Finding the Perfect Holiday Gift - Easier than You Might Think!

Celebrating, spending time with family and friends, and gift-giving all are part of the holiday season. However, many people also experience the stress of finding just the right gifts. This is especially true for those inevitably hard-to-buy-for people, like daily service providers or co-workers, a new significant other we really want to impress, even old friends and loved ones who seem to already have everything they could possibly want. For those who find themselves in this gift-giving dilemma, consider these ideas for your recipients: Daily Service Providers
It's almost always appropriate to tip the mail carrier, babysitter or maintenance person during the holidays to show your appreciation. But, you also could consider personalizing your gratitude by giving homemade gifts such as your famous chocolate chip cookies or other mouth-watering treats. Put them in a pretty package that can be reused such as a decorative tin or golden wicker basket and include a personalized note in a holiday card. A New Love
For that special someone you've only been dating for a few months, create a customized, themed basket to show you care. For movie lovers, fill a basket with their favorite classic plus a newly released DVD, gift cards to the local theater or nearby video store, a popular or favorite movie soundtrack, a poster, flavored popcorn bags and their favorite candy. Playing detective to find out that special someone's favorite things will not only help create a great gift, but also is the perfect opportunity to get to know them a little better. Friendly Faces Around the Workplace
Between the boss, colleagues and administrative professionals, gifts for co-workers are always perplexing. Gift cards are good presents for a variety of people because they are widely applicable, like the Shell Holiday Gift Card. It can be used on items including gasoline, car washes, repair service or food and drinks at any of the 14,000 stations and convenient stores nationwide. Pick up a few at participating Shell stations, or plan ahead and order them at www.shellgiftcard.com . Friends and/or Family that Have It All
Instead of a new kitchen appliance or oversized sweater, plan a memorable activity. Take Mom out for lunch, a manicure and then a musical. Go to your spouse's favorite restaurant and take a walk around the local planetarium to spend some time together without the kids. Give your brother or sister a new sleigh and take them sledding on the hill you played on as children. From pottery classes to vacations, everyone likes activities that make them smile and remember the great times. In general, regardless of whom the gift is for, sometimes the simplest and most effective strategy is to search and shop year-round, not just during the holidays. Look for unique items at their favorite stores, and keep your ears open when they mention something they'd love to have. You also can go the creative route by picking your favorite photos with that person and turning them into things that can be showcased or used all the time, such as a pillow, calendar, deck of cards, mouse pad, stationary or stamps. Remember, every great gift needs to be appropriate. You wouldn't buy the same gift for your boss as you would your significant other. Make sure the idea fits the occasion and the relationship. The worst gift is the one that is forgotten so if nothing else, write a meaningful note on an appropriate card to show you care.

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