Naming considerations: personalized pencils and mugs

When I was a kid, Whitney was not amongst the names represented on any rack of pre-personalized kid gear. I was being raised right alongside my cousin Xan (yes, that is her full name), and as you can imagine, she also couldn’t find her name when we went to pick out souvenirs from the gift shop at the Grand Canyon or at Venice Beach. The advent of iron-on shirts with lettering, available at the mall, was revolutionary for us. We felt validated.

I still see name-emblazoned knickknacks at toy stores and postcard stands, and my own kids names, Julian and Scarlett are sometimes there, sometimes not. But does this matter anymore? With the birth of home printers and DIY kits, seeing one’s name in print is not nearly as unusual as it once was.

Here are some things that recently made me think this issue is on it’s way out.

1) This bedroom door sign from Melissa and Doug. I bought it for a friend of Julian’s named Xoxa. (I was so excited that the alphabet stickers that came with the sign had two X’s, I thought Xoxa probably doesn’t get the chance to spell her name with a standard set of stickers very often.)

2) Everything on, Land of Nod, and LL Bean among other custom print vendors and monogrammers. From growth charts and wall hangings to backpacks and towels, you can order your child’s name on everything you buy. Named your kid Scarlet instead of Scarlett? No problem. You’re the boss. I’ll take two Ts, though.

3. My own printer. Make your own name labels to stick on everything or order from a place like Mabel’s Labels. With a sticker sheet full of your kid’s name, every lunchbox and water bottle becomes personalized.

Cry no more, Declan. Your cup has your name on it.

Do y’all agree? If your kid isn’t represented in every gift shop across America, that’s ok, right? Were you influenced by a concern that your child’s name wouldn’t be found on a keychain?