., Burlington, Vt. 05401.
Six air toys for old-fashioned fun. Package includes floating Space Ball, Launch Pad with helicopter, Flutter-bye propeller kites, Rocket Balloons, Whistling Balloon-o-Copter and Water Rocket that blasts off using air and water. $13.95 (plus $2.95). Edmund Scientific Co., Order Processing Dept. #8709, 101 E. Gloucester Pike, Barrington, N.J. 08007-1380.
American History for Kids calendar. Facts about patriots and pioneers with clever illustrations throughout. Shoelace hanger. $7.95 (plus $2.60). Abbey Press, 197 Hill Dr., St. Meinrad, Ind. 47577-1001.
Cosmic. Kaleidoscope design uses microfiche star and constellation map from program by French National Geographical Institute. Adjust for hour and date, look through the viewer and locate the stars. $21.95 (plus $4.50). The Nature Co., P.O. Box 2310, Berkeley, Calif. 94702.
Go-Getters on the Go
Factory is "Swiss Army Knife" of office necessities. 4 1/2-inch length incorporates scissors, tape measure, stapler, hole punch, staple remover, tape dispenser, knife, clip storage, magnifier. Black or red. $30 (plus $5.50). SYNC, Unique Merchandise Mart, Building 42, Hanover, Pa. 17333-0042.
Travelmate is programmed with tourist information for 78 U.S. and 50 foreign cities. Data include local tourist info phone number; major airline and taxi service numbers, radio frequencies for eight kinds of music (classical, country, rock, easy, etc.). Unit measures 2 1/2-by-5-by-3 inches. Five-year battery included. $59 (plus $3). Markline, 14 Jewel Drive, Dept. G, Wilmington, Mass. 01887-9988.
Three-in-one Tote starts as 16 1/2-by-10-by-14 inch high, expands to 21 inches, then 27 inches. Detachable shoulder strap, heavy-duty wheels, outside zipper pocket, security lock. Burgundy or gray vinyl. $29.95 (plus $6). Oreck, 100 Plantation Rd., New Orleans, La. 70123-9989.
Ceramic Plate clock. Quartz motor drives hands of Delft blue on white luncheon plate clock. $14.95 (plus $4.75). Klockit, P.O. Box. 629, Lake Geneva, Wis. 53147-0629.
Closet Design System uses "3-D" approach to closet organization. Kit includes 1/2-inch scale symbols for shelves, racks, rods, bins, clothing, shoes, luggage, etc. With planning grid. $14.95 (plus $3.75). Chief's Catalogue, 3215 Commercial Ave., Northbrook, Ill. 60062-1920.
Folding ladder stores in tight spots, expands to 72 inches from 22 1/2-by-18-by-1 1/2 inches deep. Seven locking steel sections, 3M grip steps. Meets OSHA standards. $69 (plus $3). Fuller Brush Catalogue, P.O. Box 1020, Rural Hall, N.C. 27098-1020.
Weber portable fireplace gives extra outdoor evenings. Self-contained unit's top deflects heat outward. Rust-resistant porcelain over heavy gauge steel. 28-inch diameter, 26 inches high. (Not for use on flammable surfaces.) $99 (plus $8.50). John Deere, 1400 3rd Ave., Moline Ill. 61265.
Sherling tie headband. Sophisticated "ear muffs" of soft fleece with velvet tie cords. In Ranch Mink (dark brown) or Stone Martin (light brown-beige). $13.75 (plus $2.75). Deerskin Trading Post, 119 Foster St., P.O. Box 6008, Peabody, Mass. 01961-6008.
Bath/spa essentials in vinyl snap case: bath pillow, loofah back scrubber and body mitt; wooden body and nail brushes; pedicure groomer. $19.98 (plus $3.65). Lillian Vernon, 510 South Fulton Ave., Mount Vernon, N.Y. 10550-5067.
Rose quartz glasses' chain prevents loss of eyeglasses, adds elegance to a necessity. Rose quartz beads with mother-of-pearl accents. $22.50 (plus $1.50). Intime for Brownstone Studio, P.O. Box 3555, Grand Central Station, New York, N.Y. 10164-0981.
Romantic musical heart locket, 18K gold-plated with genuine diamond. Space inside for photo. Plays "Love Me Tender." Heart 1 1/2-inches wide. With 18-inch chain, velour pouch. $19.95 (plus $4). San Francisco Music Box Co., P.O. Box 26433, San Francisco 94126-6433.
"Braces are Beautiful" T-shirt. Navy design (bewired smile button) on white. Adult sizes S,M,L. $10.95 (plus $2.95). Bruce Bolind, 188 Bolind Building, P.O. Box 9751, Boulder, Colo. 80301.
