(NAPSI)—This holiday season, remember, the more thought you put into the gifts and greetings cards you choose, the happier the recipient may be.

First, take your time by planning ahead. Is the purchase for a man or woman? Consider the recipient’s personality and interests. Does the person do jigsaw puzzles or love books? Make the effort to ensure the gift you choose is presented as attractively as possible. Give thought to the words you write on the gift tag. Consider adding a photo to the card and a heartfelt, handwritten message.

Second, choose a gift or card that’s a bit different, such as those created by the talented artists who belong to Mouth and Foot Painting Artists (MFPA).

Christmas Snowfall” by Natalina Marcantoni is one of this year’s offerings.

This year, the MFPA celebrates its 60th anniversary since its formation by Erich Stegmann, who painted by mouth from childhood, due to polio. His vision was to form a unique, international self-help group of disabled artists (those without the use of their hands), seeking financial independence and a fulfilling life through art. Selling reproductions of their mouth- or foot-painted images in the form of Christmas greetings cards, calendars and a range of other products, the artists’ motto is “Self-Help, Not Charity.”

Mariam Paré painting “The Gift.”

One of these talented painters is Chicagoan Mariam Paré. She became a quadriplegic at age 20, when, already an art student, she innocently took a stray bullet to the back in gang cross fire. She then retaught herself to paint by holding a brush in her mouth.

Today, her paintings reflect her love of art and the freedom of expression it brings her. Many of her images have been exhibited in galleries across the U.S. and in Europe. Paré’s greetings card images are popular around the world and her talent has brought her a number of high-profile gigs, including appearing on “The Today Show” with Hoda and Kathie Lee and a visit to the Malibu home of actor and keen artist Pierce Brosnan.

How To Purchase

In early October, selected households across America will receive, through the mail, a collection of greetings cards and calendars for purchase. These items and other seasonal products are also available online at www.mfpausa.com and at (877) MFPA-USA.

On the Net:North American Precis Syndicate, Inc.(NAPSI)