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Bean Counter

You are given a dollar, and told to use it to buy a gift for someone very important to you. What do you buy? For whom?

This was the prompt given in my writing class and it got me thinking… Is it possible to find a gift for a dollar?

I truly believe that you don’t have to spend money to give. A simple gesture of kindness, an offer of help, or something you’ve made, can be as much a gift as something store-bought, prettily wrapped, and topped with a bow.

I enjoy going out and about with a camera so I’ll often photograph a place that carries meaning for someone and make that into a gift. Just about anyone can be a photographer these days, but there’s still a place for thoughtful, high-resolution, printed images, for not that much from the digital world makes it into the real, hard world.

A matte picture of reasonable size is inexpensive to produce, with not just online services available, but local pharmacies offering this facility too (avoiding shipping fees). Adding a clear sleeve makes an image look professional and expensive (here working out at about 25 cents a pop). Alternatively metallic printing is very striking. Costing a little more, a smaller image still comes in at under a dollar, and can be slipped inside a greeting card for safe mailing.

A dollar need not be a barrier to gift-giving, but can be seen as an opportunity for creativity. By counting on talents, not counting on money, unique and personal gifts need not scare the bean counter.

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