Home for the Holidays: Personalized gifts for thoughtful Christmas surprises

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WATCH ABOVE: Avoid the stress of last-minute Christmas shopping and plan early for a truly thoughtful surprise. Personalized gifts can leave a lasting impression. Minna Rhee reports – Nov 21, 2018

You could call them Santa’s urban elves: jewellers sanding, sawing and soldering day and night in Parkdale to fill Christmas orders.

“It’s go time. Everybody’s here. Everybody’s working. There’s an exciting energy in the air,” said Sarah Dougall, owner of Made You Look Jewellery.

Every piece is made on-site in the Toronto workshop, and personalization is taken very seriously.

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“We have a line of fingerprint jewellery. We cast your loved one’s fingers and turn them into cufflinks, rings, necklaces, even key chains in any metal of your choosing,” said Dougall, holding up a pair of 14 karat gold earrings.

The earrings look like modern discs but upon close inspection, you can see the tiny curved lines that belong to a child’s thumb.

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Artists at the downtown boutique can take a photo and turn it into the ultimate selfie – etching your image into sterling silver or gold to be worn around the neck.

And if you’d like to turn your child’s artwork into a keepsake, they can do that too.

“We can take any size drawing or painting and convert it for you into something wearable. Long after the paper fades, your jewellery remains,” Dougall said.

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When it comes to personalized gifts, the key is to get your order in early so producers have enough lead time to get the job done and ship it on time.

The Goldberg cousins started their company Something Personalized just over a year ago.

They custom embroider everything from knapsacks, makeup bags, pajamas, stuffed animals, lunch bags and aprons.

“I do it all right here in my apartment,” Sarah Goldberg said.

“You can order initials, monograms, or full names embroidered on the items, which is a thoughtful touch, especially for those who have unique names.”

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Mastermind Toys gears up for the Christmas shopping season – Nov 21, 2018

If you plan on attending a dinner party over the holidays, why not bring a hostess gift that stands out?

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“You can colour co-ordinate with their kitchen and give them monogrammed tea towels or matching apron and oven mitts. It’s much more thoughtful than a bottle of wine,” Goldberg said.

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