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MARKETPLACE:  Auto | Jobs | People Search | Personals | Travel | Yellow Pages  January 30, 2005
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11 Gifts They Won't Forget
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We've scouted the country to come up with this list of guaranteed holiday pleasers.

1. Online Music Subscription
Downloading music on your computer is no longer illegal with these new law-friendly services.  And this holiday season, these providers have made it easy for you to buy your tech-inspired kids and friends the gift of music.  Purchase online music gift cards at Napster.com, Apple's iTunes.com, Real One's Rhapsody.com for hours of on-demand musical entertainment.

2. Get Personal
For gift giving en-masse, consider giving wine or champagne with personalized labels. Tip: Consider making the message personal to you, rather than to the recipient(s): "Happy Holidays from the Smith Family!" or "Best Wishes from Bob!" Then, buy a case and send them out as needed with a card that says - "Here's a toast to you!" For custom wine bags and all things personalized for you or your loved ones, check out the website  Personal Creations.

3. Airline Dollars
What better way to bring your loved ones closer to you...or to send them somewhere they've always dreamed about. With some airlines, you can establish an account in the recipient's name and deposit funds in any amount for use toward a trip within the next twelve months. Tip: Make sure the airline you choose flies to where the recipient might want to travel (if your sister lives in Lexington, KY and has always wanted to go to New Orleans, make sure the airline services both cities). And remember, you don't have to contribute the entire cost of a flight. Even the smallest amount in airfare credit could encourage someone to book that ticket now!

4. Language Courses
Alternatively, if your friend has always wanted to go to Italy, but does not have the funds to support a Tuscan excursion, you could help her keep that dream alive until that day comes with Italian lessons. From the extravagance of one-on-one sessions at your local language center to the ease of cassettes, CDs or CD-Roms, you friend will appreciate the very thoughtful and personal gift of language lessons. The audio lessons can even be listened to in the car or at the gym! In fact, you might want to buy a set for yourself, as well - you can help your friend get ready to fulfill her dream while enriching your own world, too!

5. Magazine Subscriptions
Out of sight, out of mind, they say. Well, an easy way to ensure that you are "in sight" at least once a month is to buy a magazine subscription for those on your gift-giving list. The great thing about this affordable and useful present is that it is completely personalized. Is your father a football fan? Does your mother love to shop? Is your college roommate a movie trivia fanatic? There is literally a magazine out there for every interest. Also, if you purchase through a publishing group or a publisher clearing house, you might even be able to get all your gift-giving done in one place - and at a steep discount! Then, when the occasion rolls around, just give them a note with a newsstand copy of the magazine and let them know they can enjoy it for the year to come. (And don't worry...renewals are completely up to them...)

6. PhotoDiscs
A picture says a thousand words, so a great way to show how much you treasure someone is to compile all the photographs you have from your time together and put them on a photodisc. The recipient can then pop it into the computer and relive all of the memories. Additionally, most newer DVD players also play photodiscs in a slideshow on the television. PhotoDiscs can be made at most photo stores or if you are savvy enough, you can produce them at home by yourself. You can even create them at some online photo websites - you will have to scan and upload the photos yourself, but they will create the disc. Tip: For your family, you can create one photodisc with family memories and have it duplicated for every member of the clan! And for the extra mile, you can also make a music CD with all your favourite songs. It's a charming way to let people know how much you mean to them.

7. Historic Newspapers
What happened on the day you were born? Do you remember what was happening in the world on your wedding day? Everyone wonders about these things, so why not solve the mystery for someone you love? There are a few companies that sell back-copies of newspapers, available for any day that the paper was in print. Hundreds of newspapers are available from all over the US, and you can even get them framed or placed in acid free containers. Go to Newspapers Remembered and scoop these up for happy gift-giving.

8. Spa Certificates
Show your friends you think they deserve to be pampered! Buy them a gift certificate from a day spa in their neighborhood. Again, you do not have to pay for the entire cost of a treatment...even a little will encourage your friend to book an appointment, all the while showing how much you care! And remember, spas are not just for women; these days many men retreat to spas for everything from manicures to massages. Click to Spawish to find a gift certificate that can be redeemed at spas nationwide.

9. Name a Star/Plant a Tree
Want to give a gift that will last for a hundred years or more? Then name a star or plant a tree in the name of your loved one! There are many companies that do this, and this educational and thoughtful gift is relatively inexpensive. Playing on the belief that it's the thought that counts, this present always does well with children and is the perfect romantic touch to a special occasion. Just use google.com or another search engine to enter the words "Name a star" or "plant a tree for occasion" to view your various options.

10. Memorabilia
If your husband loves Willie Nelsen or if your cousin lives for Derek Jeter, then you might want to think about getting some memorabilia as a memorable gift. Not all memorabilia has to be from Christie's Auction House and cost thousands of dollars - these days memorabilia readily available all over the internet, as well as in specialty stores around the country. Whether it's an 8x10 autographed picture of Britney Spears, a framed pair of Muhammad Ali's boxing trunks, or a CD signed by Faith Hill, there is a lot to choose from in every price range. These days memorabilia is readily available all over the internet - so just log on to your search engine or an auction site such as eBay.com and collect away!

11. Money Money Money
Sounds cold, but we all know we can make good use of it!! If you don't want to put dollar bills in your holiday card, ask your local bank if they provide cash gift certificates. You can also go to the American Express website or visit their travel bureau closest to you. Sometimes money can provide more for your friend than one more red sweater.

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