sentimental christmas gift ideas - for your best friend

The 50 Best Sentimental Christmas Gift Ideas for Happy Tears

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If you’re shopping for your best friend or family members, you want to gift them something for Christmas that’s meaningful and special to them. But it can be hard to come up with new sentimental Christmas gift ideas year after year, especially if you’ve been shopping for them for a long time! To help inspire you with some new ideas, here is a guide full of unique gift ideas that your loved ones will treasure for years to come.

For Your Best Friend

1. Initial Charm Bracelet

Personalized gifts are the perfect gift idea for your best friend. This is an elevated version of a friendship bracelet and can be personalized by choosing your friend’s first or last initial as the charm. It features a dainty chain and is the perfect everyday piece of jewelry that they’ll enjoy wearing every day.

2. Personalized Mini Zipper Pouch

A mini zipper pouch is the best way for your friend to store all of their favorite things, whether they use it as a storage compartment in their purse, or for those times they just need a small clutch. This pouch is crafted with Italian leather in Tuscany and is able to be customized with your friend’s monogram to make it a unique gift to them.

3. Custom Pencil House Sketch

Custom art is one of those sentimental Christmas gift ideas that will always be appreciated and cherished! A custom sketch of your best friend’s home is the perfect way to gift them a piece of art that they’ll hold onto for a long time, even after they move on to their next house. It’s the perfect way to memorialize a place that holds so many special memories for them. This is one of my personal favorite sentimental Christmas gift ideas!

4. Felt Embroidery Bookmark

For the reader in your life, this embroidered felt bookmark is a cherished keepsake that will remind them of you every time they open up the pages of their newest read. You can add a personal touch by choosing their monogram. It’s the perfect small gift for a stocking stuffer. Also, consider pairing it with a book or two from their wishlist.

5. Le Labo Parfum Discovery Set

Perfumes are the perfect sentimental gift idea because of how personal they are to the recipient. A thoughtful gift of perfume shows that you put careful thought into scents that your friend might like, taking into account notes and brands that they might already own. Help your best friend find her signature scent with the Le Labo Discovery set.

6. Book Embosser

Here’s another idea for the reader in your life: a personalized book embosser. This is the perfect way for them to customize every book in their library, and is a great way for them to keep track of any reads they lend out.

7. Jo Malone Body & Hand Wash

A luxury set of body and hand wash is the perfect way to spoil your best friend this Christmas. She’ll never forget the first time that she received a great quality set of body care items, and she’ll soon be hooked! This is a great idea that’s also practical, and something she will appreciate each time she wants to indulge in a self-care day.

8. Watercolor Pet Portrait

Your best friend will love a custom portrait of their other best friend! You have the option of ordering a digital file, or a print in the size of your choosing. Each portrait is handpainted with watercolor, and your friend will love the detail that’s put into bringing the artistic rendition of their furry family member to life. Frame the portrait when it’s complete, and you have a gift that your friend will treasure for a lifetime.

9. BREDA Jane Watch

A quality watch is a thoughtful gift for your best friend that she’ll love to incorporate into her daily looks. The plus side of this particular Breda watch is that it features both gold and silver metals – meaning she’ll never have to choose what other jewelry she pairs alongside it. This is a luxurious but affordable brand that will stand the test of time – I can attest to this, as I own a Breda watch that I wear daily!

10. Quinn Jewelry Box

If your best friend is a jewelry lover, she’ll love this jewelry box from Pottery Barn for all of her special pieces. It’s the perfect way to protect her jewelry long-term, as jewelry is meant to be stored in an airtight location when not being worn. This jewelry box can also be personalized with her initials or name, so that it’s a unique gift made especially for her.

For Your Parent

sentimental gifts for parents

11. Kate Spade 8×10 Frame

The most sentimental gifts are often the ones that cost the least – for example, a family photo. If you’d like to elevate the gift, try choosing a high-quality frame that will last for years. Another thought would be to gift them the frame, with a family photo session. It would be a great reason to get everyone together and a way to fill the frame with an updated photo of their loved ones.

