25+ “just because” gift ideas to show you care
I love giving gifts, and it’s easy to do it on birthdays and holidays. But when I really want to flex my gift-giving muscles, I give a gift just because—like when I see something cute that reminds me of my mom, when I know I need to support a friend in another state or when a co-worker covered me on vacation and I need to do more than send a thank-you text. That’s when a “just because” gift idea comes in.
These gifts don’t have to be complicated—in fact, there seems to be less pressure involved than on the expected gift occasions. If you’re looking to step up your gift-giving game and need a little inspiration, read on to learn our tips and tricks to giving the perfect “just-because” gift.
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“Just Because” Gifts To Share Love
Giving little gifts is a great way to nurture all the relationships in your life, whether romantic, familial or just the friends who become chosen family! Any little gift that shows the person you know them well is a great place to start.
- If your partner’s main love language is receiving gifts, it’s important to go beyond Valentine’s Day and your anniversary to keep the love up all year round. Little things like buying them an extra treat at the grocery store are great, but when you want to go bigger, consider a mug that describes them, a picture frame with a photo of the two of you or a journal you two can fill out together to stay connected.
- My boyfriend and I have been in a long-distance relationship for 3 years, and we send care packages to support each other when we’re not physically together. I love including his favorite snacks in the box, something small and inexpensive like a funny refrigerator magnet, and a gift card to his favorite restaurant so we can pretend I bought him dinner. I top it all off with a Just Because card to let him know I’m looking forward to seeing him again.
- Sharing love doesn’t have to be limited to romantic relationships! Does your dad love to cook? Pick him up a new sauce or spice blend to try at the next family dinner. Does your best friend always have her hair piled atop her head? A cute pack of silk scrunchies says, “I love you and I also want your hair not to fall out.” I love meeting my people where they are, giving what little gifts I can that fit into their routines and show that I think about their lives.
- Sometimes a gift can be for a space instead of a person and benefit everyone. Consider splurging on a soft blanket for your home movie nights. If you know your partner wants to redo your bedroom, pick one section at a time and find a cute decor piece to add newness without making it an overwhelming project.
- Showing love can also mean supporting your person in an activity that has nothing to do with you. Buy your husband a new video game and watch his face light up. Get your wife tickets to a local cooking class or a painting class so she can have a night to herself or with her girlfriends. You’ll both get to share stories and know that love is supporting individual growth, too.
“Just Because” Gifts To Say Thank You
We’re a greeting card company, but even we can admit when a thank-you card isn’t quite enough. A “just because” gift is a great way to show appreciation to anyone in your life who went above and beyond. (And we’d still recommend pairing it with a card for good measure!)
- Have you been putting your mail and package delivery workers through the wringer lately with online shopping? Set out a basket with water and snacks for them to refuel during the day. You can also put a little wrapped gift inside the mailbox if space allows—think about a portable cordless fan to cool them off in their vehicle or a small heating pad patch to alleviate pain from walking the neighborhood hills.
- If you have a friend who is always stepping up to host the parties, giving them a little gift can go a long way to show appreciation for providing their home, time and energy. Take the classic bottle of wine gift up a notch by adding a special glass to go with it. And if they already have a trendy charcuterie board, give them a useful accessory like a cheese board.
- Maybe you need to say thanks to a neighbor who helped watch your house while you were on vacation or is being extra gracious about construction noise while you redo your backyard. You don’t have to break the bank to let them know you appreciate their friendliness. Give them a candle with a thank-you tag wrapped around it or a little bottle of alcohol with a cocktail recipe—and a note that says you promise to host them when the work is over!
- For anyone else you need to say thank you to, a good rule of gift giving is to make sure the gift doesn’t require any upkeep. My go-to for this is a faux plant in a cute pot! The quality of faux plants is so good now that you can barely tell the difference, and you never have to worry about if the person you’re giving it to has a green thumb or not. Your nearest department or craft store should have lots of options for you to make this small gift meaningful.
“Just Because” Gifts To Show Support
A little gift can be a good way to show you care in the not-so-happy times, too. If you have someone in your life that could use some support or a smile, there are a lot of gifts you can get them to say you’re here for them.
- If your friend needs a little self-care time, give her the push she needs by gifting a face mask, a bath bomb and some cozy socks to remind her that it’s OK to take time for herself.
- When someone experiences a hard, significant change like losing a job or going through a breakup, it can be helpful to remind them how much value they have as a person outside of what they lost. A self-reflection journal can help them process. A new perfume or cologne can be a small gesture that helps them start to move on and feel like themselves again.
- Maybe someone in your life needs a little encouragement to get them through the end of the school year, the last part of a disruptive home renovation or a long project at work. A diffuser with a set of scented oils can help bring some peace. If they appreciate a more practical approach, gift them a notebook and pen set to help make all the lists they need to stay organized.
- Sometimes the little hearts in our life need some extra support, too. If you know a kid who is facing stress at school or with friends, remind them that they are exactly who they should be and will figure it out with our Little World Changers series of books and activities.
- When faith plays a role in their life, a book of prayers and inspiring scripture could be the perfect thing to remind them that they’re not alone in this.
- And sometimes, a gift of words really is the best gift. Find a card that feels right for the situation, write a message of support and put in a $5 gift card for coffee.
“Just Because” Gifts To Celebrate Life’s Little Moments
I’m a personal believer of celebrating everything in life, big and small. Life is hard and every little win counts! Little gifts help share excitement and tell people you’re proud of them.
- For any new life accomplishment—think a new job or a promotion, a postgraduate degree or a new house—I like to give a gift that says, “You did it, now go have fun!” Experience gifts work great here, like tickets to a concert, sports game or movie. You can pair this with a box of candy or popcorn and tell them to enjoy themselves!
- If the new job or degree comes with a new title, it is fun to gift a custom nameplate or notepad for them to brag about themselves.
- It’s important to celebrate non-milestone things as well. Maybe your friend made a breakthrough in therapy, or your mom finally checked off a task that was looming over her. These little moments are also worth recognizing, so give them a cute pin or keychain that will remind them they can do hard things.
- Do you have people in your life with children going back to school? Celebrate the new school year excitement for the kid with something small like a sticker pack to use on new notebooks and folders. If you want to go bigger, kids of all ages will love to tie-dye a shirt or hat to show off their style. (Celebrate the parents surviving the summer with any adult beverage you choose.)
- The little moments are the occasions my friends and I send gifts for the most. We all live in different cities, and getting creative helps us stay connected when we can’t go out to dinner for everything. We like to send funny coaster sets, nice candles and fun puzzles to tide us over until we can celebrate in person.
Truly, there is no wrong way to give a “just because” gift. Anytime you go out of your way to make someone feel loved, you’re putting more goodness into the world. Whether you pick up a little extra thing in the checkout line or put together a curated gift basket, you can feel confident your gift is going to make someone smile.
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