Filled with special holidays and events like Father’s Day, graduations and weddings, June is one of the biggest gift-giving months of the year.
So how do your make your present stand out? Well, by including a bit of the past!
The gifts I cherish most – the ones that are truly the most meaningful– are those that include a photo or a keepsake of a specific memory.
Here are some of my personal favorites. Warning: Be prepared for tears when your recipient opens them.
The gold standard of photo gifts, WeMontage gives you the ability to take a bunch of your favorite photos and create a custom wall collage. Select the size that works best for you, and don’t worry about moving someday – it’s simple to take down and put back up to make someplace else feel like home. Order an e-gift card and let your recipients have fun choosing their own pictures.
Sure, she can wear her heart on her sleeve but it’s so much cuter around her neck with a picture of someone she loves (you?) inside. Trust me, this is not your grandmother’s locket. Michele Baratta handcrafts gorgeous jewelry that’s often seen on celebrities like Gwyneth Paltrow and Taylor Swift, who proudly show off friends, children, lovers, pets. Felicity Huffman may wear the same “Ultimate Brag Necklace” but she doesn’t have that adorable picture of your kids in it.
Remind him of that great weekend at the beach or the big one he landed on that fishing trip, with a wood print of the photo that brings back those happy memories – and proves he really caught that sucker. This is a unique and beautiful way to display pictures, giving outdoor shots the rich, natural setting they deserve. Plus, the company donates one percent of its gross revenue to environmental organizations.
She can never have too many bags – especially when they feature her favorite photos on them. Order a tote for a teacher, cosmetic bags for bridesmaids, a coin clutch – with a check inside – for a graduate. High quality and highly-coveted, these bags will be treasured even when they’re empty.
This ingenious idea lets you grab 20 photos from the hundreds you probably have on your phone and create a 7” x 7” artisan-quality book. Imagine your parents proudly displaying it on their coffee table or sharing it with their friends. Because the turnaround is so fast – you’ll have it in your mailbox (your real one) in four days – it’s an especially good way to capture an event and maybe even surprise the bride and groom with a view of their wedding through your eyes.
That spot where you proposed? Her first apartment after graduation? Choose a meaningful address, and designer Katie Schloss will engrave it onto a 14 karate gold plate necklace, marking the exact spot with a tiny diamond. Better than a photo, this heirloom piece will likely be even more special-looking than the actual place it honors.
Give the sports enthusiasts in your life the opportunity to capture and share their own extreme photos and videos with the surprisingly affordable DVR 787HD. Complete with helmet and bicycle mounts plus a waterproof casing and remote control, there’s no better – or easier – way to tell a first person story while going down the slopes or catching a wave. They can then turn into those crisp still shots into one of the gifts featured above.
Also by Lois Alter Mark: The Scent-track to Our Lives
Lois Alter Mark blogs at Midlife at the Oasis and is a regular contributor to Huffington Post. She is the reigning champion of Blogger Idol and was recently named Humor Writer of the Month by Erma Bombeck Writers Workshop. Lois won BlogHer Voices of the Year Awards in 2012 and 2013, and writes regularly on pop culture and travel. Because of her blog, Oprah Winfrey selected her as an Ultimate Viewer and took her to Australia on the trip of a lifetime. A member of the San Diego Film Critics Society, she was the Flicks for Kids editor at NickJr.com and a contributing writer for Entertainment Weekly for more than a decade. Transplanted New Yorkers, Lois and her husband of 32 years now live in San Diego, where they have turned into weather wimps and complain about the pizza. Their grown kids are, of course, both on the East Coast. You can follow Lois on Facebook or Twitter.