Is it Vanity to have a Monogrammed House?

Monogramming gets a bad rap. Lots of people see it as some form of self-centeredness, putting your family initials on things around your home, on your shirts, or on your purses.

In truth, putting a monogram in your home is a celebration of the people who have gone before you who have had that name.

Monograms are ancient. They had the advantage of being a signature, as well as being able to be recognized by a population that, by and large, couldn’t read. Even if the monogram is in another language, it’s easy to recognize after seeing it a few times.

Bathroom Accessories

A brief history of monogramming

The first monograms were used for royalty to mark their property and money.256px-Royal_Monogram_of_King_Henry_VIII_of_England.svg

As the world’s economy transitioned from a barter system to a monetary system, the official who ruled over an area would monogram the coins of the realm to show where those coins came from. Items belonging to a king or queen would be marked so that everyone would know and would leave the items alone. This included knights and armies, horses and swords, castles and clothes.

Today, one of the most famous brands on earth, uses a monogram of a single letter a logo:

6a00e39332d00988340147e37043db970b-500wiMost people around the world wouldn’t need to be told that that’s the symbol for Coca-Cola.

Artists also used monograms to sign their names to their pieces. Using just three letters made it easier to ignore the signature. Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn is much more conspicuous than RHL.

Once textiles were being mass-manufactured and everyone had the same clothes, monograms became a way to stand out from the crowd. If your monogram for John Q Public are JPQ, you knew whose clothes you were to wear when changing coming out of the mines or simply grabbing clothes in a house were a dozen other people lived.

Monograms were also an acceptable way to sign legal documents. Many people never learned to write their full name, but could memorize three initials and use that to sign contracts.

In the United States, interest in genealogy exploded after Alex Haley’s Roots traced his family from Africa to his desk. That dramatic story was one of the greatest events in television history and it changed how the world saw their own family history.

The next great change was the internet. Now, documents that sat mouldering in a parish in Hungary or a government census document that was formerly only available by traveling to Washington, DC, could be accessed instantly. By indexing all of these documents, finding ancestors and acquiring new information is easy and fast.

Genealogy and Monogramming

Genealogy is the second most popular hobby after gardening in the US. It represents one of the internet’s biggest traffic sources. This popular has given rise to pride in the family name. If your family arrived from Italy through Ellis Island or onto Plymouth Rock or where Native Americans who have been here for thousands of years, you can show your pride by tracing your family’s history back for hundreds of years.

Using the power of the internet, people are able to discover their history dating all the way back to Europe, Asia, and Africa. Every day, new written records are added from government documents, church records, and more.

Monogramming shows your pride in your ancestors and all that they lived through. For most of us, our ancestors were “average” people in their time, but in ours, they were heroes. You might have a family member who explored the wilds of Canada in the 1700’s or who set up a home in the Great Plains when there was no one else around.

For African- Americans, knowing one’s history might not be as pleasant but it can be rewarding to trace a family member’s’ movement from Africa to the US or the Caribbean. While this part of your family’s history might be difficult, it is part of what makes you you and should be celebrated.

What items can be monogrammed?

At Have Faith Boutique, we have everything from shower curtains to coasters that can be monogrammed. Show your pride with a monogrammed baking pan or a baby blanket.

Monogrammed items also make wonderful gifts.You can help someone celebrate their family’s history by simply finding a great gift that has the family initials on it.

