Gift Edit 2023

38 Sentimental Gifts That Will Make Them Go “Aww” Every Time

updated Nov 8, 2023
Apartment Therapy received compensation for this post, which was written and edited independently by our editorial team.
Pretty wrapped present in brown paper, brown ribbon, dried flowers
Credit: Erika Layne

This feature is part of Apartment Therapy's Gift Edit, our editor-curated collection of gift ideas. Need more inspiration? Check out all our guides here.

Gift-giving is one of life’s greatest joys — but it’s not always the easiest task. Whether you’re shopping for your sweetheart, parent, sibling, friend, or anyone else you care about, finding the perfect present requires some effort. Scoring the right item can be especially challenging when you want something that speaks from the heart and lets your loved one know just how much they mean to you.

That’s why we did the searching for you and found these sentimental gifts that are sure to make your friends, family, and everyone else on your list feel all the feels. From custom jewelry and one-of-a-kind artwork to thoughtful home decor and kitchen items that are sure to become heirlooms, you’ll find it all (and more!) here. If you want to leave an impression that will make them warm and fuzzy inside, take a peek at our list of sentimental gift suggestions below.

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Uncommon Goods

Do you remember the exact date you and your loved one first met? Mark that moment with this personalized photo print of intersecting street signs — with your names and that significant date.

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Give your loved one a plush jewelry case for their most treasured pieces; it's customized with their name and birth month flower. The case is ideal for travel so the recipient can carry their favorite jewelry wherever they go. The faux leather comes in eight different colors.

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Birthdate Candles
was $199.00

This pendant necklace is customized by birth date by astrologers with four gems — a perfect energetic selection for each day in the calendar. Choose between 14K gold-plated silver or sterling silver adjustible. The necklaces have an adjustible 16 to 20-inch chain and arrive in a beautiful presentation gift box that explains the meaning behind the four stones.

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was $17.99

Help someone cultivate a self care practice with these affirmation cards. Each one features an inspiring thought on one side, with related questions on the reverse for deeper exploration.

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Trigger deep memories through a favorite song with this custom acrylic song plaque. All you need is the Spotify link. Use the album or song image that shows up in Spotify when you play the song, or add a photo of your own.

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Uncommon Goods

Celebrate a birthday with these birth month flower earrings. Each earring carefully preserves a blossom in resin and a silver-plated pewter setting.

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was $30.00

If you and your loved one share an obsession with Hallmark holiday movies, you might as well go ahead and pick up two of these books: one for them and one for you. This fun present celebrates the traditional made-for-television masterpieces with behind-the-scenes photos from the film sets, recipes for Christmas cookies and snacks, decorating ideas, fun quizzes, and more.

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was $64.80

With this Etsy gift, you can bring back the days when people carried photos of their loved ones in their wallets, not just in their Photos app. Choose 14 photos, and seller UniqueGiftLove will print them on thick paper inside of a leather sleeve, all in a pocket-sized, 1.5" package that'll make finding their keys easy and heartwarming.

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was $32.95

If you know someone who's feeling a little bit lost these days, show them that you care with this 16-month Law of Attraction Planner. Designed with productivity and positivity in mind, it's filled with exercises, affirmations, and other tools to help them get from where they are now to where they want to be.

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One look at this miniature stuffed version of their beloved sidekick, and your giftee will be smiling ear to ear. Just send in some pics (or a link to the dog or cat's Instagram account, perhaps?), and Etsy seller DaNangCraft will work their magic to create a likeness that your giftee is guaranteed to adore. After giving one to a friend, AT's commerce director, Mark, calls this toy "the ultimate gift for doting dog parents."

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If you're buying for a Jewish loved one, this modern Shabbat Set from Our Place will grace their table for years to come, and they'll think of you warmly every time they use it. The editor-favorite gift bundle includes the Oven Pan, the Oven Mat, a pair of Let There Be Light candles, and a gorgeous challah cover from MINNA. If you know someone who's moving into a new home or you're looking for a go-to host gift, this set could be the one.

