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Unique Gifts that Really Make a Difference

(ARA) - The holiday season really brings out the best in people. It's the time of year when kids are on their best behavior, you actually get along with your mother-in-law, and you discover your boss is a good guy after all.

All these revelations have undoubtedly put you in a good mood, and there is no better way to celebrate than by spreading a little holiday cheer of your own. Some people do this by baking cookies and handing them out at work. Others sing Christmas carols or volunteer at the local homeless shelter; but by far the most popular way to share your joy during the holiday season is to hand out gifts to those you appreciate.

This year, make a difference with your gesture by purchasing gifts that will bring the recipient joy, benefit the environment, assist wildlife and help a culture halfway around the world all at the same time. You can do this by shopping at Wild Birds Unlimited ( stores.

The ladies you're shopping for are sure to appreciate colorful jewelry that comes direct from the African continent. Zulugrass jewelry from the Leakey Collection, which is actually a combination of a bamboo-like grass and hand-blown glass beads, brings dazzling color to fashion while improving life for women in Africa's Maasai tribe. Many Wild Birds Unlimited stores sell the wildly popular strands, which are made in more than 200 vivid color combinations. The durable, stylish strands may be worn as necklaces, anklets, bracelets, hair ties or used in the home as wine charms or drapery tie-backs.

You can help both birds and people by purchasing shade grown coffee for your holiday gifts. The plantations where the beans are grown provide trees for habitat for many of our backyard birds that migrate to Central and South America for the winter.

According to the "Denver Post," by 1990 more than 50 percent of coffee farms had converted to sun coffee farms, destroying winter habitats for many of our migratory song birds. Scientific studies have found as many as 150 bird species in traditional shade coffee plantations, second only to the number of birds found in virgin tropical forests.

Seven varieties of Song Bird Coffee are available: Birder's Blend, French Roast, Nicaraguan, Costa Rican, Guatemalan, Hazelnut and Decaffeinated Blend. Fifteen cents from each package purchased goes to American Birding Association programs including "Partners in Flight."

The WBU EcoTough feeder is also expected to be a superb gift this year. Made from recycled plastic milk jugs (eight to 3 7 of them depending on the size of feeder you buy) they won't rot, crack, fade or split, and are extremely durable! So durable, in fact, they'll look almost new even after years in the yard, and they come with a lifetime guarantee covering the function of the feeder as well as squirrel damage. Most varieties can be hung or post mounted.

Wild Birds Unlimited is committed to bringing people and nature together with products that support sustainable agriculture and manufacturing processes, and also help people and the environment. For more gift ideas inspired by Mother Nature, log on to where you'll also find a store location near you. Wild Birds Unlimited is the largest franchise system of backyard birdfeeding and nature specialty stores with over 300 locations throughout the United States and Canada.

Courtesy of ARA Content

For more on bird houses or related topics, choose from one of the following:

Bird Houses | Bird Feeders