The Lens

Gift-Giving That Celebrates Uniqueness

What’s the point of finally, finally getting to be exactly who you are, only to be treated like everyone else?  No one wants that.  Everyone deserves to shine out and be seen for who they are.  If you love someone who is one-of-a-kind, help them celebrate the big days and moments in their lives with gifts as special and unique as they are. 

Here is an array of ideas that take a new perspective on personalized gift giving. 

Time with a Tailor

Tailors are a secret weapon for confidence and couture.  Splurging on some alterations will let your friend take that item hidden gem in the back of the wardrobe and move it to most favored status in their outfit rotation.  Don’t limit yourself to taking clothes in strategically, a good tailor can help you add bespoke details like charming buttons or a pop of piping that will take a simple item to the next level.

Monogram It

Nothing says “this is me” quite as classically as an artfully placed monogram. From a dapper dress shirt to an elegant apron, monogramming literally tells the world that this item belongs to one person alone. 

Personalized Anything and Everything

While we’re at it, let’s talk about the huge range of personalized gifts out there.  No one can accuse you of buying a throw-away generic gift if the gift literally features their name or face.  From the gamut of Etsy crafts to the OG of custom humor, Jibjab’s video cards and personalized photo books, gifts made specifically and only for the intended recipient are just a click away. 

Star Chart

Astrology has been around for millennia.  Not only are people fascinated with the universe, they have always wanted to understand their place in it.   Star charts are custom made for each individual person and their unique birthday information. They show exactly what the skies looked like at the moment of birth, and what that might mean for who you are. 

To pull it off, you may have to do some not-so-subtle digging to find out not just when your friend’s birthday is, but the year, exact time, and location too.  The results can be really worth it, though.  Especially for your friend who always explains their behavior by telling you what their zodiac sign is, a star chart can feel like magic. 


There are quite a few online DNA companies who offer a variety of specialties.  Some, like Ancestry, are more proficient at telling you where your relatives came from, going back hundreds of years.  Others focus more on your health and biological traits, even getting into fairly specific things like whether or not you are likely to be comfortable with public speaking. 


Giving the gift of some therapy sessions might sound at first blush like an insult to some, but everyone has things to work on.  Everyone has baggage and struggles with some aspect of how they interact with the world.  If they grew up queer, chances are they’ve seen some stuff.  Handing someone a gift card to a good counselor or online service, like Better Help, might be the permission slip and sign of support your loved one needs to do the important work of feeling better.  Nothing says I love you and have your back as clearly as helping them feel their best. 

Activities and Classes

What’s more unique than a personal dream? Connecting a friend with the activity or class they need to achieve their goals.  Think of the background heroes from Brittany Runs a Marathon, the friends who paid her marathon fees. Without that little financial boost, her training would have fallen flat.

If the person you love has an aspirational idea, get behind it!  Acting, dancing and cooking classes are easy to find and really fun.  You might even join them.  If your loved one has fitness or social goals, look into athletic clubs, personal trainers, or even dating services.


The overall theme of a truly great, highly personal gift is to start by accepting the person for who they are and where they are trying to go.  Give a gift that aims for the best of what they want for themselves.  Note, a meaningful gift is not about what you want for them.  It’s about honoring their journey and uniqueness.


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