Meaningful gifts for Christmas

About this time every year, I get a serious itch for the Christmas season to get here already. I love the anticipation, and I love gift giving. From dressing up packages (I’m working on a post about that) to coming up with the perfect gifts, it’s all a treat.

When I was growing up, I went to a mother-daughter event where moms shared one of their daughters’ admirable qualities. One mom said her daughter was an excellent gift giver, and I thought that was such a nice compliment and said a lot about the daughter too. Ever since then, I’ve been trying to be intentional with gifts.

So today I wanted to share a few of my favorite gift ideas. I’m blessed to have wonderful family and friends, and these are gifts I’ve received that meant a lot and are easy to duplicate.

house painting

Something personalized

A few years ago, my sister surprised me with a custom watercolor painting of our house. It’s easily one of my favorite things. You can order the same for someone you love; just search “custom house painting” on Etsy, and you’ll find a host of painters ready to memorialize the home of your choosing.

For the jewelry lover, order a pendant engraved with a monogram. My sister-in-law gave one to me, and I love that it has both my maiden-name and married-name initials on it.

If you’re crafty, think about a personalized quilt. When I was growing up, my mom made a lot of our fancy Christmas dresses and summer clothes. So when I was about to graduate from high school, she made me a quilt from those scraps of fabric. I love that I can tell my kids which fabric was used for what outfit when I was little.

Something sentimental

My grandma is always stressing over what to buy her kids. She’s on a fixed income, so the gift-giving budget is slim, but she still wants her presents to be meaningful. That’s why a sentimental gift is so perfect: Often it costs hardly anything but means the most.

30 years of 30 memories

Take, for instance, this little box containing “30 Years of 30 Memories.” My family gave this to me for my 30th birthday, but you could do the same at Christmastime. They wrote a handful of favorite memories about me (some siblings wrote more than others, ahem), and I treasure them! I might have shed a few tears the first time I read the notes. This is such an easy gift, and it only costs a few bucks to print the notes and find a box. But it does take time to put together, so start right away!

Currier & Ives dishes

My grandma gave me a set of blue-and-white dishes a few years ago, and I use them all the time and think about her whenever I do (you can see some of them on the tray in the photo above). For moms, aunts, and grandmas with treasures worth sharing, this gift is free and transforms your stuff into a priceless family heirloom.

Two more thoughts

Magazine subscriptions are the gift that keeps on giving. My sister gave me one, and I was excited each time a new issue arrived. Look online for discounted subscription prices—you can almost always find a year’s subscription for less than $20 (and sometimes as cheap as $5!).

And for someone who’s tough to shop for, visit her Pinterest page. I get lots of good ideas this way—it’s basically like an enormous wish list of things you can bet she loves.

What are your favorite gift ideas? •




2 thoughts

  1. My “daughter” knows how much I love children’s books and every year she gives me several Caldecott Medal winning books! It’s turning into a really great collection! And I look forward to seeing the new ones she finds every year! 😊


  2. Such a fun post with Christmas coming right up! The painting for your house is so amazing! Lots of great ideas in here. So smart to look at their Pinterest boards too. I like to bake and my sweet sister has given me three beautiful cake stands. I can’t wait to start Christmas shopping.


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