That’s it, December is here and holidays are coming. Shopping madness for Christmas presents with them… Oh stress, oh despair for many people… Maybe it’s even worse for those who have a pilgrim in their family or friend circle. Because after s-he discovered simplicity on the Way, nothing seems to interest him-her. Apart from the Camino of course! Unfortunately, s-he already has full gears. S-he also read books and saw movies about the Way one didn’t even suspect existed.
So, the question remains unanswered… What gift would please a pilgrim? Here are 5 unique propositions to that question, to hit the nail on the head and fill his-her eyes with stars!
1. Collage of personal pictures
Today, sharing picture of the Camino is very common, if not the rule. Most of the time, it’s even possible to follow one’s pilgrimage live, or almost. No problem to copy some beautiful pictures and arrange them on a physical medium to offer to the pilgrim. Interesting bonus, no need to really think hard to select his-her favorite pictures… s-he already did that work before s-he posted them online!
If you’re not comfortable “plundering” the pilgrim’s own pictures to offer them back to him-her, there are amazing ones everywhere on the Internet. In this case, to do it right all the way, chose the ones that are licence free or ask their author to print it! Of course, prefer the pilgrim’s favorite places, or the ones that marked him-her.
2. Geographical map of the Camino
This one need a bit of effort, but will make a lasting impression. No way for a pilgrim to pass a map without daydreaming about his-her Camino. All you have to know is the itinerary(ies) s-he took to reach Santiago! Pick a map, draw the Way on it and arrange it in the best fashion to offer it. Framing it is one example.
With small stretches, a regional map will do. For longer Caminos, prefer a national map. For “expeditions” that crossed countries, chose an international map or several national maps. Depending on the scale of the Camino, you’ll find between different kind of maps: topographical maps, road maps, satellite maps… the choice is yours! Why not pick a 3D map for 3D daydreams? Whatever your decision, it’s possible to customize the map around the itinerary with pictures of the pilgrim’s Camino.
3. Pilgrims’ passport’s stamps layout
Here’s a even more delicate present… To personalize it for the pilgrim, you have to know his-her Camino well or to discreetly borrow his-her pilgrim’s passport. Eventually select his favorite places and souvenirs. Copy the stamps and arrange them on a new medium. Simple frame or unique layout… it’s up to you!
I you want to customize it completely, image manipulation skills with a raster graphic program may come handy… Then you can erase boxes and dates; correct the stamps before you print them. A little advise if you do: prefer to copy the stamps by taking a HD picture rather than scanning them. The result will be better!
4. Design stages listing
This time, you don’t need much! Remember the pilgrim’s “Way-map” or use the stage given in the guidebooks of the Camino. Note the names of the cities, villages, specific and must-see places of the Camino. If you know them, add those that have a special meaning for the pilgrim. Type all of them in a word processor software and have fun with the typographical design!
If you don’t feel like a designer or an artist, don’t hesitate to find some inspiration in painting sold in shops. In any case, relax and enjoy the work: the result will be unique and will delight the pilgrim! Make a board out of it or, once more, prefer another kind of medium…
5. Pop Art Santiago
Of course, this present is to be saved for those who like that style. A little time and again, some skills with with a image manipulation software are necessary… Chose a symbol of the Camino and make it a work of art in the style of Andy Wahrol. Scallop, pilgrim, backpack, boots, post, arrow, cathedral, you’ve got a million options… Favor the pilgrim’s favorite! Get one (or more) from the pilgrim’s personal picture database or from the Internet. Then, have fun with the color settings of your raster graphic program. Save several versions before you put them all together.
Offer a board, a mug, a shirt, a table set, a bag… whatever you prefer!
Merry December to all, happy holiday preparations! Chose your Christmas presents well! Come back to share your creations… and later, the pilgrims’ reactions! 😉