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Holiday gift ideas that last

Tis the season when we are bombarded (some might say assaulted) by TV advertising, catalogs, newspaper inserts, emails, store hours announcements, festivals and TV talk about gift ideas. Is it any wonder we often long for the "simpler times of yesteryear" when there were many fewer demands for our attention and our time?

When Thanksgiving and Christmas were for quality time with our families, not a time for shopping at Big Box retailers, or planning for a 4 a.m. store opening on "Black Friday." (Time was when Black Friday meant the collapse of the stock market on Sept. 24, 1869, not the biggest retail day of the year). And now we even have the official sneaking time at work for web shopping or what is called "Cyber Monday."

It has almost become our obligation, if one listens to the many cable news talking heads, to help pull the economy out of the recession by spending more than we did last year on gifts for the holidays. The stores are luring us in at midnight, and the on-line merchants are shipping for free, all aimed at getting us to spend more on stuff that our families and friends probably don't really need or want.

There are at least two gifts that have meaning, will last a long time and contribute to the betterment of the community for generations. The Skanopoly Game offered by The Skaneateles Education Foundation is not only

fun for the kids and their families, but adds to their future with the 100 percent of the proceeds going to support the Foundation's many grants in curricular enrichment and staff development at the Skaneateles Central Schools.

The Skanopoly Game has apparently caught on since 1000 games were sold in just 10 days. The merchants who have partnered with the Foundation have vouchers, which will assure a game in the next shipment, so better hurry!

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