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Melanie Sutrathada is In The Know’s lifestyle contributor. Follow her on Instagram and Twitter for more.
Joy to the world! The holidays are officially here. You can finally throw on your *NSYNC Christmas album without judgement. You can wear all the ugly sweaters your heart desires. You can “accidentally” send your friends and family your Amazon wish list after having a little too much eggnog. And, most importantly, you can get excited about all of the gifts you’re going to give to help brighten everyone’s spirits.
These shouldn’t be just any gifts, though — we’re talking about the perfect, sentimental holiday gifts for your loved ones. Ones that say, “I love you and wanted to go above and beyond for you,” versus “I may or may not have forgotten to get you something and just picked this up at the grocery store on my way here.” Trust me, I’ve given quite a few gifts in the latter category, and it’s not nearly as rewarding.
That’s why I’ve rounded up my go-to sentimental holiday gifts that will have your loved ones smiling from ear to ear. These presents feel intentional and super thoughtful — and they’re all so good that everyone will know you’re making Santa’s nice list.
Surprise a loved one with a candle that reminds them of home
Shop: Homesick Candle, $34
Credit: Homesick Candles
Know somebody who’s spending the holidays away from their family? Well, now they can bring a piece of home wherever they go. Homesick Candles come in scents that embody different cities, states and countries (and even places like summer camp or grandma’s kitchen). Whether your bestie is longing for the woodsy, musky scent of Florida, the sea breezes of Southern California or the flowering trees of Missouri, this candle will surely take them home — at least for a little while.
Show them you remembered
Shop: Personalized Special Date Calendar, $8.99
We all have those special dates that we think about all the time. You know, the ones you find yourself randomly thinking about with the goofiest grin on your face. Whether it’s commemorating your anniversary, the day you had your first kiss or the day you met your best friend, this keychain is a reminder of a precious moment in time. It’s a great gift that is so much cuter than those random chachkes you have attached to your keys. Customize the date, choose a heartfelt message and show your loved ones that some memories last forever.
Showcase special places
Shop: Grafo Map, $49+
Credit: Grafo Map
A custom Grafo Map is a gift that really carries meaning. You can completely personalize this map by searching for any place and pinpointing an exact location. It’s a perfect present for nostalgic travelers longing for that one special place, or for a friend who just graduated college. Memorialize your mom’s hometown, the place where you and your girlfriend had your first date, where your brother and sister-in-law got married or any location that brings back feelings of joy. The possibilities are endless when it comes to Grafo Maps.
Mark significant moments
Shop: Personalized Star Map, $44.99
Do you remember what the sky was like when you said your vows? Or on that one special birthday? This personalized star map helps whoever you gift it to travel back in time to relive those meaningful moments. Surprise your loved ones with custom star map prints of significant events, like birthdays, anniversaries and wedding days. This gift feels right out of a Hallmark movie, and is sure to be an absolute favorite this holiday season.
Give a keepsake they can wear every day
Shop: Handwriting Bracelet, $27.75
If you haven’t picked up on the fact that I’m a sentimental sap, this gift will really give it away. This customized bracelet from Etsy is truly one of the sweetest gifts. I mean, what better way to relay a message of love than with a bracelet in your grandma’s handwriting? Gorgeous, stylish and sentimental, this personalized bracelet allows you to bring your handwritten messages to life.
Give a gift that can be enjoyed all year round
Shop: Artifact Uprising Wood Calendar, $25
Credit: Artifact Uprising
This beautiful, custom wood calendar from Artifact Uprising will exceed all of your expectations and more. I surprised a friend with one of these for her birthday recently, and she ugly cried like Kim Kardashian. I’d like to think it was a real hit. All you have to do is choose a photo for each month of the year, and Artifact Uprising will take care of the rest!
If you enjoyed this story, check out Melanie Sutrathada’s suggestions for the best host gifts this holiday season!
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