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The best financial gifts you can give this holiday season, according to a certified financial planner

Certified financial planner Brett Tharp shares with CNBC Select the best financial gifts — like stocks, CDs and books about money — that keep giving long after the holidays are over.

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If you're still looking for last-minute ideas for holiday presents, don't forget about the gift of financial health.

As the festive season kicks into full gear, it's important to keep in mind how family and friends can support one another during the coming year. While money can be a tricky topic to discuss with your loved ones, you can show them you care with a gift that encourages their financial health and puts them on the path to managing money successfully.

And you can't start too soon: Parents can start talking to their kids about money early with the help of a good children's book or educational toy. They can also start saving for their child's future now by choosing the right savings account or investment vehicle.

"Depending on the child's age, these types of gifts can open up conversations about money and create a fun and engaging way to learn about money," says Brett Tharp, certified financial planner and eMoney Advisor education consultant.

Ahead, CNBC Select spoke with Tharp about six money-related gifts you might not have considered giving this holiday season.

6 holiday gift ideas that inspire financial health

1. Books and toys about money

There are many books and toys that encourage a positive relationship with money from an early age, says Tharp. These include toy cash registers, pretend money, kid-friendly check books, activity books or workbooks about money, board game involving money and piggy banks.

Because children learn about the world through play, introducing new financial concepts to your child through their imagination is a helpful way for them to learn. Reading them a storybook featuring relatable and loveable characters, such as "The Four Money Bears," can be more effective than waiting until they're older to give them the facts about how money works.

2. 529 accounts

Though it's not the most exciting gift, opening a 529 for your child while they're young gives them something to look forward to every year as they watch their educational savings grow.

"These accounts offer tax-deferred growth and tax-free distributions for qualifying education expenses," Tharp tells CNBC Select. It also opens the door to conversations about the future and can help your child think about what's possible years to come.

Jump-start college savings: With the Upromise® Mastercard® you can earn 1.25% cash back on every qualifying purchase. Link your card to an eligible 529 College Savings Plan to earn even more on the money you deposit.

3. Stocks

"Consider purchasing a stock (or stocks) in a child’s name, as this educates your child about the importance of investing at an early age," Tharp advises.

Even if they don't earn a lot of money, your child can watch the stock's value fluctuate with the ups and downs of the market and feel confident to invest on their own when they're old enough.

"Choose a company with long-term growth potential," says Tharp. Perhaps you pick stock in an industry that your child is interested in, such as sports or entertainment. Or you could use this opportunity to talk to your child about what your family values and/or let them choose a socially responsible company to invest in. Whatever the choice, there's no doubt it will spark curiosity in your future money manger.

4. CDs

Under the Uniform Gift to Minors Act, an adult can transfer assets to underage beneficiaries without the need to establish a trust fund. This happens mostly between parents and children, but you could give your grandchild, niece/nephew, godchild, cousin, etc. the gift of cash, too.

Certificates of deposits — more commonly known as CDs — are a different kind of savings account that earn higher interest with one caveat: You can't touch the funds for a certain length of time.

Unlike traditional or high-yield savings accounts, CDs have fixed term lengths ranging between three months and five years. Usually the longer the term, the higher the interest rate offered. Opening a CD for your child will teach them about how banks work and introduces the concept of planning ahead.

To gift a CD, you'll need to have the child's name, social security number, date of birth and address on hand to provide the bank.

Check out CNBC Select's ranking of the best CDs for the best accounts for your short- and long-term savings needs.

5. Custodial IRA or Roth IRA

If your child is earning income but not yet age 18, you can open a custodial retirement account for them. As the custodian, you'll manage all assets until they turn 18 (or 21 in some states). But all funds belong to them.

Custodial IRAs (and custodial Roth IRAs) help your child take advantage of time, allowing them to reap the benefits of compound interest.

Each type offers tax-deferred growth, but withdrawal rules vary. You'll want to check into this if you think the money will come in handy one day before your child retires, such as if they want to use it to pay for college.

"A Roth IRA makes the most sense," says Tharp, "since children are likely in a very low tax rate and paying applicable tax rates now is probably lower than what they will be when taking distributions in the future."

6. A session with a financial planner

Working with a financial planner can be essential during times of great transition, such as starting or leaving a job, getting married, starting a family or making a major purchase. But there's no harm in doing a financial check-up, and many advisors offer simple planning services, including apps and client membership websites, just for this reason.

"This helps people not only plan for the future but also track progress toward their financial goals," says Tharp.

If you want to get your loved one a financial planning session, look to a fee-only fiduciary who charges a flat-rate, as opposed to someone who gets paid on commission or by how much their clients earn in the market. It's more straightforward that way, which is good when mixing money and relationships.

Another easy way to gift financial planning is with a membership through a company like Ellevest. Sign up a friend or family member for a monthly membership at different tiers, each package coming with a range of services.

Bottom line

The holidays are meant for connection and taking a pause from the busy reality of day-to-day life. It can be a great time to hit the financial reset button, and supporting your loved one with a financial gift can help them dream big, think about what's possible and develop a positive, lifelong relationship with money.

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Editorial Note: Opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the Select editorial staff’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any third party.
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