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Cheers!

Street Smarts

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An endless string of holiday TV commercials, news broadcasts with up-to-the-second consumer-spending updates — batten down the hatches and fasten your seatbelts, the holidays are upon us.

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Erik Senseney of Denver is an electrical contractor

If you could give an experience in lieu of a gift this holiday, what would it be? I'd introduce my friend Rene to Turk Wendell, the former [Major League baseball] pitcher. They're cousins and both of them grew up in western Massachusetts, but they've never met. They're peas in a pod, though. Both are avid hunters and outdoorsmen, and Rene is a park ranger.

What would you choose if you could get any gift you wanted? Getting a book published that I wrote about a best friend who died in 2002.

Name the most unusual gift you've received. My stepfather is an artist who makes watermarks for dollar bills. A little while back, Chuck Close — the pop-artist painter and photographer — had my father do a watermark of his face. Close subsequently gave me a copy for Christmas.

How about your all-time favorite gift? The wedding ring from my wife. When I was hospitalized for two months after getting run over by a car, she visited me every day, and I asked her to marry me.

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Philip Krogmeier of Monument is a library information services specialist

What experience would you like to give someone? I recently got to the top of Pikes Peak for the first time. I'd share the experience of seeing Colorado Springs from that height with all my friends who haven't done that.

What's your best-ever gift? Spending a week last February on an aircraft carrier — the John C. Stennis — with my brother-in-law. I met him in Hawaii on his way back from tour and we sailed to San Diego together.

Name the best gift you've ever given. I gave one of my best friends a first-edition copy of Mrs Dalloway, by Virginia Woolf, one of her favorite authors.

What's your typical last-second gift? A gift certificate for books.

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Cobie Scott of Kettle Creek is a marketing and media director for a winery

What's your holiday gift-buying strategy? I strive hard to buy something unique to each person's personality.

If you could receive any gift whatsoever this Christmas, what? Extra time with my grandparents, who passed away.

Name your all-time favorite gift. A surprise party for my 37th birthday. All my closest friends were there.

The best-ever gift you've given? A triathlon bike to my husband.

What's your typical last-second gift? Wine, every time. Ampelos pinot noir especially. You can drink the whole bottle and you won't get a headache, I promise.

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