Gift-giving, no matter the season, is one of the most important traditions that we share. The spirit of gift-giving shows others that we care for them deeply, and the gifts that we end up settling on can often show a lot about ourselves and the things we think about those we call friends or loved ones. This is especially important for those who don’t naturally excel at giving presents for Father’s Day, birthdays, an anniversary, or Christmas.

If you aren’t the world’s greatest gift-giver, those new to your life might think you’re a cheap giver, don’t really know them well, or don’t care enough to put in the thought required to pick out a unique or attention-grabbing gift. This, of course, is typically far from the truth, but the impression is made during the first giving season you share with a friend or new significant other, and first impressions always matter.

What you need is a gift-giving silver bullet. Thankfully, it doesn’t have to be stress-inducing to learn to give great gifts to those you care about. All it takes is some thought about the lifestyle you and those around you lead and commit to making them feel special. With these great ideas, gift-giving may just become your forte rather than a time of year that you dread when the next birthday or holiday rolls around.


If you’re looking for a smart gift idea for any family member, you can’t go wrong with personalized photo gifts.

Whether you’re considering a blanket, drinkware, a photo collage, or even a smart piece of home décor, a photo gift is a great way to capture your favorite memories. Of course, there are tons of photo products, so you may want to choose between a few popular options.

These common photo gifts include:

Custom photo book printed with wedding photos

Photo books

Photo books make great photo gifts because they’re easy to associate with photo albums. It’s the perfect gift for anyone that cherishes favorite photos and special memories. Plus, it’s a unique photo gift that you can customize as much as you want.

With photo books, you can pick from your own photos, choose the layout, highlight favorite pictures, and add extra touches to make it a special, personal gift. You can make your book a modern photo book, a soft photo book, or create a travel-sized book. So whether it’s for mom, a grandparent, or your best friend on a special occasion, a photo book makes for an excellent present.

Fleece blanket custom printed with photo of young girl

Photo blankets

If you’re the kind of person that thinks the best gift is keeping your loved ones warm and cozy, a blanket couldn’t be a more personal gift. Like many photo gifts, you get to choose from your best photos.

You can even get your favorite shots printed on photo pillows. So if you pair a pillow, mug, and blanket, you’ve got a travel kit and a unique gift all in one.

It’s a great gift idea for any loved ones who travel often or are regularly on the go.

4 panel split canvas photo gift

Canvas prints

If your family and loved ones gravitate towards décor but wouldn’t appreciate pillows, blankets, magnets, or travel mugs, consider getting some high-quality canvas prints to adorn their walls.

If you pick the right picture, a canvas can act as a conversation starter and bring a spark to your loved ones’ homes. You can choose between panoramic displays, photo collages, and even canvas panel displays when you’re picking a canvas. These highlight favorite memories but also resemble quality wall art.

Beyond that, you can add photos to any gift. Options include puzzles, custom photo mugs, magnets, durable cell phone covers, water bottles, and much, much more. If you want a unique gift this holiday season, consider a classic canvas print, a photo album, or another charming photo gift.

Customized canvas black and white canvas photo print with wedding couple and poem


If you want to stick to the realm of décor, but you don’t want to commit to a photo gift, you still have options. In fact, there are ways to personalize almost any type of print so that it speaks directly to the gift recipient. Say, for instance, you’re buying a gift for your parents’ wedding anniversary. While you could choose a tasteful canvas print of your parents in their wedding attire, you could also pick a personalized print with their first dance song lyrics.

There are all sorts of popular canvas prints that you can personalize as long as you have a bit of information. For example, for birthdays, consider “On This Day” wall prints. When you put in your loved ones’ birthday (or any other important date), these prints often highlight the top songs, movies, news events, and pop culture of that specific day. It’s a fun way to draw some attention to a special occasion or highlight your favorite memories.

If you think that a personalized print would be a hit this holiday season, you might want to consider starting the process early. Depending on the creator, these prints can take some time. If they’re done by hand, they’ll take even longer. Look for brands with high-quality reviews and shops that provide options like same-day pickup or free ship past a certain spend amount. It’ll help you get the jump on the next holiday, special occasion, or birthday.


Few, if any, houses don’t benefit from the occasional pop of nature. Beyond that, plants have tangible health benefits and improve your overall environment. Of course, while the right plant can make for a thoughtful, unique gift, it’s hard to personalize, like a photo album or a print. Plus, you don’t want to give someone an extra chore they have to see to throughout the week.

Luckily, there are ways to get around all of this. For starters, look for plants that fit your loved one’s surroundings. If you know someone who lives in an apartment that doesn’t get a ton of natural light, pick out indoor shade plants. If you know someone who lives in a drier climate, go for succulents.

You can even have your loved ones take a plant personality quiz to help you narrow down your search. This will help tell you what plants will and won’t work for your giftee. You can find a plant that’s as involved or as low maintenance as you’d like. You can even pick something that fits in with the color scheme or decor for an added pop of color. While plants won’t work for every giftee on the planet, they make for a fun and unique gift.

Collection of decorative potted plants for adding greenery to living space
Subscription gift box filled with soaps lotion and personal care items


Do you have that one friend who’s absolutely obsessed with hot sauce? What about your sister who always tells you about the latest scary movies? What if there were a way to get a unique, personalized gift that speaks to your loved one’s greatest interest? With subscription boxes, you have a great solution. These days, there seems to be a subscription service for about every single hobby, passion, or passing interest on the planet. Typically, these services provide curated boxes, though there are also ways to gift streaming and theater memberships.

With most subscription boxes, you’ll pick a subscription length and a membership tier. Many subscription boxes offer monthly memberships and discounts for annual memberships if you pay upfront. As far as tiers, these often determine how many items are in each box. Remember that quality is much more important than quantity, so you want to pick a box that prioritizes a handful of curated, thoughtful items instead of one that’s stuffed to the brim with cheap knick knacks.

Depending on the subscription box, you can even choose a gift subscription. At the end of the prepaid subscription period, it’ll give the account holder the option to continue their subscription or cancel. Typically, if they want to cancel, they don’t even have to lift a finger as their prepaid membership will expire. If you want something that really speaks to your giftee’s interests, passions, and hobbies, this can be a great gift.


What could make for a unique gift than something you’ve made with your own hands? Whether it’s a lovingly crafted card, a clay coffee mug, or a painted canvas that you completed in an art class, handmade gifts often reign supreme. If you want an easy, affordable DIY gift, consider a handmade diffuser or scent bundle.

Pick out a jar, some reed diffusers, and some of your favorite essential oils to create a home scent kit that’ll freshen up any room. Or, select some of your favorite candles or diffusers. Candles add ambiance and warmth to any home, and your loved ones will think of you every time they light them.

In most cases, it seems that the best way to find unique gifts for family and friends is to pick something that you can personalize. When you add your own unique touches to a gift, it really speaks to your relationship with the person you’re giving it to. For example, a photo blanket could capture a memory that makes you both feel warm. A personalized coffee mug can speak to your mutual love of caffeine. A subscription box could reference a shared interest or a growing passion. When you put your thought into it, almost any gift can be unique.

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