I will find any excuse to give thoughtful gifts, especially to the people closest to me. My friends have joked that I’m the Leslie Knope of gift giving (if you’ve ever watched Parks and Rec). If gift giving doesn’t come as naturally to you, that’s okay! I’m going to share some of my secrets, so that next time you want to give a thoughtful gift to your best friend, you’ll have some ideas up your sleeve.
1. Framed Photo
What’s better than giving a little bit of yourself to your friend? This is one of my favorite thoughtful gifts. If you have a favorite picture or two, print them out and frame them as a gift. To make any framed photo look a little more elevated, buy a frame with a mat, so that there is white space between the photo and the frame. If you want to get creative, you could even write a message on the mat, or a favorite saying or quote or song lyric. Anything to make it more personal! Your friend will love the thought you put into it, and it will be a constant reminder of your friendship whenever they look at it.
2. Spotify Keychain
This is the coolest gift idea ever! I hope none of my friends read this article because I love this idea for Christmas and birthday gifts. You can get a clear keychain custom made with a Spotify code, so that when it’s scanned it will lead straight to the song you want. Check out Etsy to see the different kinds available. I love the idea of “gifting” your favorite song together to your friend. Or, if you know there favorite song or one that’s special to them, choose that. It will show them just how well you know them!
3. Journal To Share
When my cousin and I were in college, we passed a journal back and forth to each other every month. We each wrote a few pages about what was going on in our lives, and questions to each other, then sent it in the mail so that the other person could reply. It was a great way to keep in touch, and we’ve continued to pass it back and forth for a few years now. A very thoughtful gift, especially for a long distance friend, would be a journal you can mail back and forth. It’s almost like a time capsule, to look back on now!
4. Plant In A Custom Pot
Besides gifting a pet, there are few thoughtful gifts that are actually alive. I love this idea because plants are so comforting to have and brighten up any room! Whenever your friend looks at it, they’ll think of you. It’s also nice to have something to take care of, especially during the colder winter months. If your friend is inexperienced with plants, try a phil0dendrum. They are super easy to take care of and grow nicely! Take this gift one step further by painting a plastic or ceramic pot for the plant, so it’s custom made.
5. Friendship Jewelry
This is a thoughtful gift idea as old as time. But let’s be real, friendship bracelets were the best. Bring this gift up to speed by buying matching rings for you and your best friend. Or if your friend is more into bracelets or necklaces, go for that! They don’t have to be the typical one-half-of-a-broken-heart type piece, instead look for something in a style you both like, and just buy a matching set! If you want to go custom, choose something with coordinates of a special place, like where you met. Of course, if the hearts are replaced by waffles I might reconsider…
If you are keen on helping your friend decorate their space, then buying them some art could be a very thoughtful gift. This is one of my favorite things to do because it supports local artists, wherever I purchase the piece, and it shows my friend that I was thinking of them while I traveled or shopped. If I’m visiting a city that I know my friend has a special connection to, then I like to purchase a watercolor or a print that I know they’ll love! Or, try shopping online for the style of art they like. You could purchase a print and go the extra step to frame it for them, in something that will suit their decor.
7. Framed Receipt Or Postcard
I am a firm believer that anything can look amazing in a frame, and I think the most thoughtful gift would be to frame a dinner receipt or a postcard, from a special dinner or trip you took together! I heard this idea recently, to frame a receipt, and I loved it! As someone who tends to hoard receipts after meaningful trips, I am definitely going to use this as a thoughtful gift idea in the near future. If you and your friend went on a special trip together, frame a postcard. I like to go for either vintage postcards (some antique shops have great collections) or the ones that look more like sketches or watercolors of the place. Keep this in mind next time you travel with a friend!
8. A Concert Ticket
This has to be one of my favorite thoughtful gifts, because gifting a ticket is basically gifting an amazing experience. I am all about collecting memories and not things! If you know your friend’s favorite artists, then this is the perfect gift. Plus, it means you get to go to the concert too! It’s also like extending the birthday or holiday celebrations even longer, because it guarantees you’ll have another fun night together whenever the concert date lands.
9. A Magazine Subscription
This is the gift that keeps on giving, all year long! Buy a magazine subscription for your friend, to whatever magazines they read or you know they’d love. If they’re passionate about travel or design, this is such a nice way to feed that passion. They will be so grateful every time they receive a new magazine! Surprise mail is the best, and so are thoughtful gifts you had to plan for.
10. A Trip
This is a big, very thoughtful gift. But big occasions call for big gifts. Instead of buying something for each other for a big life milestone, like graduating college or turning 23, plan a trip together instead! This is another thoughtful gift that is more than a gift because it’s an experience. Planning a trip is a fun way to celebrate and be together, much better than any material thing, I think!
Those are my top ten favorite thoughtful gifts! Share them with your friends so you can level up on your gift giving this year, or send it as a little nudge (I want #2 and #8 the most this year!)…
Featured Image Source: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/510314201521853434/
Maggie is the blogger behind The Artful Everyday, a travel and lifestyle blog dedicated to living intentionally and finding beauty in the ordinary. She loves the idea that we get to escape our normal lives when we travel, and that it allows us to be more open to the world and its cultures. Maggie lived in Florence while studying abroad, then was an au pair in Rome last fall. She is very passionate about traveling in Europe, especially Italy, and living abroad. Maggie studied Interior Design at the University of Minnesota, but is currently pursuing a career in writing.