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was $38.00

What better way to thank someone than with a candle created just for them? You can personalize the candle and the box with your specific message, and every time your giftee breathes in the soothing cucumber and lemon scent, they'll think of you with a smile. Homesick also makes candles that call to mind places (i.e. Hawaii, New Orleans) and pastimes (Book Club, Yankee Stadium), so be sure to check those out as well to find the absolute right choice.

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was $44.27

Send someone the sound of your voice or a favorite song captured in this sound wave plaque. Your recording is accessible through the QR code printed on the plaque.

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Throw pillow covers don't get much more fun than this sparkly cutie available on Amazon. You choose the image, logo, or special message, and your recipient will smile every time they run their hands over the sequins to reveal it. The case measures 15.7" x 15.7" and does not come with a pillow insert, so you might want to throw one into your cart, too.

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Uncommon Goods

Photo albums are great and all, but this customized gadget from Uncommon Goods is way more fun. It's just like the viewfinders that kids use to look at photos from around the world, but this grown-up version comes with a reel of seven photos that you submit. Every time your giftee pushes the button, they'll be treated to another image that will warm their heart and bring back special memories.

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was $183.00

Tell them you care with a customized jewelry box that not only displays your personalized message but also plays an electronic version of a song of your choosing. Your loved one will think of you every time they open it to retrieve their most precious keepsakes, or even if they just need a reminder of how special they are. Pick from ebony, chestnut, red mahogany, or six other elegant colors.

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Shower your giftee with a delicious dose of nostalgia with this Classic Candy Box from subscription box maker Cratejoy. After all, who wouldn't feel sentimental when munching on Pop Rocks, candy buttons, and loads of other sweets from their youth. Purchase a one-, three-, six-, or 12-month subscription.

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West & Willow

Pet owners know that the way to their hearts is through their four-legged friends, which makes this customized phone case a sentimental find that any "parent" will adore. Send in a photo of your giftee's favorite animal, and West & Willow will transform the image into an adorable illustration and print it onto a phone case. Talk about an upgrade!

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Make the memories of your shared adventure last forever with this fun, multicolored scrapbook. It includes 40 blank pages for you to fill with photos and other mementos. Better yet, gather all of the elements and wait until you're together to lay it all out.

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was $16.00

A beautiful printed star map like this one is the perfect item to commemorate a special moment. Pick a date and location, and Etsy seller Galaxy Gal Gifts will print a picture of what the night sky looked like at that exact time and place. Not only is it a sentimental way to say "I love you," it's a gorgeous, one-of-a-kind piece of art to display, too.

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Uncommon Goods

Does your family have a set of cherished recipes they've passed down through the generations — or newer recipes you all want to share? This custom family cookbook holds your family's treasures deliciously.

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was $52.00

Give them something personal to keep close to their heart in the form of this stunning and understated bar necklace that can be customized with a message in specific handwriting. AT Contributor Bridget gave one to her mom with "lots of love" printed in her mom's handwriting, and it was a total hit. In fact, she called it "probably the best gift I’ve ever given."

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Uncommon Goods

AT contributor Annmarie gifted this sentimental-yet-super-practical find to her mom, who was feeling nostalgic for her own mom during the holidays. To create your own, just send in your favorite family recipe, and Uncommon Goods will engrave it on a cutting board. Choose to use your own (or a loved one's) handwriting, or go with standard font.

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Let your loving words keep your favorite person warm and cozy with this personalized blanket. Either upload a message in your own handwriting, or Etsy seller Fir and Needle can use their own font if you'd rather. It's available in two materials and multiple sizes.

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was $56.99

If you and your family and friends are the types to appreciate a great game night, then this baby is the perfect sentimental find. It looks like any other book on the shelf, but it's actually an elegant version of the classic word game Scrabble. Not only will this gift provide endless hours of entertainment (and competition), but you can also customize the cover with a name and short message.

