When shopping for meaningful gifts that will make someone you care about feel appreciated and understood, sometimes the kinds of items you can simply find in any department store or large mall just don’t cut it. For some it can be really difficult to hone in on a gift that feels thoughtful and special, but it has been scientifically proven that these gifts make people feel more fulfilled than others. The joy that arises when someone receives a meaningful gift is worth all of the time and effort you put into it, so it’s important to get it right.

First, listen up. As nice as surprises are, sometimes the most meaningful gift is the most practical. If someone you love has spoken to you about really wanting a certain kind of item, or if they have shown interest in certain experiences, take that into account. It may be an idea that is coming from them, but they will appreciate how you paid attention, and they will also love the fact that you got them something they actually wanted.

Secondly, remember that size doesn’t matter. The most meaningful gifts aren’t always the most expensive or largest. Sometimes, those seem impersonal because they are such statement pieces that don’t hold a lot of nostalgia. So, instead of getting your husband a flat screen TV because he loves movies — why not make him a movie night box, and get him a subscription to his favorite streaming service? There are ways to personalize every single piece of interest, without going the easy route and getting your person something obviously related to it.

Lastly, the most meaningful gifts always have an experiential element to them. Whether they are the kinds of gifts that relate to memories you have shared with someone, or you purchase something that allows for you to spend more time with the person you love — anything that brings you closer to a person, and reminds them that you truly do appreciate all of the time you have had together, is the definition of meaningful.

Below we’ve curated a few of our favorite meaningful gifts to help you come up with the perfect present for the person you admire. We hope these picks inspire you!

The Best Meaningful Gifts

Custom Lovimals Socks

This is a great custom gift for any pet lover. Lovimals creates custom socks (along with various other products) with illustrations of your pet’s adorable face printed right on the fabric. Simply get a picture of your loved ones pet and then upload it to the Lovimals website, after that a graphic designer from their team turns the photo into a custom illustration that is emblazoned on a pair of durable and cozy socks via a laser printer. Of all our meaningful gifts curated here, this is one gift that is sure to touch your loved ones heart because really our pets are our best friends.

Homesick Candles

Have you ever missed the way a place smells? Whether it is your childhood home, or your favorite library, we all have nostalgic smells and environments that bring us back to the places that make us feel most at home. Homesick Candles (available to buy on Amazon) have taken that nostalgia, and they have created candles that best represent each aspect of it. From a candle that sums up what your childhood summer camp smelled like, to candles that smell like Texas or Paris, nothing is more meaningful than a memory. Giving someone the ability to light a candle, and transport themselves to a place or a memory that fills them with happiness, is an incredible way to show them that you care.

The Awakening Mind

If you are shopping for someone who enjoys reading, expanding their mind, and learning little ways to improve the way they live their life, this book bundle by Thought Catalog Books is the perfect meaningful gift. This beautiful book collection features three of Brianna Wiest’s best-loved works. Wiest is celebrated for being the kind of writer that has found the perfect balance between inspiring audiences while also motivating them to become the person they have always wanted to be through factual, and logical approaches. Her work comes together to make people grow in the most intelligent, and encouraging way, so if you’re looking to show someone that you appreciate their development, this bundle is an incredible gift that will help them on their journey.


If someone in your life is looking to learn a new skill, or dive deeper into something they have always been interested in, subscribing them to a Mastercalsss is an incredibly meaningful gift that shows them how much you care about their growth and their inspiration. Masterclass has thousands of courses, taught by industry leaders, for creatives in all disciplines. From a cooking course with Gordon Ramsay, to a film course with David Lynch, to a Writing For Television course with Shonda Rhimes, there is something for every kind of person you are shopping for.

Personalized Necklace / Ring

Jewelry is always a gift that can be hit or miss for a lot of people due to how specific our tastes can be. So, if you are hoping to gift someone with a shiny new surprise, why not personalize it? Stone & Strand allows for you to create custom jewelry based around names, and years, that can be outfitted to all styles of rings, necklaces, bracelets, etc. Whether you choose someone’s birth year, the month you met, or simply just engrave a sweet message or their name on their new piece, it will be meaningful to them because you are giving them a gift that helps the to wear their story.


If you are shopping for the kind of person who finds meaning in caring, placing a charitable donation in their name can be an extremely thoughtful way to celebrate them, and their beliefs. With so many impactful organizations that exist in the world, a quick Google search can inspire your donation and help you give back to incredible initiatives while also giving back to your loved one. Some charities we recommend donating to are I Fund Women, Direct Relief, and Sierra Club, but depending on what your person deeply cares about, there are hundreds of different resources you can back on their behalf.

Movie Night Projector

Sometimes the best kind of gift is one that helps for you to spend quality time with those you love. This projector is highly rated, compact, and wireless allowing for someone to set up movie nights quickly, and easily because they can just project their favorite films from their phone or computer. Nothing beats spending Friday nights cuddled up, eating popcorn, drinking wine, and watching old movies with those you love. There is a lot of meaning to be found in a gift that helps someone to create memories with those they admire.

Poem Prints

If you are looking to buy a meaningful gift for someone who loves poetry, or a specific writer — a framed print is an incredible option. Because a lot of readers, and creatives, are motivated by the words they read and the art they consume, by giving them something encouraging that relates to an author that they have always admired, you not only gift them something thoughtful, but you also gift them something that is going to inspire them for years to come whenever they look at it. Truly any kind of wall art is a very meaningful gift. 

The Bucket List

If you want to inspire someone in your life to create new memories, and to follow their heart when it comes to travel, big ideas, and so on — a journal that encourages them to write down all of their desires is an incredibly thoughtful way to give them a gift with meaning. This journal by Australia-based design studio Axel & Ash is filled with creative prompts, and inspiration relative to those big ideas we often think about but need encouragement to chase. If someone in your life is a dreamer, support that by giving them a tool that will encourage their dreams even more.

Scratch Map

If you are looking to buy a meaningful gift for a travel enthusiast, or for someone who has a lot of dream trips planned in their mind, a travel scratch map is a meaningful way to add a little adventure to their space. Available in different customizable versions, you can gift someone a map that truly embodies their travel style, or their personality. Plus, because these maps are interactive, allowing each person to scratch off the places they have been, there is a dreamlike element to a gift like this. Not only does it remind them of the places they have created memories in, but it also inspires them to create new memories in undiscovered territory.

An Airbnb Experience

Studies have shown that the most appreciated, meaningful gifts are actually those that are experiential. So, why not give someone you love an experience, instead of another material possession? Airbnb experiences are customizable down to the area you live in, so whether you’re traveling and you want to surprise someone with an exciting outing, or you want to create new memories in your own hometown, Airbnb gives you the opportunity to do so. From cooking classes, to deep sea adventures, to painting nights or a pub crawl, there is meaningful experience for everyone on your list, and you can be sure that the memories will last a lifetime.

What is the most meaningful gift you’ve ever received? Email us at hello@shopcatalog.com and share your experiences.