Happy Holidays! Let’s be honest, in what has been a bit of a whirlwind year, filled with stress, anxiety, and a bit of not knowing what’s even going on or what’s about to happen next, we can all agree that the holiday season is a bit of a break from that.
Sparkly lights done up around town, a bit of cheer, and of course, gifts. Receiving gifts but also giving gifts is one of the best parts of the season, and when it comes to gift giving within your music, this is no different. After all, your fans are showing you all year what you mean to them, so why not take some time this year to show them everything they mean to you, through some super unique gifts?
Now, we’re using the word gift here but you can package this however you want. While some might make sense to use in giveaways or contests, or to surprise super fans with, you could also sell these in your merch shop and make someone’s holiday dreams come true. Totally up to you.
Let’s dive in!
Custom Holiday Songs
Nothing like a totally custom song to make someone’s day! While this could be for a fan, it would also be a great gift for someone else to purchase for the fan in their life (or the person they really want to become a fan). You could do this a few ways. For instance, you could keep it simple like subbing out their name in a cover song “IE: Merry Christmas (name)” or, if you want to go a step further, have them fill out a short Q&A to get to know them and then put together a 100% custom song that’s completely unique to them.
Custom Stockings + Ugly Sweaters
One of my favorites that I’ve yet to really see a band do is to create custom stockings or ugly sweaters. The reason this is so brilliant is #1 it’s super cheap to make—most of these can be picked up for under $10 at the Dollar Store or craft store and #2 it’s incredibly customizable.
You just have to get some blank slates (sweaters and stockings) glitter, glue pens, beads, random things you want to stick on there, and go to town! These are supposed to be extremely DIY (and in the sweater’s case, charmingly ugly) so you can’t go wrong here. And like with the song route you can either make ones that are 100% custom to the person you’re making it for or, create ones that are more geared towards being about the band like, your logo, lyrics, band colors, band designs, symbols, etc.
It’s such a fun way to DIY your way through the holiday season!
Not getting enough of your DIY spirit from those stockings and ugly sweaters? Why not take it back to grade school and create your own ornaments? But seriously, this is a super cute, fun activity that hardly takes any time but will put a huge smile on someone’s face. And, in my opinion, this is one of the easiest and best ways to bring a little light to your fans’ lives.
Like the other suggestions, you can buy the supplies online or at a craft store for a minimal amount and then go to town making an ornament that is 100% custom to you and your band.
Who doesn’t love to receive a holiday card in the mail?! Perhaps one of the most time-intensive but also the most personalized and easiest (and cheapest) to do in bulk with your fans is the holiday card. You can get one printed of the band (using a site like Shutterfly or your local drugstore) or you can just buy some general ones at the dollar store. Honestly the former is pretty cheap and adds a personalized element (plus they’ll want to hang it on their fridge) so I’d go with that.
Then, you can handwrite a nice message thanking them for their support. If you really want to surprise fans, pull addresses from previous merch orders (that way you have their address without having to ask them) so they aren’t expecting it. It’s a pretty great surprise if you ask me!
A Custom Playlist
Sure, this can be digital if you want, but you can also put it on a CD (yes, an actual CD) and draw all over it and the cover in Sharpie, just like you used to when you were making them for friends in the early 2000s. Include other local bands you love, your favorite songs, and introduce your fans to your world a little more through the language we all love most—music.
Honestly, DIY gifts are the way to go, not only for how customizable they are but how incredibly personal they’ll feel to your fans. If given the choice between any of these or a generic sticker or T-shirt, I choose these DIY options any day—and so will your fans.
Angela Mastrogiacomo is the founder and CEO of Muddy Paw PR, where her artists have seen placements on Alternative Press, American Songwriter, Noisey, Substream, Spotify and gone on to sign to major labels and tour nationally. She loves baked goods, a good book, and hanging with her dog Sawyer.