A Memorable Holiday Gift

I originally intended to share my holiday gift ideas this month, highlighting the latest in video tech gadgets. But it dawned on me that these tech gifts are likely to be outdated in a few months.  And then I went to a holiday lunch and discovered something much more valuable to share with you.

Recently I attended a lunch honoring my friend and colleague Aviva Goldfarb at the delicious Fiola restaurant in D.C. I found myself seated at a round table with people I’d never met, and began talking with a woman about my work, in particular some of the special video projects I was creating for the children of cancer patients.

This new friend shared with me how her own father died when she was a child.  She shared that beyond a video, there were two things she wished she had from him. One was a framed picture of just the two of them together. The other was a letter written from her father to her. Two things – just for her.

It got me thinking that we sometimes don’t think to create these types of special gifts until there is a crisis of sorts and therefore a reason to do them.

But here’s an idea – why not create this gift today? Show how much you love someone and give advice they can use right now.

The gift: Think of someone special in your life, be it someone older or younger. Find a picture of just the two of you and frame it.  Then, on part of the frame, include a short phrase of life advice.

Photo courtesy Personalization Mall

For example, if my Dad were giving me this gift, the advice he shares most often is, “You can do anything you want, you just can’t do everything you want.” It’s a supportive, encouraging statement with a dash of reality.  It’s about recognizing that we always have choices in life and to thus choose wisely.

If I were giving this gift to my older son Adam, it might be, “Never leave the house without your smile,” adapted from my Grandmother’s constant refrain to me (and the popular Broadway show, “Annie”). She felt strongly that when you smile, your entire mood changes, and that feeling will carry through and resonate with others.

An easy method of creating this gift would be to find a side-by-side frame and put the picture on one side and the note on the other.

Another option is to purchase a personalized picture frame. Many online companies will engrave frames with your specific request, so picture and message are together on the frame.  Though I haven't used these companies (and therefore can't endorse the quality of their work), here are a few places to start:

Things Remembered

Personalization Mall

Personal Creations

Whatever gift option you choose, I guarantee it’s one that will be appreciated for many years to come.