Personalized Christmas gift ideas for your family

Oct 8, 2009 at 5:26 p.m. ET

It's that time of year again -- time to think about possible gift ideas for your family and friends. You could always buy an assortment of gift cards (just like you did last year), but if you want to touch the hearts of your friends and family, why not add a personalized touch?

Custom Christmas Ornament

Photo calendars

As the end of the year draws near, everyone needs one thing to start the New Year off right: A calendar. Give your family members what they need while reminding them of family memories and holidays with a custom photo calendar.

Tiffani Collins, a mom-to-be, loves the idea of adding a personalized touch to the holiday gifts for her family. "Last year, I created a personalized calendar for which I chose personal photos for each month of the year and had it professionally printed and bound." Include pictures of the funny outtake moments to keep the laughs going. Online photo sites often offer personalized calendars alongside their photo cards.


What better way to create a unique and personalized gift than to create the gift yourself? Make an ornament or even a holiday wreath. Creative mom Cristin Doyle-Naylor finds inexpensive but thoughtful ways to give great gifts to her family. "Each year, I decorate one glass globe for each family member. It's nothing much, but I put time and effort into each ornament." Want to personalize an ornament but feel a little lost in a craft store? Don't worry: You can always create a photo ornament online to share your memories.


Jewelry is a no-brainer when it comes to gifts, but you can add a personal touch. Judith Kahler, mother of five, wanted to create a very personalized gift for her mother-in-law, so she had a pendant made with the grandchildren's birthstones for Grandma.

Photo gifts

Everyone knows that grandparents love nothing more than to brag about their children and grandchildren. How about creating Grandma a "brag pack" complete with a miniature photo album of all her beautiful grandchildren, a charm bracelet customized with photos and maybe even a video of Grandma's little princess taking her first steps.

Give back

What do you get for the people in your family who have everything? Take this opportunity to give back to those who need it most. Kim Mitchell, mother of two young boys, teaches her kids about the true spirit of the holiday. "During the week of Christmas, we volunteer at our local food kitchen, helping to serve the annual Christmas dinner that is open to all families in need. It gives the kids a real appreciation for the true meaning of the holiday."

Giving back to the community is a great way to create a personalized holiday tradition. It reminds us that, if we are fortunate enough to be able to buy each other gifts, then we should also purchase a gift (or give of our time) for someone less fortunate.