Personalized gifts for anyone this holiday season


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Shown above is an example holiday gift basket, including cute holiday-themed items; this present can be customized to fit the interests of anyone!

Riley Coesens, Editor in Chief

It’s that time of year again where holiday festivities and lights illuminate the streets, homes, and hearts of those celebrating the triumphs of the year and those whom they cherish most. Though 2020 has been difficult for all, now more than ever it is important to find ways to be thankful for one’s blessings and show gratitude toward loved ones. Big or small, personalized, memorable gifts are a great way to commemorate the bonds that make our days worthwhile, and showing loved ones your creativity and care is a great way to spread holiday cheer this winter. 

One of the most common ways to personalize a gift is to design it yourself–documenting a specific memory, word or phrase, or image onto an everyday item is the perfect way to spice up any gift-giving occasion. Potential options for this type of gift include decorated T-shirts with an individualized design, mugs or water bottles (depending on the person’s preferences of beverages), or bags. Though these items may not seem special themselves, once they are decorated to meet an individual’s personal style or to represent the togetherness the gift-giver shares with him/her, it can truly capture the essence of a relationship by showing your attentiveness to their or your shared interests. 

A personalized photo display, picture frame, or something similar that encapsulates an important moment or relationship that the recipient would treasure are additional great options.. Examples of this type of present could include an inscribed frame with words or phrases relating to the experience pictured in the photo, or specifically chosen images that represent the joys shared between the giver and receiver of the photos. This gift option is practical and can be appreciated by people of all ages and livelihoods, as many find value in the visual emotional representation drawn from pictures, especially when they are personalized and remind one of positive memories or influences. 

The next gift option is also great for a wide range of age groups and interests, however, this one is particularly appealing to teens and young adults wanting to put together an enticing gift on a budget. Gift baskets, goodie bags, and themed boxes offer a fun opportunity to put together a gift with multiple elements that apply specifically to the recipient while also offering flexibility and options in determining how much to spend on the gift. These presents can range from expansive, diverse bundles of treasures, or they can be less immense while still showing a friend or family member your gratitude. Examples of things to include could be winter or holiday-themed items, such as fuzzy socks, hot chocolate/coffee items, PJs, mugs, candies, and more; on the contrary, other hand-picked or homemade items could be added to compliment whatever the primary gift in the basket/bag/box is. Overall, this gift is a fan-favorite and is the most customizable of them all, and it spreads holiday cheer to even the hardest people to purchase meaningful gifts for. 

If you are truly looking to spend as little money as possible on a gift while still commemorating the fond times you’ve had with a loved one, a joy or happiness jar is another fun idea. These often include little decorated pieces of paper that are inscribed with fond memories, uplifting reminders, and positive notes and can be given on any occasion, not just during the holidays! There are a lot of different ways to design this present, so a good place to start would be to scan through Pinterest and other crafty blogs to find references as to how you would like to design your own happiness jar. This gift takes time to put together, but it is well worthwhile and sends an abundance of positivity to the receiver over time as he/she unravels all of the compliments inside. 

Since the pandemic began, it has been more difficult to attend events or participate in activities that some previously relied on to spend time with friends and family. Regardless, a gift to consider giving this year could be to pay for a loved one’s ticket or admission to a COVID-safe event, or a future event that he/she would enjoy (but make sure you can get a refund and/or have a backup plan, as restrictions are constantly changing!). 

Finally, since COVID-19 has heavily influenced the nature of our everyday lives, some are concerned about shopping safely in-person and have resorted primarily to online shopping. This is encouraged to keep people safe, but it can also pose challenges to consumers as they try to order the perfect gift viewed from a screen rather than on a store’s shelf. Thus, a valid and much-appreciated solution would be e-gift cards that can be personalized through the messages attached to them, as well as the business chosen for the friend or family member to shop at later. Messages can go beyond wishing one “Merry Christmas,” so try to brighten someone’s day with a relatable, funny, or meaningful message that will remind the recipient that better days of shopping are ahead. 

The circumstances surrounding the holidays this year have made it hard for some to embrace the true meaning of this gleeful time: showing those whom you love your appreciation and thankfulness. Even if many cannot see family or friends in person this year, uplift those around you by spreading joy–not COVID–and consider showing your gratitude through personalized, distinctive gifts.