Imaginative Gifts

by Dorothy Mallonee

I love to give gifts and have a reputation for being an imaginative gift giver. Of course, good gifts don't have to cost a fortune. Just listen as people talk about what interests them, then file the information away in your memory bank. Everyone loves a gift that supports his or her self-image.

A couple general favorites:

A magazine subscription is actually many gifts in one and is usually quite reasonably priced. The recipient will remember your thoughtfulness each time the new issue arrives. There are thousands of magazines available; surely one will fit your recipient's tastes or interests. Do a little research to find out what magazine will fit the person perfectly. Some perennial favorites:

  • Any houshold needs National Geographic.

  • Consumer Reports (good in itself!) publishes Zillions, a great magazine that teaches youngsters how to be smart, thrifty, careful consumers. For a special presentation, wrap a copy of the current issue of the magazine, along with a note explaining that a subscription is on order.

The US mint offers mint and proof sets starting at about $14. These are perfect to commemorate the birth of a baby or an anniversary. Right now they have special sets that include the first of the "50 State" quarters. And you can order on-line at

A great and inexpensive baby gift is easy to assemble: Find a good-sized gift box, about the size you'd use for a sweater. Cover it with nice paper. Place in in the daily paper and several magazines from the day the baby was born. It's the child's own, personal time capsule; he or she will love being able to learn what was going on in the world at them moment of his/her arrival. To make it even more special, write a letter to the new arrival, describing your views of the world and your hopes for a wonderful life.

True or False

We're still paying off last Christmas and worry how we'll afford the holidays this year without charging it again! Tell us: Yes, we could use help getting out of the debt trap we're in! or No, debt is not a problem for us but I'm always looking for ways to trim my family's expenses further!

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