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How to give more meaningful gifts

Published Dec. 13, 2013

You're stuck.

You've been holiday shopping and still can't figure out what to get a lot of people in your life. Here are some ideas that might help you find more meaningful gifts for the people on your list.

• Give something that can help change others' lives. Oxfam America Unwrapped is offering a selection of gifts from $12 to $5,000 for necessities from chickens to goats to mosquito nets to vegetable gardens that you can donate to communities around the world. For ideas go to oxfamgifts.com. Other groups provide similar alternatives to give a life-changing gift. Check out heifer.org/gift-catalog.

• A U.S. News article offers nontraditional holiday presents (tinyurl.com/m8zq3hm). One grandmother, for instance, adopted a polar bear at the Saint Louis Zoo for a granddaughter who loves polar bears. Try focusing on experiences rather than on material goods when giving.

• In "Top 10 Alternative Gift Ideas" (tinyurl.com/lquonae) Better Homes and Gardens provide great ideas to spread some cheer. Here are a few: Pay for the car behind you at the tollbooth. Chronicle your family history by assembling photographs, letters and important documents. Give children a gift of music or sports lessons instead of another toy.

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