Though thank you notes are a great way to express your appreciation for someone, there are some situations where a thank you card alone just doesn’t cut it.
If someone has gone above and beyond for you, finding a tasteful thank you gift that they can always treasure will make both you and the recipient feel good for years to come.
When you want to convey how deeply touched you are to someone who has done something truly special, these thank you gift ideas will help you express your appreciation uniquely and with consideration.
The Best Thank-You Gift Ideas in 2021
1. Navy vs Army Chess Set
For the veteran that loves chess and the great Navy vs. Army rivalry, this beautiful thank you gift recognizes their heroics, and the hand-painted, individually polished polyresin players make for a delightful battle of wits.
Some veterans are uncomfortable when thanked for their service, even from family members and may not want to always remember or talk about the time they served. Even if they don’t play chess, this is one gift for veterans that expresses gratitude elegantly and subtly.
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2. Comfort Care Package
Ideas for thank you gifts that encourage the hardworking angel in your life to relax make the best gifts. This 5-piece set of healing and warmth includes a neck pillow, socks, eye mask and a luxuriously soft throw that come bundled in a tote bag. It’s the perfect gift for caregivers, nurses and anyone else whose job can take an emotional and physical toll.
There’s nothing like thank you gifts that say “sit back and do nothing”. They’ve earned it.
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3. Gourmet Gift Basket
When the recipient of this soft leather basket of goodies digs in, they’ll find a carefully assembled collection of gourmet sweets and savory bites, and a gorgeous satin ribbon completes the beautiful visual.
Thank you gift baskets are a delicious and memorable way to send your sincerest appreciation to coworkers, friends and family; and after the basket it is empty, it will definitely become a part of their home décor.
4. Desk Organizer
A powerhouse of a desktop organizer, the two-tier mail sorter, calendar blocks, accessory drawer and additional accessory compartment will make sure the recipient of this gift stays focused on the task at hand. Made from natural wood, it makes for a beautiful piece of home décor.
If you’re searching for teacher thank you gifts or thank you gift ideas for coworkers, this is a great gift that is sure to be an unexpected and special treat.
5. ‘You Rock’ Appreciation in a Box
An inspiring gift box of motivation, this thank you gift features five polished stones that send a message of praise as well as encouragement to continue being great. The polished stones are engraved and painted with ‘you rock!’ and come in a velvet pouch for safekeeping.
The perfect gift for teachers, coworkers and especially to show appreciation to volunteers that have dedicated their time and effort to a worthwhile cause, recipients will never forget how important and appreciated their work was.
6. Laser Cut Notebook
The best thank you gifts have a personal touch and nothing is more personal than including a recipient’s name. This laser cut wood journal’s cover has a unique floral pattern wrapped around the initial of that special someone’s name. The wood is sourced locally and sustainably, and the journal is hand-bound for guaranteed longevity.
A monogrammed beauty, if you’re looking for unique gifts for women or men who enjoy writing, journaling or drawing this will make them smile.
7. Thanks for All You Do Cube
How do you say thank you to someone who does a lot for you and everyone else? You give them this inspirational gift that says thank you in six different ways.
One of the best thank you gifts for coworkers, bosses, teachers and anyone else who wears a lot of hats, when they forget what makes them special, it will only take a roll of this dice to remind them.
8. L’Occitane Hand Cream
There’s no better way to say thank you to someone who must wash their hands constantly than premium lotion to keep their hands moisturized. An incredibly thoughtful gift for nurses and caregivers, this L’Occitane’s hand cream will keep hands soft with a blend of shea butter, almond extract, honey and coconut oil.
Rich in texture and long-lasting, this is one of the best ideas for thank you gifts that shows someone you’ve been paying attention.
9. Portable Bluetooth Speaker
As far as gift ideas go, this is one of the more unexpected, but if you know someone loves music and technology, they will love this powerful speaker by Anker. Once they plug it in, they’ll be amazed by the sound quality and range and love how they can take it with them anywhere.
Though it’s a great gift for anyone, it is one of the guaranteed thank you gifts for men that will be a hit.
