Attending a celebration of life and don’t know what an appropriate gift might be? While gifts aren’t a requirement, you might want to bring one for your hosts and to honor the deceased, especially if you share a close relationship with the person who passed or the family.
If you don’t want to arrive empty-handed and are looking for inspiration on what to bring, you’ve come to the right place. In this article, we name ten gift ideas that are worth considering.
From photo albums to sympathy bouquets, you’ll find heartfelt and tasteful gifts that will help you and those left behind celebrate the life that was. Why don’t we get started?
Celebration of Life Gift Ideas
- Photo Album
A picture speaks a thousand words. If you have pictures of or with the deceased, bring them along with you to the event. Whether they’re portraits, candid shots, or action shots, they show the family that the person was an important part of your life too.
Bring copies and encourage the family to choose pictures that best capture their loved one. They can include their chosen photos in their own scrapbooks and albums to remember the deceased by.
Photos are wonderful ways to remember someone. They capture the life and memories of a person. They also help provide healing and closure. Reminiscing about the good old days with the friends and family of the deceased can be cathartic and remind everyone of happier times.
- Donations to the Deceased’s Favorite Cause
Did the deceased have a favorite charity or advocacy? If so, donating to their charity of choice while they were alive can be a beautiful way to honor their memory. You’re not just showing that you knew the deceased well but you’re also helping society.
There are charities with ready-made donation cards that acknowledge your contribution. However, if your loved one’s charity isn’t used to issuing them, don’t let it stop you from making a donation. You can just pick a card to give to the family and write down the details of your contribution inside it. Either way, it’s a meaningful way to honor someone.
- Their Favorite Music
Celebrations of life take planning and organizing. There are many tiny details that are easy to overlook. Why not help out by putting together a playlist of the person’s favorite music?
The family and attendees are sure to appreciate and recognize the relevance of the music you’ve chosen. It will set the mood and make the event feel more personal while helping them remember the person who passed away.
You can carry around the playlist in a USB drive or store it in the cloud, ready for listening. It doesn’t cost anything to prepare but makes a touching gift.
- Their Favorite Drink
Some celebrations of life take place in restaurants, making a bottle of the deceased’s favorite liquor an appropriate gift. Since these events are usually more casual and less somber, you can share a bottle with the family and guests while enjoying your meal.
Some restaurants charge corkage fees if you bring in food and drink from outside so remember to take that into account when considering this type of gift.
- Bring a Sympathy Bouquet
Flowers are usually seen in funerals but they can also be part of celebrations of life. However, unless the family specifically asks for flowers, it’s better to look for other gifting alternatives. If you must send a bouquet, have a bouquet with a sympathy card delivered to their home and not during or at the celebration of life event.
If you plan on taking the traditional route, opt for white flowers. If the family likes bright-colored flowers, go ahead and include them in your bouquet.
- Write a Letter
Do you have a way with words? Writing a letter is a beautiful way to express your sympathies and how you feel about the person who passed away. You can write about your memories together, the impact the person had on your life, what you love about them, and more. Just make sure that your letter focuses on the positive and provides encouragement.
When done right, a genuine, articulate, and personal handwritten letter is far more valuable than any expensive gift. Don’t feel like you have to dig deep into your pockets to show your support.
- Plant a Tree in Their Name
Planting a tree for someone who passed is a meaningful way to honor them. By giving life to something else, you show that their life and legacy continue. There are companies who will plant a tree for you for a fee and send you a picture that you can share with the family.
You can also do it yourself and plant a tree somewhere that has a lot of meaning for you and the deceased. You can place a plaque with the name of the person and perhaps their favorite quote or motto on the site you’ve chosen.
- A Gift Basket
We usually think of gift baskets in terms of food items. A celebration of life event will likely have this department covered. To avoid any overlap, give the family a curated basket of the favorite things of the deceased.
It doesn’t have to be food and confectionery either. You can also include mementos, keepsakes, and other tangible items that honor their memory. You can even buy the family gift cards so they can visit the places that their loved one cherished. Explore your options but keep them personal.
A celebration of life is a more personal way of commemorating the life of a loved one. It allows you to come to terms with your grief while memorializing the life the deceased once lived. When considering gifts, you should likewise keep them meaningful and personal without being overly sorrowful.
Glass art, paperweights, jewelry, ornaments, and keepsakes made from the deceased’s ashes may be more appropriate for funerals but with this list of options, you can bring other gifts that will be treasured and cherished all the same.