Holiday Shopping Guide: DIY & Personalized Corner

Photo Album versus Mix-Tape CD

Photo Album

Compiling photographic memories is a great choice for those you know very well.

For long term friends or significant others, choose a series of photos over several months or years. This shows that you appreciate their friendship and the memories, and want to give something that conveys that.

Also, a photo album from an event, like a party, wedding or vacation can help that person have something to remember the good times.

Regardless of what you choose to include in the album, choosing the photos, printing them and including them in a nice album makes for a great and timeless gift.

To choose, decide whether the person cares more about listening to music in the moment, or if you think they’d prefer having tangible memories for years to come.

Mix-Tape CD

You might assume that a mix-tape CD is the better gift for friends interested in music. That’s true, but it’s also great for friends who are less musically inclined.

Friends who already have extensive music libraries and multiple favorite bands are likely already maintaining their own playlists. They might still appreciate a collection personally compiled by a friend, especially if the songs have a certain meaning or common theme, but you may not be giving them something useful if they have a ton of their own playlists.

Also, there’s less room to go wrong – even if you make a playlist for someone less into music, they probably won’t be as picky about liking or disliking the songs. Either way, a personalized playlist burned on a CD is thoughtful and relatively inexpensive.

Photo mementos

If using glue or cutting straight lines isn’t your thing, you can still give friends or loved ones the gift of memories. Pick a photo to upload, and choose between mugs, calendars, photobooks and other personalized objects. Many websites offer this service, sometimes with bonuses for joining.

From (20 free prints for registering)
Class Wall Calendar: $18.99
Desk Calendar: $14.99
Coffee Mugs: starting at $9.99
Flip book (spiral bound snapshots): starting at $4.99

Homemade holiday cards

Personally handcrafted holiday cards are perfectly easy and thoughtful. At minimum, a patterned paper with either stickers or ink stamps, and a neatly handwritten note can show that you care. For those more inclined to crafts, inset photos, layered paper, glitters and ribbons are all nice touches.

Supply stores near campus:
Plaza Artist Materials & Picture Framing at 1990 K St., NW
Staples at 1901 L St., NW

Personalized bag or backpack

It may seem so high school, but a personalized tote or backpack is a useful gift that might appeal to some. Even if it’s not the classy bag they prefer to use every day, chances are they’ll need it eventually to haul things around. If you happen to have friends obsessed with their own names or initials, there’s no better gift.

L.L.Bean Boat and Tote Bag, zip-top, multiple color options: $31.95 to $41.96
L.L.Bean Deluxe Book Bag, multiple prints available: $39.95

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