I don’t know about you, but I love giving and receiving a sentimental gift. These are the type of gifts that I treasure throughout the year. Personal, thoughtful presents bring about feelings of nostalgia and tenderness. Yet, every year I find myself at a loss for new ideas. I’m going to share six ideas that your loved ones are sure to cherish.

This is the sentimental gift that I buy MYSELF every year

If I don’t have this… it’s like the year never happened! Every year I look forward to getting this sentimental gift; my yearly Mimeo photo book. These books have become my most treasured items. If my house was burning… This would be the only non-living thing I would run back to rescue. They are displayed in our living room to grab easily and take a trip down memory lane. We do this often. I’m obsessed with my photo books! I wish I would have started making these when I was first married.

Just a heads up…This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I may earn compensation when you make a purchase using the Amazon links at no additional cost to you. I am also a Mimeo affiliate. Mimeo is also a brand that I use and trust.

Shelf where my photo books are displayed.

Vacation Photo Book

We used to only order a yearly photo book, but now we order a vacation one as well. As soon as we return from a family trip, while the laundry is being washed, we put together our photo book. We like to create it while the memories are fresh in our minds before we go back to the real world. As a macOS user, Mimeo works seamlessly with iPhoto, so we dump all of our photos onto our Macbook and design it right away. It’s always an exciting day when our book arrives in the mail. It is the culminating event of our trip! This makes a great sentimental gift for anyone who traveled with us too!

My mimeo photo books are my best gift. They are displayed on our shelf in the living room.

Best sentimental gifts for the family


We love to give photo gifts to our family. Mimeo photo books are one of our favorites, but they also offer other fun photo ideas. Calendars are a great sentimental gift to give. When my husband and I were dating long distance, I took ridiculous pictures of myself doing silly things and created a calendar. Some examples were me eating ice cream from the container while watching Hallmark movies… with several other empty ice cream cartons around me, getting my dress stuck in a door, and reading scholarly works (Calvin and Hobbs). I didn’t know it, but he had created a silly calendar for me as well. He photoshopped himself in all kinds of fun places. That was one of the many things that showed me how perfect we are for each other!

As you can see, this calendar can be done in many ways to be sweet, sentimental, or just plain silly. The important thing is that it is personal. This can be a one of a kind gift that will be treasured all year long.

Do you want to take a look back at all that is wonderful as you plan ahead? Check out Mimeo Photos – Calendars starting at $21.99! SHOP NOW!

Photo Puzzles

Last Christmas, I accomplished one of my greatest accomplishments! I finally completed a difficult puzzle. I know you are probably thinking… she needs to set her sights on higher goals. That is probably true; however, I felt such a great sense of achievement that I wanted to do more. How wonderful would it have been to carry out this task and end up with a picture of my favorite people!

I have a friend who has a tradition of doing a puzzle for their annual New Year’s Eve party, and then they would glue it together using Puzzle Saver or Mod Podge. Everyone attending the party would sign it, and she had a unique keepsake. This could be done with a fun puzzle picture of friends or family from the year. A family reunion or vacation puzzle would be unique as well. I can imagine my basement wall covered in puzzle photos of people I love.

A silly family picture where dad is on son's back and they are cracking up and falling to the ground. It's perfect for a sentimental puzzle gift.
I’m thinking this one would make a great puzzle

Mimeo offers different sizes of puzzles. They have puzzles made especially for kids and more challenging puzzles with up to 1014 pieces for real puzzle enthusiasts. These make a unique sentimental gift that is great for those spending a lot of time at home.

Jigsaw puzzles can have social benefits. Leaving it out can encourage family members to get off of screens and work together on a project. I’m all for things that encourage quality time. If you are a puzzle newbie, I suggest you start with a 500 piece puzzle.

Photo Blankets

Have you ever noticed that blankets are often advertised using pets? I never understood this until I had a dog. Our dog is part of our family, and I would love anything with his picture on it! When giving sentimental gifts, don’t forget pets. Many of us think of our animals as family members and would love to have something made for us with our beloved pet’s picture. My son just told me that he wants this picture on a blanket for Christmas. I’m probably going to steal it from him. This is cuteness overload!

