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5 perfect presents make gift-giving easy

(BPT) - The holidays are a special time of year to show the important people in our lives how much we appreciate them — and that means gift-giving. If picking out holiday gifts is painless for you, you’re one of the lucky ones. More often than not, people have a tough time finding the perfect present for friends and family, particularly if you have someone on your list who already seems to have everything. So, if you’re stumped as to what to get that impossible-to-buy-for person, consider these five gift ideas that are sure to brighten anyone’s holiday:

1. Gift your services

Rather than giving a tangible item, give your services; it’s the perfectly practical gift for the person on your list who may be short on space, lacking financial resources or would just appreciate a little extra help. Love kids? Offer free child care so the recipient can enjoy an evening out on the town without worrying about the little ones. Have a knack for cooking? Gift a weeknight meal that you deliver to the recipient’s doorstep. Known for your organization? Offer your skills to help the recipient organize a closet, office or other cluttered space.

2. Make a miracle happen

Positively impacting others by giving a charitable gift in the recipient’s name embraces the true meaning of the season. The new Give Miracles Holiday Catalog from national nonprofit Children's Miracle Network Hospitals features in-demand pediatric items and services that local children’s hospitals need — anything from comforting teddy bears ($30) to a case of extra-small preemie diapers smaller than the palm of your hand ($170)! For high-impact gifts like a physical therapy toy kit ($375) or a pediatric wheelchair ($970), funds can be collectively raised by numerous gift-givers. This option is ideal for extended families looking to do something more meaningful than the typical gift exchange.

And to make that “do-good” feeling for the recipient last long after the holidays are over, Give Miracles donors receive ongoing communication from Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals throughout the year about how their gift is making an impact at their local hospital. Browse the gift catalog at www.GiveMiracles.org.

3. Purchase a membership to a monthly club

Rather than wasting money on a new gadget that will quickly be forgotten, give a gift that benefits the recipient all year long. Monthly clubs provide fun deliveries to a loved one’s address, an ongoing reminder of your generosity. Monthly gift clubs are available for just about anything, from wine and beer, to jams and cheese, to bacon and fruit.

4. Give a gift that grows

Potted plants are a fantastic gift idea because they represent how your love continues to grow for that special someone. Plus, plants are a wonderful addition to interior decor and help clean the air. With so many houseplants readily available, you’re sure to find the perfect one for the person who has everything. Does he gravitate toward decor with vivid color? Choose a flowering plant that provides delightful blooms. Does she love Asian culture? How about gifting a bonsai tree or a bamboo plant?

5. Provide an experience

Often, it’s not what’s in the box, it’s the memory that stays with so many people after the holidays have passed. That’s why giving a special experience can make a truly meaningful gift. Think about what really interests the recipient or an activity they’ve had on their bucket list. Perhaps it’s a hot air balloon ride or a white water rafting daytrip. If the person really loves to shop, hire a personal shopper for the day and let them see what it’s like to live like a star. If the recipient loves gourmet food, purchase a spot in a class taught by your town’s hottest chef.

Any one of these ideas is sure to show that hard-to-shop-for person on your list that you’ve put some real thought into their gift. And ultimately, isn’t it the thought that counts?

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