As consumers deal with limited funding and other means of debt management that may eliminate the possibility of buying any big-ticket items this year, more may instead look for a personal touch with their presents this season.
"With everyone being frugal, giving someone a custom water bottle with a picture of their dog on it is more chic and special and loved than last years Chanel sunglasses," said Amy Maniatis, vice president for marketing at CafePress.com.
In addition to selling its own pre-made apparel, CafePress offers the ability to customize 40 different items ranging from beer steins and magnets to pillows and boxer shorts by adding pictures and lettering.
Other websites such as ScrapBlog offer customers the ability to upload series of pictures and have them turned into personal printed scrapbooks.
"With the recession, people dont want to surround themselves with things that are just stuff," home furnishing designer Jonathan Adler told the Times. "Everything that people purchase now has to have a little bit more meaning."
With funding so limited for many, giving emotionally meaningful gifts has been so en vogue this season that many advertising campaigns have downplayed the notion of glitzy and expensive presents in favor of more personal ones that carry extra meaning.