Personalized Gift Certificates

Written by Jeremy Horelick
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The concept of the personalized gift certificate is an inspired one. If there's one knock against generic gift coupons it's that they're too impersonal, more akin to cash or a check than a well-considered item. Personalized gift certificates speak directly to this criticism and give the idea-starved gift-giver new hope.

If you've known your recipient your entire life, odds are that you're privy to many of her unique idiosyncrasies. You can then tailor your homemade gift card to address her, ahem, unconventional tastes. Maybe your recipient is a veritable germaphobe and would eagerly embrace a "Free Cleaning" certificate to be applied to home, office, or car--her choice. Or perhaps she has a place in her heart for bugs and other critters. A personalized gift certificate to your local Museum of Entomology could go a long way!

Meaningful Gestures

In an age when "big box" stores have sprung up on nearly every major street corner, finding a unique gift that stands out can be a real struggle. There are only so many books, CDs, DVDs, and stretch crew-neck t-shirts that any one person can use. Nevertheless, we continue to deluge one another with the same cookie-cutter gifts that, while useful, fail to speak to our unique sensibilities in an age when we're more eager than ever to stand out from the pack.

One way around this problem is to craft a personalized gift that involves so-called "quality time." Picnics, ballgames, and art exhibits are just a few events that allow you and your friends and family to spend time together interacting, which movies, plays, and concerts forbid. A coupon for a day at the races, a trip to the beach, or a shopping bonanza, provided it's spent with you, simply cannot be replicated by any store, no matter how extensive its selection of goods.

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