Even though the end-of-the-year holidays are behind us, we don’t ever really stop thinking about gift-giving, do we? Keeping up with the birthdays and anniversaries of your family and friends takes more than a little organizational ability (not to mention time to shop). Add holidays to your list of gift-requiring events and it can quickly get overwhelming.
And even the planning and shopping don’t seem so difficult compared to just trying to think of something original to give. Consider a gift that’s customized in some way; this could be simply having the recipient’s name printed on a mug or wine glass, a set of monogrammed linen napkins, or even a pet’s name added to a framed design.
If you’re a dad trying to come up with ideas for personalized Mother’s Day gifts, maybe even a project you can work on with your children, why not create a custom book, starring your kids’ own artwork? Whether you upload photos they’ve taken or scan their finger-painted Impressionist masterpieces, at sites like Shutterfly, it’s easy to present your children’s work in a beautifully printed and bound book their mom will treasure for years to come. (And she won’t have to find room for it on the refrigerator.)
No time to have a book photo printed? Creative photo-sharing sites like Smilebox walk you through uploading your photos and scanned artwork into a slideshow or digital scrapbook that includes animation and music! (If you need some photo-optimizing guidance for an online project, shibleysmiles.com has a really helpful tutorial.)
Here’s another idea that will get your best photos off the memory stick and into memorable gifts: have them printed on canvas. There are many resources online that make the process as simple as formatting and uploading a photo and choosing a canvas size; your work is printed on canvas, mounted on a gallery-wrapped frame, and shipped, ready-to-hang, to your door.
And this is surprisingly affordable, especially when you consider that what you’re creating is a one-of-a-kind art piece! A custom photo canvas makes an even more meaningful gift if the picture is one with personal significance for the recipient; a favorite wedding photo, family vacation shot, or just a close-up of a beautiful flower in your garden will come to life in a completely different way on canvas.
Just in case none of these art and photo-based gift suggestions sounds ideal, you could suggest to those on your gift list that they start an online wish list. Amazon has a universal wish list service, meaning that you can list items from any website, not just Amazon’s. This way, you’ll know exactly what they’d like, including important details like color choice, size, and quantity.
Whether you’re looking for personalized Mother’s Day gifts, or something special for another occasion, keep in mind that “personalized” doesn’t have to mean literally putting a name on an item; it can simply be choosing a gift that definitively says you were thinking about his or her lifestyle, taste, interests, or even something from that secret wish list.
That said, most of us do like getting things with our names proudly emblazoned on them, whether it’s monogrammed golf balls or another coffee mug; after all, what’s more original than our own name?