8 Great Holiday Gifts from the Heart

holiday gifts

The spirit of giving is alive and well during the holidays, and holiday parties are a great place to give special holiday gifts to the people who mean the most to you. However, it’s easy to lose the meaning of the season in the midst of all the hustle, bustle, and ads for “must-have” gifts.

holiday gifts

If what you really want to give are gifts from the heart, then this blog post is for you. Each item on this list was chosen because it is personal, homemade, or particularly meaningful. Let’s take a look!

1.) Custom Planner for the New Year

Christmas and other winter holidays fall at the end of the year when most people are just about done with their old monthly planners. That’s why a custom planner for the New Year is such a great holiday gift. If you’d like a truly custom planner, we recommend exploring your options on PurpleTrail, an online store that lets you personalize the front and back covers of your planner with the recipient’s name and your choice of text, photos, background, and graphics.

holiday gifts
Black And White Stripes Floral Planner from PurpleTrail

Custom planners from PurpleTrail are available in hard and softcover, and you can even purchase bonus items, like sticker packs and special add-on pages, to make the planner as useful as possible for the recipient. It’s the sort of gift your friends and family will use and appreciate all year.

2.) An Experience or Excursion

Sometimes the best gift you can give is a great experience. This is especially true if you’re buying for minimalists or adventure junkies. A quick search on Groupon by city will pull up all kinds of unique experiences based on the personality of the gift recipient. Just a few examples might include: snowboarding lessons, cooking classes, horseback riding excursions, distillery tours, and wine tasting sessions.

holiday gifts
Snowboarding excursions make great holiday gifts.

Groupon often gives you the option of purchasing gifts for individuals, couples, and families so there’s a little something for everyone. Better yet, you can send the Groupon gift straight to the recipient’s email for their convenience.

3.) Custom Journal

Many people start thinking about their New Year’s resolutions around the winter holidays. For many, journaling every day is an important resolution so they can look back over the years and smile at their thoughts, activities, and accomplishments. PurpleTrail makes it easy for you to customize a journal for a friend or family member. You can add the recipient’s name in any color, size, or font along with a meaningful quote, and your choice of photos and graphics.

holiday gifts
Modern Stripes Monogram Journal from PurpleTrail

PurpleTrail’s journals, like the Modern Stripes Monogram Journal shown above, come in two different sizes — 6”x8” or 8.5”x11”. For the journal’s inside pages, you can choose blank or lined paper, or make the journal more focused by making it into a bullet journal, travel journal, or recipe journal, depending on what the recipient would find most useful.

4.) Homemade Christmas Cookies

Who doesn’t like homemade Christmas cookies? Just use a classic sugar cookie recipe, like this one from the Bearfoot Baker, and follow baking blogger Lisa’s step-by-step instructions on how to decorate your Christmas cookies beautifully, like the image below.

holiday gifts
Homemade Christmas cookies featured on the Bearfoot Baker

Christmas cookies make convenient holiday gifts since they don’t take up space in the recipients’ house (at least not for long!). Besides, cookies that require a little bit of decorating effort are a true labor of love, showing your friends, family, and colleagues that you care. Bonus: Christmas cookies make great holiday party favors! Just bundle them up by twos and threes in little cellophane baggies and hand them out as your guests head out the door.

5.) Custom Photo Calendar

Just like daily planners, wall calendars have generally outlived their usefulness by the end of the year. The holiday season is the perfect time of year to give family members a custom photo calendar. PurpleTrail lets you customize a calendar to feature 12 months of your favorite photos, not to mention the front and the back of the calendar itself. The Chalkboard Chevron Wall Photo Calendar below is a great example of how fun and personal these can be as holiday gifts.

holiday gifts
Chalkboard Chevron Wall Photo Calendar from PurpleTrail

Each month of a custom calendar not only features a photo, but also personalized text and graphics, allowing you to carry a whimsical theme throughout the calendar, or include your favorite quotes or jokes. Custom photo calendars can also feature personalized dates on the calendar portion, so you can add on all of the birthdays and anniversaries in the recipient’s social circle.

6.) Monogrammed Scarf

A warm scarf is a great winter gift in and of itself, but you can make it slightly more personal with a handsome monogram. When embroidered in modern lettering or an elegant script, monograms are super classy and add a touch of refinement to an otherwise plain accessory.

holiday gifts
Ivory & Black Plaid Monogrammed Blanket Scarf from The Girly-Twirly Gift Company

The example above, from the Girly-Twirly Gift Company, lets you choose from a wide variety of thread colors and font colors for a unique monogram that you can order with or without a fancy embroidered frame to go around it.

7.) Custom Mug + Hot Chocolate Mix

Personalized mugs are a simple and affordable way to show your friends and family that you care. Custom mugs from PurpleTrail are completely made to order. You can choose from more than 130 mug designs on the website or upload your own design onto the mug.

holiday gifts
Red Modern Lettering Holiday Mug from PurpleTrail

PurpleTrail’s helpful design center lets you add whatever photos and text you want to the mug while also allowing you to import fun graphics and backgrounds from throughout the website to make the mug special. Custom mugs from PurpleTrail come in two sizes. We recommend filling the mug with a homemade hot chocolate mix to make the gift extra special.

holiday gifts
Red Sweater Pattern Mug from PurpleTrail

8.) Homemade Handwarmers

Homemade handwarmers are a great holiday gift option if you love to DIY your gifts for friends and family. They’re also a super practical gift for cold weather. Bloggers across the web offer step-by-step instructions on how to make these nifty little gifts, but the best one we came across was this DIY Pocket Handwarmers tutorial from the Practically Functional blog. The tutorial calls for the handwarmers to be filled with corn rather than rice or lentils, as the kernels will hold heat in the handwarmers longer.

holiday gifts
DIY Pocket Hand Warmers featured on the Practically Functional blog

If you’re not much of a DIY person, you can also purchase the handwarmers pre-made from the Practically Functional Etsy shop. We love that this is the sort of gift that can be used over and over to keep chilly hands warm in winter.

We hope these holiday gift ideas inspire you to give gifts from the heart this season! Happy holidays!

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