I’ve been on the hunt for unique gift ideas this season.  I am always one to lean toward something personalized because it shows that a lot of thought was put into the gift.  In addition, it seems that people rarely purchase personalized items for themselves, so it is always a special treat to receive one.

If you happen to be reading this blog early today, turn on Fox 8 Morning News to see TMoM show some of these items live with Shannon Smith at 9:30am.  I tried to collect a variety of price ranges for this list, so I hope these ideas will inspire you and help you fill in some ideas on your gift list!  And keep checking back to our website because we will have MORE gift ideas after the Thanksgiving Holiday!


Anyone who has been to my home knows that I firmly believe you can never have too many photos around the house!  A personalized frame can be a wonderful gift that you may choose to give with or without a photo already inside.  I found Feel Good Frames, which is a local company out of Burlington run by Shelley Roupas.  These frames are absolutely beautiful.  You can choose from a whimsical wedding frame to a fun pet frame with dog bones.  Shelley also offers framed ornaments and cork bulletin boards which are all one-of-a-kind.

Photo books

I gave my in-laws one of these about four years ago and they still look at it and thank me for such a personal gift.  For their gift, I collected photos of all the family members and covered a year’s worth of memories in this book.  They are so much fun to make because you can design the layouts and the photos to your liking.  If you have captions or stories to add, there is plenty of space, or if you simply want images, you can go that route as well.  I worked on My Publisher when I made their book, but there are many different companies that do this including Costco, Shutterfly, and Kodak Gallery.

Boatman Geller Desktop Calendar

I love this item, and think that anyone would be a little more cheerful at work when they see this calendar on their desk!  This great gift comes in three different styles: Preppy, Classic and Modern, which are all on Sassafras Paper’s website. Each month features a personal monogram with a coordinating design border. You can order this calendar gift to start in any month/year that you choose.  The calendar cards are 5×7″ and sit on a lucite stand, which is included. Sassafras Paper is currently having a sale, so these calendars which are regularly $28 are on sale for $22.40 until November 30, 2011.

For the baseball fan

I always seem to have a difficult time buying something for a male, especially if I want it personalized, but I found a perfect idea online at Uncommon Goods.  You can choose between a bottle opener made from authentic game day bats swung by Major Leaguers, or a Ballpark pen made from salvaged seats from iconic ballparks.  Of course you can choose the team or the stadium from which the item is made.  VERY cool.  Home run with this gift!  🙂


When my mother passed away this summer, one of my sweet friends gave me a necklace in her memory.  This one is from Elizabeth Austin Jewelry Designs. Elizabeth makes hand crafted necklaces, earrings and bracelets using top quality semi precious gemstones, sterling silver and gold filled findings, and vintage components.  The necklace given to me has my birthstone, my mother’s birthstone, as well as a vintage locket with a photo of my mother.  It is simply gorgeous.  You can obviously customize your piece as you see fit.  I think this would be a very special gift that any woman would treasure.

For the office

As I mentioned earlier, it always seems difficult for me to find gifts for men on my list!  This past Father’s Day I gave my husband this desk calculator & pen set.  Without embarrassing him too much, I will say it brought tears to his eyes.  Not only is it functional, but you can but any type of sweet message that you desire.  (Hence, the tears.)  The flip side of the little clock also has a place for a photo.  I purchased this one from Things Remembered and I honestly could have bought about ten more things while I was in the store.  You can pretty much find any item to personalize.  We bought a beautiful clock for my parents years ago and had it inscribed for their anniversary.  It still looks brand new and is something that can be passed down for generations to come.  The gift items are very reasonably priced, but the personalization is what can raise your price quickly, so be sure to keep an eye on this cost when ordering.

Geography Pillows

These pillows are FABULOUS!  Celebrate a favorite locale with these pillows … anywhere from California to the North Pole!  I thought these were such unique gifts for pretty much anyone on your list.  I found them on the Uncommon Goods website.  When my North Carolina Pillow arrived in the mail I was even more impressed.  It was absolutely gorgeous and the quality surpassed what I had envisioned.  You can choose a favorite state, city, country or region to have hand embroidered on your pillow.  I thought giving someone a pillow from their hometown or maybe to a new destination where they may be moving would be such a wonderful gesture.  When you click the link above, you will also see the Personalized Family Pillows which I thought were another great gift idea.  Be sure to order yours by December 12 for holiday delivery!


