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Make This Holiday Season Gift Giving Unique

Searching for a unique gift for those people on your list who already seem to have everything? Why not give something different this year? In a time when human connection is something that's hard to come by for some, and isolation is becoming part of a so-called "new normal", it's important to reach out to those who feel alone and need to feel connected to others.

When you're making your gift list this year, here are three thoughtful gift ideas to make the holidays extra special and let your friends and loved ones know you care:

1) Create an heirloom cookbook

Whether it's for a friend or family member, a custom-made cookbook is a great ideea. CreateMyCookbook provides an easy to use tool that allows you to create beautiful heirloom cookbooks. With options to allow a group of friends or family members to contribute recipes, you can create a professional quality cookbook to share cherished recipes and pass them down for generations to come.

CreateMyCookbook offers many cookbook styles and layouts for you to choose from, or you can create a custom look that's uniquely yours. Whether it's a printed cookbook or an eCookbook, you're sure to find the right fit for your gift needs. They offer options for you to take complete creative control with their Cookbook Designer tool, or use their full-service design option. They even offer a typing service so that you can simply upload scanned images of your recipes, and let them take it from there. When the book is ready, simply generate the proofs, approve or make revisions, then submit your order! Gift certificates in varying amounts are available for gift giving as well.

2) Give the gift of fitness

If you have fitness enthusiasts on your list this year, personal training sessions may be just the thing that would make their holidays brighter. FHL Fitness offers group and individual training sessions with the individual's needs, goals and fitness level in mind.

Christina Stilley provides the perfect combination of encouragement mixed with tough love necessary to help you reach your fitness goals. Her individualized programs are tailored specifically to fit your needs, as well as any physical concerns you may have regarding workouts. She also provides nutrition consultations for anyone interested. Christina also has gift certificates available for purchase. You can contact her directly through her website for more information.

3) Give a private virtual cooking experience

A Virtual Feast offers private cooking classes starting at $25/person for a 2-hour class, depending on the menu, complexity and length of the class. I can create a custom menu and provide a unique cooking experience specifically for the lucky recipient, no matter their skill level or dietary needs.

In addition to customized class instructions over Zoom, participants also have the option to purchase groceries themselves with a list provided, or can have them delivered directly to their home through Instacart for an added fee. I will also provide a recording of the class, as well as a beautiful comemorative printout of all of the recipes covered in class to mark the occasion. This is a perfect way to bring family and friends together for an unforgettable experience, no matter where they are located! Gift certificates are available starting at $50.

There are numerous ways to give thoughtful, unique gifts to everyone on your list. Supporting local businesses who are struggling this year is a great idea as well. No matter who is on your list, get creative with your gift-giving this season and let the special people in your life know you care. Remember, gifts don't have to cost anything. There are lots of gift ideas that are free, except the cost of your time. That can be the most valuable thing you can give someone, and the memories you create can last a lifetime.

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