84 Gift ideas to surprise the special people in your life

Are you searching for gift ideas for someone special in your life? Whether it’s for a family member, close friend, your child’s teacher, or perhaps your midwife, many people choose to show appreciation by gift-giving.

To help take the stress out of shopping for the perfect gift or DIY gift-making, we have compiled a list of thoughtful gift ideas that will show just how much the special ones in your life mean to you!

Gift ideas to show appreciation: Finding the perfect gift for the special people in your life

Gift-giving is a wonderful way to show someone that you care about them. Whether it’s a birthday, anniversary, special holiday, or simply out of the blue, choosing the “perfect gift” for someone can be both a fun and challenging task.

But, remember, it doesn’t have to be the perfect gift! If it’s from the heart and you’re excited to give it, that’s what makes it the perfect gift.

The most crucial factor to consider when selecting gifts is understanding the interests, hobbies, and passions of your recipient. You should also consider their age, style, and lifestyle preferences before shopping for or making a gift. This could include sports or music, favorite colors or clothing styles, accessories they frequently wear, books they might enjoy reading, or movies they’d love to watch—all these small details can help you find the perfect present.

For those who don’t enjoy shopping, websites like Amazon make it easier than ever to purchase thoughtful gifts with quick shipping options available. Shopping online has its advantages as well; You can browse through endless products from different retailers in one convenient place from the comfort of your home or office. Plus, online websites also offer exclusive discounts and deals, which can help stretch your budget even further!

Aside from traditional store-bought items, handmade gifts have also become increasingly popular over the years due to their personal touch and unique appeal. Crafting something meaningful such as a photo album full of memories shared together or an original artwork makes an excellent keepsake that will always hold sentimental value in your loved one’s heart.

The key takeaway when it comes to finding the ideal gift ideas is knowing what resonates with your recipient best—the more personalized it is and reflective of their interests, tastes and needs—the better! With these tips in mind, you’ll be sure to pick out something truly special that will bring a smile to any person’s face.

Keep reading for lists of gift ideas to help you decide what to make or give.

Gluten-free chocolate honey walnut cookies
Do you have a recipe someone in your life loves? Gift them a box of homemade goodies with recipe cards so that they can learn to make it themselves!

Gifts tailored to people’s interests

Gifts can come in many forms, from material goods to thoughtful gestures. For example, a simple bouquet of flowers can be a powerful symbol of affection and gratitude. On holidays or special occasions, giving presents to friends or family members can be an extra special way to show how much they mean to us.

Even in ordinary moments, taking the time to give someone a thoughtful gift can brighten their day and make them feel valued and appreciated. Whether you’re buying something expensive or making something yourself, each gift has its own unique meaning and significance attached to it that speaks louder than words ever could.

But, what if you’re stuck trying to figure out a great gift?

Here are gift ideas for every type of person in your life!

Personalized gifts

  1. A custom photo book filled with shared memories
  2. Personalized home decor, like a monogrammed pillow or welcome mat
  3. Customized jewelry with the recipient’s name or initials
  4. A custom-made piece of art featuring the recipient’s interests or hobbies
  5. Record a cover or write an original song for them
  6. A custom-made piece of clothing or accessory
  7. A personalized cookbook featuring the recipient’s favorite recipes
  8. A customized calendar featuring the recipient’s favorite photos
  9. A custom-made piece of furniture, such as a bookcase or desk
  10. A custom-made music playlist or mix CD featuring the recipient’s favorite songs

Gifts for tech-lovers

  1. Virtual reality headset or a video game
  2. A high-quality set of headphones or speakers
  3. A drone or remote-controlled car
  4. A portable charger or power bank
  5. Subscription to a streaming service
  6. A smart home device like a Google Nest or Amazon Echo
  7. Smartwatch or fitness tracker
  8. A good camera or a lens
  9. A keyboard or a stylus for their tablet
  10. A universal remote control

Experiential gifts

  1. Tickets to a favorite band, theatre, or a comedy show
  2. Sports game tickets
  3. Learn how to cook a special dish with a cooking class or go on a wine-tasting experience
  4. A hot air balloon ride or helicopter tour
  5. A spa day or massage package
  6. A weekend getaway or vacation package
  7. A skydiving or bungee jumping experience
  8. A river rafting or kayaking excursion
  9. A zip lining or rock climbing experience
  10. A paint night or pottery-making class

