HomeOccasionsHolidays80 Gifting Holidays: The Ultimate List of Gift-Giving Occasions

80 Gifting Holidays: The Ultimate List of Gift-Giving Occasions

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Gifting holidays are special moments throughout the year where people across the globe exchange presents as a way to express love, gratitude, and celebration. These occasions vary widely, from religious and cultural holidays to appreciation days that honor specific relationships or societal contributions. Each gifting holiday carries its own traditions and meanings, making the act of giving not just a gesture of kindness, but a rich, cultural exchange that strengthens bonds and fosters understanding among diverse communities.

The concept of gift-giving occasions transcends mere exchange of material items; it embodies the essence of human connection and the joy of sharing. Whether it’s a global celebration like Christmas or a personal milestone such as a birthday, these occasions invite us to pause, reflect, and show appreciation for the people in our lives.

This guide dives into the myriad of gift-giving occasions celebrated around the world, exploring the unique customs and stories behind each. From the lantern-lit nights of Diwali to the thoughtful appreciation on Mother’s Day, we uncover 80 of the most popular gifting holidays and occasions.

Religious Holidays & Celebrations

1
Purim (Between Late February – Mid March)

Purim is the ultimate throwback to an ancient victory, wrapped up in vibrant costumes, raucous celebrations, and a story that’s been told and retold through generations. It’s a Jewish holiday that commemorates the saving of the Jewish people from Haman, a royal advisor in the Persian Empire who had a vendetta against them.

Falling on the 14th day of the Hebrew month of Adar, Purim is a time when you’ll see people of all ages dressing up, sharing laughs, and enjoying the kind of party that makes even the most reserved folks let loose. It’s not just about remembering the past; it’s about living it up in the present.

When it comes to Purim gifts, think beyond the usual. It’s all about sending mishloach manot, baskets of goodies, to friends and family. These aren’t your run-of-the-mill gift baskets. Picture this: an eclectic mix of sweet treats, savory snacks, and a splash of wine or grape juice, all bundled up in a package that’s as fun to assemble as it is to receive. From homemade hamantaschen, those triangle-shaped cookies filled with anything from poppy seeds to apricot jam, to bags of crunchy roasted nuts and dried fruits, the aim is to spread joy and bring a bit of that Purim party spirit right to someone’s doorstep.

2
Easter (First Sunday After the Spring Equinox)

Easter gifts

Easter is that time of the year when you can feel the spring vibes truly kicking in, bringing a sense of renewal and joy. It’s a major Christian festival that marks the resurrection of Jesus Christ, falling on the first Sunday after the first full moon following the vernal equinox. This typically places it somewhere between late March and late April. While it’s rooted in Christian traditions, people from various backgrounds have come to join in the festivities, making it a broadly celebrated occasion.

When it comes to Easter gifts, think beyond the basic and dive into the sweet and symbolic. Chocolate eggs and bunnies have become almost synonymous with the holiday, embodying themes of new life and joy. But it’s not just about the cocoa; Easter baskets filled with a mix of candies, toys, and sometimes even books or games add a personal touch. For those looking to keep it traditional yet thoughtful, a beautifully painted Easter egg or a plush bunny can hit the right note of festive cheer.

3
Passover (April 22 – 30)

Passover is a significant Jewish holiday that commemorates the Hebrews’ liberation from slavery in Egypt, a story narrated in the Exodus of the Hebrew Bible. It’s celebrated in early spring, ranging from late March to April, syncing with the Hebrew calendar’s 15th day of Nisan. The festivity spans over eight days (seven in Israel), inviting Jewish families and friends to partake in rituals, notably the Seder meal, which is rich in symbolism and tradition.

When it comes to gifting, Passover presents are thoughtful, often enhancing the holiday’s experience or aligning with its dietary laws. Kosher for Passover wines are a go-to, perfect for toasting to freedom and adding to the festive joy. Another popular choice is gourmet kosher treats that fit into the Passover dietary restrictions, like artisanal matzo, chocolate-covered matzo, or fruit platters. Books on Jewish themes or children’s Passover storybooks also make meaningful gifts, enriching the holiday’s educational aspect. Essentially, gifts that resonate with Passover’s themes of freedom, history, and community are always appreciated.

4
Hannukah – (The 25th day of Kislev in the Hebrew Calendar)

Hannukah, also known as the Festival of Lights, is an eight-day Jewish holiday that commemorates the rededication of the Second Temple in Jerusalem. It typically falls in late November or December, varying each year according to the Hebrew calendar. This celebration is embraced by Jewish communities around the globe, lighting up homes with the glow of menorah candles and sharing in traditions that have been passed down through generations.

When it comes to Hannukah gifts, think cozy, thoughtful, and often communal. Gifts can range from practical to playful, with books, games, and homemade treats stealing the show. It’s not just about the gift’s value but the warmth and connection it brings. Dreidels and gelt (chocolate coins) are classic staples, ensuring that fun and tradition blend seamlessly. Whether it’s a handcrafted piece of jewelry or a family board game, the essence of Hannukah gifting is about sharing joy and creating memories together.

