ALEXANDRIA, VA (Dec. 15, 1999) -- The holidays are around the corner and many of us are fretting over what to get family and friends. The holidays aren't about gift giving, per se, but giving gifts is generally the traditional way to show that you're thinking about someone over the holidays.

Many of us have given stock to others as a gift, and many more of us at least considered giving stock again this year. Give a child their first share of General Electric (NYSE: GE) and tell them that every time they turn on the light, they're helping their money grow.

However, even though giving stock is by all means Foolish, you're running low on time if you hope to present a stock certificate to someone within ten days. You can give the stock by other means, though, of course -- such as a personal note explaining the gift. But, perhaps there is a better solution around the whole issue of what to give, and how to give a share of stock rapidly.

There is still plenty of time to give a useful, economical gift that keeps giving. It may not keep giving in the way that a good stock can, but it can give in many more rich and meaningful ways. What you can do, rather than give someone a fish, is teach them how to fish. Rather than give someone shares of stock, give them books that teach them about stocks and investing.

The Fool suggests several exceptional investment-related books in its area on, what else, books. Books, books, and more books. Click that link and browse for gifts for others and for, well sure, yourself, too.

Alongside all of the suggested books that you'll find listed, the Fool has published several books itself. Our Drip book is called Investing Without a Silver Spoon and is a great gift for anyone with a little money (even a college student) who might want to start investing whatever money they can. A great book for yourself or any investor is the Fool's new Investment Tax Guide 2000. Just published, this book actually makes taxes understandable and has you smiling in the process (now that accomplishment is worthy of a prize). A Fool book on the mechanical Foolish Four investment approach is also available. This is a market-beating strategy for any family members who find stocks boring if discussed more than once a year.

Tom and David Gardner's books cover the gamut of investing themselves. You Have More Than You Think is their personal finance bestseller, explaining how to get out of debt, buy a car, buy a home (and much more), and how to get into the stock market. The Motley Fool Investment Guide is the original Fool book, a book explaining the Foolish philosophy and how to invest in index funds, the Foolish Four, and small caps -- and why to avoid managed mutual funds.

Next, The Motley Fool Investment Workbook explains how to make sense of all of those numbers that companies report via an interactive narrative, complete with numerous jokes about burning the book (which you can do at anytime you wish, of course). Many Fools have enjoyed this workbook and learned by working on it. Finally, Rule Breakers, Rule Makers explains how to choose market-beating stocks under two very different and very successful investment approaches.

For these and many other book suggestions, please visit that first link listed above. And if people already have most of the books recommended, consider giving the Fool's new and timely Industry Focus 2000, or a subscription to The Motley Fool Internet Report, or the Fool's monthly print magazine, titled, well, The Motley Fool Monthly.

All these gifts keep right on giving. For more great gift ideas check out our employee-selected book recommendations in our holiday special feature.

Have a great night -- a night just 9 days from December 25. Fool on!