The Best Inexpensive Gift of the 2018 Holiday Season

With Thanksgiving in the rearview mirror, it is full speed ahead as we approach Christmas (29 days away). As people start to purchase presents, I wanted to offer a cheap, yet useful, gift idea.

It will probably go down as the best Chinese gift exchange item we ever took home! Last holiday season, Sidney scored an LED cinema lightbox at the Mathis extended family Christmas gathering. An LED cinema WHAT, you might ask? Okay, take the fancy wording out and what you have is your own personal marquee.

An LED Cinema Lightbox is a great gift idea this holiday season.

The first time I ever saw such a thing was at my sister-in-law’s house just prior to the 2017 holiday season. I thought it was really cool! Stephanie must have read my mind because she bought an additional one to contribute at the Christmas gathering. The stars aligned and Sid was holding the item at the end of the night. It didn’t take us long to put it to use.

A look inside the Christmas celebration we had with Sidney’s extended family in 2017. This was moments before the Chinese Gift Exchange got started.

Depending on the brand and model, these personal marquees vary a bit. However, most of them have three text rows and come with a pack of characters (letters, numbers, punctuation marks). You use the text rows to insert the characters to compose whatever message you desire. You then plug the board into a power source and flip a switch to illuminate the board.

This is our personal lightbox and we love it!

These personal marquees look great in the house. Put it in your living room or in the dining room to give your space an added degree of personality. When you have visitors, nothing will make them feel more at home than when they walk in and see the marquee message welcoming them to your abode.

This message greeted my dad when he visited us in October.

But in my opinion, the greatest feature of the personal marquee isn’t just a great decoration for people to see when they physically visit your home. Rather, the LED cinema lightbox is something that can be enjoyed by loved ones and social media followers thousands of miles away. These personal marquees photograph really well and make excellent content for an iPhone group message or an Instagram post. Whenever someone in my family has a birthday or accomplishes something noteworthy, I use the marquee to document it. I then snap a photo and send it off. If I want to wish my Instagram followers a happy holiday or tell a story without using a cheesy graphic, I can turn to the marquee to offer something a bit more creative.

You can use your personal marquee to create great social media content.

Options are limitless. You can use your personal marquee for much more than welcome greetings or birthday wishes. We use ours to chronicle Sloan’s milestones, keep prayers close to our hearts, utilize hashtags, mark vacations, commemorate anniversaries, and so much more. It goes without saying that we were so happy with our marquee that we bought my mom one as part of her birthday gift. She loves it!

You will never run out of ways to use your marquee.

Ready for some good news? I wasn’t lying when I said they are inexpensive. These boards run only $10 and you will most likely get $100 worth of enjoyment out of it after the first month. In my opinion, a personal marquee is the gift that everyone should be bringing to their Chinese gift exchange this year.

When Sidney’s sister (not the one who introduced us to lightboxes) got engaged, we changed our marquee to congratulate the happy couple.

If you are gifting a personal marquee to a specific person, the only thing I would make sure is that they are the type of individual who will actually use it and update it. Think about the marquees you see in front of businesses. Nothing is a bigger eye sore than when you see an advertisement for a sale that ended four months ago or when you see a “Happy Holidays” message in June. This product does require regular maintenance but that is the fun part about it!

Sloan has a lot of fun with our personal marquee.

Hope you mark this down on your list. I thank my sister-in-law for opening our eyes to personal marquees and I look forward to using ours frequently throughout this holiday season. Don’t Blink.

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