We all want to give great gifts, those gifts that bring a smile when unwrapped and make the new owner want to use them immediately. Finding that perfect personal gift, however, is not always an easy task. Coffee mug gifts can serve two purposes: practical and whimsy. On the practical side, coffee mugs give us a way to keep the brew hot. But whimsy is much more fun. Whimsical mugs can send a message, can fill a niche for a collector, and can be just plain eye-catching! What follows is a list of some of the more unusual coffee mugs available.
1. Ceramic Mugs with Lids
Adding a lid to a mug helps keep the heat in and anything else out! These mugs are perfect for sitting on a deck or porch any time of the year – just lift the lid to sip. Ceramic mugs with lids are often very difficult to find, and many of those available differ greatly from the more traditional travel mug and their parent, the lidless mug.
Animals tend to lend themselves more easily to a lidded mug. One such mug is the Naughty Cat where the cat’s tail becomes the handle, and the cat’s head – sporting a smile that suggests, “Who me?” becomes the lid. Cows are also a prime subject for a lidded mug with their heads (with horns) becoming the lid and their tails the mug’s handle.
Even Star Wars’ R2D2 has been turned into a ceramic lidded mug.
Pottery artists have created several versions of lidded mugs, resulting in a mug with a lid that can also serve as a saucer. These stoneware mugs are often hand-painted and dipped in a clear glaze. Others have a three dimensional design on the front and back with an optional fitted lid available while some are plain glazed stoneware with a fitted lid.
2. Emotion and Emoticon Mugs
These fun mugs allow the user to show the world exactly how one feels – a 1960’s mood-ring of sorts. Smiley Face mugs, Frowny Face mugs, Sad Heart Face mugs, even those that show Disapproval or a Wink. Other mugs sport a “Hello, My name is” label with such words as Finicky or Persistence. Still others display names along with the emotion in Personalized Emotion mugs.
3. Celebration/Holiday Mugs
Celebration and holiday mugs allow the recipient to celebrate a favorite day all year long. These mugs can commemorate birthdays, promotions, or graduations. Holiday mugs celebrate Burns Night, Valentines Day, Candlemas, the Turn of the Wheel, Groundhog’s Day, Easter, St. Patrick’s Day, Flag Day, Halloween, Guy Fawkes Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years. Even seasons can be made year-round: snowflake and snowman mugs for winter; sunflowers for summer; autumn leaves and acorns for the fall; and butterflies, daisies, and forget-me-nots for spring.
4. Political Mugs
Ah, yes, politics and mugs – a perfect match. Mugs can demonstrate one’s political affiliation and carry a variety of slogans while supporting a political movement. There are Occupy Wall Street mugs, Redress of Grievances (Guy Fawkes) mugs, so-and-so for President mugs, and Tea Party mugs. Political mugs seem to be popular in several countries including the U.S., England, Ireland, and Australia.
5. Collectible Mugs
Exactly what is collectible is sometimes difficult to identify, but understanding one’s recipient brings the possibility of filling a gap in someone’s collection. For example, collectors of that perky mouse with big ears can be gifted with a variety of mugs. One such mug uses just the mouse’s pants with legs with one arm as the mug’s handle. Still another in this vein is composed of the entire head. A third sports the mouse wearing a top hat, where the top hat becomes a lid that flips open or closed.
Star Wars collectors can find Darth Vader, Yoda, Luke Skywalker, Boba Fett, and “Let the Force be with you” mugs, in addition to the previously mentioned R2D2.
Trekkies can choose from Mr. Spock, Kirk Spock Warp Speed Ahead, Klingon, Borg Queen, Star Fleet Academy, and, of course, the official Star Trek mug collection.
Even television shows have their mug following. “I’m not crazy. My mother had me tested,” “You’re in my spot,” “Knock, Knock, Knock, Penny?” and “Soft Kitty” mugs celebrate The Bang Theory while even the show Dangerous Catch offers coffee mugs.
Let us not forget technology. Facebook fans may be treated to a variety of mugs with “Like” or “Dislike” or even a “Facebook Friend Request.” Mugs for Farmville, Cityville, Island Paradise, Superpets, Frontierville, and My Café fans are also available. There are even mugs for Twitter fans and Bloggers.
So, What to Choose?
Many mugs are available, both in brick-and-mortar stores and online. Understanding your recipient will help you determine whether to be practical or whimsical, but consider the latter – it’s much more fun and memorable. mug personnalisé