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6 Thoughtful Personalized Gift Ideas for Any Occasion

Beth likes living life in the slow lane. She takes time to enjoy the little things in life.

A personalized gift shows how much you care.

A personalized gift shows how much you care.

If you’re stuck trying to come up with gift ideas for someone special, why not give them something personalized? Here are some ideas that will allow you to say thank you, happy birthday, or happy holidays to someone you care about.

6 Presents to Get Someone When You're Out of Ideas

  1. Handmade craft item
  2. Personalized soft blanket or throw
  3. Tea or coffee sampler box
  4. Scratch-off USA map or world poster
  5. Fill-in-the-blank book
  6. Daily tear-off calendar (with handwritten notes)

1. Handmade Craft Item

Some of my favorite memories are of receiving homemade cards from the children in my life. The more artistic ones created drawings and paintings to celebrate special occasions. Some even made flower vases or leather purses to show off their skill. The fact that they had taken time to think about what I would enjoy was more important to me than the actual object.

A thoughtful, personal gift is likely to be remembered for years to come (along with who gave it and why). However, not all of us have the skill to make that special handcrafted item. If you're not the crafty type, move on to the following items. The next few ideas are things you can buy then personalize to make them special.

This cozy throw makes a great gift for a special daughter.

This cozy throw makes a great gift for a special daughter.

2. Personalized Soft Blanket or Throw

Have you ever wanted to hug someone you loved but couldn’t because they were living miles away? I sent this cozy throw blanket to my daughter to give her a virtual cuddle whenever she needs one, and she loves it. It keeps her warm on chilly days while she works on her college studies, and it reminds her of me.

There are a number of messages you can customize it with. The one I picked says “To my daughter, whenever you feel overwhelmed, remember whose daughter you are and straighten your crown. Be brave, have courage, and love life. Wrap yourself up in this and consider it a big hug. Love mom.” The throw is machine washable too, so no worries if she spills a bit of hot chili sauce on it.

3. Tea or Coffee Sampler Box

On the theme of comfort and memories of home, a sampler box of someone's favorite beverage always makes a thoughtful gift. Drinking tea or coffee is no longer just a matter of dunking a teabag or spooning instant coffee into a mug. Premium hot drinks are now sold with lots of information about their origins and the precise plant varieties used to create them. A new generation of hot beverage connoisseurs can identify different types in the same way a sommelier would when drinking vintage wine.

I recommend this tea sampler box because the selection includes both caffeinated and decaffeinated varieties. Sometimes, it's nice to just relax and not get over-energized. This is an ideal present for regular tea lovers as it will introduce them to the wide range of flavors the humble tea leaf can produce. Even occasional tea drinkers will like this gift, as each sachet is double wrapped to stay fresh longer.

Scratch-off maps record your travels and make great wall posters.

Scratch-off maps record your travels and make great wall posters.

4. Scratch-off USA Map or World Poster

I was given a scratch-off map by my best friend during the lockdown. She said it would help me remember the good times we’d had traveling and keep my spirits up by helping me look forward to better times, and her ploy definitely worked. Scratching off stopover points from past holidays is great fun and inspires me to make new plans for future holidays.

There are single country maps available as well as the world on one giant poster. You can also get it framed, as it comes tightly rolled, and it is quite hard to get it flat. Use a dime to scratch-off the intended target, but be careful not to accidentally scratch places you haven't been. The colors on the map are bright and cheerful, and the paper is sturdy. These posters make great gifts for anyone who is already widely traveled as well as those who plan to see the world as soon as travel restrictions allow.

5. Fill-in-the-Blank Book

There are all kinds of these DIY books. Some are aimed at kids, while others are written for adults. They make it easy for you to tell that special someone the many little reasons you love and appreciate them. There are gaps in sentences on each page for you to complete with the person’s name or a key place or moment in your lives together. For example, in What I Love About Us, you fill in things like “I love how good we are at . . .” or “I love it when we . . .”

The prompts are simple, but they help you to be creative, and they really make your gift personal. A child’s book could include a story about a football team with blanks for you to fill in with the kid’s name and favorite team and players. These make great stocking fillers and unique birthday or thank-you presents.

The riding instructor is saying to the worried parent, "She's not making very rapid progress, I'm afraid!" in this classic pony cartoon by Thelwell.

The riding instructor is saying to the worried parent, "She's not making very rapid progress, I'm afraid!" in this classic pony cartoon by Thelwell.

6. Daily Tear-Off Calendar (With Handwritten Notes)

Calendars can be plain and functional or glossy and colorful. The great thing about a daily tear-off calendar is that the user will think of you every day of the year. You can make them smile (or frown) by adding a handwritten message on each page. That way, you will not only help them keep track of the date, but you will also ensure that you are constantly in their thoughts.

There are some lovely daily desk calendars available with vintage cartoons. My favorites are ones that have drawings by Ronald Searle (of St Trinian's School) or delightful pony cartoons by Norman Thelwell. Handwrite some random little messages of love on a few key dates and make your loved one’s heart beat a little faster. A daily tear-off calendar can truly be a memorable and thoughtful gift for all the right reasons.


Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on January 27, 2021:

This is a very good article with all your great ideas, Beth. I like the personalized blanket or throw. Thank you for sharing.

Ann Carr from SW England on January 27, 2021:

I love the idea of the personalised throw/blanket. It's just the thing for giving someone a hug - the nearest to real that one can get!

Thanks for the suggestions.


Louise Powles from Norfolk, England on January 27, 2021:

There's some good ideas there. I like the idea of the throw or blanket.

Sp Greaney from Ireland on January 27, 2021:

This is such a good list of gift ideas. I love the personalised blanket idea. Very practical gift too.