The Customized Child(ren) – Giving the Them Their Own Items

One of the things that we will often think of when our mind drifts back to when our child was just a baby is the blankets that she had. Often, she will choose her favorite and that will become a part of her that way her favorite stuffed animal does or her favorite TV show does. Customized baby items, like blankets with baby’s name on them, will end up becoming cherished memories. With dozens of style and patterns, these are distinctive gifts for mom and dad (and baby). But customized blankets are just the start. Of course, the same blanket pattern can be had in a hat. Keeping baby’s head warm is a great thing and often help him to sleep more soundly. For those of us who are older, we can remember people covering a baby’s head to keep him from getting sick. Science says that that’s not necessary, but it doesn’t matter; it’s cute and little bald heads need a bit of coverage. Phone and tablet covers that have baby’s picture can give you something to talk about everywhere you go. Every time you pull out your phone, everyone will see how cute your baby (or grandbaby) is and it will give you lots to talk about. Every baby needs a big, soft towel for after bath time. Many baby towels are thin and cold. A big, absorbent towel is a great gift because it will be able to be used as baby gets older and start to bathe on her own. Giving her a towel with her name on it can make her feel like a Princess. Several children in the home In a house with three or more children, it can be tough for the kids to feel special. Even in a house with just three kids, the middle child often feels forgotten. The little one is cute and helpless. The older one is large and in charge. Giving a middle child his own blanket, towel, area rug or bedding can make him feel less like he has been forgotten. Choosing the right items There are lots of customizable items to choose from. As we mentioned in an earlier blog, it really is the thought that counts, except with children. blob_web_image   Eventually, all kids learn to smile at the hideous sweaters and underwear that they get from grandma, but when they’re younger, it can be a lot harder. Babies, of course, are easy.
  • Customized baby blanket – Made from soft fleece, baby can sleep on a cloud with their name all over it.
  • Customized baby caps – Keeping baby’s head warm in winter is important. A soft cap with the child’s name on it is a great way to do that.
  • Crib sheets – Crib sheets with baby’s name on them is a perfect finish to a lovely nursery.
For older children, there are lots of things that you can get for their rooms that can make it their own space.
  • Customized bed sheets – Even for a teenager, sheets with their name on them can be a call addition.
  • Area rug – Imagine an area rug with your child’s or grandchild’s name on it. Nothing is more distinctive or personal than that.
  • Beach towels – Giving a teenage girl a towel might seem lame, but if your teenager loves to swim or sunbathe, a towel is a perfect gift. Buy her a towel with her name on it.
  • Mousepad- If you have a boy who does a lot of internet surfing, a personalized mouse pad is perfect for him.
  • Mobile phone case – Every teen has a mobile phone. Getting them a personalized phone case is a great way to let them know that you love them and that you are thinking about them as individuals.

mystyle_2017-10-7_764_69076_web_1

       

When each child has their own space and their own items, it can make it easier for them to feel like they have a space that they control.

Giving customized gifts to children and teens is a great way to show them that they are individual. As kids are growing up, they start to learn to differentiate between themselves and their parents and siblings. Often, as parents, we struggle to let that happen. We want them to stay the precious, helpless little kid that we met the day they were born. Giving a child a gift that can only be for them is a way of quietly saying, “You’re you and I love you for it!”  

The Rules of Giving Gifts to Teachers

The rules for giving gifts to teachers have changed in recent years. In the old days, you could simply give your child something and tell her to give it to Mrs. Brandt. Today, because some folks might not have been doing things the right way, there are some laws about what you can and cannot give. There are also some rules of etiquette that should be followed. Here are a few considerations:
  • Many states have ethics laws that must be followed. As public employees, teachers are subject to laws restricting the value of a gift. It can range from $25 to $100, with most states falling in the $50 range. It’s worth checking the local laws and rules. If you’re not sure, call the school.
  • Many schools and school districts recommend that you give a gift to classroom or the school itself. Make your gift something that everyone in the room can use and you don’t need to worry about ethics concerns.
  • While it might be instinct to give a teacher some school supplies, they also have a life. You should consider giving a gift that can be used for either. For example, a gift card to Walmart or someplace where the teacher can both buy supplies and stuff for himself can be very nice.
  • The best gifts for teachers can remind them that they’re teacher’s but shouldn’t be something that makes it look like they are your child’s parent. A framed picture of your child on their wall isn’t what they will need.
Gifts for teachers

Best Gifts for Teachers

Many of the best gifts for teachers are a combination of store-bought and homemade. Here are a few examples:
  • Gift card bouquet – A number of gift cards to different stores put onto paper flowers can make a lovely gift.
  • Cookie mix in a jar – A self-contained cookie mix in a canning jar can make baking easy and fun. Try to find a way so that it needs as few extra ingredients as possible.
  • Personalized cup – A cup, either a cold cup or a coffee cup, with the teacher’s name on it can be a nice touch. The teachers’ lounge is filled with coffee cups. This can make it easier to find their own cup.
  • Monogram license plate or car mats – It seems odd, but many teachers live in their cars. They often have many items that they need for the school in their cars so that they don’t have to carry them in and out. Of course, they are simply people, so they have car pride as well.
  • Custom mouse pad – A colorful, customized mouse pad can brighten any desk. Get one that matches his or her personality and they will love to see it every day.
  • Movie pack – A popcorn box with a movie theater gift certificate, a restaurant gift certificate, a DVD and some microwave popcorn can all be a lot of fun. It’s inviting your child’s teacher to relax.
  • Monogram market tote – Carrying things is something that every teacher does. A market tote is a cloth version of the plastic baskets that your grocery store offers. She can carry her books and supplies in and out of the school easily with one of these baskets.
  • Magazine subscriptions – Taking time to relax can be very important for teachers. A great magazine, whether it’s People or Oprah Magazine can be a nice break. If you’re not sure what magazine to purchase, look for a gift card from a publishing house.

