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If you frequently find yourself trapped in a cycle of giving ge neric gifts, selecting something off a wishlist, or just giving cash or gift cards — you’re not alone. It can be difficult to think beyond the practical to select items that will delight and surprise your giftee. If you’re looking to truly impress your loved ones you’ll want to choose gifts that are custom, unique, and thoughtful. The best gifts will convey just how much you care by referencing fun memories, inside jokes, and hidden interests.
We’ve compiled 39 sentimental gifts, which include a flower subscription, a customized puzzle, a personalized photo book, and more. Each of these gifts are sure to make your giftee feel special and remind them of special memories and events. If you’re looking for more gift ideas, be sure to check out all of our gift guides here.
Below are 39 sentimental gift ideas:
A custom box of uniquely flavored truffles
Skip gifting cheap and cheesy chocolates and go for something a little more elevated with Bon Bon Bon’s box builder. Our pick for best truffles and ganaches, we love Bon Bon Bon for its unique packaging as well as unconventional flavors such as Strawberry Balsamic, PB & Jam, and Bourbon. The box builder allows you to create a box by price range, by your giftee’s favorite flavors, or even by clicking a random selection function. Each bonbon comes individually wrapped in its own box, and you can even purchase a bonbon passport to mark off your favorite flavors as you explore them all.
A book for your favorite astrology lover
If they know their sun, moon, and rising sign, this made-to-order astrology book will make the perfect gift. Simply provide their birthday and time of birth and the company will create a 70-page book with information and insights customized from their birth chart.
A fresh flower subscription
Instead of gifting flowers solely during holidays and special occasions, send them beautiful arrangements on a more consistent basis with a subscription from Fresh Sends. Choose from three delivery frequencies and two size options for a unique bouquet every time.
A calendar full of cherished personal photos
Photos of loved ones are an instant source of joy, and structuring our daily life around them with a calendar is a great way to fill each day with more gratitude and happiness. Artifact Uprising’s desktop calendar is sustainably made from reclaimed wood and fully customizable. You can also choose the calendar’s starting month, so you don’t have to wait for a new year to create one.
A cube of conversation-starting prompt cards
Never experience another boring dinner again with these cards from Table Topics. Each cube comes with 135 thought provoking topic cards to help keep your meals and relationships interesting. With six themed options ranging from card sets for families, couples, and friends you’ll give them the chance to get to know everyone in their life a little better.
A customized puzzle
Help them stay entertained this winter by gifting them a customized puzzle of their favorite picture. This puzzle also comes with a customized box, making this gift even more special. Choose from any image to commemorate a special event, remember a great vacation, or show love to their favorite pet.
A video montage of and from their loved ones
During these times, they might not be able to get together with their family or friends, but you can ask everyone to record and upload videos to be automatically compiled, scored, and delivered for a thoughtful present that’s sure to bring on happy tears.
An e-gift card to Goldbelly
Whether you spend most of your time together trying out different recipes — or they’re often treating you to a delicious meal — you may want to turn your gift into a thoughtful, shared experience.
Wherever they are in this big old world, they can call in any comforting favorite they please from Goldbelly.
An engraved timepiece
If you’re looking for subtle and impactful, engraving a watch is a classic for a reason. They can keep it forever, wear it every day, and know how much personal significance it has without always answering questions from onlookers. It’s functional, thoughtful, and timeless.
A cute set of mugs
Turn your family, friends, or a newly-engaged couple into characters that actually look like them on a cute set of mugs they can keep around the home. One side features the artists’ depiction of them (personalized through your choices of skin tone, hair, and clothing color) and the mug owner’s first name, while the other displays your family name and year established — for friends, this could be the year you met.
Turn meaningful audio into art
Send in a song and artist, link, or email an audio file of you or a loved one speaking, and this Etsy shop will turn it into personalized sound-wave art. This gift is particularly thoughtful for long-distance relationships or for commemorating a loved one.
The blueprint of a beloved ski resort
Whether they grew up on the slopes or drag friends and family along as adults, skiers can take their favorite slopes home with them with this blueprint-inspired art. Featuring iconic ski resorts such as Park City, Vail, and Breckenridge, each officially licensed print is created with a vintage, distressed finish and contains detailed historical and statistical facts about the area.
A bound book of love letters, curated from A-Z
Follow 26 prompts laid out in old-school typewriter font to leave your loved one with a bound book of love letters they can keep forever — the perfect spot for recording your favorite romantic moments, memories, inside jokes, and all the tiny and enormous reasons why you love them.
A portable printer
Polaroid’s Wireless Mini Printer prints mini photos from your phone or tablet using a Wi-Fi connection. It’s small enough to be stowed in a purse for travel, and there are customizable features like stickers, filters, and borders to edit photos within the Polaroid app.
A candle that smells like home
It’s hard to put a finger on just what makes home smell like home, but a whiff of a Homesick candle will transport them there with its nostalgia-inducing scents. Uniquely specific scents are made to capture the ethos of states, cities, and even memories like road trips, backyard BBQs, and cooking in Grandma’s kitchen. If they’re far from home, this affordable candle is a small but meaningful gesture that can bring them just a little closer.
A cutting board that memorializes a meaningful recipe
There’s something about family recipes that make them taste even better. This cutting board offers a unique way to preserve those special family favorites. Ingredients and directions are engraved on solid cherry wood, and can even be etched in the recipe writer’s handwriting.
Senior Education and Personal Development Reporter, Insider Reviews
Mara Leighton is the senior education and personal development reporter for Insider Reviews. In the spring of 2020, Mara spearheaded Insider Reviews’ new education beat. She’s reported on Yale’s most popular course on happiness as well as essential workforce recovery programs, free instructional courses for non-ICU workers on operating mechanical ventilators, and a Johns Hopkins’ contact tracing course designed to fill thousands of remote jobs. She’s interviewed Google executives, presidential policy committee members, best-selling authors, leading researchers and professors, and NBC’s Chuck Todd in her education coverage. She’s most interested in personal development , skill-building, industry shifts, and increased accessibility for learners of all ages and socioeconomic backgrounds. Previously, Mara covered e-commerce for Business Insider from 2017-2020. She’s written thousands of reviews and explainers, profiled emerging and established D2C companies, blogged through major retail events, and forecasted and analyzed industry trends. She also produced the vertical’s weekly newsletter. Say hello at firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet her @maraleighton. Learn more about how our team of experts tests and reviews products at Insider here. Learn more about how we review educational and personal development products.
Home & Kitchen Fellow
Maliah West is a Home and Kitchen fellow at Insider, where she covers product reviews, gift guides, and deals in the home and kitchen space, specifically in the home organization, home office, and decor categories. Maliah graduated from Stony Brook University with a degree in Psychology and a minor in Writing and Rhetoric. Before transitioning to digital media, Maliah worked in various administrative positions which started her obsession with all things organization. In her free time, you can find her reading any and everything she can get her hands on, learning new skills through online classes, and thinking of new ways to organize her space. You can reach Maliah at email@example.com. See below for some of her work. The 9 best places to shop for sofas and couches in 2021 The 4 best bath mats we tested in 2021 The 5 best hangers we tested in 2021 20 conversation-starting coffee table books by Black authors, photographers, and artists The 8 best places to buy floor lamps in 2021 Learn more about how our team of experts tests and reviews products at Insider here.