Gift-giving is an art—it’s a form of self-expression that is, for the most part, meant to make someone feel something.
No matter the size, meaningful gifts can hold the power to celebrate connections and can deepen your relationship. Gifts should bring joy, and the process of finding one can be a fulfilling, meaningful journey rather than something stressful.
But not everyone is a natural-born gift-giver and picking a meaningful gift isn’t always easy. Sure, you can bypass the sentimental part and instead turn to conventional presents like a bottle of Pinot Noir, a pumpkin spice scented candle, a bouquet of red roses, or a gift card (nothing wrong with these options), but if you’re aiming to get more personal and show someone you care or that they’ve been on your mind, you’ve landed in the right place.
We’ve mapped out a meaningful gift-giving guide that’s rooted in the oh-so-cliché saying, “It’s the thought that counts.” Because, well, it’s true.
Even the fact that you are reading this post shows your thoughtful intention, so you’re on the right track so far. As a rule of thumb, go for a gift that you wouldn’t necessarily give to anyone else. Before delving into shopping mode, however, start by asking yourself a few questions:
- Who is the gift for?
- What’s the occasion?
- How can you reflect her personality in the gift?
- Do you have a budget in mind?
- Taking it to the next level, how can you get even more creative with your gift?
Just like journaling, taking some time to reflect on these questions can put everything into focus and perhaps even allow you to feel closer to the person you’re buying for. It’s also a good way to remind yourself why you’re taking your time to give her a meaningful gift in the first place.
Of course, everyone’s tastes are different and there’s no guarantee any specific gift idea will win her heart (if that’s your goal) but we think that more likely than not, she will appreciate your thoughtfulness.
So without further ado, read on for some tips on how we think through the above questions and some recommendations from us, to you.
Who is the gift for?First things first: Think about the relationship you have with your recipient. Are you looking for the perfect gift for your long-distance relationship? Are you planning to find something meaningful for your girlfriend, wife, sister, mom, aunt, grandma, best friend, or someone else? Consider how close you are with the person you’re gifting.
Now, think back to how you two met, whether it was romantic, social, professional or even familial. Putting some context around your relationship will help you set the tone for your gift.
The Cascading Circles Fortune Locket is a good option for someone who tends to be somewhat minimalist, but has an underlying playful side.
The message, of course, should vary depending on who you’re gifting the piece to.
Need a few ideas for writing a line of your own? Try…
- A nickname you call her.
- An inside joke between you two.
- A memory from your first date.
- A line from a movie you watched together.
- A meaningful song lyric that you both love.
- A date (month, day, year) from a significant event.
- A few words that sum up your relationship in a nutshell.
- A set of coordinates from a family vacation or other significant landmark.
- A quote from her favorite author.
- Something memorable she’s said.
What’s the occasion?
Is there a particular reason you’re looking to give this present now? Maybe it’s for a holiday, her birthday, an anniversary, a life moment, a new child, or just because you want to show her a token of your appreciation.
The occasion and reason are important parts of the gift planning process. Not only do they determine what’s appropriate, they also might help prompt ideas.
Each of our pieces, including the Heart + Arrow Bracelet, comes tucked in a custom-designed storybook gift box, with an extra fortune and mini envelope.
When it comes to our meaningful jewelry gifts, there are two things to think about: the jewelry itself and the message or fortune inside. Your jewelry selection should reflect her style and personality, while the message you put inside should reflect your relationship, the occasion and the other factors we’re considering here.
If the gift is for a holiday, start planning for it well ahead of time to help relieve pressure on yourself and avoid scrambling to find a meaningful gift at the very last minute.
And of course, feel free to lean on our collection of messages for every moment and occasion. A few ideas:
- For her birthday: “A party without cake is just a meeting.” —Julia Child
- For an anniversary: “Real love stories never have endings.” —Richard Bach
- To celebrate a new mom: “Life doesn’t come with a manual. It comes with a mother.” —Unknown
- For a graduation: “Do not follow where the path may lead. Go, instead, where there is no path and leave a trail.” —Ralph Waldo Emerson
- To say thank you: “When it comes to life, the critical thing is whether you take things for granted or take them with gratitude.” —G.K. Chesterton
How can you reflect her personality in the gift?
To make any gift meaningful, inject some personality into it—yours and hers! Is she a humorous gal who can repeat every line from every romantic comedy? Is she a bookworm who can read novels for days on end? Is she super into wellness and self-care? Or maybe she’s the outdoorsy type who loves long hikes and camping.
Give her something sentimental, like our Sphere Secret Ring, which she can always hold close.
