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How can you choose a gift that stands out from the usual high-street crowd? Look at this essential shopping help guide to find something that's out of the ordinary.

You have been invited to some Christening, a friend's just were built with a baby or there's a special birthday coming up. You need to buy a special gift. You aren't thinking about anything too traditional or even the usual boring items that most people choose. You're somebody that appreciates a thing of beauty, good design and above all a present that is a bit unusual and special. After all, what you give says a great deal about you and your taste and you do not desire to be considered dull and lacking originality, would you?

So what on earth would you buy and where would you even begin to look? Don't despair. There is a treasure chest of wonderful, original gifts out there. You just need a little imagination and also the courage to be different.

To make it simple for you, here is a round-up of great presents that you could give to your nearest and dearest to mark their big day. Maybe it's a newborn gift, baptism present, sweet 16 birthday keepsake or anniversary gift, these choices are ideal for a variety of special occasions.

personalised jewellery

Personalised jewellery and silverware

And no, this is not just for the women! You can buy from bangles to charm bracelets to menrrrs cufflinks to pens featuring the personal details of your loved ones. If you use the internet you can find a fantastic selection of bespoke silver gifts produced by talented British crafts people. One of my favourite gifts ever provided to my son on his first birthday was a set of silver driving wheel cufflinks together with his name and date of birth engraved on each one of these. This is something that he will cherish forever and may use as he matures.

Personalised pottery

If you're a bit creative yourself why not head down to the local pottery caf� or studio. You are able to choose an item of pottery, decorate and personalise it yourself after which present it to a person as a truly original gift. It's great fun, teaches you have really place yourself out and it has your very own touch. There's a large range of pottery ware to suit all budgets, including egg cups, platters, teapots, dinner plates, jugs, tiles. You could even perform a whole dinner service!

Personalised furniture

Bookshelves, rocking horses, chairs, tables, even beds - you can commission your very own furniture and have it personalised and decorated for the one you love. You are able to go online to find what you want or ask a local carpenter to create if for you personally. These kinds of gifts when given to babies often end up as heirlooms passed in one generation to a different. The kids have a beautiful wooden armchair produced by their Granddad in my husband as he would be a boy which is much loved and treasured by us all.

Personalised religious gifts

For Christenings, baptisms and dedications, a spiritual themed gift is a perfect choice. You will get lovely gold and silver cross necklaces which can be engraved by having an inscription or personal message. You can also give beautiful bibles and prayer books using the recipient's details stamped on the cover. You can purchase these web based, from jewellery shops or Christian book shops.

Personalised story books

Imagine the excitement of a child once they open a fantasy tale and they are the handsome hero or pretty princess? My son's Godmother gave him a lovely gift one birthday about dinosaurs and he was one of many characters within the story. He still treasures that book today - even though he's now ten years' old!

Personalised name prints

There are some beautiful name gifts and keepsakes currently available. You can get everything from fantastic fairy framed pictures personalised having a girl's name to cars, trains and automobiles that are ideal for a boy. These look great inside a child's bedroom or nursery and therefore are a lovely keepsake. You can include an individual message and include name meanings and origins too.

Personalised embroidered baby gifts

Embroidered blankets, cushions, pillows, and cross-stitch pictures make lovely gifts for babies and newborns. You will get these specialized and personalised to include the facts of the child or try it out yourself. You can purchase great kits with everything you'll need, including detailed instructions, from haberdashers, craft shops and department stores. They're also available on the web.

There you go - you've no excuse for buying and giving boring gifts anymore! With online shopping, it couldn't be easier. So next time you need to choose a present, make it personal with one of the great choices in the above list. Remember, what you choose says a great deal about you - and you don't want to be looked at dull and lacking originality, do you?