Every Christmas I want to get Tristan at least one really cool gift, something that is always a challenge since – because of Muscular Dystrophy – the standard games, sports equipment or musical interments are pretty much off the list. And let’s face it: Despite their tepid attempts to appear grateful, NO kid want clothes for Christmas (No, really – you didn’t want them when you were a kid and your own kids don’t want them either – M.D. or no M.D.) What this really means is that I have to look extra hard to find unique things that he’ll be able to (a) get a kick out of and (b) also hopefully enjoy for a long time.
After visiting a radio station on a tour, T mentioned to me he’d seen his favourite soda – JONES Soda – with a custom label featuring the announcer who was showing him around the joint; I figured this sounded like a pretty cool idea, and filed the idea deep into my grey matter for later retrieval. So when this past November came and (as usual) I was stuck for an idea for a cool Xmas gift for him, it seemed that time had arrived. I jumped on the Jones Soda website, followed the links through to what was called “My Jones”, and then Voila! With a few clicks of a mouse, I chose a flavour, uploaded a photo, added a personalized description on the back (see below) and before I knew it, I was all done!
The caption took the longest because – like Twitter – it allows only for a finite amount of characters. But understanding that the message I put on the bottle would be for prosperity, and therefor in for the long haul, I chose my words very carefully. After a few false starts, I came up with this caption; and if I do say so myself, I think it captures my young man’s personality quite succinctly!
Tristan’s WTF?! Soda – Best enjoyed when watching the following: Monty Python, Top Gear, Schwarzenegger movies, You Tube, Macklemore videos (Especially “Thrift Shop”) or anything with Bruce Willis. Tristan also recommends consuming only when listening to rock music, and NEVER pop music – especially Gaga!
All I had left to do was click the “submit” button, and when I did, it appeared: A picture of the final product, complete with my verbiage; all items that captured all of T’s fancies and humour for this period in his life… and how cool is that?
I finished up by being asked to pay by credit card, and must say was startled at how hight the price seemed: 12 bottles delivered to Canada (from Seattle) was around $60.00! I’m pretty sure at this point many folks would deem this outrageous and stop the process, being unable to process the concept of paying $5- per bottle of a soda they can get at the store for $1.75, right? At which time many would click away, being grateful they didn’t insert their credit card digits and relieved that that they dodged a $60- bullet. And I have to say that for me, this kind of short sighted thinking is a shame, because the fact of the matter is that these two bottles of soda AREN’T the same, not even close; and here’s why:
The generic store bought ones aren’t customized or personalized; they don’t bring a chuckle to my son’s face, or warm his heart in any way. Store bought bottles won’t be sitting in his room on display five months later; or for that matter, five years from now. And you can bet your bottom dollar that he’ll never, ever, EVER show off boring old “run of the mill” Jones Soda labels – despite how cool the photos may appear to be – to his friends when they come over to hang out. And for the record: His friends would never give those labels a second look; but they all want to have their own custom labels to show off to their friends as well.
Looking at it this way, doesn’t $60 seem like a bargain? I thought so, and with a couple of clicks I finalized the sale. I can tell you that come Christmas these custom sodas – despite not being the fanciest or most expensive present under the tree – certainly were the most popular to get. Oh and by the way, they were the most popular to give as well. Just seeing how thrilled Tristan was to receive such a unique, personal gift, one that wasn’t just plucked from some store shelf like so many others really made my own Christmas shine just a wee bit brighter as well. The lesson here was received, and thoroughly understood!
So if you ever want to do something unique for someone you love; something to celebrate an event, make them feel special, loved, etc. and put a unique spin and message that will last for years to come, I highly recommend going the “My Jones Soda” route and customizing some bottles for them. Just follow this link to get started. And I promise if you do, you will (a) make their whole day, (b) give them something they will cherish for years, and (c) not need to check the gift tables at and upcoming weddings for your re-gifted items!
Readers: What do you think of the custom label? What other occasions would these make great gifts for? Please leave them in the comments below! Cheers! David