Personalized Holiday Sign

When I walked by the Anything Joe’s booth at the Junior League Boo-tique this year, these banners were the first things that caught my eye.  They are so fun and festive.  Joe customizes each banner to look exactly like your family.  He hand-paints these on canvas and asks for ages, hair color, etc to get the family just right.  When he finished painting my family’s banner, I could not help but smile at it!  I chose a banner with a house on it, and he even painted the shutters on the house to match the ones on our home.  You can see other sign options on the website.  Great gift for any family!  Anything Joe’s has a plethora of gift ideas, some of which we will feature in upcoming blogs.  The ornament at the top of this post is also a creation from Anything Joe’s.

Home and Office

I found this assortment of items at Invitations Only.  I liked the sleek, classic look of these gifts and thought they would be perfect for the men on your gift list.  I found a leather cell phone holder/cover, a similar cover for an iPad, as well as a leather business card holder.  All of these items can be monogrammed, and at Invitations Only, and they add the monogram as a very simple stamp in the center or in the corner.  The photo is just an example of what one may look like, and then you could add the monogram.  Again, I think these items would be nice to purchase a few matching items to give together for a larger price point, or choose one to give alone for a smaller gift idea.

Hold That Thought – Words of Wisdom Cards

This deck of “Hold that Thought” cards is a perfect way to place positive messages in your mind and on your heart. Twelve vibrant designs to be changed out each month or displayed in your home, dorm, office or any place that could use a little inspirational thinking! Each deck comes cello wrapped with all twelve cards, plus a cover card and a back summary sheet showing thumbnails of all 12 card designs. Personalize this gift by selecting from one of Sassafras Paper’s great choices: Words of Wisdom, Hold that Thought for Girls, and God’s Words for Young Women. Currently comes either with an acrylic easel or a display magnet.  These can be ordered from Sassafras Paper and are currently on sale for only $11.05-17.05!


For this idea, I am not talking about an empty journal that you would give someone to fill in themselves.  My hope with this idea is that you will order one of these journals now and then fill it in for the recipient.  Some examples of what I am talking about can be found at Uncommon Goods.  Follow this link and you will see the Family Traditions Journal – this is a great way to document your family memories.  Another idea is the “State of Our Union” journal.  This is a set that comes with one journal for you and one for your significant other.  You each fill in these journals to document and recall personal accounts of your firsts, your favorite times together, and your hopes for the future.  I also love the Grandparents Journal.  I had blogged about this idea in a previous post, where I talked about how important it is to preserve memories.  This is a perfect gift for a granparent to give to their grandchild.

Gifts for the Entertainers

Invitations Only has a huge assortment of “entertainment ware” as I call it!  Stop by their store in Winston-Salem to view the selection of ice buckets, serving trays, cutting boards, recipe card boxes, plates, placemats, coasters, tumblers, etc.  These items are perfect gifts to package together or separately, depending on what you would like to spend.  They are also a great gift that can be given to a couple.  Personalize these items not only with a monogram or name, but also with a design that fits the recipient’s personality.  You can match all of the items with corresponding patterns, or switch it up however you may choose!  I received the tumblers as a gift last year, and my family fights over them!  Looks like we need to order more!

Personalized Stampers

I literally gave six of these out as holiday gifts a couple years ago.  Personalized stampers are both useful and fun!  Everyone needs return address labels, right?  These can be customized to fit your gift recipient’s personality and style.  You can order stampers like these from many different places including Expressionary.com, PaperSassy, Swoozies, Invitations Only, and The Stationery Studio.  You can also purchase note cards that have an empty space in the middle for an initial and then you purchase a stamper with the initial.  I saw some of these at The Bee’s Nest and Invitations Only, and the variety of notecard designs were adorable! I hope these ideas will help you begin your holiday shopping this year, and as I noted above, stay tuned for more gift idea blogs for anyone and everyone on your list!

*Please note that Triad Moms on Main does not take responsibility for the interaction you may have with any of the businesses mentioned above.  These are simply ideas and suggestions that we wanted to share!