From Christmas gifts that match their recipients' wish lists to gift ideas you formulate on your own, the presents you give make an even bigger impression when you add a personalized touch. Whether you create a gift yourself or accompany it with customized accessories, you show your caring in a way that the recipient remembers each time she uses your present.
Make a Movie
If you love using a camcorder to capture family memories, fun with pets, nature scenes or travel adventures, consider using your talents and equipment to make a movie about your gift recipient. Pick a theme from humor to homage and edit together your favorite clips that star your recipient or tell her story. You can capture additional footage under the pretext of making a home movie about your family in general. After you use your home computer to produce your cinematic masterpiece, burn it on a DVD for presentation. Once everyone's gifts come out from under the tree, offer to screen the movie on your home theater system and HDTV.
To encourage at least an occasional real letter home from a son or daughter who's headed off to college, boot camp or a new career, turn photos of your family, pets, home or any favorite shared location into custom postage stamps your child can use. Upload images you capture with your digital camera to a service that can apply them to stamps valid for use on post cards, letters or packages. While you're at it, create a family letterhead that lists all of you as if you constituted a corporate board of directors. You can set it up as a word processing template so it prints out with your correspondence.
Put your range's conventional or convection oven to customized use making alphabet cookies that spell out a loved one's name. You can create an edible board game entirely out of cookie dough, using multiple flavors to make contrasting game pieces, or turn your recipe into an edible crossword puzzle and use cookie letters to solve clues you print out on your computer. If you love baking pies, try a lattice top with family names made of crust and added on. If you love baking pies, try a lattice top with family names made of crust.
When your gift list includes technology, pair up the notebook, smartphone, tablet, camera or camcorder with a customized protective case that includes the recipient's name or initials and the Christmas year you presented it. Add storage media for devices that need them, including cameras and camcorders, and a gift card for apps or tunes on the online store that serves up add-ons for smartphones or tablets. While you're at it, tuck a few flash drives in the stocking to accompany a new computer, and add the recipient's name on them in permanent marker, using your best fancy handwriting.
Photo Credits: Alexa Smahl/Demand Media
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