Sunglasses with built in FM radio. Black framed glasses have distortion-free, gradient lenses. With case, instructions, warranty. $30 (plus $4.45). Joan Cook Housewares '87, P.O. Box 21628, Ft. Lauderdale 33335-1628.
Little Shop of Horrors bank. Hungry plant Audrey II quivers while "devouring" loose change. (Battery not included.) $14.95 (plus $3.25). The Warner Bros. Collection, P.O. Box 2190, Chatsworth, Calif. 91311.
Desk-top locker. Red mini steel locker has shelf, hooks, frame for photo, lock and keys. 4 inches wide, 10 3/4 inches high. Free personalized door plate (up to 15 characters and spaces). $24.95 (plus $2). Morning Mail, J. William Co., P.O. Box 72, Covington, Ga. 30209-0072.
Cooks and Company
Creole condiment and mix set: six-pack Louisiana Crab boil, French Market Soup mix, Creole Jambalaya mix, Creole Mayonnaise from the famous Commander's Palace restaurant, plus six more taste treats in a woven basket. $36 (plus $4.75). Tabasco Country Store, McIlhenny Co., Highway 329, General Delivery, Avery Island, La. 70513-9988.
Gourmet potatoes. "Cook's Choice" sampler: Green Mountain (baking), Katahdin (boiling/baking), Chieftain (red), Yukon Gold (yellow). Medium sized, 10 pound total. $19.50 (postpaid). New Penny Farm, Rt. 2, Box 45, Presque Isle, Me. 04769.
Grill Lover's starter kit includes cookbook, four-piece heavyweight BBQ tool kit, grill scrubber and apron proclaiming "Dressed to Grill." $32.95 (plus $4.95). Char-Broil, P.O. Box 1300, Columbus, Ga. 31993.
Oriental Dinner set. Blue and white porcelain service has plates, bowls, sauce dishes, Chinese soup spoons, chopsticks and chopsticks rests for four. Decorated with symbol of good fortune. Dishwasher safe. $29.95 (plus $4.50). Great Living Catalogue, Highway 7 at 100, P.O. Box 16058, Minneapolis, Minn. 55416.
One-hand operation: spring-loaded umbrella opens and closes at the touch of a button. Black or black and brown herringbone pattern. $26 (plus $5.25). Enticements, 570 Franklin Ave., Mt. Vernon, N.Y. 10550-4516.
Men's wardrobe planning system eliminates guesswork in matching separates. Includes guidelines for combining patterns and colors; colorcards for seasons; booklet guide; checklist for together look. $11.95 (plus $2.95). Artistic Greetings, Inc., P.O. Box 1623, Elmira, N.Y. 14902.
Pair of quartz timepieces in single gold-plated casing. Mother-of-pearl face, pigskin leather strap. $59.95 (plus $7.95). Potpourri, Dept. 140, 204 Worcester St., Wellesley, Mass. 02181.
Video Learning Library gives lessons via video on techniques to improve homemade product. Titles: Basic Video Techniques; Sound for Video; Lighting for Video. 30 minute tapes. VHS or Beta. $19.95 each (plus $3.40). Herrington, 3 Symmes Dr., Londonderry, N.H. 03053.
Flower Arranging Kit. All the essentials in compact willow hamper: comfort grip scissors, floral tape, picks, wire, clay, preservative; needlepoint and hairpoint holders; 40-page guide. $42.50 (plus $5.75). David Kay, Terrace Suite 114, 921 Eastwind Dr., Westerville, Ohio 43081-5306.
Picasso, Cubism, Calder-like constructions. Three-dimensional design set has 120 heavy cardboard geometric shapes with colorful patterns on both sides, 35 connectors for endless design possibilities. With carrying box. $34.95 (plus $5.95). Bits and Pieces, 1 Puzzle Place, Ridgely, Md. 21685.
Fun and Gamesters
Golf Disasters book details trials of golfing greats on the links. Consolation (and laughs) for any duffer. $5.98 (plus $2.95). Funny Side Up, 425 Stump Rd., North Wales, Pa. 19454.
Soccer Croquet. One hoop, two balls, four "wickets" plus a mini goal net equal active back yard fun for whole family. $17.95 (plus $3.50). Soccer International, P.O. Box 7222, Arlington, Va. 22207-0222.
Couch Potato Game: a kind of lotto/bingo by commercial for the confirmed and comfortable TV addict. $14.95 (plus $3.75). The Lighter Side, 4514 19th St. Court East, Bradenton, Fla. 34203-3795.