Want to surprise your loved ones with something new and different?
We are all looking for those particular gifts – unique and special items that will surprise our recipients. They should be uncommon or unusual, or something that puts a new spin on a classic gift. If you are like me, you look for gifts that are practical and have meaning, and the last gift that you want is one that they will take a look at and just say… “oh thanks, I love it”, and immediately throw it away. Whatever your intentions when your recipients get your thoughtful gifts – whether it’s to make your loved ones happy, glad, or even just to know that you care – the understanding that you took the time to especially pick this out for the receiver, or even that you custom-made it for them, gives even the coldest of hearts a warm, fuzzy feeling. My goal is to help you find that extra-special, thoughtful gift. Something simple and useful, yet out of the box, to show those certain people in your life that you care.
When you are thinking about things to give to the people who you love, the first thing that you should consider is what the meaning, or purpose, of the gift is. And then ponder such questions as: What brings them joy or happiness? What brings a smile to their face, or excites them? What are their interests? When you are not with this person, what things and/or memories remind you of them? How do they like to be appreciated?
The act of gift-giving is one of the most significant non-verbal expressions of love. It is a wonderful way to create a memory, or commemorate a special occasion, with a thoughtful gift. The intention and meaning behind the gifts that you give is an essential part of the success of the gift giving process. I always try to find something for my friends and family which relates to a part of their lives, or even shares something special about our relationship. For an extra special day, try giving your gift after taking your loved one out for a nice dinner, making their favorite home-cooked meal, having a quiet picnic together, sharing a day at the beach, writing them a well thought out note, or just spending some quality time together.
It is easy to get stumped on coming up with that perfect gift for a particular occasion, so I’ve taken the time to list a few unusual, yet unique and customized gift ideas…
1) A Star
This one is unique and unexpected for many of our recipients. They say that if you want to end up on the moon, then you should reach for the stars, and this is exactly what they mean. You can name a star! Yes, a real, out-of-this world star for your loved ones. You can either name the star in their honor, or choose one that’s associated with something that you share together. Some companies can even offer you a specific star, based on the person’s actual star sign, and then send you a framed document with all of the details on your new heavenly body. It is most important for you to consider the correct hemisphere (northern vs. southern), so your loved one can actually find their star in the night sky. If your view of the sky is anything like Montenegro’s, buying your own star will be a truly incredible gift.
2) Cold-porcelain flower brooch
A brooch has always been a classy fashion accessory, and it can definitely add a bit of flair and grace to your special occasion. From school dances to wedding parties, a brooch can be the perfect accessory for women or men. The best part of hand-made cold-porcelain flowers is that you can wear them time and time again! I talk at length about handmade brooches in my article on the topic. My good friend is also a brooch collector, accumulating them over the years, different locations and occasions, so I have been able to put my hand-crafting skills to good use. Through my work, I have been able to create special gifts for her, using things like a simple red mountain poppy for inspiration. Brooches can be assembled from a variety of materials – whether metal, painted wood, ribbon, or even beautiful gems. So there are many options to complement your hand-crafted flowers.
3) A handmade porcelain bouquet
I love creating these, and also think that they are incredible one of a kind gifts! Instead of just giving your mother, partner, or loved ones a traditional bouquet that may only last a week or so, this time, try gifting them a beautiful cold-porcelain bouquet that will last up to 10 years. These will have all the unchanging beauty and delicacy of the real versions, without any need for taking the flowers from their natural environments. These flowers are perfect replicas of the real thing and can be custom-made for friends or family, for conveying any special meaning that you choose, or simply just recreating their favorite flowers. They are also the perfect gift for people to enjoy their favorite flowers, without any of the annoying seasonal allergies that come with regular flowers.
4) Hand-painted personal portrait
Search out an accomplished artist in your local area and ask them to recreate a favorite photo of your loved ones, maybe even together with you. Instead of just keeping framed photos around the house, try something a little more unique! Local artists in your area will have different specialty areas – such as acrylic, pencil sketches, or watercolors. Choose a photo you would like the painting or sketch to be based on, talk to the artist about details like your desired portrait size, and finally pick out the perfect frame. This is a great idea for couples, families, or best friends looking to take their gift a notch above a simple framed picture or photo album. Make sure to agree upon a style before purchase, Van Gogh doesn’t suit everyone’s tastes!
5) 3D Selfie Doll
This is a fun one I’ve used for teacher’s day. The recipient kept the figurine on her desk for the entire school year, and I imagine it was there for much longer. The 3D selfie replica is a small stand up cartoon version of the person, or people, that you give this unique gift to. They are often made of ceramic or plastic, with things like an optional bobblehead version, depending on the artist you work with. Select a photo of your loved ones or any special moment you shared with them. A full-length photo is best. And once you have picked out a good photo, send it to the artist and they will take care of the rest. It is a great way to remember happy memories for a lifetime.