Delivering a gift

When the kids are little, up to about 4th grade, you can send them to school with gifts. After that, it might be better to deliver the gifts to the office to drop them off yourself or deliver them to the teacher. Another point to be aware of is that most students have several teachers each day, especially after 4 th grade. If you aren’t giving gifts to everyone, you will want to be careful not to offend anyone.

Several kids – Several teachers

One of the best ways to make sure that all of the teachers in your children’s’ lives get to enjoy something is to deliver something to the teachers’ lounge. Coffee, tea, pizza, donuts, or even just a massive supply of pens and pencils can be a nice gift for teachers. That way, everyone gets a gift and you aren’t having to figure out several personal gifts. Regardless of what you choose, it’s nice to give a gift your children’s teachers. They work hard to help your family and make your kid’s lives better.

Gift-Receiving Etiquette – Being a gracious getter

Gift-receiving etiquette – Being a gracious getter It seems like it should be so simple, but receiving a gift has a set of rules just as giving a gift does.
The perfect gift If someone took the time to think of you, it’s the perfect gift. It really is the thought, not the gift that counts. But never say something like this. Every gift, unless it’s a life-changing gift like a car or a house, should be greeted with the same level of enthusiasm. At the same time, you really should avoid Victorian detachment where you politely say thank you. Even if someone gives you gift from the dollar store, it was them thinking of you.
The “Thank You” card Every gift giver should get a thank-you card from you. A simple card is a great way to make sure that the person who gave you the gift knows that you appreciate it. In fact, according to the etiquette experts, this one of the unbreakable rules that everyone should follow. Send a thank you card for every gift. This is the most important rule of gift-receiving.
Regifting If a gift isn’t perfect for you but might be great for someone else, there is no problem regifting. Don’t do it right away. For example, let’s say that your mother gave you a blender. If it’s still in the box three months later, it might not be the right gift for you. For someone close to you, like your mom, you can simply tell her, “Remember that blender you gave me? Well, it turns out that I don’t use it, even though it’s an awesome gift. My friend, Mike, is getting married and I was thinking that I would give it to him and his new wife. They are health nuts and it will be the perfect gift. I just don’t want you to feel hurt if you don’t see it on my counter.” If the person who has it to you isn’t a very close relative or friend, you don’t even need to say anything. The only way it will be important is if the person who gave it to you might see the other person receive it.
Returning If something is a duplicate or isn’t really right for your needs, there is no shame in returning it or exchanging it. Simply take it back to where the person bought it from. They should have given you a gift receipt. If you didn’t get a gift receipt, you can try to return to a store like Walmart as long as it’s in really good condition and they sell it. If you need to ask for a receipt, be gentle, but don’t be afraid. Gift-giving is never perfect, so hopefully, one’s feelings will be hurt by being told that what they got you wasn’t perfect. The most important key to receiving gifts is to be thankful. Someone spent time thinking of you and wanted you to know that they like you. As long as you are truly thankful, you can’t go wrong.
The Perfect Gift: A Gift-Receiving Disaster We have a friend who talked about a gift that she received from someone who was very important to her. In September 2002, she met a man on an Amtrak train leaving Seattle for Milwaukee. He was from New Jersey taking the train past Milwaukee to New York. To make a long story short, they hit it off on the train and stayed in contact via email, phone, and letters, until she visited him in New Jersey in early December. He took her to a place that she always wanted to go (that every girl wants to go to) Tiffany’s, the real Tiffany’s. She walked through this place a girl from Wisconsin only knew from movies. As they wandered around, he secretly went and bought one of the only things that he could afford, a Tiffany’s silver chain with thick links. As they left, he pulled her aside right in front of the store. She was leaning on a newspaper machine, he against a trash can. He gave her the necklace. She opened the box and said thank you. Slowly, her smile faded and she began to get tears in her eyes. They both held their breath, until he said, “You hate it, don’t you?” She began to cry. “Yes. I’m sorry. I want to like it, but…” She was crying, sad that she might have disappointed him, that she was rejecting a gift from the legendary Tiffany’s. “Will you marry me?” he asked. “Wait. What?” “Will you marry me?” “Um… yes.”