More questions for your gift-giving game plan:
- How would you describe her to someone who doesn’t know her?
- What is she passionate about the most?
- What are her favorite hobbies?
- Think about a time you saw her truly happy.
- What kind of music does she listen to?
This is a can’t-miss bold piece that might just make maximalists rejoice. But if she’s more of a minimalist, check out the dainty Fortune Cookie Ring. It doesn’t hold a message, but it’s certainly thoughtful, and you can always write a message separately and pair it with a Fortune Frame that she can keep at home or work.
Some other ways you can tie in her preferences and personality? Pay close attention to the little details, like whether she usually wears gold or silver jewelry.
If you’re stuck on how to add a distinctive flair to your gift, scroll through her Instagram and past text messages or give her a call to casually chat and see if any ideas pop up.
Do you have a budget in mind?
A sentimental gift doesn’t necessarily have to be a pricey one. Who can forget the scene in Breakfast at Tiffany’s when Holly Golightly and Paul Varjack visit Tiffany’s and ask the salesman if there’s anything in the store within their budget of $10? After turning down a sterling silver telephone dialer for $6.75, they ended up getting an engraving instead—on a ring from a Cracker Jack box!
The H.G. initials they engraved onto the ring meant more to them than any item from Tiffany’s because of the personal element behind it.
Our Fortune Frame is small in size (2 3/4" x 5/8", to be exact), but it can be big in meaning.
Similarly, our 14K Gold-plated Fortune Frame will let you say what you want on a deeper level—and affordably.
Fun fact: Before making our lockets and this smaller frame, Fortune & Frame made much larger, heavier brass fortune frames that were so heavy and labor intensive that we had to retail them for around $300. It was a series of trials and errors that paved the path to meaningful jewelry that’s also affordable!
Other gifts with meaning:
- A mason jar filled with homemade cookies wrapped up with a sweet card.
- A scrapbook filled with photos of your favorite memories together.
- A monogrammed journal (bonus points: write a thoughtful note on the first page).
- A hand-knit scarf in her favorite color.
- A mixtape of the most-played songs (yes, taking it back old-school-style).
- Offer to help babysit, cook, clean, or take on some of her everyday errands.
How can you get even more creative with your meaningful gift?
Some of the best gifts are not just material items, but the moments you experience together. Or better yet, maybe it’s both!
Your message can be rolled into a secret stroll to go inside our Capsule + Wand Locket.
Any of our gift ideas can stand on their own, but if you’re feeling really creative, you can also surprise her with a new experience. This approach can turn an already thoughtful gift into an interactive adventure.
If you’re planning an experience, consider the occasion, time of year, location, weather, and of course, her interests. You can even go all out and set a theme for the celebration and drop hints leading up to the big reveal—this will give her something to look forward to and can help build more excitement around the gift.
Some ideas on how your message can tie into an experience:
- Message: “Love is the strongest force in the universe.” —Frederick Lenz
Experience: A dreamy night of watching the stars in each other’s company.
- Message: “Go confidently in the direction of your dreams.” —Henry David Thoreau
Experience: A girls’ shopping trip for a wardrobe refresh in celebration of a new life moment.
- Message: “It’s time for a good ol’ fashioned adventure.”
Experience: A bike ride to explore a never-visited town together.
- Message: “You can’t do everything by yourself. It’s okay to ask for help.”
Experience: A home-cooked meal where you play the role of assistant chef in the kitchen.
- Message: “Will you marry me?”
- Experience: A proposal at the scene of your first date.
There are endless ways to go when it comes to picking a meaningful gift. Ultimately, the key is to think about how you want your recipient to feel.
Even if she seems to have everything in the world or is the hardest person to shop for, taking a moment to reflect on what makes her special can unearth some thoughtful gift ideas that she didn’t even know she wanted. It might seem time-consuming, but doing some upfront planning might save you hours of wandering around stores or scrolling the internet to find something meaningful to give her.
To sum it up, a quote by Tinku Razoria: “Some gifts are big. Others are small. But the ones that come from the heart are the best gifts of all.”
Remember: have fun with it—enjoy the brainstorming process and happy gift-giving!
Searching for more meaningful gift ideas? Check out:
- Our thoughtful first-anniversary gift-guide to help you pick a thoughtful gift whether you’re toasting to one year of dating or a year of marriage.
- The most thoughtful and creative 30th birthday gift ideas for her because the third decade in life is a huge milestone in itself and worth a celebration.
- Messages and gift ideas for mom to express your love and appreciation for her.