If you are reading this, then congratulations on once again leaving your Christmas shopping until the last possible second. Your bravery is commendable, as is your consistency. The problem is – as you are probably aware thanks to your own personal experience – leaving it this late means your gift-giving borders on embarrassing – pulling Celine Dion’s Greatest Hits CD out of a bargain bucket for your mom, buying your three-year-old niece a poster of Hong Kong at night, getting your dad a game of loo-gold even though he hates golf. It all lacks a) inspiration and b) personalization, and that is the secret to nailing your gifts.
People really appreciate the amount of care put into a present. They prefer things with that personal touch over things that come with a hefty price tag and that’s because one shows how much thought went in and the other displays a rushed attempt to cover up guilt (at least that is what we have deduced).
What we are trying to say is this: nothing beats receiving a gift as unique as the individual is. That’s what will make your loved ones say, “awwwwwwww,” like they’re watching fireworks light up the night sky.
So, without further ado, here are the best-personalized gifts to buy if you’re struggling for time and inspiration.
- The House They Grew Up In
We’re not suggesting you actually fork out the money to buy them the house they lived in when growing up, but rather you buy them a custom illustration of this special place in the hearts, which is something Marisa Seguin specializes in. She has always loved drawing buildings. It is her niche, and she does it so incredibly well, as all the reviews of her work suggest. Simply send her a picture of the place you have in mind and she will illustrate it before sending it back to you in print form. It could be a childhood home you have in mind, a cabin in the woods you always visited together, your favorite city, or the restaurant where you proposed. Whatever you decide, you will have your breath snatched – that’s how talented Marisa is.
- Drawings Brought To Life
Instead of buying your niece that poster of Hong Kong at night we mentioned above, why not get your niece or nephew, brother or sister, a Trootoy by Mariken. If you’ve heard of these before then a light bulb has probably just flicked on above your head and a smile has probably appeared on your face. If you haven’t heard of Trootoys before, what happens is, you send them a picture drawn by a child in your life and she will bring this picture to life by creating it in stuffed-teddy form. It’s incredible. Truly incredible.
- Big, Beautiful Bouquet
Getting someone you care about a last-minute personalized gift doesn’t have to be elaborate. Not at all. In fact, to play it a bit safer (we’re talking about time as much as anything), you could bring a tear of joy to your loved ones eye by getting them a big, beautiful flower bouquet made up of their absolute favorites, whether that be roses, lilies, tulips, orchids, lotus’, marigolds or a mix of them all. This is your chance to say you listen and care, that you know what their favorite flower is and that you were willing to fly it to their door from halfway around the world if needs be. This is the perfect gift for your dear mommy or gramps, that little bit of vibrancy that will bring the biggest smile to their faces.
- The Stars Are Yours
If you have been on a) Facebook, b) Instagram or c) Pinterest (delete according to preference) in the past month, then you will have no doubt seen personalized maps of the stars being marketed at every available space, and for good reason. What could be more personal than giving someone a stunning framed print with thousands of stars and all the planets, as seen from a place and a time of your choice? It could be the day they were born, the day they came out of the hospital after life threw them a curveball, the day you proposed, the day their dad passed or any number of momentous occasions. What makes these maps so incredible is the fact they are scientifically accurate, meaning it will be very much appreciated by those who enjoy looking at the night sky, astronomers young and old, and by anybody who’d want to keep the wonder of a particular sky forever. It’s not just the stars, it’s the moment they represent and the fact each one is totally unique.
- Avid Gardener’s Welcome
Buying for the keen gardener can be a challenge because (apart from some new perennials or a shovel to go in their shed) what can you get them? Well, what about an elaborate joke in the form of garden sofa made out of artificial grass? That’s right, you read that correct, a sofa made out of artificial grass. Now, that may sound super-gimmicky, but you’ll find that this is actually a beautifully hand-crafted piece of contemporary outdoor furniture, which will leave your recipient with the sensation of sitting on freshly cut summer grass all year round., and what could be better than that? It’s the most unique bit of upholstering you have ever seen. Here’s the best bit, though: you can just leave it. Yeah. Uncovered and untreated, which makes it the gift that just keeps giving. Now that is cool.
- A Necklace Like No Other
Giving out a personalized necklace is nothing new, we get that. However, giving someone a Posh Totty personalized necklace is not like any you have ever seen before. Not only are they totally gorgeous, they are also reasonably priced too, which is something every gift-giver can’t ignore, especially at this time of the year. In terms of how personalized you can make them, you can choose between having a cluster of two, three or four entwined rings, whether you want them in sterling silver, rose gold or gold plate and you can squeeze up to twelve letters onto each ring. Oh, and you can choose just how long and thick you want the necklace chain to be, which is another major plus. Of course, anyone that has ever sat in a restaurant chair and stared at a menu in total fear will know that choice isn’t always a great thing, and that could be tricky. But, whatever you chose, you can be guaranteed to have a beautiful-looking gift that will draw out a huge smile. Fact.
- For The Family Of Love
If you are looking to absolutely wow your family with the most thoughtful, loving and personalized gift ever, then look no further than this “Our Family Heart Wooden Jigsaw Keyring”, which is perfectly apt to symbolize family love and friendship. In case you haven’t guessed already, this is a puzzle in the shape of a heart, but what makes it so special is the way it breaks apart to create individual keyrings that can then be put back together when the whole tribe is back together. Made from walnut wood, this gift for the whole family is really pretty. In terms of personalization, you can choose for the set to be for between two and five family members, depending on how many people you have in your family. In short, this is such a beautiful gift that is sure to make each person smile when they look at their part of the set.
- Music Is For Everyone
Music is that one thing that binds us all. We all have songs that remind of times, moments, memories, people and just about everything else we can imagine. That’s why you should latch onto this and give someone the soundwave from their favorite song, or that song you share. All you have to do is pick a song or sound of your choice, send it off and it can be made into a sound wave print. It’s that simple. You could even personalize it further with your own words. What you’ll get back is a sound wave printed in a horizontal line on some super-high quality box board in whatever color you prefer: red, grey, orange, blue, green or black. Imagine how much this present could light up someone’s day, not just on Christmas morning but every time they see their song hanging there, on their wall. You could even get this song put in loop-form if you prefer.
Like we said, nothing beats a personalized gift, and we meant it. Sure, you could pop along to Jack Wills and buy an overpriced bit of clothing, or head to the bargain bin to see what CDs are for sale or buy something so generic you’ll be forced to pretend you didn’t notice their fake smile. But wouldn’t it be so much nicer to see the gift of giving work in the best way possible. Go on, show you care.
Disclosure: This is a contributed post.