You know by now to steer clear of gift certificates and IOUs for holiday gifts. After all, you’ve seen the fake smiles and forced gratitude.
But when it comes to gift giving, it seems like some people have the magic touch and some just don’t. But that’s not true. Anyone can give the perfect gift — that ideal match when the recipient truly loves what you’ve given and you get that gooey feeling inside that happens when you really make someone happy.
Personalized gifts are the way to go, but that doesn’t mean it’s a free-for-all. There are some good personalized gifts, like name art, and there are the not-so-good ones like the personalized “World’s Best Grandpa” mug that was clearly picked up at the dollar store.
When it comes to customized gifts, follow this easy guide of do’s and don’ts. Consider it a necessary refresher course as we roll into the holiday season.
DO give them something they’ll use
Does your Aunt Mable have albums of family photos, a “Welcome to the Smith Home” sign on the front door; and does she manage the family genealogy tree? She’s going to love those letter pictures featuring “Smith” to hang in the foyer.
But your cousin Bud who just turned 21, couldn’t hang a photo if his life depended on it, and doesn’t even technically have an apartment of his own? You might want to consider something else.
DON’T give everyone the same thing
Personalized gifts need to be, well, personalized. Alphabet photography that uses the exact same images for every letter with zero room for diversity isn’t just boring; it’s not letting you customize.
This is especially true if you’re getting letter pictures for family members who share the same last name. Maybe one Jones family is really into sports; it’s time to opt for the sports-themed letters. Maybe another Jones clan is all about camping and the great outdoors.
You get the picture (literally).
DO check their tastes
Everyone is a little different. For example, is your mom more of a black-and-white or sepia kind of gal? What matting would go best in her living room?
A good gift giver looks at the situation from the recipient’s perspective, and nailing design is all in the details. Pay attention, listen up, and the recipient will actually let you know (either by what she says or by her current decor) exactly what she’d like.
DON’T let the dollar rule all
There are many companies that offer personalized name art, but the maxim “you get what you pay for” is always in force. Think about it. A car is a car, right?
But there’s a big difference between a new Lamborghini and a base model Kia (fortunately, word art is nowhere near the asking price of a Lambo or a Kia). Also, anyone can make their products look good online.
Choose a reputable company that offers the best in quality and superior customer service; otherwise, you never know what might happen. Your order of a “Taylor” piece might just show up as “Tyler.”
A little common sense, care, and planning ahead can make a huge difference this holiday season as well as prevent any headaches from popping up. Order early and rest assured you’ve selected a gorgeous piece that just might become a family heirloom.
Plus, keep in mind that you’re not restricted to “just” names; you can create anything you’d like, whether it’s “Champ” for the amateur boxer in your family or “Kismet” to give your sweetheart.
It’s your creativity; we just make it a little easier to tap into and celebrate.