Saying goodbye is rarely easy, but sending a friend or family member off with an inspirational goodbye gift always helps soften the sad feelings. Whether it’s a graduation, out-of-state move or retirement that has you parting ways, a well-chosen sentimental gift will help the individual move on to the next chapter of life with fond memories of the last one.
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It’s hard to go wrong with a picture of you and the person who is leaving. Choose a favourite photo of the two of you and put it in a frame with an inspirational quote, Bible verse or saying that reminds you of that person. If you can’t find a suitable quote, try putting a picture in one side of a hinged frame and filling the other side with a printed or handwritten quote of your own. You may also want to consider having a frame personally engraved with something that will be special to the person receiving the gift. For a little more of an investment, you can have a photo printed and stretched over canvas so that it looks like a painting.
Inspirational books are another unique way of expressing your warm wishes for someone who is leaving. If the move is related to a major life achievement, like graduation or marriage, look for a book that corresponds with the event. For a religious gift, choose a book containing short prayers for the graduate, a study Bible for couples, or a specialised journal. Chicken Soup for the Soul books, or other books with inspirational anecdotes, can provide encouragement to someone adjusting to a new phase in life.
Consider the Location
Get some ideas by considering the place the person is moving to. For example, a high school graduate leaving for college might love a handmade blanket to help the dorm room feel more like home. Or, give a couple moving closer to the grandchildren for retirement a basket of games, toys and art projects to do with the kids.
CDs are well-suited for anyone with a long drive in a moving truck. Buy or make a CD with songs that remind you of the person leaving, or songs that will help them remember home. Better yet, try getting a group of friends and family members together beforehand to record goodbye messages and wishes for the person leaving. These will be a welcome reminder of home that can be played again and again.
Give something that commemorates the person’s achievements in the place they are leaving. This is especially suitable for employees who are retiring or leaving a company. Have a plaque, medal or trophy inscribed to honour the contributions the individual made while working there.
Get friends and family together a few weeks before the person leaves to work on a group gift. Make a scrapbook, put together a collage, sketch comics about the times you had together or make a home video with people saying goodbye. If you can’t get everyone together at once, ask each person to submit a poem, drawing or short story about the person leaving, and combine these into a book. If you prefer something easier, have everyone sign a stuffed animal, card or pillowcase for the leaver to keep.
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