12. Zip Code Pillow

A decorative pillow personalized with the zip code and city name of your parent’s home is the perfect present for someone who has everything. This will add a personal touch to their living room decor, and be a placeholder for special memories even if they change zip codes down the line. Choose to customize the pillow with a different location and zip code, perhaps with the location of where they were married, where they met, their hometown, or a go-to family vacation spot.

13. Engraved Cutting Board

An engraved cutting board is a beautiful way to not only honor but also preserve a treasured family recipe. It’s not only a beautiful decor piece for their kitchen, but will surely be a cherished keepsake for generations as it’s used to keep track of handwritten recipes that may easily be lost when only written down on paper, or traded via email.

14. Customized Doormat

If your parent recently moved into a new house, this is the perfect housewarming gift. Or, even if they’ve been in their home for a long time, a customized doormat is a great way to add a personal touch to their front porch. Customize your gift with their grandparent name, first or last names, or any other personalization that would be meaningful to them.

15. New York Times Custom Anniversary Book

To honor the years that your parents have celebrated together, this is a unique gift idea that will commemorate the years they’ve spent as a couple. Personalize the book with their names in elegant stamped gold, along with their anniversary date. The pages inside highlight the most significant news stories from each of their anniversaries.

16. Family Tree Art

If you’re looking for sentimental Christmas gift ideas, a custom piece of art with your family tree is the perfect present for your parents. Select up to six generations to be displayed. The design features a watercolor magnolia tree with squirrel, bird, and floral details. The mat and frame are not included and could be chosen based on your parent’s decor taste.

17. Hand Hooked Pillow

Your parents will cherish this hooked pillow. It’s a sweet gift with a personal touch! There are numerous ways to personalize this pillow, such as choosing their anniversary date, a family name, or there’s even a design with a variety of dogs to honor the family pet.

18. Monogram Punted Glass Carafe

If your parents are entertainers, they’ll love a monogrammed glass wine carafe. Their last initial adds a personal touch to the gift, and the concave punt helps to oxygenate the wine so it’s party-ready for their gifts, while the angled neck ensures a great pour. Plus, it’s sure to be present at family celebrations and holidays for years to come, making it a great piece to display during times of memory-making.

19. Personalized Compact Mirror

A personalized compact mirror is not only a great sentimental gift idea, but a practical present that your mother will love. It’s one of those items that you might not think of purchasing yourself, but that will be appreciated daily when it comes to touching up cosmetics, after lunch, or in the office.

20. Travel Jewelry Watch Roll

Your mother or father will love this leather watch roll from Mark & Graham – it’s perfect for keeping their treasured watch safe at home or away. Optionally, personalize it with their monogram in gold or silver foil.

For Your Significant Other

sentimental gifts for your significant other

21. Bucket List Adventures

If your significant other or spouse’s love language is quality time, this will be one of the best sentimental Christmas gift ideas for them this holiday. This journal will allow you to document every special moment and memory together – life’s big moments and small ones. Plus, you’ll be able to keep track of all the things that you and your partner dream about for your lives together.

22. Custom Vinyl Mixtape

For those who own a record player, this is the perfect Christmas or anniversary gift for your partner. It’s a completely custom vinyl record, which can be created with a playlist that’s personal and meaningful to you and your spouse or significant other. It could be songs played at your wedding, songs you’ve enjoyed listening to together, their favorite song, or maybe songs that remind you of them. The vinyl cover is customizable as well, and you can choose a photo of a special memory like a wedding or engagement photo, a favorite memory, or even a photo of one of your first dates.

23. BREDA Pulse Watch

A beautiful, well-made watch is a gift that will be worn and treasured for years to come by your significant others. BREDA watches have great craftsmanship and are built to last a lifetime. For another level of personalization, you could consider taking the watch to a local engraver to add a special message to the back of the watch, or maybe your spouse’s initials.

24. Rustic Leather Catchall Tray

If your significant other likes to keep their essentials in one place, a catchall tray like this one will be the perfect addition to their nightstand. It could be their new go-to place for their worn-daily items like a watch or a wedding band, as well as small items like their keys or phone. Add a personal touch by customizing it with their monogram.

