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Instead of giving those "friend gifts" that we all buy during the holidays, I made lots of small donations to local charities in the name of each friend and sent the friends a card telling them what they gave to make the holidays happier for someone. I have a friend who is an artist, so I donated art supplies to a local shelter. Another pal loves warm nightgowns and socks, so I bought those and gave them to a battered women's safe house. My friends were pleased that I thought of who they were and what they enjoy and helped others enjoy those things too. I didn't spend a lot of money, but I think I made a lot of people a little happier during the holidays...including myself!

Patti of McKinleyville, California