hand with thoughtful gift in craft paper on brown background

What is a “thoughtful gift”?

How well organized are you when it comes to Christmas gifts? Have you purchased anything already? Or are you still looking for a unique and thoughtful gift for a special someone – someone who “has everything”?

Personally, I put a lot of thought into my gifts. I want my gifts to mean something to the receiver. I actually find more pleasure in the GIVING than in the RECEIVING. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE receiving gifts and getting spoilt, but there is something very special about making someone else happy and giving them something that they will appreciate.

I can imagine that we all have different ways of defining what a “thoughtful gift” is. Personally, I think about the receiver first – what would make him or her -happy. But there are other things to consider as well; like:

  • Is it sustainable?
  • Is it environmentally friendly?
  • Is it durable?
  • Will it support a small business?

If you struggle to come up with thoughtful gift ideas for your Christmas shopping, I hope some of the ideas below can inspire you. Btw. most of these ideas are suitable for not Christmas-specific gifts as well.

Tip:  About wrapping paper; did you know that the traditional (glossy) wrapping paper cannot be recycled? If you want to be environmentally conscious, it’s better to use craft paper wrapping (recyclable) or even better – get creative and use newspapers or fabric that can be reused.

These are my 7 thoughtful gift ideas for gifts that will bring joy for a long time.

1) A self-made photo album

Create a photo album with your most favorite pictures. Imagine the love and happiness you can evoke by giving someone a book full of memories? It’s thoughtful and personal, but please be aware; it takes time to create and there’s a production time to calculate in as well. So, make sure you have the time to both make and order it.

Some ideas on themes for your albums:
  • Favorite pictures through the years (a collection of images taken during the last 10 or 20 years)
  • Favorite moments of 2021
  • Vacation pictures of 2021 (or earlier years)
  • Christmas traditions (or Christmas celebrations) through the years. Go through your older pictures and make a collection of a few images per year and put them all in an album that you can go through and see “how you started & how it’s going now”
  • 30 (or 40 or 50) things I love about you. See some visual samples above that I made for my husband’s 2 big birthdays.

Tip: An alternative to an album could be a slideshow. Personally, I don’t have the time to make a physical album this year, but I plan to make a slideshow of “Christmas preparations through the years” to show on Christmas eve. I will pick out a few pictures from the last 20 or so years and create a nice visual story. It’s so fun to see how the kids have grown and how our gingerbread baking skills have improved through the years.

2) Gift a limited-edition art print

Do you appreciate art or know someone who does? A limited-edition art print is unique, durable, and valuable and can be a great gift for the “one who has everything”. Or a nice treat for yourself;)

If this sounds interesting, I have a unique opportunity for you:

“Keep the focus” Limited edition of 20

The art print is a b&w photo of a velvet grass flower. It illustrates the chaos of life and the need to focus on one thing at a time. It is also a reminder to appreciate the “little things” and find beauty in the ordinary. A grass flower is very often overlooked and ignored, but if you look closely, it is quite stunning.


  • Limited edition of 20
  • Printed on Hahnemühle Photo Rag Bright White Fine art paper.
  • Size 20x30cm including the white edge.
  • Fits perfectly inside a 20x30cm frame or a larger one with Passepartout.
  • Each print is signed, numbered, and titled on the front.
  • Includes a certificate of authenticity.
  • The price per print is €99 (not including shipping costs).
  • The frame is not included

Worldwide shipping is possible, but please be aware that delivery might take longer than normal because of unprecedented pressure on the delivery services at the moment.

Purchase the art print via the button below. If you live close to (Blaricum, Netherlands) and would prefer to pick it up in person, you can send me a WhatsApp message via the chat below with your order and pay with iDEAL if you prefer that.


Don’t want to miss out?

Sign up for my waitlist and get notified whenever a new limited edition art print is released. As a waitlist subscriber, you will be notified 24 hours before the public and have a better chance at getting your hands on a print and less chance of missing out:) Sign up via the button below:


3) Unique, useful, and affordable art products

Products that are useful, beautiful, and unique at the same time are definitely thoughtful gifts in my book. Buying products from one of the many online artist shops not only gives you unique products, but you also support artists without breaking the bank. There are several online shops that sell art products, like Society6, RedBubble, and Fine Art America. There are SO many styles, motives, and types of products to choose from, there is absolutely something for everyone. I actually have three online shops where you can buy products like art prints, notebooks, iPhone covers, towels, cushions, shower curtains, and even blankets. In fact, there are over 50 different product types designed with my art. I’d love it if you took a peek at what I have designed. Above are some examples from my RedBubble.

