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Ironically enough, the people we're closest to are often the hardest to shop for. While you might know them better than anyone else, you've also probably gifted them every candle, bathrobe, and bauble in the book. This is why many of us struggle when it comes to gift shopping each year. Your loved ones deserve the world, after all, and another generic present simply won't cut it.
The most memorable gifts are the ones that feel meaningful, remind us of something special, or are simply one-of-a-kind in their own right. They're the kind of gifts one keeps forever and never forgets, but finding them isn't always so easy. Luckily, we're here to help. Ahead, we're bringing you a roundup of the most thoughtful and sentimental gifts you can buy this year, including something for every recipient on your list. From the friend who seems to have everything to the father who's impossible to shop for, special gifts come in all shapes and sizes and—best of all—they don't have to break the bank.
How We Found The Best Thoughtful Gifts
To round up this Top 10 list, we tapped our data-driven algorithm. This unique tool ranks and scores products by factoring in best-seller lists, editor recommendations, rave reviews, and more. Below, you'll find custom art prints, bottomless bouquets, and even a gift card that'll deliver their favorite sandwich from anywhere on earth. Keep scrolling to shop the best thoughtful gifts you can give this year and make this holiday season a memorable one.
Next up, check out the 10 Best Unique Gift Websites. Opening image: @goldbelly
Top 10 Lists serve as unbiased shopping guides to the most trusted product recommendations on the internet. Products are scored and ranked using an algorithm backed by data consumers find most valuable when making a purchase. We are reader-supported and may earn a commission when you shop through our links.
The Night Sky Custom Print
FOR YOUR S.O.
ABOUT THE BRAND: This unique company creates custom star maps from a night of your choosing, whether that be your first date or the birth of your first child. Printed on museum-grade art matte paper using archival inks, it's a piece designed to last generations.
USERS REVIEW: “Absolutely love it. Great quality print and VERY strong paper. I received one as a gift a year ago and decided I loved it so much that I bought one for someone else as a gift.”
Collage Custom Photo Puzzles
FOR THE QUARANTINE PUZZLE MASTER
WHO IT'S FOR: For the friend or family member who dominated the puzzles during quarantine, there couldn't be a more perfect gift. You can customize it with as many photos as you want, and it'll come housed in a sturdy black storage box with your design on the label.
ADDITIONAL THINGS TO KNOW: From the finish to the number of pieces (up to 675), the customization options are endless with this gift.
Gorjana Bespoke Plate Adjustable Bracelet
FOR YOUR BFF
WHY PEOPLE LOVE IT: At just $60, this engravable bracelet feels so much more personal than your average curb chain. With four different font options and room for 15 characters, you can customize it with someone's initials, a significant date, or even a special message of your choice.
ADDITIONAL THINGS TO KNOW: Thanks to the sliding adjustable bead, this vermeil bracelet fits every wrist flawlessly.
Mixbook Photo Co. Photo Book
FOR THE DESIGNATED PHOTOGRAPHER
WHY IT MADE THE LIST: Whether you want to commemorate that vacation with your BFF or simply provide your mom with a way to display her abundance of photos, this photo book will make it easy. The site is packed with hundreds of premade templates, or you can DIY and start with a completely blank canvas.
ADDITIONAL THINGS TO KNOW: The customization doesn't stop there. You can also choose from eight sizes, four paper types, and four cover types.
The Bouqs Co. Flower Subscriptions
FOR THE FLOWER LOVER
ABOUT THE BRAND: The Bouqs Co. delivers gorgeous farm-fresh flowers to a person of your choosing (or yourself) every month. You can choose the delivery date and size for each order, and you can even change the recipient if you'd like.
WHY PEOPLE LOVE IT: All Bouqs are shipped from sustainable, eco-friendly farms, so they'll last a lot longer than your average finds from the local florist.
Knock Knock What I Love About You Fill In The Love Book
WHY IT MADE THE LIST: Filled with unique checklists, short answers, and phrases, Knock Knock's Fill In The Love Books make it easy to say what's in your heart. From your mom to your bestie to your SO, the brand has a book for every loved one in your life.
USER REVIEW: "This was my first Christmas with my boyfriend, and I got this as a stocking stuffer. He ended up buying the 'What I Love About Us' version, and we had so much fun looking through them and seeing our similar/different answers. The prompts are really cute and simple but allow for a lot of creativity, and you can set the mood with each page whether you want to be funny or sweet. This was one of our favorite gifts."
FOR THE SERIOUSLY STRESSED
WHAT IT DOES: There's a reason Headspace is one of the most well-known self-care apps out there. It offers tons of well-organized, guided meditations that are categorized by need, whether that's a better night's sleep, serious focus, or a little stress relief.
ADDITIONAL THINGS TO KNOW: Headspace is completely beginner-friendly. It comes with a Basics course that allows users to learn about breathwork, sitting quietly, and calming the mind, and there are plenty of meditation options that clock in at five minutes or less.
New York Times Custom Birthday Book
FOR THE HISTORY BUFF
WHO IT'S FOR: From the history buff to the dad who's impossible to shop for, this gift is sure to please. The New York Times Custom Birthday Book starts with the Times cover from the day they were born and finishes with the years after.
ADDITIONAL THINGS TO KNOW: The book will come personalized with your recipient's name and birth date, preserved in a pretty library binding that's built to last.
FOR THE FAR-AWAY FRIEND
WHO IT'S FOR: For the loved one who can't make it for the holidays, help ease the pangs of homesickness with this super unique candle. Homesick has a candle for each US state and even more specific locations (think NoCal and SoCal), each one evoking the scents of its namesake.
USER REVIEW: "This was a great gift! My sister now lives in Connecticut, but I gave her a Southern California candle and it brought her to tears. It was the best present!"
Goldbelly Food Gifts
FOR THE FOOD-OBSESSED
WHY YOU NEED IT: When quarantine put a damper on everyone’s travel plans, Goldbelly became the BFF of foodies everywhere. The company ships food from restaurants in every region of the USA—think deep dish pizza from Lou Malnati's in Chicago and bagels from NYC's Russ & Daughters.
ADDITIONAL THINGS TO KNOW: The gifting options at Goldbelly are endless. From city staples to the best of Goldbelly and even more specific shipments like bacon and barbecue, there's something for everyone here.