Celebration of Life Gift Ideas Guide

Written by: Adam Binstock



Time to read 7 min

celebration of life gift ideas

A Celebration of Life Gift or sympathy gift, is a thoughtful gesture that shows someone they are not alone in their journey of healing. 

Hopefully it brings them a little joy and comfort in this difficult time for them.

Choosing that special and unique gift will require knowing a little bit about them. Has their loved one recently passed or is the gift for a death anniversary?

But remember, it's the thought that counts and to show that you're there for them

We’ve carefully compiled a list of gift ideas for family members or friends to guide you on your selection. 

Unique Celebration of Life Gift Ideas

unique sympathy gifts

A Celebration of Life Ceremony is usually a unique and very personalized memorial service.

Below is a list of unique celebration of life gifts that you can consider. These are also usually appropriate for a traditional funeral or memorial service.

Memorial Candles

Memory Candles

Not the most unique, but a memorial candle is probably the most popular sympathy gift. Lighting a candle can feel like a warm, gentle hug during moments of remembrance. Plus, it can set a peaceful and reflective mood in any space. Overall a very meaningful gift for a lost loved.

Keepsake Urns

Keepsake Urns
Handmade ceramic keepsake urn

Suitable for cremation funeral services and a life celebration ceremony, this small gift is both a useful and meaningful way to honor a lost love's memory. 

These small artistic urns are a simple and tasteful place to keep a little portion of ashes, which lets someone have their loved one's spirit close.

Grief Journal

Reflecting and journaling can be a powerful tool for family members dealing with grief. These fantastic journals have prompts and open spaces, that inspire healing, growth, and acceptance. If you think that your friend or loved one is the type of person who likes to reflect, this would make a thoughtful memorial gift.

Memorial Wind Chime

A beautiful outdoor sympathy gift. Every time the wind blows, this memorial chime plays a little tune, reminding them of shared memories and moments. It's a lovely addition to gardens or patios.

Keepsake Boxes

Another symbolic and popular choice for funeral gifts, these boxes can store mementos, letters, or any small treasures that remind someone of their loved one. It's a meaningful gift that's both decorative and deeply personal.

Name a Star

Imagine looking up and knowing there's a star out there named in honor of your loved one. It's a cosmic way to feel connected, no matter the distance. There's quite a few products out there, like Star Register.

Gift Certificate

If you're not exactly sure what memorial gift to choose, why not leave it up to the recipient. It could be a gift certificate for a spa day, massage, or even to a memorial website.

Memorial Jewelry

memorial jewelry gifts

Cremation jewelry are personalized memorial gifts that can be perfect for someone that wants a keepsake or a piece that is infused with their loved one's ashes.

Made by talented artists, this type of jewelry is usually handmade and there are a wide variety of designs and styles.

Cremation Necklaces

These memorial necklaces have a small compartment to hold a bit of ashes, letting you wear a memory close to your heart. It's a subtle and elegant way to feel connected wherever you go. These keepsakes make an excellent memorial gift for a lost loved one.

Cremation Rings

A ring that not only symbolizes love and eternity but also carries a hidden chamber for ashes. Slide it on, and you've got a touching blend of fashion and remembrance right at your fingertips.

Fingerprint Jewelry

Capturing the unique ridges and patterns of a loved one's fingerprint, this jewelry is as personal as it gets. Every time you touch it, it's a tactile reminder of the bond you shared.

Nature Inspired Gift Ideas

Nature-inspired sympathy gifts

Nature inspired memorial service gifts are a thoughtful choice, especially for those who found solace or joy in the outdoors. 

These small gifts can bring a sense of calm and connection to nature at a time when they need it most. These gifts could also potentially be used in the memorial service.

Below are a few memorial gift ideas you might find suitable:

Sympathy Plants

This can be more unique than sending flowers, these memorial plants are living tributes in their own beautiful way, that grow over time. Plus, they add a touch of nature and serenity to any space.

Seed Sets

Planting these seeds is a symbolic act of remembering a loved one, and over time, they blossom into beautiful reminders in a garden or pot.

Memorial Bird Feeder

Each time a bird visits, it's like a gentle nod from nature, reminding you of the moments spent with the departed. It's a serene addition to any outdoor space.

Biodegradable Urns

These eco-friendly urns return to the earth naturally, making them perfect for those who loved nature. It's a way to honor both the departed and the environment.

These biodegradable urns are also an appropriate funeral gift if the loved one is being cremated.

Memorial Garden Stone

Nestled among plants or along a path, this stone stands as a lasting testament to the memories shared. It's a tangible touchpoint in your favorite outdoor spot.

Cremation Art Memorial Gifts

Cremation Art Sympathy Gifts

Cremation art is a deeply touching way to keep a family member close by weaving their ashes into beautiful works of art. 

