Some gifts, such as a candle or a bottle of wine, are great in the moment or for the short-term. Others make memorable keepsakes or are so personal they can't be re-gifted.
Here are some gifts that, besides amusing and delighting the receiver now, are meant to be cherished for years.
CUSTOM CLUTCH: Newport, California, designer and boutique owner Talia Hancock sells hand-beaded clutch handbags that can be customized with letters and colors. If there's a bride-to-be on your list who is changing her name, she might love a clutch with her maiden name on one side and her married name on the other. A new sorority pledge might impress her sisters with a clutch made with her school's colors and the Greek letters. Or how about a clutch adorned with your kids' names? “The sky's the limit,” said Hancock. She prefers to facilitate orders through the “text to order" option on her TALIA Instagram account so she can have a dialogue with customers. Clutches are $198 for one-side customized, $238 for two-sided.
CUSTOM DENIM JACKET: Also from Hancock's store TALIA, a customized denim jacket. The back of the jacket is hand-painted. You can request a name, date, initials, phrase or image that will guarantee you get noticed. If you don't want the back painted, consider customizing the collar instead, so when you pop it, it makes a statement. “I never wear my clutch or wear my jackets without getting stopped and asked where I got them," said Hancock. Jackets come in blue or black denim and start at $198 (some designs might cost extra.)
PRESERVED TEXTS: Do you have a funny text conversation with friends that you'd love to save? Or a loved one whose texts you never want to delete? Keep them forever in a book of text messages called Keepster. The company can take messages from apps including iMessage, WhatsApp and Hike, and compiles them into the format of your choice.
PERSONALIZED PODCAST: If you’d like to have an oral history from a loved one, check out Artifact. The company enlists professional interviewers — many say they are “moonlighting journalists” — to conduct an interview with your subject. An interview focuses on a “chapter” of a person’s life, such as childhood and the teen years. The audio is then edited to a 20-minute, studio-quality episode. The cost is $119 per episode or $99 per episode for three. A finished product is delivered within five days of the recording.
PET PORTRAITS: The pandemic has seen a surge in pet ownership, and Sam and Jack is one of the companies offering a way to celebrate or remember these beloved family members. They'll take a photo of your pet and turn it into everything from a framed, illustrated portrait to a personalized throw pillow. They also customize smaller items including water bottles, mugs and phone cases.
VIDEO MESSAGE: For the person who has everything, an original gift might be a group video message or tribute by Tribute.co. They can send out the invites and compile the videos. There's no maximum length, so messages can be hours long. The company's founder, Andrew Horn, says he's even had customers rent out theaters to play their tributes. Prices vary depending on the package: If you edit the videos yourself using Tribute.co's editing platform, the cost is $29. If you use their concierge service, they'll take care of the outreach coordination and get the video edited for $99. They can present it via a link that can also be downloaded, or if you prefer to present a physical gift, for $174 the company will give you a greeting card that has a video screen with audio inside to play your message.