Interest-based gift ideas

  • For those that like cooking
    • A unique cookbook or kitchen tool they need
    • Something unique like a Click and Grow
    • New cookware
    • A set of high-quality kitchen knives
    • A set of high-quality spices or herbs
  • For the outdoorsman, outdoorswoman, or those with a green thumb
    • Camping gear, outdoor apparel, or a Parks Pass (if you’re in Canada!)
    • Quality gardening tools, gloves, or supplies
    • A new fishing rod and reel for a fisherman
    • A nice utility knife or Swiss army knife
    • A backpacking stove or portable camping grill
  • For the artist
    • Set of professional-grade art supplies
    • A gift card to a quality art supplies store
    • A set of calligraphy pens and paper
    • New paints, brushes, or a high-quality canvas
    • A lightbox, drawing board, or canvas holder
  • For the scientist
    • A telescope for a birdwatcher or astronomy enthusiast
    • A microscope for studying small objects
    • Chemistry set for experiments
    • A geology or mineral specimen kit
    • A subscription to a science magazine or a book about a scientific topic
A box of huggies diapers next to a baby-themed gift basket with receiving blankets and a onsi, among other items.
A welcome-baby gift box is. a great gift for new Moms.

Other unique gift ideas

  1. Create a gift box with local goodies (or buy one!). You could also buy a subscription to a gift box for them
  2. A hot cocoa set (See our post, Hot chocolate gift basket ideas, for details)
  3. Handmade mugs, candles, or unique handmade items like charcuterie boards for those that appreciate handmade gifts
  4. A new set of knitting needles and yarn for a knitter
  5. A set of power tools for a DIY enthusiast
  6. A book or gift to a local bookstore for bookworms
  7. A subscription to a magazine about a specific interest of theirs
  8. A new board game for a board game enthusiast
  9. An instrument or music/voice lesson for those into music
  10. A new set of workout equipment for a fitness enthusiast
  11. A new set of equipment, like golf clubs, a baseball glove, or new skates for sports enthusiasts
  12. A favorite perfume, quality makeup, or beauty tools for the beauticians
  13. A nice duffel bag or backpack for people always on the go
  14. Give the gift of a good night’s sleep with a weighted blanket or diffuser with relaxing essential oils

Finally, when shopping for a great gift, it’s essential to factor in budget and context. Thoughtful gifts don’t have to cost a fortune – sometimes even just spending quality time with someone can mean more than any item one can buy. Additionally, some occasions may require more formal or elaborate gifts – so take note of any etiquette surrounding your gift before making a purchase, but be mindful not to overspend.

A gift box with marshmellows, a mug, hot chocolate, a candle, and some home decor items like an ornament.
Gift boxes are a great last-minute gift. Make it personal by adding a favorite drink or treat.

The best last-minute gift ideas

You can still find unique gift ideas last minute. Here are some ideas in case you need to shop in a hurry!

  1. A gift card to a favorite restaurant or store
  2. Subscription to a streaming service
  3. Self-care items such as candles or bath bombs
  4. A book or e-book by a favorite author
  5. A cozy blanket or throw pillow
  6. A bouquet of flowers or a potted plant with a unique planter
  7. A board game or puzzle
  8. A gift certificate for a spa or massage
  9. A set of skincare products or makeup (make sure they aren’t on a strict skincare routine first!)
  10. A digital picture frame with preloaded pictures

Homemade gift ideas

Homemade gifts are a great way to show someone you care about them. Not only do they allow for a personal touch, but they also provide an opportunity for self-expression that can bring joy and meaning to the gift itself! They may not be the best for a last-minute gift, but if you’re searching for budget-friendly ideas, homemade things make great gifts.

Homemade gifts don’t have to be expensive, either. They can be as simple as knitting a scarf or baking a cake. And, in an ever-growing world of mass production and consumerism, homemade gifts also stand out from the crowd! They’re unique pieces that reflect our creativity and thoughtfulness – perfect expressions of how much we appreciate those around us.

Here are 10 unique gift ideas ideas you could make for someone:

  1. A handmade quilt, blanket, scarf, hat, or sweater
  2. A painting or piece or artwork
  3. A homemade candle or soap
  4. If you have a Cricut, something personalized like a set of wine glasses
  5. A homemade jam or chutney
  6. A piece of homemade jewelry
  7. A homemade skincare or beauty product
  8. A homemade card with a heartfelt message
  9. A homemade coupon book with special offers and discounts
  10. Homemade baked goods or a cake
Child drawing on a pillow case and copying the words "i love you, dad! "
This homemade gift makes a super cute Father’s Day gift!

