(ARA) - Buying U.S. Savings Bonds for loved ones has been a holiday tradition for more than 75 years and is a unique part of our nation's history.

Whether gift-givers are parents helping their children save for their first home, young couples celebrating their newborns' first holiday season, or grandparents helping their grandchildren save for college, the U.S. Department of the Treasury looks forward to helping families preserve this tradition of savings bond gift-giving for generations to come.

While the 2011 holiday season will be the last for savers to purchase paper U.S. Savings Bonds through a bank, electronic savings bonds still will be available for purchase online through www.treasurydirect.gov, the Treasury Department's safe, secure and convenient website to purchase, manage and redeem savings bonds 24/7.

Once you create a TreasuryDirect account, you can purchase savings bonds for yourself or loved ones starting at $25. The TreasuryDirect website offers a variety of themed gift certificates for the holiday season - as well as for birthdays, graduations and more - that you can fill out and print from home to commemorate the occasion.

Because recipients of gifts purchased through TreasuryDirect will require an account of their own to receive the gift bonds, encouraging family members to create a TreasuryDirect account can give people of all ages a safe and convenient way to save.

Visit www.treasurydirect.gov for a guided tour on how to open a TreasuryDirect account - or, just follow the five steps below.

1. Have your Social Security number, bank routing number, checking or savings account number and email address handy.

2. Go to www.treasurydirect.gov and complete the online application.

3. Once your account has been created, log in and use the Gift Box feature to buy gift bonds.

4. Choose the recipient for the bonds in your Gift Box by entering his or her full name, Social Security number and TreasuryDirect account number. When you deliver the bond to the recipient's account, he or she will get an email announcing your gift.

5. If your family member or loved one doesn't have a TreasuryDirect account, encourage them to create one so you can readily purchase savings bond gifts for them. Children under age 18 must have a minor account linked to a parent or guardian's TreasuryDirect account.

Visit www.treasurydirect.gov today to learn more.

The preceding information has been provided by the U.S. Department of the Treasury, Bureau of the Public Debt.Give the gift of U.S. Savings Bonds
Category: Business