Metro Man & Metro Home

By Kyle Mancini

Deck the halls and tinsel everywhere…and you’re heading for the perfume counter for yet another pre-packaged gift box when it hits you. You don’t have to be ‘that guy’. You can be the guy who gives the thoughtful/romantic/elaborate/memorable gift. You can be the one who’s gift garners tear-filled eyes. The one everyone is still doting over come New Years.

All you need is a bit of imagination and, well, Me.

I have comprised a list of four unique, sure-to-please gifts that will make your loved ones, co-workers, friends or family members feel uber-special; even during this season of obligatory giving. You just need to keep a few simple maxims in mind:

‘Tis better to Give than to Receive…

The age-old adage holds true even when it comes in the form of a gift. This holiday season, give the gift of giving by making a charitable donation in the name of someone you care for. This is a great gift for those in your circle who are difficult to buy for or have pretty much everything they could possibly need. To personalize, give some careful consideration to the causes near and dear to their heart. A few of my favorites: The ASPCA – perfect for animal lovers, St. Jude’s – charities that support and care for children are always a good choice, and your local Food Bank – because there are those in need this time of year…and all year long. Lots of charities do special holiday ornaments that you can have engraved with the name of a loved one, or a loved one of the recipient…as a tangible reminder of your donation on their behalf. The best resource for determining which charities are most reputable and make the best use of your donations is to log on to Charity Navigator and investigate various charitable organizations by their causes or rank.

When You Wish Upon a Star…

Give someone that has give you stellar moments in life their very own star. Go to the Star Registry and you can name a real star for that special person. You’ll get a personalized certificate, a sky chart with the exact location of their heavenly body and a helpful book on astronomy. If you’re feeling really generous, a telescope would go very nicely with this unforgettable present. Check out for comprehensive information to help you select the right equipment for your favorite star-gazer.

You’re Never Too Old To Learn…

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Got a sister who has always wanted to learn to speak French? Does your secretary bore you with incessant talk of her lack of culinary prowess? Maybe your nephew is having trouble making the basketball team. Try sponsoring someone for a course that they just haven’t gotten around to treating themselves to. French from beginners level up is taught at the Alliance Francais and Winter courses begin on January 7th. If you’re lucky enough to live in one of our BN cities, you’re not too far from the CIA – the Culinary Institute of America. Send someone off on a course and you may be the one to benefit; after all, they’ll need someone to sample their confections!

That Time of the Month…

The best thing about December – most would say it’s the presents. The worst thing about the rest of the year – it isn’t December. Try giving a gift that gives all year long. Flowers are always a good choice. Check out the Flower of the Month club. Another great recurring gift, ideal for the clutterbug in your life – once monthly professional cleaning service. In the NYC area, check out Maid For You NY. Just make sure you select a reputable, bonded company and your gift will be put to great use throughout the entire year.

The most important thing to keep in mind this year, as you’re making your list and checking it twice, is that any gift (big or small) that comes from the heart is going to be a winner. Break the mold and leave the pre-packaged gifts to lesser men.

Originally published December 2007
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