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Williams Sonoma

Do you have a friend or family member who's a whiz in the kitchen? They'll more than appreciate this exquisite Santuko knife from Williams Sonoma, which you can have printed with their name or monogram. Crafted in Japan, it features a wide, angle-tipped, extremely sharp blade that's perfect for chopping, slicing, and dicing. Choose either a 7" or 5.5" version.

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If you and your love can't be together in person, these long-distance connection bracelets are the next best thing. Each of you wears one, and you can send "touches" to each other to show you're thinking of the other one. That's right, these Bluetooth-enabled accessories mimic the vibration of actual touch, so you can communicate your feelings without words from across town, across the country, or an ocean away.

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Uncommon Goods

Every love story is unique, so tell yours via this adorable, personalizable printed book. Through illustrations that mimic you and your partner, this present celebrates those wonderful little moments that you share together, from spooning on the couch to looking up at the stars. We dare you to find something more romantic and heartwarming!

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Williams Sonoma

If you have lovely memories of family cookouts and barbecues, consider this culinarily focused gift from Williams Sonoma. It includes a monogrammed cutting board, as well as a matching monogrammed meat brand. Bonus: Chances are your giftee will invite you over for steaks to see the brand in action, which is the perfect chance to spend more time together.

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Mark & Graham
was $79.00

If you want to show your loved one that you care in a subtle, elegant way, gift them this vegan leather monogrammed laptop case. It's crafted in three classic, bold colors with a magnetic closure. Though simple, it's a thoughtful, personal present that they'll use and appreciate nearly every day — and that they probably wouldn't splurge on for themselves.

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There's nothing that makes someone feel all warm and fuzzy quite like a mix tape created just for them. Well, Etsy seller Blank Record has taken this classic present and updated it for the 21st century. While it looks like a cassette tape, it's actually a USB drive that you can load with songs, photos, videos, or anything else you want to share to make them know how much you love them. Choose from 4GB, 8GB, and 16GB drives.

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With Greetbl, you can create a totally customized present that speaks to the one you care about. Select the box design and messaging, choose a gift you know they'll love (there's everything from candy to mugs to bath bombs), and add a gift card to one of dozens of retailers (if you want to). Prices vary depending on what you pick, but you can definitely score something wonderful for as little as $25.

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Artifact Uprising
was $35.00

Artifact Uprising is a great go-to for personalized gifts, and this wooden clipboard-style photo calendar is sure to be a hit. Select 12 photos — one for each month — to create something truly special and unique. It will put a smile on your loved one's face all year long. Not bad for just $30!

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Sometimes the best way to stir your giftee's emotions is through the food. With a Goldbelly gift card, they'll enjoy the flavors that bring back warm memories, whether that means deli from DC, a Chicago deep-dish pizza, ice cream from their favorite hometown scoop shop, or anything in between. Gift cards start at $25 and go up from there.

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was $12.99

Certain songs are universally known for tearing at the heartstrings, and "You Are My Sunshine" is definitely one of them. This itty-bitty, palm-sized music box features an old-timey wind-up handle and all sorts of charm. If you'd rather send another sentiment, you can choose pre-written messages tailored for moms, dads, daughters, and spouses.

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Birthdate Candles
was $59.99

Sometimes you receive a gift that makes you feel so loved that you just have to pay it forward. That's what happened when one of our AT contributors got this Birthdate Candle. Each one is customized by day of the year, and the label dives deep into the personality traits of someone born that date, along with deets on their tarot card, ruling planet, and ruling number.

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Capture any meaningful spot in the world — a birthplace, wedding venue, the location where you first met — in this personalized pillow printed with a map. Bonus: you can choose the color of ink used.

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Remind your spouse of all of the ways that you love them with this sweet find. The book comes with 50 pages of prompts to help you open your heart and share your feelings. That way, no matter how far apart you might be, your bae can turn to the book to be reminded of how much you care.