Gifts, or presents, are items given to someone for free and usually without reciprocation. Gifts are mainly given for a special occasion or event, such as Christmas, birthdays, weddings, and more. Gifts can be any object or item, and they can be purchased or made as DIY crafts. Presents can also be in the form of experiences, such as concert tickets or travel plans. 

Traditionally, gifts are usually surprising for the receiver. Yet, for holidays and other special occasions, people may put together a list of what they want to make it easier on the gifter.

Gift Ideas By Occasion

Though you can always give someone a gift just to show your appreciation for them, there are several main holidays and occasions where gifts are usually expected. Some gifts are more appropriate for certain holidays, though you can easily offer similar gifts for each occasion. Consider each of the holidays below when planning your gifts:

  • Mother’s Day gifts – Mother’s day isn’t a federal holiday, but it’s widely celebrated throughout the U.S. and other countries. On Mother’s Day, it’s always appropriate to give a Mother’s Day card, and you can also celebrate through experiences like lunch or family dinner.
  • Anniversary gifts – Traditionally, each wedding anniversary has a specific theme that can help partners shop for gifts. For example, the first anniversary is paper-themed and the second anniversary is cotton-themed. 
  • Christmas gifts – Many children and adults put together Christmas lists to make the gifting process easier. Christmas is also a time where you can offer items like custom ornaments, which can be holiday-themed.
  • Housewarming gifts – To help family or friends settle into a new home, housewarming gifts are usually practical or functional. Some ideas include kitchen accessories or personalized decor. 
  • Graduation gifts – Graduating from high school or college marks a new chapter in life. To commemorate this time, custom graduation gifts can include framed photos from the big day or custom printed yard signs, or an experience such as a fun trip.  
  • Valentine’s Day gifts – Some of the most common Valentine’s day gifts include chocolates, stuffed animals, and flowers. Other creative gifts include personalized candles and ceramic photo tiles. 
  • Birthday gifts – Birthday gifts are all about the recipient. When choosing birthday gifts, you can give something highly personalized or stick with functional gifts that you think the birthday girl or guy might need. 
  • Wedding gifts – Giving wedding gifts as a guest usually means choosing something off a wedding registry. If you want to get more creative, you can also offer a more personal present like a framed photo of the couple.

Gifts by Theme

Giving gifts by theme can help you make sure you’re offering presents based on the other person’s interests. Themes can include hobbies or tap into the recipient’s personality. If you’re having trouble coming up with gift ideas, asking for a theme could be a great way to brainstorm. It could also be helpful to ask the recipient if there’s anything they’ve been wanting to try since a gift can kickstart a new hobby or activity.

  • Health and wellness – Give the gift of relaxation through skincare products or help your loved one create an at-home spa day.
  • Sports – Presents like sports balls or jerseys from favorite teams are always great for a sports fan.
  • Funny gifts – For the joker in your life, gag gifts can be a fun way to make them smile. Just make sure they won’t turn around and prank you back!
  • Spiritual gifts – Gifts related to spirituality or religion always make for great presents, and they show you care. 
  • DIY gifts – DIY gifts show you’ve taken the time to be thoughtful about your loved one. Kids’ crafts can also make for heartwarming gifts that end up turning into lifelong memories. 
  • Food gifts – For the foodie in your life, you can give the gift of a restaurant gift certificate or offer a food or wine subscription box.

Top Gift Ideas

Whether you’re gifting for friends, family, or other loved ones, there are certain gifts that everyone will love. The best gift ideas are universal and have the best intentions behind them. It’s the thought that counts, but it’s equally as possible to gift something that can be cherished year round. Consider the following top gift ideas for everyone you love:

Gifts for Her

Sisters, girlfriends, moms, and wives all have different tastes. Yet, even the most common gifts for her are sure to make a statement. While shopping for women, consider wearable gifts like custom jewelry, clothes, or accessories. If she loves to cook and decorate the home, you can choose functional gifts like kitchenware or beautiful home decor.

Gifts for Men

Sometimes the men in your life can be difficult to shop for. If that’s the case, consider some of the best gifts for men. They might enjoy a personalized coffee mug to take into the office or a monogrammed flask for their leisure time. If he loves to cook, consider a custom apron or cutting board to make him feel the best in the kitchen or at the grill.

Gifts for Mom

It’s no secret that moms do the most, and the best way we can give back is to show them they’re appreciated. Some of the best gifts for mom include personalized office accessories. Photos of the kids on everything from notebook and desk calendar can easily help brighten her day and make work a little easier.

Gifts for Dad

Personalized gifts for dad can go far beyond the “Best Dad in the World” mug, though those are still greatly appreciated. Consider a personalized storybook that dad can read with the kids. Other memorable gifts include custom photo socks and keychains to make sure he’s got the family with him wherever he goes.

Gifts for Grandparents

If there’s anything certain in life, it’s that grandparents love their grandchildren. If possible, consider gifting framed prints of the kids that they can hang around the home. The kids can also get creative with DIY gifts that grandpa or grandma can proudly display year-round. Grandparents might also like gifts that make them feel more comfortable at home, such as photo-printed blankets or cozy slippers.

Personalized Gifts for People Who Have Everything

Sometimes it can be hard to think of cool gifts for people who already have everything they need or aren’t the best at offering ideas. If you’re struggling, a personalized gift is always the best way to go. With a custom gift, you can show you care while turning a valuable memory into something they can enjoy every day. 

For example, a family photo book is a heartwarming and unique gift that you can’t put a price tag on. Regardless of the holiday, photo gifts can ensure your favorite memories are celebrated all year long. Shutterfly offers customizable photo gifts for a variety of products and occasions that make a great gift for anyone on your list.

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