25. Cufflink Set

For your significant other who takes pride in their formal wear, a custom set of cufflinks with their monogram or initials is a fun way for them to add personality to their looks. You can choose from different fonts, and two or three initials when you’re ordering the set.

26. Le Labo Santal 33 Eau de Parfum

A luxury signature scent is the perfect gift to bring out for date nights and special occasions. Your significant other will love this scent, designed for men or women, that’s reminiscent of the American West. Woody ingredients and ambrox are key to the cult-favorite parfum, with hints of Australian sandalwood, papyrus, and cedarwood, along with some spicy, leathery, musky notes. 

27. “The 5 Love Languages” Book

Speaking of the best sentimental Christmas gift ideas for your partner’s love language, “The 5 Love Languages” is the perfect book to open the conversation to finding out more about each other – even if you’ve been married for years. This book includes a Profile Assessment, so that you can each find out more about the love languages that you like to provide to your significant other, and what you like to receive.

28. Instax Mini Instant Film Camera

This is the perfect companion for your next date. Print instant memories on film with this Instax Mini camera. It’s small enough that it’s easy to take along with you anywhere, whether you’re going on a vacation, or maybe just a walk around your neighborhood. You can then write details on the back of your film print, and collect them to frame if you’d like to display them.

29. Homesick Scented Candle

If you and your significant other live somewhere other than where they grew up, this is a great gift idea to remind them of home. You could also choose a city where they love to visit, or maybe somewhere where you spent a memorable vacation together.

30. Letters to My Love Journal

For the couple who loves trading notes and letters, this is one of the best gifts! Personalize this journal with your names, then fill the notebook’s 75 pages with handwritten letters to your significant other. Or, trade the notebook back and forth to leave each other notes and messages.

For Your Sibling

sentimental gifts for your sibling

31. Jewelry Box

A jewelry box is a good idea if you’d like to go the extra mile for your sister this holiday season. You can choose this box with two, three, or four layers, and it comes in nine different colors. It’s a good idea for your list of sentimental Christmas gift ideas to keep her jewelry safe and protected for years to come.

32. Initial Necklace

Look no further for the perfect stocking stuffer. A dainty initial necklace in gold or silver is the perfect gift idea for your sister who has everything. This is an easy one to layer if she likes the stacked jewelry look, or can be worn on its own for a more subtle look.

33. Diptyque Vanille Candle

You can’t go wrong with a luxury candle. As far as sentimental Christmas gift ideas go, this is one of those gifts that your sister (or brother) may not buy themselves, but they’ll love when the spicy and smoky vanilla notes make their whole home smell amazing.

For more sister or sister-in-law gift ideas, check out this post, too.

34. Digital Photo Frame

Wow your sibling this holiday season with a digital photo frame. Fill it with family memories that they’ll love to look back on. This frame holds over 40,000 of their favorite photos with 32GB storage, so there is plenty of room digitally to display as many photo albums as they would like. It comes with access to an easy-to-use app, and can also display things like the time and weather. Plus, the best part is that it can be a space-saver, and replace a physical photo book collection and dozens of photo frames.

35. Custom Signet Ring

An easy way to make any gift more sentimental is to customize it. Your brother or sister will love this signet ring. It can be engraved with their name or a significant date to them. Choose from a variety of metals, as well as engraving on one or both sides of the piece.

36. Through Thick and Thin Keychain

Growing up together isn’t easy, and this is the perfect keychain to recognize that you’ve been through thick and thin with your sibling. It features a minimalist design, and a sweet notecard explaining its significance.

37. Jo Malone Cologne

One of the best things about Jo Malone Cologne is that it’s meant for either men or women. The English Pear & Freesia scent is one of Jo Malone’s best sellers. It features a warm, golden feel with notes of pear, freesia, and woody patchouli.

38. Memory Keepsake Box

A wooden memory keepsake box is the perfect place to store treasured pieces of memories like their favorite photos, concert ticket stubs, handwritten notes, and more. First, personalize the box with your sibling’s name. Then, start filling the box with shared memories that they’ll enjoy reminiscing about for years to come.

