Thank you gifts are a great way to show your gratitude and appreciation when you want to go the extra mile to say thank you with more than a thank you note card.
I recommend including a personal thank you note along with the gift. And since thank you note wording can feel harder than choosing a gift, there are many thank you note message examples on this site. (Here is a list of all the posts by topic).
Below you will find thank you gift ideas and tips that will help you choose a thoughtful gift to show your appreciation.
Note: This thank you gift guide contains affiliate links. If you click a link and then make a purchase, I may be paid a commission.
Choosing the Perfect Thank You Gift
With so many possible thank you gifts, how do you choose? What gift can you give someone to say thank you?
The cost can range from inexpensive to very expensive, depending on how much you want to spend.
A thoughtful thank you gift doesn’t have to break the bank. A gift that is well thought out can feel memorable and meaningful.
On the other hand, if you want to spend more, that is a wide variety of choices—for example, having items personalized with the person’s name or monogrammed with their initials will usually have a high price tag.
- Look for gift ideas in your price range.
- Decide if you want to buy the gift or make a DYI project.
- Focus on the person who you are thanking. Try to pick an item that they will like. The person is more likely to feel appreciated if you give a gift you think they will like (as opposed to something you like).
- The gift can also be an experience, like taking the person out for a nice dinner.
- If the person has everything already, a restaurant gift card can be a thoughtful gift.
How to make a gift feel like a thank you gift
Thank you gifts are not much different than any other type of gift, such as birthdays and holidays. The difference is that a thank you gift expresses your gratitude for something the person did for you.
The gift’s presentation will help make the gift feel like thank you gift.
How to make any gift feel like a thank you gift:
- Include a handwritten thank you note.
- When handing them the gift, say, “This is a thank you for _____.”
- Place the gift in a thank you bag – A gift bag that has the words “Thank You” or “Thanks” on it.
- When ordering a thank you gift online, when possible, mark it as a gift and write a message that will be sent along with the present.
- Stuff Thank You tissue paper around items placed in a thank you gift bag.
- Wrap gifts in thank-you wrapping paper.
Thank You Gift Tips
One way to pick a gift is to make a list of what the person likes. Then use the list to help you decide what the best thank you gift will be for the recipient.
A gift chosen specifically for the person may help the thank you gift to feel more meaningful and memorable.
However, choosing the perfect gift can feel challenging, especially if you do not know the person well. After all, what you choose for your best friend will be different than an acquaintance at church or your work.
For people you do not know well, your safest bet will be with ideas that most people generally like (for example, coffee mugs).
Keep in mind with food gifts, the recipient (or someone in their family) may have food allergies. And not everyone will like all foods. For example, I do not like coffee.
Also, if people have cats (or other pets), they may not want flowers or plants in their home that could be poisonous to the pet.
1. A Thank You Note
A thank-you note written with a personalized, specific thank-you message can feel like a gift.
The card should be blank on the inside. The blank area is where you will write your message. You can review the steps for writing a thank you note if needed.
There are a vast number of cards to pick from. A site like Redbubble will have cards designed by artists, Amazon (or your local store) is an excellent option for boxed cards, and Minted offers higher-end designs (ex. foil).
Regardless of what gift idea you go with, I highly recommend including a thank-you note to show your appreciation.
2. A Coffee Mug
Mugs can make a great gift, as they can be used for drinks other than coffee. So, it’s a safe gift even when it turns out that the person doesn’t enjoy coffee.
A quick search on Amazon shows many Thank You mugs. These mugs say thank you on them or have another short thank you message.
Another way to pick out a mug for someone is to find a design that they will enjoy for years to come. Picking a design can be fun as well. If you know their interests, you can search on Amazon or Redbubble to browse. For example, type in Cat Mug for someone that likes cats.
With so many themes available on mugs, you can find thank you mugs for teachers, family, friends, coworkers, and more.
And mugs do not need to be expensive. You may be able to regift a mug you already own or pick one up at second and store.
If you like the mug idea, you could also consider putting sweet treats, chocolates, a small bag of coffee, pens, or pencils in the mug.
