Anyone who has had kids or even been a kid in the US has witnessed the phenomenon of the annual “it” gift—the one everyone rushes out to buy so their little squealers have the “right” thing under the Christmas tree—the one that turns soccer moms into fierce competitors, to the point of fist fights breaking out when two people grab hold of that one last box. But everyone also knows that the next year there’s gonna be another “it” gift that everyone’s fighting over, while the last year’s prize sits collecting dust on a shelf (if it ever makes it off the floor).
Though the toys get more expensive as we grow older, the concept doesn’t change that much. One neighbor pulls up in an impressive new car; a few months later, three other neighbors pull up in cars that are just that much more impressive. The problem is, if we ever catch up with the Joneses, we will only find a new set of Joneses down the street who are even further ahead. Who needs that?
One-of-a-kind gifts are a great way to stay out of that cycle. Nobody will be disappointed that someone else got a better model if there is no better model. Quantity also tends to cheapen things. Have you ever been laughed at for using a 3-year-old iPhone? That’s only because they release new ones alllll the time. Imagine if your 3-year-old iPhone was the only iPhone that ever existed—that thing would still be amazing, wouldn’t it?! One-of-a-kind gifts are impervious to obsolescence.
One-of-a-kind gifts also leave more room for thoughtfulness. From their very creation, extra care and attention have gone into their making. Maybe the craftsperson makes a series of designs on a theme; each piece can have its own intention. The designer has a chance to show their true creativity, to provide more of a personal touch, and to better connect with a variety of people.
As the giver, when you pick out a one-of-a-kind gift for a friend or loved one, you have a chance to decide what they might like better, or to show them that you appreciate their nuances and individuality. “This one with the hearts all over it reminded me of you because you are always wearing hearts.” “This little house with the flower reminded me of spending time with you in your garden.” “I found this traditional piece that’s just like what your grandfather would have worn in his village.”
Whether it’s something simple and sweet or you tap into a deeper memory or sentiment, there’s nothing like a one-of-a-kind gift to tell someone, “There is no one else like you!”