39. Personalized Golf Ball Set

Do you have any avid golfers in your family? If so, they’ll love this personalized golf ball set. It comes with 12 personalized golf balls in a nice carrying case, along with a dozen tees and pencils. They’ll look forward to springtime so they can take these out on the course.

40. Custom Typewriter Print

Gift the reader or poetry lover in your family with a unique piece of art. This typewriter print can be customized with their favorite movie or literature quote, a favorite poem, or even song lyrics. First, choose a piece of writing that is meaningful to them, Next, choose your picture frame. Then, wrap it and you have a great gift idea created by a small business.

For Anyone Else On Your List

sentimental Christmas gift ideas

41. Embroidered Pet Pillow

Gift the pet lover in your life a unique pillow featuring their furry family member. It’s a one-of-a-kind gift that will capture their pet’s likeness. They’ll love the heartfelt gift and appreciate the time you spent working with the artist to create their pet’s portrait.

42. Travel Jewelry Case

The jewelry lover or traveler in your life will love the convenience of this small jewelry box. It has the perfect amount of storage for a weekend trip or longer vacation. Plus, there is plenty of room to keep rings, bracelets, watches, and necklaces safe while in transport. Plus, the initial adds a personal touch.

43. Le Creuset Tea Kettle

Sharing a cup of tea or coffee is more than just sharing a drink together – it’s also about great conversation and memories made. A tea kettle is the perfect promise for more mornings or afternoons spent like this. Complete the gift with their favorite kind of tea or roast, or even a set of mugs.

44. Celebration Ice Bucket

Celebrate life’s big and little moments this holiday season with a sparkling drink! But first, you’ll need an ice bucket to properly chill it for the special occasion. This monogrammed version is a beautiful gift idea and accent for someone’s home, and will become a key part of many special memories.

45. Movie Night Popcorn Set

The movie lover will love this popcorn set for their weekly family movie night. There are a lot of combinations they’ll enjoy trying, between three types of popcorn and five seasonings. To go the extra mile, include the popcorn set in a movie-themed basket full of their favorite candy, or maybe some comfy loungewear.

46. Leather Chess Set

Speaking of weekly traditions, for the family that celebrates a regular game night, here is a good idea they’ll love. This is a luxe version of your typical chess set, featuring a carrying case with brass hardware and a leather handle. Plus, you can personalize it with the recipient’s monogram if you’d like.

47. Luxe Cotton Throw Blanket

You can never have too many blankets (at least, that’s my personal motto). A quality, luxe throw will last a long time, while other lower-quality throws may end up being thrown out after only a year or two. This is the perfect gift for the person who has everything and can be personalized with the giftee’s initial.

48. Rattan Serving Tray

This gift is as practical as it is decorative. Come summer, this would be the perfect tray to carry drinks out to the porch or backyard, or in the winter, serving a cozy breakfast in bed. It would also add a personalized touch to a coffee table, or kitchen.

49. 2023 Ornament

A dated ornament is the perfect way to keep track of time through your giftee’s favorite photos. Choose an ornament like this for a stocking stuffer, and then print out a photo from that year to place inside. Your giftee will appreciate the time and effort you spent choosing and printing out a special memory to add to their tree.

50. Stewart Plaid Wine Collar

This wine collar is the perfect accessory to any bottle that your giftee may enjoy. If you’re gifting wine, consider buying a bottle with a significant date – it could be the year you met, the year you were married, etc. There are also bottles out there that can be customized with personalized labels!

There May Be a Few Happy Tears This Year

Sentimental Christmas gift ideas will always make the best gifts because they go above and beyond – they truly show you care with the time and effort that you spent choosing a gift for your recipient. Whether you’re commissioning a family portrait or printing out a photo for a new ornament for their tree, your giftee will appreciate the sentiment and emotion behind your gift.

Looking for more gift ideas? Up Next: Gender Neutral Christmas Gift Ideas for Adults That Anyone on Your Christmas List Will Love


Hi, I'm Cassie! My husband and I have a full house with three furbabies, and when I'm not spending time with them, I'm loving all things fashion, travel, and romanticizing life's little moments. I'm also a self-described book nerd, and am always on the hunt for my newest read.