Are you still searching for Christmas gift ideas? Each year I get one of these for my parents. It's not exactly cheap, but it works like a charm.

When Christmas rolls around, I purchase a memorial brick for the walkway just west of the Student Center at Colorado Mesa University. You can place any message you want on it (with a limited number of characters). Historically, I've had names of departed family members or pets inscribed on the brick.

A few years ago my parents reciprocated by giving me a memorial brick. I accidentally discovered it while walking across the campus at Colorado Mesa University shortly before Christmas. This brick, located at CMU's memorial walkway, is in memory of my dog Abe who passed away almost ten years ago.

This marks the first time I've received one of these. It's hard to imagine anything more perfect. I'm not a student at CMU, but you can bet I'll swing be frequently to look at this keepsake. The only reason I discovered it before Christmas was because of a rehearsal I attended at CMU's Moss Performance Center. I took it as an opportunity to visit the walkway and see bricks I had given to others.

Okay, so these cost a little more than a tie or a pair of socks. The price comes in at $100 for bricks the size as the one you see above.

Typically, bricks such as these are used to generate revenue for non-profits. That was the case when we bought bricks outside the Avalon Theatre during its restoration. The same goes for the bricks at CMU. When you look at it that way, it's something of a win-win. Proceeds go the CMU Foundation, awarding scholarships and financial assistance to students.

I called the CMU Foundation this morning. They will be open until 5 p.m. through Friday this week.

With Christmas coming up, I certainly don't need any more socks, ties, or Star Trek memorabilia. You're probably in the same boat. What many of us might enjoy is a reminder of those who've come and gone over the years. What better gift than a memorial such as this?

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