The best gifts have no expiration date. Rather, they remain as a beautiful memory.
Everyone has one favourite gift that they always think of and talk about with particular fondness.
Mine? A vintage copy of A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway. I had mentioned it to my mum matter-of-factly during a trip to Paris. A few months later, she had discovered it through an antique book shop and gave it to me for my 19th birthday.
The book was old, visibly. The pages were yellow and smelled the way that old books smell. The font was heavy and blotchy. Inside, my mum had written a special dedication that was precious even on its own. It was by no means a flashy gift, but it was one that has never left my heart.
In less than a month, that book and I will celebrate 5 years together. Weird anniversary, I know, but still an important one. That book has become not only my favourite gift, but a loyal, moveable companion. I’ve read, re-read, and re-re-read it so many times that some of the pages have teared. I have underlined, NB-ed, and marked it in nearly as many ways as it has marked me.
In those years, I, like the characters of the book, have changed not only my address (and country) more times than I would have anticipated, but also the people I have been surrounded with, my course of study, my career path, my relationship status, and, above all, major parts of my self. And in these exciting, wonderful, often painful times of change, this gift was often the one steadfast, unchanging things that comforted me, that gave me direction and helped me preserve a part of me.
This memorable gift has also become somewhat rare. Throughout the years, for each unforgettable gift that has been given and received and shared and loved, I have accumulated (and also given) probably a hundred forgettable ones. Gifts at the bottom of drawers, gifts re-gifted to other people, gifts chucked during yet another house move. Gifts that lacked heart and soul, that were not the right ones for their recipient, that were picked in a hurry from a toy store at best and from the supermarket at worst.
But the gifts themselves are not that important. Neither are their price tags or fancy packaging. What matters (and what turns an ordinary item into a keepsake treasured for years and years) is the thought put behind it, the feelings and memories it elicits, and its capacity to magically transport us to the good ol’ days. Even if only to that special, joyous day when we received it.
For us at The Book of Everyone, this is what truly matters: making sure that each gift makes people feel unique, special, and remembered. Whether they are 3 or 83 years old, everyone deserves a book with their name on it and a memory capsule of their own. Being able to do that for hundreds of people every day is what helps us get up every morning, even on the rainy ones.
And the greatest reward for our efforts is hearing the heartfelt responses from the recipients of our books. Of course, when more than 100 people receive them at the same time, it’s even more rewarding. One hundred and five times more rewarding, to be precise.
Over Christmas we were lucky enough to receive an order for one hundred and five personalised books from Kati, a lovely lady who had purchased a book from us before. She wanted a special gift for each of the residents at a retirement living community in Pennsylvania where she worked, so she turned to us.
What really made a difference for Kati was that the books perfectly captured life as it was when the recipients were growing up. Customized exactly to each person in a fun, funny and magical way, it was the ultimate personalized gift, and one for families to treasure for generations.
If you’ve followed our Customer Happiness campaign, you know that we stop at nothing to make our customers happy. Including cranking our printing presses to the maximum to ensure that every last book arrives in time for Christmas. The result? Making the recipients’ holidays even more joyous and personal.
The residents of the community loved everything about their gifts – from the surprise and awe of going through a book all about them to the ant that was named after each one of them. But the ultimate memorable gift was the joy of sharing the book with friends and family who learned more about them.
Creating lasting memories and reminding each person how especially and wonderfully unique they are is what makes good gifts great. Curiously enough, it is also what we at The Book of Everyone do best. If a lasting, emotive gift is what you’re after, we’d be over the moon to hear from you. Regardless of whether you need fifty or fifty thousand gifts, we can make it happen.