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Unique Holiday Gift Ideas

The holiday shopping season is kicking off even earlier this year! Unique gifts are a great way to show your friends and family you care. If you want to give some original gifts this year but aren’t sure where to start you are in the right place!

Lulu’s print-on-demand makes it easy to order 1 or 10 or 100 copies of your creation. So you’ll save money ordering exactly as many gifts as you need. And since it’s free to use, you can customize everyone’s gifts this year!

Getting Holiday Gifts Early

If you haven’t heard, 2021 is going to be another difficult year for production and delivery delays. Seriously, it’s a big topic that is getting coverage from national media sources. Here’s a couple of articles well worth your time:

What does that mean for you? If you’re thinking of making a book as a special gift for friends and family, DO IT NOW. Get started creating today and plan to make your order as soon as you can. Not just your order for gifts either—you want to plan for a review copy before your make the gift order.

It’s not a requirement, but creating a proof book to physically review is key if you want to be sure your gift is perfect. What looks amazing on your computer screen might only look meh in print. You won’t know until you see it.

But that means building in time to print and ship a review copy. And with the delays we’re already facing, that means you really need to be preparing your book gift now.

Don’t fret though! These book ideas are great and some are really easy to put together on short notice.

Unique Gift #1: Calendar

Custom calendars make amazing gifts. Trust me. I give them all the time. I don’t think I’ll ever buy another wall calendar at Target; not when I can turn 14 images into a calendar so easily. 

Watch this quick video (it’s only 3 minutes!) to see how easy it is to make a calendar.


All you need are the images! Maybe you took a vacation this year; let your friends and family relive those memories. Kids and pets (I’m told) make great subjects for calendars too. Or you might show off some of your original art!

Plus you can add custom holidays—like birthdays and anniversaries—to further make your calendar a truly unique gift.

Unique Gift #2: Journals

Do you know someone who writes? You do, I promise. Because everyone writes! Maybe not novels or textbooks, but we all write. Maybe it’s a grocery list or some weekend to-dos. 

And since we all write, journals and notebooks are a natural choice to gift your loved ones! If you’re not much of a designer, you can just use the templates (click that link in the last sentence (or here)) to make common notebooks. Add a customized cover (maybe using our Canva Cover Designer?)

If you’re into graphic design, you could take our templates (or build your own) and customize them with personal messages, poems, or daily affirmations. Notebooks and journals are a terrific unique gift; give someone a place to share their own story this year with a custom journal.


Unique Gift #3: Memoirs

Give the gift of your story! For your friends and family, a memoir is an intimate gift sharing your own journey. Or maybe you become a biographer and create a memoir for a family member. 

Here’s the thing; memoirs are the most time-consuming gift on this list. So you have to be working on it early. There aren’t any simple templates like we have for calendars and journals. For your memoir, you’ll need to design the entire file.

Follow our guides carefully to be sure your memoir will print beautifully. Gather family stories, detail an adventure you’ve had, or trace the history of your ancestors: memoirs are the perfect book to create lasting family memories.

Unique Gift #4: Photo Books

Much like a memoir, you could create a photo book to share adventures you’ve had or follow the history of your family. Free those pictures from your phone and turn them into something that will last!

With high-quality paper and ink, as well as hardcover binding, a printed photo book is the perfect unique gift to show off your pictures and bring joy to friends and family. 

Photo books are one of my favorite kinds of books to give, but they can be tough to create. Luckily, there are lots of great ways to design a photo book without spending a penny. So while Instagram is great for sharing photos today, a photo book is the perfect gift to capture those pictures for a lifetime.

Unique Gift #5: Cookbooks

Finally, we have cookbooks. If you like to cook or you’ve got a family member who loves to cook, giving a recipe book is a wonderful gift. Want to gather your mom’s apple pie recipe and your uncle’s baked beans and whatever else your family loves to cook? Create a cookbook!

Creating a cookbook means designing the pages just like a memoir or photo book. You’ll want to check out our Book Creation Guide for specs, but our templates (for InDesign or Affinity Publisher) help make it easy to layout those pages. You can also find templates for Microsoft Word on their site, but I find Word to be a poor choice for cookbooks—it’s difficult to keep spacing and page layout consistent.

Regardless of how you choose to design your cookbook, you know your family will cherish those recipes for years to come. The perfect (and most delicious) gift you can give; though you might want to consider making one of the recipes to go along with the book!

Making This A Memorable Holiday

Show your friends and family how much you care when you create something for them this year. It’s never been easier to make unique gifts and even though the shopping season is fast approaching, you still have time! Get started today and make this holiday season one to remember.

Paul H, Content Marketing Manager
Paul H

Paul is the Content Marketing Manager at Lulu. When he's not entrenched in the publishing and print-on-demand world, he likes to hike the scenic North Carolina landscape, read, sample the fanciest micro-brewed beer, and collect fountain pens. Paul is a dog person but considers himself cat tolerant.

3 thoughts on “Unique Holiday Gift Ideas”

  1. Thank you for sharing to us.This is the perfect holiday gift idea! I would like to join your blog anyway so please continue sharing with us.

  2. Some really great ideas and I love the idea about the photo book.
    It’s my dads birthday coming up soon and I might give it ago.

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