It won’t be long before the holiday season is here, along with the annual ritual of finding the perfect gifts for our most special friends and family members. The trick is finding meaningful gifts that show our care as well as our cleverness. If you want to give gifts that impress and inspire, heed the following advice regarding personalized presents that say everything in a small package.
Put Yourself In Their Shoes
Better yet, put the gift recipient into a brand new pair of personalized shoes. The internet offers a wealth of gift opportunities where savvy shoppers can connect with artisans who personalize anything –including canvas sneakers and hand-painted high-tops.
Browse personalized gifts at sites such as Zoey’s to find an astonishing array of custom personalized presents that aren’t likely to be duplicated. Look around to find baby bibs for a new mom, personalized sports shirts for older kids and monogrammed pillows that are just right for anyone on your gift list. Custom gifts don’t have to cost a lot to show your special someone how much you really, really like them.
For The Person Who Has Everything
Some experts say that to create the most memorable sort of gift, offer the recipient an experience in lieu of a tangible object. Instead of a book about islands, take your sweetheart to the Bahamas for a long weekend. Pass the stuffed teddy bears right by, and take your child for an all-day adventure at your local zoo. Doing instead of gift wrapping may provide you and the recipient with a beautiful memory that outlasts any kind of material present.
Bigger Isn’t Always Better
Sometimes, a small personalized gift is just the thing to tuck into a stocking to surprise your favorite person on a holiday morning. Things like monogrammed keychains are nice, but if your friend is a shutterbug, a gift such as a personalized camera strap might be even more well received, says Cool Mom Picks. When you present a friend, co-worker or family member with a small but meaningful gift they can use, the good will spreads both ways.
If you know a great knitter, hire her or him to create a custom dolly in the likeness of your favorite niece or daughter. A skilled custom doll maker can work from a photo of your child wearing a typical outfit and recreate their hair color, eye color and facial expression, too.
Tiny presents such as tooth fairy pillows, custom coasters and monogrammed pillowcases don’t cost a fortune and will remind the recipient how much you care every time they use your oh-so thoughtful gift.
Teenagers are notoriously difficult to shop for, right? Consider a gift that enhances something they already love. For instance, a picky adolescent who spends half her life on a cell phone might go gaga for a flashy phone case with her name spelled out in rhinestones. A teen boy who surfs would appreciate a small assortment of scented surfboard waxes. Know what they like, buy something that accessorizes, and chances are good that you’ll enjoy the all too rare experience of seeing your teenager smile widely.
The psychology of gift giving
According to Harvard Business School, people who give are happier than people who do not. In a 2009 peer-reviewed publication, experts at the prestigious university referred to psychological, economic and neuroscientific research that shows the connection between charitable behavior such as gift giving and human happiness. In fact, the Harvard researchers make the very plausible claim that when happy people give, they become even happier. In essence, a circular response is created whereby people give and become happy, and because they are happier, they give even more. Makes sense? It does to brain scientists.
Handmade gifts can go a long way toward expressing your love and regard, plus they’re a whole lot of fun to make. If you can crochet, make colorful pot holders to coordinate with your best friend’s kitchen color scheme. Offer a teen a selection of your 1980s wardrobe items, and you might make a friend for life or at least until the irony wears off.
The trick is to focus on what will make the recipient happy, not what you would like to receive for yourself. Put a bit of thought into it, and show how much you care.