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10 Holiday Gifts for Grievers

by Linnea Crowther

If you’re shopping for someone who is grieving, the usual gifts may not seem quite right.

The first holiday season after the death of a loved one can be one of the most difficult times of a person’s life. If you’re shopping for someone who is grieving, the usual gifts may not seem quite right in the wake of a life-changing loss. But there are ways to acknowledge the season while also remembering and honoring the person who has died. Here are 10 gift ideas for someone who is grieving: 

1. Create a cozy keepsake quilt

T-shirts or other garments can be turned into a one-of-a-kind quilt by Project Repat. Choose the special items to be included yourself, or give a gift card that will let the recipient customize the perfect quilt to remember their loved one. Use coupon code REPATLEGACY for 25% off a quilt order. It’s a sentimental way to warm both the body and the soul. 


2. Dedicate a day in their memory

For a unique remembrance of a griever’s loved one, you can choose a day that will be dedicated to them from My Day Registry. You can create a personalized certificate to give the griever that commemorates the day. They’ll have all the more reason to remember and reflect on their loved one each year when their day comes around. 

3. Frame a precious photo

We love remembering the best times of our lives by looking at photographs. If you’ve got a favorite photo of someone who has died, have it professionally framed — or buy a frame you like and do it yourself — and gift it to whoever is missing them most. 

4. Gather heartfelt condolences in a book

The Legacy Guest Book can be a great source of comfort and collection of memories in the days and weeks after a death. Make it tangible with a commemorative printed Guest Book, which includes the messages and photos added by friends in a hardcover or softcover volume. 

5. Share an audio or video moment in time

Nothing keeps a lost loved one in our thoughts and hearts like hearing their voice. If you have any recording of the griever’s loved one — a song they sang, a home movie, a news broadcast you saved, even a voice mail message — share it on a CD, DVD, or thumb drive to help keep that special person close.  

6. Help keep their memory burning bright

Lighting a candle is a powerful way to evoke a loved one’s memory while banishing the darkness we may be feeling after their loss. Help a griever light up that darkness by giving a candle as a holiday gift. You can even create a custom candle featuring the face and/or name of the person being remembered. 

7. Honor their life and legacy

A lovingly written obituary sums up all the most important pieces of a life, and it’s something that may be read over and over for years to come. Turn an obituary’s text into a displayable memorial plaque by the American Registry and give it to a griever as a lasting tribute to their loved one. 

8. Preserve their handwriting

Seeing a loved one’s handwriting can instantly bring them to mind. They’ll be in a griever’s heart, too, if you gift a keepsake created with a scanned handwriting sample — perhaps a pendant bearing their signature or an apron made from fabric printed with the text of a handwritten recipe card. 

9. Offer help and assistance

The time after a death is hectic and hard, and it can be a challenge to keep up with basic needs like eating healthy food and finishing household chores. You can lighten the burden with a holiday gift of ready-made meals, a housecleaning service, lawn service, or whatever other assistance you think the griever might need most. 

10. Send a sympathy card

Especially when a death happens just before the holidays, the pain may just be too raw and fresh for the griever to want to celebrate at all. Sometimes, the best decision may be to skip the gifts and simply offer your deepest sympathy. You can do that by sending a sympathy card — and you’ll make it even more meaningful if you include a few of your favorite memories of the person they’re missing. 

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