RedBubble shop

If you live outside of the US, you might prefer RedBubble. They manufacture and ship based on your location so that shipping costs and delivery time are minimalized.

Society6 shop

Society6 manufactures and ships from the US only, but they ship worldwide. They often have great discounts and sometimes even offer free worldwide shipping.

 4) Gift a photo calendar

Design and gift a photo calendar with your favorite pictures from the last year. It’s a wonderful and thoughtful gift that will keep giving pleasure all through the next year – especially on the first of every month. I love it when a new month starts and I can flip the calendar and see which images are on display for that month. Calendars are some of my top favorite gifts to give and something I make every year.

Tip: When the year is over, don’t just throw it away. Instead; cut off the images and keep them as memorabilia, frame them or use them as cards.

5) The ultimate thoughtful gift: The gift of memories!

I might be biased, but I don’t think that there’s a better gift to give than one that will provide life-long memories. I hope you agree with me that the gift of photography is a lovely and thoughtful gift. If you like this idea, see if you can find a local photographer that offers gift cards for a photo session and make someone VERY happy this Christmas.

And, if you’re based in The Netherlands I can personally help you because I’m offering two Giftcard-special packages this year. The gift cards can be used for photoshoots next year (or 2023). But don’t hesitate, because the special offers (saving you up to €180) expire on Dec. 23rd 2021!

Tip: if YOU would like to receive this gift, you can put the link below on your wishlist and share it with someone who might want to gift it to you. Or you can simply gift it to yourself, you’ve definitely deserved it!

The packages include:

  • Photoshoot op location in the Blaricum/Huizen area in 2022
  • Online gallery with a selection of edited images
  • Photo credit to use for photo products
  • I offer both digital cards (sent by email) and physical (sent by post)
  • Orders for physical cards that you want to receive in time for Christmas, should be ordered by Dec. 17th at the latest.
  • The special offer expires on Dec. 23rd, 2021!
  • Gift cards are valid for 2 years.

I’d be ever so stoked to photograph your loved ones next year. Click below for more information:


6) Gift an online course

Have you ever thought about gifting an online course? How great would it be to inspire someone else to acquire a new skill and learn something new? Or how about gifting a course to a friend AND yourself so you could do it together?

Btw. I’m all for gifting something to yourself, and this could be the perfect thoughtful gift from You to You;)

You can find online courses about ANYTHING now – really, the choices are limitless.

If you need a tip, my personal one would be my favorite go-to app when it comes to creative online classes: Creativelive.  I’ve used them for over 4 years and I’ve learned SO much. You’ll find classes about everything photography, video, design, social media, business, crafts like sewing and painting and so much more. I own the Creative Pass – which gives you access to ALL the classes (over 1500!) for a year – and it’s worth every penny. The classes I’ve taken so far have inspired me and helped me elevate my business by teaching me about the business of photography and so much more.

If this sounds interesting, I have a nice limited-time offer discount code for you; 20% off the Creator Pass (full price is $149) with the code: CREATIVELIVE20. This specific offer ends on 01.01.2022, so don’t wait!

If you don’t want to go all-in, but rather just sign up for one class, that’s possible too of course. You can check them all out here:


7) Make someone happy with organized Quality time

This might seem like a strange thing to list as a thoughtful gift, but quality time can be a great thing to receive and a fun thing to give. Personally, I don’t wish for jewelry from my hubby, but rather something actionable where we can spend some out-of-the-ordinary quality time together. His last birthday present to me was a weekend spa retreat – and yes, he joined too. It was the BEST gift.

The gift of quality time doesn’t have to be expensive. The goal is to have fun together and fun doesn’t necessarily come with a price tag.

Here are some ideas for low-cost Quality time-based gifts:

  • Arrange a surprise picnic.
  • Give a restaurant experience at home (order in from a restaurant serve it as if you were in a restaurant. Decorate the table nicely and have the kids serve you (if you have kids) and make it less “take-out-ish” and more high-end style.
  • Do a workshop with someone you love, like a painting or photography workshop.
  • Gift a campfire bread-on-a-stick adventure. Make your kids, your parents, or your loved one happy with this fun experience.

Disclosure: Some links may be affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these, I get a small commission – at no additional cost to you. Also, you’ll receive a special offer, so it’s a win/win. I only recommend products I love, trust, and use myself. Thank you for your support! For more details see my full Disclosure Statement.