An everlasting gift: September 11 Memorial cobblestones

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One of the toughest aspects of holiday gift giving is the fact that most presents have a very short shelf life. It is almost inevitable that this year's toy will become next year's piece of broken plastic, while a dress that is perfectly in style in 2008 is almost guaranteed to be an embarrassing relic within five years. Even those precious few items that stand the test of time are prone to breakage, disappearance, or, in the case of a beautiful piece of luggage that my parents gave me when I hit 16, cat pee damage. Sadly, there simply aren't that many things that will last for 20 years, much less 100.

With that in mind, one gift giving option that you might want to consider is a part of the World Trade Center memorial. The National September 11 Memorial and Museum is currently asking for donations to help build a monument to the lives lost in the 2001 terrorist attacks. For $100, you can sponsor one of the granite cobblestones that will line the pathways surrounding the two memorial pools in the center of the monument. Each cobblestone will be numbered, and your friends, family, and descendants will be able to find your stone with the help of a kiosk that will be located at the site.

Until December 19, if you give a cobblestone sponsorship, your recipient will receive a holiday card. After the 19th, the stones will still be available, but the cards will not. However, regardless of whether you order your gift before or after the deadline, this is definitely a present that your loved one will never forget!

Bruce Watson is a freelance writer, blogger, and all-around cheapskate. He still has a few hard-to-please people on his list.
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