Platinum ring

Another long story short, they traded the necklace in for a Tiffany’s exclusive platinum ring. They were ushered to a private room that was used for the rich and famous and given a phone to call their families. The moral of the story: Sometimes, being honest about one gift can get you an even better one. They got married 5 years later and celebrated their 10th anniversary this year. Gift-receving has rules, but they aren’t set in stone. Not loving a gift is not a bad thing; not appreciating the thought and love that goes behind it is.  

The Rules of Gift-Giving: Some Gift Etiquette Rules

Every year, we struggle with how to give gifts and what to do when we get one. Since we’re in the gift-selling business, we thought it would be nice to give you some simple rules of etiquette. Rules of Etiquette for Gift Giving
  1. Don’t play a game of trying to give the same value that you received. Everyone has their own economic and personal restrictions that you might not be privy to. Get them what you think that they might really want, not a gift that matches what you received. It’s the same idea as if they gave you an expensive gift. Don’t drive yourself into debt trying to keep up. The key to a great gift is to put a lot of thought into it, not to match price tags.
  2. A late gift is better than no gift at all. If you missed Christmas or a birthday, send you gift anyway with a not that apologizes for being late. If you want to be really creative, you can send someone a Presidents’ Day gift when you missed Christmas.
  3. Christmas babies hate Christmas. If you were born on Christmas, Father’s Day, Mother Day, you hate that you only get one gift on that day. If you are giving to someone who was born on a holiday like this, give them two gifts. It’s not too difficult, and the gift can be complementary, like a DVD player and bunch of movies, but if you want to be a hero, bring them two gifts.
  4. Ask for a wish list. If you aren’t sure, or if you’re far away, ask for a wish list. Your recipient can give you a list of items to choose from. This way you will have the perfect gift, but there will still be a surprise in store for them.
  5. Gift wrapping is nice, but there is some leeway here. It can be very nice to wrap a gift in a simple brown paper bag
    Custom Christmas Tree Skirt

    Lovely Customized Christmas Tree Skirts are a great gift.

    if you don’t have time for actually wrapping, try to give a gift bag.
  6. Gift receipts are great, but they can have their place and time. For example, during a baby shower or a wedding reception, you can give the receipt to a parent or a best man. Let them have the receipt and the permission to return the gift if they need to.
  7. Remember the recipient, not what they need. Many times we give or receive gifts that might be practical, but not be very enjoyable. Even more often, people give gifts that they would like or that line-up with their interests, not those of the recipient. Here are some suggestions on how to find out what really interests your recipients:
    •  Ask family members – If you know their family members, ask them what they like. Often, family members around the same age as the person you’re asking about will have better answers than a parent or grandparent.
    • Look at their social media – Each of us can be studied fairly easily through our social media feed. If someone has lots of posts about the Chicago Cubs or horror movies, you can bet that that’s what interests them most.
There is something to be said about the old adage, “It’s the thought that counts.” If you give a gift that comes from a place of love and caring, it will be received well. If it’s something you simply grabbed as an obligation that feeling is conveyed and you will find yourself struggling to make it clear that you really care. Here’s a story that illustrates the point: We know a young man who was struggling with money for one Christmas. He looked around his house and found things that we important to him. To his baby sister, he gave his Bible. This was a copy that he read daily. Although only a few years old, it was dog-eared, dirty and full of notes and slips of paper. She opened the package and everyone laughed. It was an old book that he was giving away (he owns a lot of books). Then she noticed which book it was. To this day, that Bible has its own shelf in her living room. It’s one of the most cherished possessions in her life, not just because it’s a Bible, she has many of those, but because her big brother gave it to her when he had very little to give. These are the guiding rules of etiquette, but like most things in life, let your heart guide you and you can’t go wrong. If you find that you have broken any of these simple rules, don’t panic. They are simply guidelines. If what you did was particularly unkind or thoughtless, apologize. A simple I’m sorry goes a long way to making things better.