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gift

It’s gift giving time. And there is a lot of angst wrapped up in those presents.

Most of us want to give gifts that are meaningful, yet don’t break the bank. We want the recipient – whether a prized customer, a family member or an employee – to feel valued and to appreciate the gift as more than a hollow gesture.

So, I thought I’d give you the gift of some suggestions for unique, maybe even unexpected holiday gifts. Take them or leave them, but remember it’s the thought that counts.

The gift of timely irony

In the spirit of Amazon’s announcement of “delivery drones,” give customers a toy helicopter with the message, “We believe in on-time delivery too. But we don’t need to resort to robotic aircraft to do it.”

The gift of time

We live in an era where time is at a premium. So, wrap up an inexpensive clock and give it along with a note that says, “You deserve some time to yourself. So, I’m giving you a day to do with what you like.”

The gift of nostalgia

No matter one’s age, most of us look back with a certain fondness. So, give a gift that summons up a bygone time. Examples include: a DVD of “The Charlie Brown Christmas Special,” a vintage snow globe, or a Life magazine dated the year the giftees were born (or their company was founded).

The gift of youth

Along the same lines, how about giving the joy of childhood again? Gifts that are reminiscent of one’s youth – when we didn’t worry about looking silly or counting the calories in a candy bar – can really resonate. How about some Olivia Newton John leg warmers or a Rubik’s Cube or T-shirt emblazoned with their favorite “Beverly Hills 90210” star?

The gift of listening

Really listen to what people are saying. They’re giving you hints – consciously or unconsciously. Nothing says you care about the gift recipient more than proving that you really listen to them. Or if you weren’t really listening, you can always give them something to listen to – like a CD of someone you actually enjoy listening to.

The gift of laughter

Laughter is the greatest medicine for lightening maddening holiday madness and day-to-day stress. Give someone a book, CD or DVD that will bring back the mirth. Will Ferrell’s Ron Burgundy memoir “Let Me Off at the Top: My Classy Life and Other Musings” might be just the ticket.

The gift of a memory

It’s likely that you have shared a memory or two with your giftee. Make the gift memorable by giving them something that summons up a past experience, like a stuffed badger from that corporate woodland retreat.

The gift of giving

Donations to charities in the name of someone else can be iffy. But if it’s a cause that your gift recipient feels strongly about, it can strike all the right chords.

The gift of warmth

Those of us who live in colder climates (Hello from MN!) know that there’s something very comforting about warmth. Give a heart, head or hand-warming gift of a handmade blanket, scarf, mittens or cap. In my case, the handmade part is actually made by another’s hand, but I can still make the point.

OK, that’s all I’ve got to give at the moment. If any of you have any great ideas, please feel free to give them below!