Gifts get up close and personal this Christmas as stores all over town are offering instant messages, names or letters on pretty much anything you buy.
Regent Street’s “customise your Christmas” hub is open Thursday 8 and Friday 9 December in Quadrant Arcade near Piccadilly Circus, where expert wrappers offer specially-printed Regent Street paper. Calligrapher Lucy Edmonds, from Islington’s Quill stationery store, will letter you a tag in gold, silver or coloured ink to attach with gold ribbon. If you bring a small leather item - like a tag or notebooks - it can also be initialled.
Stop by the Moët pop-up in Selfridges and they’ll print a photo from your phone onto a label for champagne (from £19.99 for a mini bottle). Or have a name/message added to a drink-me Grey Goose smart wooden box - inside are two glasses, two silver stirrers and a bottle of vodka (£64.99). Designer Abigail Warner can personalise your wrapping paper - get three sheets for £15 - in store or online.
John Lewis and Peter Jones are selling personalised hessian sacks from the Handmade Christmas Co for £22. They do Abigail Warner paper, too.
Initialled glass baubles are a particular favourite. A name on a John Lewis bauble costs £7.50, or you can decorate a charming Bombki bauble in-store (from £19, weekends only).
Fortnum in Piccadilly on the third floor, initial glass baubles for £20. There’s a tartan top stocking for £30 (with a special version for a pet); or a Christmas sack for £22. Fill with Fortnum goodies and head to the basement for personalised champagne and truffles in that classy turquoise box for £70 (open until 10pm, Monday to Saturday; call 020 7734 8040).
In Chelsea, the Monogrammed Linen Shop on Walton Street, SW3, can personalise a huge line of linens - pillow cases, duvet covers, throws, napkins, tablecloths, nightwear, robes. Prices start at £12 for one or two initials, and from £15 for three initials or a name. (020 7589 4033; monogrammedlinenshop.com).
Oliver Bonas (020 7580 8579; oliverbonas.com) offers hanging letter tree decorations for £4.50, with stand-alone letters for £10, china mugs (all letters available) for £11 and rose-gold coloured lettered hooks for £7.50.
Four professional cartographer friends run a company for map-based wallpaper and gifts - they are official partners of Ordnance Survey, Transport for London, Cassini Maps and the British Library, and can put a map of an area onto wallpaper, or onto cushions, placemats, coasters and so on (lovemapson.com).
Jackson and Sherrie Mead run theletteroom.com. They have letters made from everything - chocolate, neon, ceramics, metal, card and more. Letter trains are best sellers as are personalised gardening gloves.
Founded in 2006, notonthehighstreet.com now connects more than 5,000 small creative businesses with buyers all over the world. They produce a “personalised map of the heavens” - a print, with thousands of stars and planets pictured as seen from a place and time of your choice.
Etsy.com will personalise almost anything, from ceramics and cushions to wooden trays and cufflinks.
Harrods will engrave Parker pens and pencils for free at Harrods writing room (on the second floor) this weekend, or on December 17-18.