It may still be weeks away, but Christmas always comes sooner than I think. No matter how much I promise I’ll plan better this year, I always come up against time. And from the looks of Macy’s parking lots the week before Christmas, it seems many of us find ourselves in crowded malls or online until 2 am to make those “2-day delivery” deadlines.
If any of the above is an all-too-familiar scenario to you, there’s one Christmas gifting secret I’ve learned that you need to know about right now. It has not only saved me time and money, it has also made Christmas shopping enjoyable. I have two words for you: tailor made.
With the growth of handmade shops like Etsy and artists’ portfolios on instagram, personalized presents are now at our fingertips. The only kicker is that made-to-order items need a far longer lead time than what you can buy off store shelves or Amazon. The closer you get to the holidays, the less chance you’ll have to put these pretties into your loved ones’ paws.
Here are a few gift ideas you should order this month if you want them in time for Christmas.
If a customized engraved ring made of high quality materials under $30 sounds impossible, it isn’t. Choose a special word or name on a delicate ring made of solid 925 sterling silver and finished in sterling silver, 18k gold, or rose gold. It’s a piece your sister, best friend, or mom will wear and cherish for years.
Delicate Name Rings by CaitlynMinimalist, $28
Expected delivery: 2 to 3 weeks
Etsy has tens of thousands of illustrators offering custom prints for under $10. Initial prints would make a thoughtful gift for a couple of newlyweds or nursery decor for a brand new babe in the family.
Floral Initial Prints by DreamyDaffodil, $6.50 to $9.95
Estimated delivery: 10 to 15 days
From keyrings and cord holders to valet trays and wallets, leather and vegan leather made goods have a timeless classic appeal. There’s literally something for everyone. For the book lover, who could say no to a bookmark that leaves their personal mark within the pages of their current read.
Personalized Natural Leather Bookmark by SwagAndTassel, $20
Estimated delivery: ships from the United Kingdom in 5 to 7 business days
Browsing for handmade gifts really forces you to think outside the gift box. Unless you read this, you probably wouldn’t have thought of gifting your animal-loving in-laws this personalized paw pet tag. Wooden tie clips, Christmas ornaments, and family name signs—the ideas get even more interesting from there!
Wooden Pet Tag by Clouds and Currents, $20
Estimated delivery: 2 to 3 weeks
Drinking coffee is wonderful, but drinking coffee out of a handmade mug designed especially for you is heaven. Hand thrown and hand pulled (aka, made the traditional way) in your choice of stoneware clay, then glazed and fired in one of dozens of color options—it melts the heart just thinking about all the time and work that went into a clay piece.
Custom Handmade Ceramic Pottery Mug by LohtuCeramics, $25
Estimated delivery: 3 to 4 weeks
Bespoke has become better business for everyone. Basically any gift made-to-order is going to require extra time for the artist to do his or her best work. But what you get for trading in quick turnaround time is a unique, carefully considered expression of your joy and good tidings toward another person. Isn’t that what the holidays are all about?