Names are serious business for some people. When you’re expecting a baby, you go to great pains to choose just the right name for your sweet bundle. Some people do this before the baby is born (I fall into this camp), and some choose a small list of names and decide only after they’ve seen their baby for the first time. Regardless of which way you choose the name, the name is of utmost importance. After all, it’s how your child will be identified for their entire life (unless the name is changed at some point, of course). It’s the very first gift you ever give your child, and it’s a responsibility not to be taken lightly.
A lot of people know that names have meanings, but not everyone knows what the meaning of their name is. The Dehnart family has made an entire business out of names and their meanings, and that business, CrossTimber, offers personalized gifts for any name. And I do mean any name. Have you (or your child) gone through life never being able to find anything personalized at places like Disneyland? Is your name an unusual spelling, even if it’s a common name? Have no fear! CrossTimber can, and will, create a name meaning gift just for you. They have everything from bookmarks and printed (or printable) pages to music boxes and mugs. You can even get a plaque with the names of God on it if you’d rather not have one of your own name. One of their best sellers is the Personalized Framed Plaque with Name Meaning and Bible Verse, which I received a version of for this review.
Because names are so personal, reviewers had the freedom to adjust the review item they requested. The base product is the Personalized Framed Plaque with Name Meaning and Bible Verse, but we were not limited to that. Because I have four children (all with fairly unusual names or non-mainstream spellings), it would have been impossible for me to choose just one of them to honor with this gift, so I went a different route altogether. I decided to honor my brother and sister-in-law with a beautiful name meaning gift for Christmas. I went with a Multi-Name Plaque so that both of their names could be represented on the page, and I opted not to have it framed for a couple of reasons. There was the cost involved, of course (frames are more expensive to ship than plain paper), but more so, I wanted to be sure the frame that the plaque goes into will fit their decor and personality. For this reason, we matted the plaque, but will give it to them sans frame so they can choose something that they will love.
Once I’d decided who to honor with this gift (and that was a decision that literally kept me up at night for a few nights), the next step was to go to the website and choose a design on which to display the names. There are dozens to choose from, and I sifted through most of them before landing on the music one. I chose that because music is an important part of their lives; they met as young teens playing in a rock band together, and to this day my brother plays guitar regularly and his wife is on their church worship team. The generic music background just seemed right for them.
When my envelope arrived, I was not disappointed. The printing job on the plaque is absolutely beautiful. The names are prominent, the meanings are clear, and there’s a Bible verse for each name. The paper that it’s printed on is something between regular printer paper and photo paper, and the quality is magnificent. Working with John at CrossTimber was a dream, too. He really does have a passion for names, and is more than happy to help you during the research phase of your gift-buying. Before I’d made a final decision on who to honor with this gift, I sent him an email asking the meanings of several names to aid me in deciding, and he was very quick in replying. I asked for the meanings of my mom and stepdad’s names in addition to my brother and SIL, without thinking about the fact that my mom has a unisex (though more used for females) name. Because I hadn’t considered that fact that her name is unisex, I didn’t specify in my email her gender. Well, John included both the male and female meanings of her name. That’s going above and beyond, I think.
Speaking of going “above and beyond,” when I opened my envelope I was pleased to find a name meaning bookmark of my own name. This was not something I’d ordered, so it was a nice surprise. (I’m not suggesting that every order will get a bonus like this, but it was in mine, and I was pleasantly surprised, so I’m mentioning it.)
I can’t recommend CrossTimber enough, especially (as I mentioned before) for people with, or parents of a child with, an unusual name. CrossTimber is really pleasant to work with, and if they don’t know the meaning of your name, they’ll work with you to figure out the origin and then research the meaning for you. Literally no name is off limits!
Want a chance to win a name meaning gift? CrossTimber is holding a giveaway from now until December 4th. One grand prize winner will win a personalized mug or name plaque. Nine second place winners will each win a $10 gift certificate, which covers about half the cost of a variety of choices from their website. Make sure to hit their giveaway page for your chance to win!