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Let’s face it: holiday gift shopping can be hard. Often times picking items from a curated list or opting for a gift card can feel like a cop-out. On the other hand, it can be risky to blindly select a gift that your loved one might not like or need.
Finding a gift that will have instant sentimental value is a surefire way to ensure your gift will be loved and appreciated for years to come.
To help in your shopping efforts this holiday season (and to help earn you the title of “best gift-giver ever”), we’ve rounded up our favorite customizable gift options that are sure to bring a smile (and maybe even a tear) to your loved one’s face.
Probably one of our most wow-worthy picks on this list, Paint Your Life is a custom portrait service that can turn any photo (or combination of photos) into a stunning piece of art created by professional painters. Recreate a cherished wedding photo, or commission a photo of grandparents and grandchildren who never had a chance to meet, all in the style and medium of your choice. Plus, Suggest readers get an exclusive 30% off with promo code SUGGEST30.
For a more affordable option, Fracture is a top-notch service that can transform your photo of choice into a stunning glass print that will definitely be a statement maker. We particularly love their Storyboard option that allows you to tell a story with multiple glass prints, all eloquently displayed on a solid wood base that is sure to be deemed the “best gift of the year.”
If your loved one’s walls are a little cluttered, then a custom photo book is an excellent way to create a truly unique gift they can revisit for a pick me up again and again. What makes Mixbook the #1 rated photo book service is the combination of their easy-to-use site, an abundance of options to customize your creation, and its superb print quality. Create theme books around a special occasion, a memorable trip, or simply choose your favorite photo memories—the possibilities are endless!
I can still easily recall the way my grandmother signed every birthday card she diligently sent me each year, which is why I love this custom signature necklace. Immortalize your loved ones handwriting in a beautiful piece of jewelry, which is hand-crafted with hypoallergenic stainless steel. This gorgeous piece is available in silver, gold, and rose gold and arrives carefully nested in a jewelry box inscribed with one of seven endearing note options.
Whether you craft a single mug or build a whole family, these adorable personalized mugs are sure to bring a smile to your giftee’s face every morning they take a sip from it. You can customize each mug with the name and image of the recipient, picking their body frame, skin tone, and hair color. If your family lives apart, create a mug for each member so everyone can be a little bit more connected with this fun gift.
We all have a place that is near and dear to us, whether it’s our hometown, the location of our honeymoon, or that spot that became a tradition for the yearly family vaca. With GrafoMap, you can capture those memories with a real map of the city of your choice that includes custom text about the sentimental value of the location. Each high-quality print comes ready to mount with your choice of frame color and a protective glass cover.
Like places, certain songs can instantly transport us to cherished moments in our past. For a truly unique gift, you can capture the soundwave of that song in a gorgeous paper or metal print. Each custom art piece features the song title in the corner so your loved one can easily recognize it. You can even submit your own song if you and your special someone have your own tune that encapsulates the relationship.
Give the gift of a coffee table book they will actually enjoy reading and sharing with this custom birthday book filled with New York Times front pages on the giftee’s birthday. The book starts with the front page on their day of birth and continues highlighting the major events of each subsequent year. With a minimum of 20 pages (and 20 years of memories), this one is sure to bring hours of discovery and entertainment.
As Storyworth puts it, “Everyone has a story worth sharing,” and this easy-to-use service ensures these stories don’t get lost with age and time. Simply choose a loved one you would love to collect stories from and Storyworth will send them a weekly question. Questions can be as simple as, “What is the furthest you have ever traveled?” to more in-depth such as, “Do you have any regrets in life?” At the end of the year, Storyworth compiles all their replies into a beautiful hardbound book that can be cherished for generations.
Some stories happen in the kitchen, and with this customizable cookbook, you can document and preserve beloved family recipes. Perfect for those who love to be a little bit crafty, the My Family Cookbook comes with 50 double-sided recipe cards ready to be filled out with all your family’s favorite meals and goodies. You can help make the book come to life with pictures, drawings, recipe ratings, and more.
Perhaps it’s the secret carefully tucked away that only the wearer knows that makes lockets so special. Made with 18-carat gold and a stunning sapphire “sun,” this beautiful locket from Astley Clarke not only comes with the photo of your choice carefully fitted inside but also can be engraved for a really special touch. Plus, photos can be replaced at any time.
Sentimental gifts don’t always have to be serious; case in point these fun customizable socks! From silly family photos to beloved pets, you’ll have as good a time designing them as your giftee will have wearing them. Choose from a number of holiday, patriotic, or colorful backgrounds to complete your masterpiece.
Perfect for family gatherings, the Our Moments card game features 100 questions that will help get meaningful conversations flowing. Especially perfect for grandchildren to play with their grandparents, some sample questions include, “What was my mom or dad like when they were young?” and, “How is the world different from what it was like when you were a child?” To make it even more special, record or document responses to feature in a book or video to look back on and enjoy.
Another fun way to convert a beloved photo into a unique gift is with a photo puzzle from Minted. Choose from a classic rectangle or an adorable heart shape and a child-friendly 12-piece to a challenging 252-piece puzzle. Customize your puzzle even more with text, dates, and colorful borders. Once complete, your giftee can save and display for an eye-catching work of art.
Share memories with friends and family instantly with this digital picture frame from Skylight. Perfect for parents or grandparents, simply email photos directly to the frame to share with your loved one. Set up and use is a breeze, and the frame owner can even “heart” photos they love as a way of saying thanks.