12 Christmas Memorial Gift Ideas to Remember Loved Ones


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Remembering deceased loved ones at Christmas is often bittersweet. As you gather your friends and family together, there’s a natural inclination to remember happier times. But while reminiscing about deceased loved ones may bring up good memories, it can also make their absence feel all the more stark. 

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Personalized Christmas Memorial Gift Ideas

Christmas Memorial Gift Ideas for the Loss of a Parent

Christmas Memorial Gift Ideas for the Loss of a Child

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The first holiday season after the death of a loved one can be an especially challenging time, as a family may struggle to settle into a new dynamic. Giving memorial gifts in honor of a deceased relative can be the perfect way to bridge the gap between holiday seasons of the past and present.

Read on for ideas of memorial gifts that will allow you to include late relatives in your upcoming holiday celebrations.    

Personalized Christmas Memorial Gift Ideas

List of personalized Christmas memorial gift ideas over an image of holiday decorations

Memorial gifts are often quite intimate and rich in personal meaning. They tend to be specific in some way to the deceased or the recipient of the gift. Personalized engraved gifts have a special, elevated feel to them.

When you take the time to have something engraved, you’re showing that a lot of thought and effort went into a gift. These personalized memorial items make lovely holiday gift ideas. 

1. Engraved photo frame

When you look around at your family members during the holidays, you may find yourself missing the faces of those who have passed away.

Go through your photos and find some great shots of a deceased family member, then get them printed out. Pick out photo frames that can be engraved. You can have the name of the deceased engraved on them, or incorporate memorial quotes into the design. Place the photos in the frames and give them as gifts to other family members. Everyone will enjoy seeing their loved ones’ faces on Christmas morning once more.  

2. Engraved memorial wind chime

It’s not just the faces of deceased loved ones that we miss around the holidays. Sometimes just feeling their steady presence was enough to help ground us during the stressful holiday season.

A wind chime makes a lovely memorial gift. Every time the wind blows and the chimes clang, you’ll feel like your loved one is near. Wind chimes can also be engraved and personalized for a truly custom feel.   

3. Engraved cremation jewelry

If your loved one asked to be cremated when they passed away, you can incorporate their ashes into a piece of memorial jewelry. There are many online retailers and independent artisans who can create jewelry that you can scoop a small portion of ashes into.

This could be a simple pendant, a locket, a charm bracelet, or one of the countless other designs. This jewelry can also be engraved with the name of the deceased. It’s a thoughtful and personal way for the recipients to keep a piece of their loved one with them wherever they go.  

4. Engraved compass

When a family member dies, it’s easy to feel lost without them. If someone in your family has lost their way after the death of a loved one, get them a personalized compass with an inspirational message engraved on it. It will remind them that they are not alone on this journey, and they have people and tools to help them navigate their grief. 

Christmas Memorial Gift Ideas for the Loss of a Parent

List of Christmas memorial gift ideas for the loss of a parent over an image of trees and snow

From the time we’re born, our parents are there for us to help guide us through life. When our parents are there through all of life’s milestones, the first holiday season after a parent’s death may leave you feeling like a scared and lonely child again. These memorial gifts are a beautiful way to honor the people who gave you life. 

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5. Family recipe book

If your parents were the ones who kept certain holiday traditions alive, you may worry about them falling by the wayside.

Preserving your family’s traditions is a great way to honor your parents’ memories, and that’s a gift that can be shared. Compile the recipes that your family makes each year and make a little recipe book to share with your family. It’s a sweet and simple way to honor your customs. 

6. Family photo album

Many of us enjoy revisiting fond family memories during the holiday season. Having visual images to supplement these stories can make the memories feel even more tangible.

Reach out to family members and collect photos of them from throughout the years. Pay special attention to photos that help illustrate favorite family stories. Compile them into photo albums and share them with members of the family. This will help them tap into those fond memories all year round. 

7. Personalized handwriting necklace

Handwriting is personal and unique to everyone. Just seeing the familiar handwriting of a parent can fill you with nostalgia.

Some artisans can use scanned handwriting samples to etch a replica of a deceased loved one’s handwriting out of a material like silver. This can be adapted into a special and unique necklace. This is a sentimental and deeply personal memorial gift.

8. Donation in a family member’s honor

Memorial gifts don’t have to be concrete to be effective. During the holiday season especially, it’s important to give to people in need. If your loved one had a charity that was close to their heart, consider donating it in their honor and let your family know about your decision. Supporting someone’s endeavors is a beautiful way to keep their legacy alive. 

Christmas Memorial Gift Ideas for the Loss of a Child

List of Christmas memorial gift ideas for the loss of a child over an image of holiday decorations

The holiday season is fun for the whole family, but the magic of Christmas appeals to children most of all. If a child in the family has passed away, it may be incomprehensible to think of celebrating the holiday without them. But it can actually be very healing to celebrate their life during a holiday that they loved. These gifts are a thoughtful way to memorialize a child who has passed away. 

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9. Memorial Christmas ornaments

One of the best parts of Christmas is decorating the tree together. Most families have special ornaments that they use again year after year.

You can buy or make memorial ornaments to honor a child who has passed away. Photo ornaments are a great choice for a gift like this. Not only will this be a special gift, but it’s also something the recipient can use again and again in the years to come.   

10. Digital photo frame

As we’ve mentioned a few times, it can be jarring to look around and not see a familiar face you would usually expect during the holidays. A digital photo frame can help you display images of someone who passed away.

You can load it up with past Christmas photos of a child who passed away. This is a great way to help you feel, if even for a moment, like the whole family is together.  

11. Artbook

Most kids enjoy digging into the art supplies and coloring or drawing pictures. If a child in your family has passed away, you can go through their belongings and gather their art together.

You can scan it and have it bound into a full-color book to give to other members of the family. This is a lovely way to remember the joy and brightness that child brought into your family. 

12. Memorial stuffed animal

If someone in your family has lost a baby, their arms and hearts may feel especially empty during the holiday season.

You can reach out to businesses or artisans to get a memorial stuffed animal. It can be made in the same weight as the baby, and can also be embroidered with the child’s name. It’s a small gift, but one that can mean so much. 

Remembering Deceased Loved Ones with Holiday Memorial Gifts

In ideal times, the holidays are when we can all put our busy lives aside for a while and come together with our family and friends. It’s something many of us look forward to every year.

But when a family member dies, celebrating the holidays can feel like the last thing you want to do. All your beloved family traditions and customs may feel foreign without the deceased being there to celebrate with you.

While your holidays may change after the death of a family member, they don’t have to vanish entirely. Memorial gifts are a lovely way to pay homage to our late loved ones and include them in your celebrations.  

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