Occasions that you might want to give gifts on

Not certain whether a certain occasion warrants a gift or not? Honestly, I wouldn’t worry much about if you should give a gift at a certain time – If you want to give one, go for it! But, if you’re worried, here is a list of special occasions you might need gift ideas for.

  • Birthdays
  • Holidays (like Christmas, Hanukkah, Eid, or Diwali)
  • Weddings
  • Anniversaries
  • Graduations
  • Baby showers
  • Housewarming parties
  • Retirements
  • Promotion or job achievement
  • Mother’s Day, Father’s Day
  • Back to school
  • Get well soon
  • As a thank you
Gift ideas: someone giving a  small wrapped gift to someone else.
84 Gift ideas to surprise the special people in your life

Common pitfalls to avoid when choosing a gift

When it comes to choosing a gift, it is important to take the time to make sure that you are getting the right one. There are many common pitfalls that people tend to fall into when buying gifts which can lead to disappointment or hurt feelings.

Here are some of the most common mistakes to avoid when choosing a gift for someone special:

First, it is important to understand the recipient’s interests and preferences. Before starting your search for a gift, consider what the person likes and doesn’t like. Getting a set of art supplies for someone who disdains art may not be super well-received, for example.

  1. Not considering the person’s interests or preferences: It’s important to consider what the person likes and dislikes before choosing a gift.
  2. Not paying attention to the occasion: The gift should be appropriate for the occasion it’s being given for.
  3. Not paying attention to size or measurements: If the gift is something that needs to fit, such as clothing, shoes, or jewelry, make sure you have the correct size.
  4. Not including a personal touch: A gift can be made more special by adding a personal touch, such as a handwritten note or special packaging. Even a gift card can be made to feel special with a thoughtful note.
  5. Not being aware of the person’s ethical or environmental values: If the person has specific values about certain products, such as cruelty-free or eco-friendly, make sure the gift aligns with those values.
  6. Not checking for duplicates: If the person already has a similar item, it’s not a good idea to give them another one! This can be hard, of course, so grab a gift receipt if you aren’t sure.
  7. Not being mindful of allergies or sensitivities: If the person has an allergy or sensitivity to certain materials, ensure the gift does not contain that material.
  8. Not considering the timing: Some gifts may not be appropriate to give at certain times, such as a book on a sensitive topic during a time of grief.

For more gift ideas, watch this video by JENerationDIY!

To jump to specific sections, go to 1:08 for DIY gift ideas, 4:46 for food-related gifts, 7:23 for self-care/beauty gifts, 9:27 for stationary gift ideas, 10:37 for home decor ideas, and 14:40 for ‘Cool’ random ideas.

Conclusion

When it comes to finding the perfect gift, it can be tricky. There are so many different options out there, and it can be hard to know what the person you’re buying for will like. You could shop for something in-store, buy a gift online, or, if you’re crafty, make something yourself!

Whatever gift you choose, make sure it comes from the heart. That’s what really matters most. Because, overall, gift giving is a special way of showing someone that you care and appreciate them. For any occasion, finding the perfect gift involves taking into account both the recipient’s tastes and interests and the gifts available to you.

To avoid making any major mistakes when choosing a gift, remember to try and consider more than just the cost of the item, paying attention to what will make the recipient happy and truly feel special on their special day. We hope you found some inspiration in this post!

Frequently asked questions about gift ideas

What is a good gift to give someone?

The best gifts are those that come from the heart and are personalized to the ones receiving them. Consider what a person likes, their hobbies, and what they might like to learn.

What are some of the most thoughtful gifts?

The most thoughtful gifts reflect someone’s personal interests or needs. Did they mention a favorite band once? Grab some concert tickets! Did they say they always wanted to try painting? Get a painting class or paint supplies!

Is there anything to avoid when giving gifts?

Make sure to consider someone’s likes and dislikes, get appropriately sized, themed, and timed gifts, and to consider their ethical and moral values so you don’t accidentally give a gift that offends them.

Resources

Gifts & Celebrations

Gifts and celebrations go hand in hand! Learn about favorite celebrations, get party planning advice, and find more gift ideas in this category.

Elke Crosson
Elke Crosson

Elke Crosson has her BA in International Relations with a minor in Spanish at UBC (Okanagan). She is currently in her second year of the Master of Teaching program at the University of Toronto, with dreams of becoming an elementary-level teacher.

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