Madison, 14, asked her friend what presents meant the most to her. The answer surprised her—it wasn’t about expensive new gadgets, but about hand-crafted gifts that make heartfelt connections. Madison shares her insight into gift-giving and offers several creative ideas to tailor a perfect gift for your recipient:

The perfect gift doesn’t have to be expensive or take an excessive amount of time. Knowing the receiver’s interests and hobbies is the first step toward creating a meaningful gift. After that, it’s smooth sailing, letting your creativity take control.

Consider one of these thoughtful gift-giving ideas:

  • Frame a picture. Find a frame a little bigger than the actual picture itself. Place the picture in the center of a plain piece of paper and let the creativity ball roll. Use glitter, doodles, and write inside jokes all around the picture in the extra space
  • Make a friendship bracelet. Grab some different colored strings from your local grocery store or maybe even your closet. Braid the strings together so it blends into gorgeous jewelry.
  • Write a meaningful card. Write a couple of sentences talking about the good times you’ve had with this person and the memories the two of you will never forget.
  • Go with a music theme. Everyone loves music! Gift cards from iTunes are very popular right now and come at a minimum of $15. Another creative idea is a special mp3 player cover. Or, for a few extra dollars, you can personalize a plain store-bought cover, which also costs about $15, by adding pictures and words of your own.
  • Make a movie-night package. Grab a DVD that the two of you can watch as well as some popcorn and candy to share.
  • Tickets to a sporting event. Professional sports tickets get extremely expensive, so see a game at your local field or go to a high-school or minor league game.

When you come up with the perfect gift, not much can go wrong. Just remember your friend’s interests and hobbies and go all out with your imagination.

Copyright 2011 CUNA Inc.

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