Imagine having a one of a kind piece of art that not only reminds you of them but also feels like a part of them is still with you.

Cremation Paperweights

These memorial paperweights are beautiful and sentimental gift for a grieving family. It's symbolic way to keep their loved one close or in a special place. Every glance at it will remind them of cherished moments and inspire them to share memories.

Memorial Sun Catchers

When placed by a window, these catch the sunlight and scatter vibrant colors, turning a simple ray into a heartfelt memory dance.

Cremation Sculptures

Art that holds meaning—these sculptures integrate ashes, making them a striking and poignant piece to have in your space.

Cremation Ashes Paintings

It's where memories meet artistry. Ashes are mixed with paint, creating a canvas filled with personal significance and visual appeal.

Comfort Gift Baskets

Comfort Care Packages Gifts

Very popular in a funeral or memorial service, comfort basket gifts are all about delivering a tangible bundle of care to someone in need. 

These memorial gifts are filled with a selection of soothing items like soft blankets, warm tea, self care products, and perhaps even a heartfelt note or book.

DIY Celebration of Life Gifts

DIY Sympathy Gifts

DIY gifts are the embodiment of personal effort and thoughtfulness. They're handcrafted tokens, made from the heart, often tailored to the recipient's likes or memories shared together. For grieving families or individuals, a DIY gift—be it a scrapbook of cherished memories, a knitted blanket, or a handmade candle—carries the warmth of the giver's hands and heart, offering a unique comfort that store-bought items might not capture.

Memory Jar: this simple yet touching gift involves a decorated jar filled with handwritten notes or memories of the departed. It's a heartwarming way for the recipient to read and relive cherished moments, one note at a time.

Handcrafted Sympathy Cards: Sometimes the heartfelt words in a handmade card that talk about special memories and happy moments can make the best sympathy gift. Maybe even include a favorite photo.

Memory Box: If you want to create a condolence gift full of special memories and happy moments, a memory box will be a thoughtful way to show you care.

A memory box is a celebration of life that might hold photographs, letters, personal jewelry, significant trinkets, or even recordings.

Handmade Memory Book: think of compiling photo albums, letters, and mementos into a beautifully crafted scrapbook.

Homemade Food: Cooking a comforting dish can be a genuine expression of love for a family member. There's no better way of being there for someone by giving them nourishment and emotional support during trying times.

Create a Virtual Memorial Website: In today's digital age, crafting a dedicated website to commemorate the life of a loved one is a touching gesture. It's a space for friends and family to share stories, photos, and messages, ensuring that memories live on and are easily accessible for everyone.

Charitable Gift Ideas

Charitable memorial gifts provide a dual benefit -  they honor the memory of the departed by making a positive impact on a cause or community they cared about. Donating to a chosen charity or organization in someone's name not only keeps their legacy alive but also offers hope and support to those in need. For grieving families, knowing that their loved one's memory is fostering change and kindness can be a source of solace and pride during difficult times.

Donation to a Favorite Charity: you could make a contribution to a charity that was close to the loved one's heart or that aligns with causes they cared about.

Plant Trees: several organizations, such as One Tree Planted, allow you to plant trees in memory of someone, aiding reforestation and supporting a healthier planet.

Memorial Bench: in some parks or community areas, you can fund a bench or plaque in memory of someone, with proceeds often supporting the maintenance and beautification of the space.

Celebration of Life Favors

Celebration of Life Favors

Funeral favors (Also used in a celebration of life) are small memorial gifts given to attendees to memorialize the departed and express gratitude for their support during a challenging time. These keepsakes often carry significant symbolism, ensuring the memory of the loved one remains close to the heart. 

Consider a few examples like:

  • personalized candles

  • seed packets for planting in memory

  • memorial bookmarks

  • Custom photo keychains

With so many memorial gifts to choose from, we hope you’ve been inspired to show someone they are not alone on their journey of healing. The perfect sympathy gift can do just that.

Things To Consider Before Buying

Celebration of Life Gift Considerations

You might want to consider these questions before buying a gift:

  • Will it bring them some comfort? Whether you send flowers, prepared meals, or even just heartfelt message, the idea is to provide solace in this difficult time.

  • Is it personal? Think about who is receiving the memorial gift and what would they appreciate or need. They show that you've taken the time to make the gift special.

  • Is it something practical? Avoid memorial gifts that demand extra effort, like products requiring assembly or care, as the person may be emotionally or physically overwhelmed. Also you don't want to bring something to big or distracting to the memorial service.

  • Do you have to bring a gift? Memorial gifts are not a must, but it's a thoughtful way to express condolences and support for a grieving family.