The editors were sitting around the other day contemplating holiday gifts we’d been given, things we’d purchased for loved ones and the state of the current economy.

In keeping with that, we came up with a list of gifts that we believe will show the recipient lots of love without breaking the giver’s bank account. We hope you like these as much as we do!

1. A star. There are companies out there that allow you to purchase a star and name it for a loved one. Can you imagine a better gift? What a thrill to locate the star and brag to friends that it bears your name!

2. Genetic testing kit. With so much interest in finding our roots, a kit that allows a loved one to determine their racial genetic makeup and to match the components to African nations would be a perfect gift!

3. Lay-away payoff. Can you imagine the thrill you would give someone if you paid off their layaway before Christmas? If not that, how about asking them to let you pay the cable bill or drop a Benjamin on the gas or electric?

4. Babysitting. Three of the four of us are parents and we remember the hazy days of our children’s young years. Treat parent friends to a free day, afternoon or evening of babysitting so they can get out for dinner or a day off.

5. Car detailing. How many times do we look down and think, ‘I should do something about the stains on my car carpet?’ How about paying a mobile detailer to take care of that and much more for a loved one?

6. Mom’s Day Off. Treat Mom to a gift of a day and night at a hotel, where she can sleep in, order room service, keep the remote control all to herself and not have to hear “MOMMMMMMMMM!!! once all day. Add a spa treatment or mani/pedi if you can afford it. Tell Dad he cannot go.

7. Dad’s Couch Potato Day. Load the frig with food and beer then take a powder on a good football Sunday. Let him have the house and the remote control all to himself, too.

8. Gas card. Fill the tank for somebody. We can all use that.

9. Grocery gift card. We can all use this, too.

10. Donation to an African cause. How about donating to a program to provide malaria medications to children or to fund efforts to help women establish businesses?

Merry Christmas and Happy Kwanzaa!
Avis, Dorothy, Greg and Ron