10 Things to Consider When Buying Sympathy Gifts
1. Respect the person/family’s wishes
If you are looking for a gift for someone who has just lost a loved one, they may have made a decision about gifts.
For example, many people send flowers when someone passes away, but if the family has requested no flowers, honor that wish.
They may want nothing or they may request something specific such as a donation to the deceased favorite charity.
Remember, this gift is not about what you would want or think is right, it is about what the family wants. If they have made it clear, respect their decision.
2. Do not be random
While there are plenty of occasions for thinking outside the box and getting someone something totally unique and out of their comfort zone, this is not the time.
Stick with items you know the person will like and will appreciate.
Getting an unusual gift can also come across as insensitive, as though you just grabbed the first gift you found and gave it to them.
3. Be respectful
Of course, you would never intentionally get a gift that is disrespectful but be extra aware of what you select when choosing a sympathy gift.
For example, if someone has just lost their job, even though they may need money, do not give it to them as a gift. They already likely feel embarrassed and this may make them feel worse.
Instead, choose an actual gift that they could put to good use or will at least appreciate having around.
Your intentions are good, but you don’t want to accidentally upset someone when you are just trying to help.
4. Include a card
No matter what you get for someone, make sure you include a card.
One of the most important aspects of a sympathy gift is to reach out to the person or people grieving and make it known that you are there for them and available if they need help.
Simply sending somethi9ng feels very impersonal and does not portray the message you should want to send on this occasion.
5. Be careful with humor
It makes total sense that you would want to put a smile on someone’s face or make them laugh in order to cheer them up.
However, getting a humorous gift can easily look as though you don’t find the situation serious or don’t care.
If you know the person very well and know they will understand your intention it may be okay, but in most situations, do not go the path of humor in this situation.
6. Consider a personalized gift
Has someone lost a loved one? A collage of images of them or an item engraved with their name can be a great way to honor and celebrate the life of who has passed away.
This is a gift that someone will certainly appreciate and look on fondly in the years to come.
This is especially true if it is someone older who has passed away. They may be gone, but they are certainly not forgotten.
7. Help make life easier
Life after a difficult event is always challenging. Whether someone is dealing with funeral arrangements, searching for a new job, or even recovering from a divorce, even the easiest of tasks can begin to feel impossible.
Sending a gift like a meal service that will deliver dinner to someone is a great way to help take one task off their list, which is something they are sure to appreciate.
8. Give the gift of time
Sometimes the best gift to give is not a physical gift you can wrap up in a box but is the gift of yourself and your time.
From babysitting to helping arrange a funeral, to even just taking someone out to lunch, spending time with someone or helping them out with a task is sometimes the best gift you can give and is something the person is sure to really appreciate and always remember.
9. Give the gift of new life
If you know someone who has passed away, you could get someone the gift of a tree or flower bush that they can plant in memory of the person they have lost.
This is something that they will be able to look at for years to come as a beautiful reminder of the person they have lost. It is a great way to memorialize someone.
10. Let the person relax
Typically, the last thing someone will do when dealing with a difficult life event is to take the time to relax.
However, given the situation, it is one of the most important things they should be doing!
Give the person a nice gift set or something similar and force them to use if - they need some time to relax and unwind!
It may feel selfish for the person, but the truth is they need to take care of themselves so that they can keep moving forward.
You can help remind them of that with a thoughtful, relaxing gift.