By Aubrey Everett
The first time I received an item with my son’s name stitched on the side, I broke out into a smile. As someone who doesn’t have her own name or initials monogrammed on many personal items, it didn’t occur to me to do that for my child. But seeing my newborn son’s name displayed, the name we had recently selected with such care, was an unexpected thrill.
We ended up receiving several items bearing his name – blankets and beach towels, a wooden puzzle, stuffed animals, a tote bag – and each time I was touched by the gesture. These personalized items strike me as the ultimate keepsake gift. The intended recipient is clear, it can’t exactly be handed down or re-gifted, and I know the gift-giver took the extra step to make the item special.
These personalized items strike me as the ultimate keepsake gift. The intended recipient is clear, it can’t exactly be handed down or re-gifted, and I know the gift-giver took the extra step to make the item special.
If you are looking for a keepsake gift to give to a special child in your life, here are a few things to consider.
Most of our book collection will be well worn by the time our son moves on to young adult literature, but it is nice to have a few special titles to grab off the shelf. Think along the lines of a hardcover copy of The Velveteen Rabbit, perhaps The Polar Express at Christmas, or a heritage copy of Winnie the Pooh. Books, whether they are new stories or classics, always make for a great keepsake item to share with family.
Throughout our son’s life there have been small things I felt compelled to keep for sentimental reasons. The wristband from the hospital where he was born, trimmings from his first haircut, a pair of “wings” from his first flight, among other small momentos. Having a special box for these items increases the sentimental factor. Bonus points if the box is pretty enough to be displayed on a shelf or in the nursery.
As previously mentioned, personalization can take a normal gift and kick it up a notch. This small step makes even a small token a bit more special. The child’s name can be stitched onto the side of a bag or stuffed animal, engraved on a picture frame, or monogrammed on a beach towel. Many companies will add on a name or monogram for a small fee.
I was not one of those parents who designed a Pinterest-worthy nursery, so when people gifted us kid-friendly posters or pieces of artwork, I was thrilled. It took the work out of searching for something to hang on the wall, and I am reminded of the gift giver each time I glance that way. Our favorite pieces of artwork are the ones that are fun and youthful, while also pleasing to the adult eye.
With so much of our lives recorded digitally, the classic baby book may be slightly out of fashion. But I still find it nice to have all of our son’s “firsts”, stats and special memories recorded in one place. Selecting a special baby book for new parents, or even one that starts in pregnancy, can make for a unique gift.
About the author: Aubrey works in higher education and is the mother to an active and inquisitive son. She lives in the Boston area where she enjoys taking family walks along the beach, reading books, and introducing new foods to her son. Writing about motherhood allows her to connect to other parents and give voice to a challenging yet exciting time. About the author: Kara is a teacher, author, and mother of two vivacious daughters. A Maryland native, she and her husband are restoring an 18th-century farm in Susquehanna State Park. Her writing centers on literature, art, nature, disability, and working parenthood.
Photo credit: iStock.com/sampsyseeds