I’ve seen coffee given as a gift within my family on many occasions.
Coffee can make a great gift to show how much you appreciate someone if you know that the person likes coffee.
For example, you may notice your coworker drinks coffee every morning. Or, every time you go out for breakfast with a friend, they have coffee.
There are some great tips for how to choose coffee as a gift here.
Tea is similar to coffee in that many people enjoy drinking it. There are also tons of varieties of tea available.
Gift a tea gift set would be a fun way for the person to experience flavors of tea that they have not had before.
Or, if you know they have a strong preference for a particular brand and flavor, you choose their favorite variety for the gift.
Wine can be a gift taken to a party or game night to thank the host.
Wine should only be given as a gift if you know the recipient will drink it.
I am not a wine drinker, so here’s a list from Total Wine with the best wines to gift.
Based on your location, there may be restrictions if you can order wine online.
Harry&David sells Thank You Wine gift boxes that include wine along with other items like cheese and crackers.
6 Cutting Board or Cheese Board
A cheese board or cutting board can be a great appreciation gift. However, choosing a cutting board can feel complicated, and you may want to browse other ideas.
If someone likes to cook at home, they likely need to chop up ingredients from some recipes. Or, the board can be used for slicing cheese and meats, and perhaps for a charcuterie board.
Cutting boards can be engraved. However, keep in mind that if the board is too beautiful, it may never be used. For example, several years ago, my husband gave me a cutting board with the cats’ names that we had then on it. It’s been on display ever since, and we haven’t ever chopped up anything on it.
A plastic cutting board may be easier to clean and much more likely to be dishwasher safe than a wooden board. A wooden board will come in a variety of wood grains and colors.
My favorite brand of cutting board brand is Epicurean. It doesn’t look special as it’s made of a composite material. However, it’s thin, lightweight, and can go in the dishwasher. I like it so much that we have three of them (two large and one small).
A cutting board can be a small gift depending on the size. For example, a small cutting board with a thank you note card can be inexpensive. However, a large wooden cutting board that is personalized will be much more expensive.
7 Homemade Baked Items
Homemade cookies, bread, cupcakes, or other items can be a great gift idea for those that like to bake (and are good at it!).
However, baked fresh goods may work best when you can hand the item to the person or drop them off. Shipping fresh baked items may not work out as well.
A plate of delicious chocolate chip cookies may be appreciated by many at a church volunteer thank you lunch or another get-together designed to thank a group.
A box of chocolate may not feel like a unique gift. However, if you know that the person loves chocolate, it can make for a great appreciation gift.
I would love a box of Demet’s Turtles, but I think only my husband would know this about me.
Also, there are many different choices for chocolate. In addition to a typical box of chocolates, there are options like chocolate-covered strawberries, pretzels, nuts, dark chocolate bars, and more!
Cholocate can also be an inexpensive thank you gift. For example, you can get one chocolate bar or a small box of chocolates at most grocery stores. And there are choices online like Simply Chocolate, with a Thank You picture on the box.
Also, you can get personalized candy bar wrappers with thank you messages, which could be an easy option for employee appreciation gifts.
9 Other Food Related Gift Ideas
Food is a popular choice for appreciation gifts as everyone needs to eat!
Other ideas for food gifts could be nuts, popcorn tins, dried fruit, or seasonal fruit.
A fruit gift basket may be more liked than flowers by some people.
Also, if you know the person’s favorite food (could be their favorite treat choice), you may find a creative way to give it the perfect thank you gift.
For example, if your best friend loves ice cream, you can thank them by surprising them with a trip to the local ice cream place.
You can also see a longer list of food-related gifts here.
10 Flowers, Plants, and Succulents
Flowers, plants, and succulents are gift ideas that could work for many.
However, keep in mind that people with pets may not risk having a flower or plan in their home that might be poisonous to other pets.
Live cut flowers will be a better gift for people that do not want to care for a plant long term.
There is an extensive range of flowers to choose from. However, if you are having a hard time deciding, pink carnations are a good choice as, according to The Spruce, pink carnations represent gratitude.