Picture of my cute puppy to make into a blanket as a sentimental gift.
Who wouldn’t want to snuggle with this?

Family Photos wall decor

We haven’t had a professional photo taken in years. We are long overdue, so I just scheduled a session. Even without professional photos, I have some fantastic candid photos that were taken with my iPhone that capture my kids’ personalities perfectly. Displaying the best ones as wall decor is easy with Mimeo. My kids are growing up way too fast, and it is a great way to hold on to the memories. My parents would love to showcase their grandkids on their photo wall as well… Or maybe a giant picture of me so that I can convince my brother that I am the favorite.


What good are photos when they are stuck on your phone? Why not order some prints to send to Grandma or your older sister who lives in Utah… yes, Shaun! I’m talking to you!

I hope you have found these ideas to be useful. What kind of personal gifts have you given? Leave a comment and let me know.

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  1. I love the idea of actual photos and printing out with always having our phones on us. I feel like we forget actual prints.

    • I know… I have thousands of pictures on a drive somewhere… enjoyed by nobody!

  2. Well, you’ve just helped me decide what to get for my mom – a photo puzzle! That’s a phenomenal idea! Thank you so much for sharing these genius and creative gifts.

    • I’m so glad I could help! I have family members who are getting that from me as well. πŸ™‚

  3. Great ideas and I do some of them myself. Like you, I wish I had started taking photos and preserving memories earlier. Since you mentioned that your husband used photoshop, I might suggest trying Lightroom. It’s also an Adobe product and is specifically designed to catalog and edit photos (not as extensively as Photoshop, but about 95% of my photos are only edited in Lightroom). You can import photos directly from your phone or camera cards. One of the great things about it is that you can create photo books directly from your edited photos in Lightroom. It uses Blurb rather than Mimeo but the concept is the same.
    Although it takes a little work at the beginning, depending on how you store photos now, you will never again have the issue of “having thousands of pictures … somewhere” … and they are searchable.

    • Thanks for the suggestion. We don’t spend much time doing things like that anymore. We mostly just go straight from our computer to the photo book. I will look into Lightroom, though, if we are doing stuff like that in the future.

  4. I love the idea of photo books. They look better and neater than photo albums. I think someone else mentioned this already, but all we seem to have now is digital copies. It’s nice to have the actual prints to look at and show others. Thanks for these great ideas! I just love them!

    • I agree. I keep the hardcover ones out where they are easy to grab and look through.

  5. This is so cute! I’m thi ming about doing a hardcover photo book this year ?

    • Those are my favorite! They last a little better since we look at them all the time!

  6. It’s a pity for photos just stuck on our phones or computers. I also did a project of selecting the best photos from the past, printed them, and bought photo frames. I love the photo album suggestion, to give to friends and dear ones. I love sentimental gifts too!

    • Yes! Our photos need to be displayed for all to enjoy. The photo albums help me relive happy memories. I agree, they do no good stuck on a phone or computer.

  7. I love these ideas! They are super thoughtful and well-received. I actually did a calendar for my parents and inlaws with each month having a different family photo πŸ™‚ Great post! I’ll pin it for later.

    • We did calendars years ago. It might be time to do another one. I think all of the siblings need to take turns… or maybe we should collaborate and do a group one for the parents. πŸ™‚

  8. Photo gifts are such a lovely sentimental gift. I am waaayyy behind on our photo books, don’t know where the time went. I usually give the grandparents one each year for the holidays, thanks for the reminder I need to get on it. We also have done Fridge photo magnets for extended family, which is another fun photo themed gift too.

    • Oh, I love the fridge magnet idea. My sister-in-law gave me one for her wedding 10 years ago and I still have her on my fridge. I love it!

    • Lauren, I totally agree. I love getting pictures as gifts. Thanks for commenting.

  9. Yes! I love giving sentimental gifts as well. I love the photo Christmas Ornaments every year. I like the idea of a calendar too. I think I’d like to receive that maybe from my nieces or nephews. Great ideas, thanks!

    • Thanks, Clarissa! The photo Christmas ornaments from my kids’ elementary school years are my favorite. I feel like I need to make them now since they don’t do them in Jr. High. lol

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