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Gift ideas for the hard-to-shop-for

November 26, 2006|by JULIE E. GREENE

Just about everybody knows one - a person who says they don't want anything for Christmas, doesn't have any ideas what they want or who seems to have everything.

Shopping for that person can be a guessing game, with the giver just hoping to get a smile when the gift is unveiled.

It is the thought that counts, right? But, it's difficult to wrap a thought.

So here are some gift ideas for that enigmatic person:

· Top-of-the-line steaks or other gourmet meals.

There are numerous mail-order companies that offer quality steaks, even gourmet dishes already prepared that just need to be cooked.

Just make sure you have enough room in your freezer to store the food until gift-giving time and perhaps a little longer in case the recipient doesn't have enough room in his or her freezer.

Check out www.allenbrothers.com, www.omahasteaks.com or www.kansascitysteaks.com.

· Tickets to see a favorite band, Broadway play or sporting event.

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If you don't want to buy tickets for a specific event because you don't know the person's schedule, try a gift card for a performance venue, or simply create your own coupon good for two tickets - so the recipient can take a friend.

Don't forget gift cards for movie theaters or tickets to sporting events. Season tickets are on sale now for the Baltimore Orioles and Washington Nationals.

Some concert suggestions:

· Your favorite teen might like tickets to the Dec. 30 Scream Tour 5 concert at 1st Mariner Arena in Baltimore or the Dec. 31 concert at Verizon Center in Washington, D.C. The tour stars singers Omarion and Ne-Yo with guests Pretty Ricky, Yung Joc and Mario.

· The Red Hot Chili Peppers and Gnarls Barkley at Verizon Center on Jan. 25.

· Rod Stewart at Verizon Center on Jan. 26.

· Justin Timberlake, featuring Pink, at Verizon Center on Feb. 2.

Some of the best gifts are services.

Treat your loved one to a day at the spa or a homemade gourmet meal, or pay for lawn service so mom and dad don't have to weed and mow anymore.

Everybody has something they always wished they would do or learn. Help out by promising to help paint the living room or pay for those language classes your sister always wanted.

· Time together.

Sometimes, when friends or family members say all they want is some quality time with you, they mean it. So plan a day together. Spend it at home, go on a road trip to shop or enjoy the scenery.

Or perhaps a friend or relative would appreciate time alone with his or her spouse. Offer to baby-sit, or pay for a baby sitter for a day or weekend.

· Share your history.

For younger generations who only know of the Great Depression, the Korean War and other historic moments through textbooks, share your memories of these events through a journal, videotape or scrapbook. You're not only sharing your and your country's history, but you are leaving a loved one with a treasure of memories that can be relived each time they open the book or listen to the tape.

· Try something less tangible.

Make a donation in your loved one's name to his or her favorite charity.

· Accessorize.

While not every gift is wrappable, some gifts can be presented with an assortment of related items.

For example, create a basket of massage oil, body splash and lotions, and fancy nail polish for a trip to the spa.

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