While August is traditionally the month to honor friends, you can’t go wrong giving these meaningful friendship gifts anytime.
So whether she has a birthday, or received a promotion, or no reason at all, here are some gift ideas that will let her know that she is one of your best friends.
What makes a gift meaningful?
Meaningful friendship gifts are ones that:
- someone took time to think through and
- represent your times together or
- are encouraging for their stage in life
With these criteria in mind, this gift is just the ticket because it meets all three criteria.
“I wrote a book about you” will be an extremely meaningful gift without breaking the bank!
The back cover reads:
“I wrote a book about you. (No really, you are holding it.) I filled it out with all my thoughts about what makes you so YOU. Because you are wonderful and I wanted you to know.”
This is a fun, fill-in-the-blanks book that has one major thought about your friend on every single page.
It serves to encourage by highlighting the many strengths that you appreciate about your friend. Each page is colorful and cheerful. Your friend will love it!
Small gift ideas for friends
Meaningful gifts do not have to be big or expensive. And they don’t have to be for birthdays, anniversaries or holidays These small gift ideas for friends say, “I was thinking about you”.
This saying has been used in many different presentations, but the truth remains a blessing to many.
“Good friends are like stars. You don’t always see them but you know that they are there.”
So for any best friend who is not in your vicinity, this sentiment is a welcome message.
Strategic friendship cards
One easy, yet meaningful small gift is a card that is thoughtfully chosen based on your knowledge of what your friend likes.
I like to send my best friend a greeting card at least every other month. But when I see one that tickles my fancy and promises to bless her too, I send it for absolutely no reason at all!.
Strategic shopping and restaurant gift cards
While gift cards seem like rather generic and blah small gifts, they certainly do travel well in friendship greeting cards.
What makes them meaningful is if you know where your friend likes to eat or shop. So not just any gift card will do.
What is the best gift for best friends?
A best friend deserves meaningful friendship gifts. Therefore, it is important to know her love language. If you are not familiar with this term, it means:
“different people with different personalities give and receive love in different ways.” Gary Chapman
Gary has outlined the different love languages in many books that he has written. They 5 love languages include:
- Acts of service
- Receiving gifts
- Quality time
- Words of affirmation
- Physical touch
You see, something meaningful to your friend is not necessarily something you would want. But since people many times have a combination of two love languages, you aren’t always locked into just one.
Acts of service as meaningful friendship gifts
Does your friend work full time? She might appreciate having someone clean her house. If you live close enough to her, you could do it yourself. If not, there are national chains that provide such services.
What about having a meal delivered to her on a day when she is particularly busy? Or you could do some errands for her.
Receiving physical gifts
While physical gifts are lovely, there are things to consider. Does she like or not like fragrances? Does she have allergies? To what? Does she dislike certain musical groups but like others? Does she wear or not wear jewelry?
What not to give
Perfume and scented candles are a no go for someone who does not like fragrances. Even flowers that have a strong scent would not be a meaningful gift for a best friend.
If your friend has allergies, you need to know that before giving candy or other food items that might contain nuts or other allergens.
As pretty as some bracelets and necklaces are, if your best friend does not wear jewelry, then this kind of gift would not be particularly meaningful.
Clothing items are not always the best gifts unless they can easily be returned since each of us are of different sizes and shapes.
If your friend is retired, she is probably downsizing and more “stuff” is not always appreciated.
What to give
Does your friend love flowers? Even if she lives in another geographical location, it is easy to send flowers via the internet. But not any flower will do. Send her favorite flowers.
Who is her favorite band? A gift of music is usually a welcomed addition to her playlist.
This figurine by Willow Tree is a very sentimental gift with the following caption: “Sisters By Heart”.
Do you have a best friend that seems more like a beloved sister? One who you know so well you can finish her sentences?
This then is a treasure of a gift.
If your best friend wears jewelry, this twin-hearts necklace is an especially sweet piece. The card reads:
“To my unbiological sister: Naomi had Ruth, Martha had Mary, and I have you.”
The sentiment is encouraging, letting your friend know that you will be friends through thick and thin.
Quality time as meaningful friendship gifts
What does your best friend like to do? If you know then go do an activity with her that she loves.
Here are some things that my best friend likes to do:
- Talking while walking on the beach
- Sculpting clay into bowls and other objects
- Looking at historical neighborhoods
- Sharing coffee while people watching
- Volunteering for “turtle patrol” during turtle nesting season
- Growing vegetables in a community garden
You can create a gift card to do some of the things your friend likes to do. You see, it isn’t so much the gift, but rather the time together that matters.
Spending quality time with your friend maybe a little more challenging if she lives a long distance from you. Try doing a zoom call on the computer instead of just talking on the phone.
And if you can afford it, plan a trip to see your best friend. Getting together again can be one of the most rewarding gifts for both of you.
Words of affirmation as meaningful friendship gifts
This is where greeting cards can be an encouragement to your best friend. They are something that she can read over and over again. And if she loves Jesus, then Scripture greeting cards can be just the ticket.
There are also many Christian gifts with words of affirmation. Companies that offer both gifts and cards include:
Physical touch as meaningful friendship gifts
A massage is a great gift of touch. Most massage therapists will provide gift cards for their services.
Pedicures and manicures are also a great gift of touch. However, many people don’t like to have their feet touched so keep that in mind and know what your friend likes and does not like.
Does the Bible talk about meaningful friendship gifts?
While not in those exact terms, the Bible does talk about meaningful friendship gifts. It is a concept found in a number of places in Scripture.
“Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.” Philippians 2:3-4 ESV
You see, giving a gift that you would want is “selfish”, not considering the interests of others.
Ouch. Are you guilty of doing this? I know I am.
Scripture goes on to say:
“Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.” 1 Thessalonians 5:11 NIV
The absolute best way to give meaningful friendship gifts that encourage your friends is by understanding their love language. Even if you don’t have that figured out, you should be aware of what your friends like or don’t like.
So when you are giving gifts, do it to the glory of God. (1 Corinthians 10:31)
Final thoughts about meaningful friendship gifts
For any gift to be meaningful requires some thought by the gift giver. But the effort is worth it.
What are some of the most meaningful friendship gifts that you have received? Why? Drop your thoughts in the comments below. And for your peace of mind, we don’t collect emails from your comments.
Meaningful friendship gifts serve to strengthen the bond between two people. I believe that is what gift-giving should be all about.
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