Flowers will also range significantly in price. The cheapest route would be to pick up flowers at your local flower store or grocery store and deliver them yourself to the person you are thanking. You could also assume the person already has a vase for the flowers.
Flowers can also be ordered online. There are also some farms where the flowers can be handpicked, and you can make your own arrangement.
If you do not want to give live flowers, but still want to give flowers, Lovepop has a nice selection of pop-up flower cards.
One time my niece surprised me by leaving a mum by my door during the fall to thank me for something I had helped her with. It felt like the perfect thank you gift to receive in the fall. And, it was inexpensive as mums were in season then.
There are also many types of plants that can be given as gifts. And you can also choose a pot for the plant that you think the person would enjoy.
There are many types of succulents, and they come in various colors.
They can make a beautiful piece on a dinner table or for a coworker to have on their desk.
Also, the size can be small or large. Artificial succulents are also an option.
11 Gift Cards
Gift cards can be an easy gift idea.
A restaurant gift card to a restaurant in the area will allow the person to use it when it’s convenient for them.
A Starbucks gift card is good for people like coffee or other Starbuck beverages.
Also, sometimes you can get gift cards in multipacks, which is great when you need to get several of the same gift cards. For example, if you want to thank a small group and give them all the same gift.
If you know someone has a cat or dog, a Chewy.com gift card could be fun, especially if you want to thank them for being your pet sitter.
12 Beauty Products
Bath bombs, body butter, lotions, and soaps can be given as a thank-you gift to a family member or anyone you know the scents they will appreciate.
Beauty products might feel a bit more personal than other types of gifts. And, there are soaps and scents designed for men.
Art can be a thoughtful way to thank someone. However, choosing art for someone else can be time-consuming unless you know they like art from a specific artist or a theme.
Art is also very general and comes in many forms. You could browse the art at a Hobby Lobby store, or for unique art, look at the wall art on Redbubble and search for cats or whatever you know the person likes.
And art comes in many forms. So, for example, if you find a pattern or picture you like on Redbubble, it’s probably going to be available on mugs, cards, shirts, and more (and the cost will vary).
My sister, Jennifer, loves the Leanin’ Tree brand of cards which feature art for several artists. I have given her a set of their cards as a gift. She likes to have cards on hand to write thank you notes.
14 Gift Basket or Box
A gift basket or gift box is where you can be creative and personalize the thank you gift.
There are plenty of options only for premade gift baskets. You can browse 1800baskets.com to choose a basket or get ideas for creating your own gift box.
You will need a nice box or basket to make your own gift basket. Then you can fill the container with items of your choice.
You could choose from other items on my list (chocolates, beauty products, art, gift cards, fruit, etc.) or come up with your own idea.
Hopefully, the recipient will appreciate the extra time and effort you want to create a gift box filled with items you personally chose.
An advantage of a thank you gift box or gift baskets where you choose the items is you can make sure that food items meet the dietary needs or preferences. For example, you can confirm that things are vegan or gluten-free.
The dark chocolate lover in your life can be given a variety of only dark chocolate items.
Candles can be a personalized gift. The label on this candle can be personalized with any message (up to the character limit).
Also, candles are easy as they can be found at most retail stores, and there are many options for ordering online.
With candles being so available and easy to give for any occasion, someone may end up with too many candles.
16 Other Gift Ideas
There are many other types of items that can be given as a thank you gift.
In no particular order, here are more ideas.
- Yeti mugs
- Trevis Tumblers
- Personalized stationery from a site like Minted
- A cozy blanket
- Take them out for lunch or dinner
17 DIY Thank You Gifts
To get creative, you can also make your own thank you gift. But, of course, making your own will also make the gift unique!
Here is a short roundup of posts that will help you with making a thank you gift:
Thank You Gift Ideas Summary
A thank you gift can show your appreciation and gratitude. There are many gift ideas above to help you choose.
When selecting a thank you gift idea, try to choose a gift the person will like. And, remember that the presentation of the gift is what will make it feel like a thank-you gift.
I recommend including a thank you message with the gift! Your words may mean more to them than any gift.
Read Next: 9 Tips to Write a Better Thank You Note