Presents That Won't Fit Under The Christmas Tree

Retailers feel the pinch as more givers lean toward services

This Christmas, Michael J. Maiman thinks he has found the perfect gift for his son. At a recent charity auction to benefit the 16-year-old's Detroit high school, Maiman shelled out $3,000 to have a character in crime novelist Elmore Leonard's next book named after the boy. Tobias M. Levkovich of New York also wants to give a memorable gift this season. For his wife, Barbara, he's splurging on a holiday-birthday bash featuring a staged murder mystery that the guests get to solve. "I wanted to do something a little weird," he says.

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