10. Personalized Leather Luggage Tags
Any gift guide will tell you that a customized gift is less likely to be forgotten about, and these monogrammed luggage tags will definitely be used. Recipients will get 2 matching leather luggage tags with their initials stamped in gold or silver foil. The tags have an adjustable strap and buckle for securely attaching to luggage.
Practical and charming, they make wonderful thank you gifts for wedding parties, teachers and even your Valentine’s Day sweetheart.
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11. Concrete Jar Candle
Encased in a concrete jar dusted with a gold foil accent, this isn’t your standard thank you candle. Part of Paddywax Candles’ Urban Collection, the Amber and Smoke candle is city-inspired with rich, warm notes of amber, vanilla, patchouli and sandalwood.
It makes a great addition to thank you gift baskets and is a great standalone gift idea for men who are typically against candles – they won’t be able to resist how great it looks and smells.
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12. Brass Glass Terrarium
Elegant and surprisingly sturdy, this brass terrarium is the perfect thank you gift for displaying succulents. The geometric pentagon shape is modern and stylish, giving an air of pure luxury.
For thank you gifts for teachers, friends and even your boss, this is a wonderful thank you gift when words just can’t do justice to an act of love and kindness.
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13. Rose Gold Metal Engraved Multipurpose Holder
Thank you gifts for women can be tricky for some, but this rose gold metal holder is perfect when you’re not sure what to get. Engraved with ‘enjoy every moment’, the holder is a great desk accessory to hold pens and pencils, art supplies and even makeup brushes.
Regardless of their profession or hobbies, they can find a use for this versatile, inspiring and beautiful thank you gift.
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14. Rustic Home Tabletop
Adorn desks, mantels or coffee tables with this patriotic block set that spells ‘home’. Each of the four blocks contains an American flag letter design (the ‘o’ is a heart) and the overall rustic, DIY appeal will blend seamlessly with any home décor.
The greatest gift to many who have served their nation is returning home, so what better way to show your appreciation than to give a thank you gift that never lets them forget they are back where they belong.
15. Monogrammed Bookmark
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A fun and cool way to mark your spot in a book, this leather bookmark is made cooler by the fact that you can get their initial engraved into it. Elegant and thin, it’s a piece of stylish flair the recipient most likely would have never thought to get for themselves.
If you’re looking for thank you gifts teachers will enjoy beyond the classroom, this is a winner.
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16. Thank-You Plaque Artwork
When you want to thank someone who has made a big impact in your life, this 11.8” x 7.8” plaque, reading ‘I thank you for your part in my journey’, is a heartwarming way to do that every day.
It can easily be installed on any smooth surface, and there are no tools required to hang this rustic home décor delight. It makes a meaningful thank you gift for a boss that they’re sure to appreciate.
17. Hardcover Notebook
Ideas for thank you gifts that inspire and motivate will always make perfect thank you gifts for women. Create your own hardcover notebook to personalize for your friend or loved one. This is so cute for anyone who likes to record project ideas, notes and tasks.
Perfect for journals, work or gifts. Option to customize inside and outside covers includes 80 pages of lined or white paper.
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18. You’re My Favorite Mug
Don’t ever let them forget they’re your ‘favorite of all time’ by gifting this glass coffee mug. The design is modern, yet classic, the construction is durable and it’s microwave and dishwasher safe.
Great for Valentine’s Day or just to thank your best friend or spouse for being who they are, this cute reminder will be with them every day.
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19. Gratitude Trinket Dish
Simple thank you gifts are often the best gifts. Durable and chic, the center of this adorable dish has the word ‘gratitude’ engraved in a realistic scrawl that adds to its overall appeal as home décor.
Wonderful for Valentine’s Day, best friends, or even as a hostess gift, this delicate trinket is handcrafted, lead-free and perfect to sit on a nightstand or dresser, keeping favorite rings, bracelets and thoughts of you close by at all times.
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20. Infuser Water Bottle
Fitness and healthy lifestyle items, like this water bottle, are thank you gifts teachers, volunteers and coworkers are sure to like. Instead of giving them just another water bottle, however, this bottle makes staying hydrated easier by allowing them to infuse their water with their favorite natural fruits and veggie flavors.
The smart design is leak proof, dishwasher safe and available in seven different colors.
21. Thank-You Cuff
The copper bracelet cuff reads “Thank you for teaching, caring, loving, inspiring, pushing & believing in me”, and is a great gift for teachers, parents and anyone else who has guided or mentored you in your life.
The heartfelt quote is hand-stamped inside the cuff of the bracelet so that only the wearer can see it. Let them know that though the entire world may not understand how much they do; you truly appreciate them in your life.
Tips to Always Give the Perfect Thank You Gift
When you want to show someone your appreciation, thank you gift ideas abound, but finding the best one for your particular situation can prove to be a challenge.
With these tips, you’ll be better prepared to find the perfect gift to express what words sometimes cannot. 1
1. Make the gift about them
Incredibly meaningful thank you gifts are just as meaningful as the recipient’s contribution to you. To truly show them how you feel, avoid impersonal, standardized gifts and aim for giving something more distinct.
Try to make the gift about the recipient as much as possible. If you know their favorite color is yellow, look for thank you gift baskets that are wrapped in yellow or include yellow products that are all specific to their needs. Show that even though it may be a gift anyone else can have, you have specially curated it for them.
Oftentimes, physical gifts can limit your ability to give them a gift that is truly unique to them. This is why many people opt for gifting them with an experience, because everyone’s experience is theirs alone.
2. Get personal
Showing deep emotions like gratitude require a gift that is going to be received the way you intended. Again, this means a standard gift may not have the effect that you want.
That is why our list contains more than a few thank you gift ideas that can be monogrammed or customized in another way; because some of the best thank you gifts are personalized. This can be an image or quote that means something to the both of you.
For gifts that you feel are too standard, thank you notes can be included. Be sure to refer to more than the specifics of the situation they are being thanked for. You want to make it clear you appreciate them as a person and not just for what they did for you.
3. Give them some flexibility
Open, or flexible gifts are gifts that can be enjoyed at the recipient’s own convenience, and tend to more appreciated. Thanking someone for their effort should naturally include a gift that takes no effort to enjoy!
A thank you gift that burdens someone is not the kind you want to give them. Be sure the gift won’t need to be redeemed or used by a certain time so there is no sense of obligation about interacting with it until they are ready.
You want to give a gift that can be freely enjoyed with no hassles.
4. Surprise them
It’s natural for most people to avoid risky choices when buying gifts, especially thank you gifts for teachers, coworkers or your boss. However, this can push you into some pretty narrow boundaries that result in an underwhelming gift.
There’s nothing more impactful than a surprise. Be personal while still being creative. What is one thing that person may want or need that they may not have realized they want or need yet? Give them that.
5. Make it of quality
Different from being functional, though hopefully it is, but whatever you give them shouldn’t break or decrease in performance over time.
Express your appreciation by buying them something that they aren’t likely to buy for themselves because it is a little too luxurious for them to justify, buy not well-beyond their price range. This gift says that you are thinking about them and are happy to show your gratitude by giving them the best quality.
This doesn’t mean it has to cost money either. If you are writing a card, do it to the best of your ability, not just the first draft and frame it for them. Give them a gift that they know won’t get lost or shuffled around through their home.
6. Give a gift that lasts
Flowers and chocolate are nice, but the pleasure is often short-lived. These kinds of gifts also leave no keepsake behind once they have been consumed.
If you give a gift like those mentioned above, think about making them a recurring gift. A year subscription that delivers flowers monthly is quite different than receiving flowers only once and having them for no more than a week. Wine or other curated subscriptions would also be a good idea.
Experience gifts are popular because, though the happy memories can sometimes fade, they don’t typically disappear. For example, even though giving wine or beer is fun (even a subscription), think about giving them a wine tasting so it becomes a memorable experience.
Follow these guidelines, and you’ll find a proper gift that is useful, good quality, surprising and most importantly heartfelt in expressing your gratitude.
Using thank you gifts that express appreciation in a way that is genuine, creative and beneficial to the recipient of your gratitude doesn’t have to be hard, especially after this list of thank you gift ideas.
In fact, buying them something will be easy because it is coming from the best place: your heart.
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