5
Yom Kippur (Late September/Early October)

Yom Kippur, also known as the Day of Atonement, is the holiest day in Judaism, where observers seek forgiveness for their sins of the past year. It’s part of the High Holy Days, falling on the 10th day of Tishrei in the Jewish calendar, which usually lands in September or October. This solemn 25-hour period involves fasting, prayer, and reflection, mainly celebrated by the Jewish community worldwide. It’s a time to pause, reflect, and reset, making amends and thinking deeply about personal growth and relationships.

When it comes to gifts, Yom Kippur is a bit unique; it’s not traditionally a time for exchanging presents in the way you might see with other holidays. However, since the focus is on atonement and reflection, giving charity (tzedakah) is highly regarded and aligns with the holiday’s spirit. Some might also consider gifts that facilitate reflection and personal growth, like journals or books on spirituality and self-improvement. It’s all about enhancing the holiday’s introspective nature, supporting the journey towards a more thoughtful and deliberate life.

6
Dussehra / Vijaydashami (October 12)

dussehra

Dussehra, also known as Vijayadashami, is a vibrant festival that marks the victory of good over evil, celebrated predominantly by Hindus across India and in parts of Nepal. Falling in the Hindu month of Ashvin, which typically aligns with September or October in the Gregorian calendar, it caps off the Navaratri festival. The day commemorates Lord Rama’s victory over the demon king Ravana, making it a significant cultural and religious event where communities come together for performances, rituals, and fairs.

When it comes to gifting, Dussehra is all about thoughtful presents that resonate with the festival’s ethos. Traditional gifts include sweets like jalebi and barfi, symbolizing the sweet victory of good over evil. Books, especially religious ones like the Ramayana, are also a popular choice, reflecting the festival’s historical roots. For a more personal touch, clothing and jewelry are gifted as a gesture of love and good wishes for the festive season ahead. These gifts, rich in cultural significance, not only celebrate the festival’s traditions but also foster a sense of togetherness and goodwill among friends and family.

7
Christmas (December 25th)

Christmas is that time of year when the air gets a bit crisper, streets light up with festive decorations, and Mariah Carey becomes omnipresent on every playlist. Celebrated on December 25th by millions around the globe, this holiday isn’t just for the devoutly religious anymore. It’s a universal signal to pause, indulge in some good food, and spend quality time with loved ones. Whether you’re decking out your home with twinkling lights, watching Home Alone for the umpteenth time, or just enjoying the winter vibes, Christmas has a little something for everyone.

When it comes to gifting, Christmas traditions are as varied as the snowflakes falling on a quiet winter night. But let’s be real, some gifts are classics: think books that beckon you to curl up under a cozy blanket, the latest tech gadgets that promise to simplify life (or at least make it more fun), and those wonderfully ugly sweaters that somehow become endearing. Then there are the personalized mementos, reminding us that it’s the thought that counts. Whether it’s a DIY photo album or a custom piece of jewelry, these gifts carry a warmth that rivals any fireplace.

8
Bar Mitzvah / Bat Mitzvah

A Bar Mitzvah and Bat Mitzvah are coming-of-age ceremonies for Jewish boys and girls, respectively, marking the transition to adult responsibilities within the Jewish community. This rite of passage typically happens at the age of 13 for boys and 12 or 13 for girls, depending on the Jewish denomination. It’s a significant milestone celebrated by family and friends, signifying the young individual’s commitment to their faith and cultural heritage.

When it comes to gifting, think meaningful and often leaning towards the practical or educational. Money is a go-to, with the “18” multiple being popular due to its symbolic value of chai (life) in Jewish tradition. Savings bonds or contributions to a college fund are also top picks, echoing the event’s focus on the transition into adulthood. Judaica items like menorahs or mezuzahs are thoughtful gifts, connecting the recipient with their faith. Books, especially those related to Jewish culture or history, make for cherished gifts, offering both insight and inspiration as they navigate their new chapter.

9
Christenings

Christenings are a heartfelt rite of passage, steeped in religious tradition, marking a baby’s first formal introduction into Christianity. This ceremony, usually held in the early months of a child’s life, is a moment of celebration for Christian families, particularly among Catholics, Anglicans, Lutherans, and Orthodox believers. It’s a day filled with blessings, where the little one gets baptized and officially receives their Christian name, surrounded by loved ones, godparents, and the wider church community.

When it comes to gifts, the vibe is all about keepsakes that last a lifetime. Think elegant silver spoons, personalized baptismal blankets, or intricately designed photo albums to store memories of the day. Jewelry also makes the list, with simple cross necklaces being a classic choice, symbolizing faith and protection. For those looking to gift something a bit more modern, engraved picture frames or custom storybooks that weave in religious themes are thoughtful touches that blend tradition with a personal twist.

10
Baptisms

Baptisms are a significant rite of passage within many Christian traditions, symbolizing the cleansing of sin and the initiation of an individual, often an infant, into the faith community. This sacred ceremony can happen at any time of the year, depending on the family’s preference and church schedule. It’s a day of celebration, not just for the immediate family but also for godparents and extended relatives, who all come together to witness this profound moment of spiritual commitment and welcome the newest member into their faith.

When it comes to baptism gifts, think beyond the usual suspects. Sure, silver keepsakes and engraved photo frames are classic choices that have their place. But why not mix it up with a personalized children’s Bible, a beautifully illustrated book of biblical stories, or a delicate cross necklace? These gifts carry a deep personal touch, offering something that the child can grow to appreciate over time. For something a bit more contemporary, consider a custom baptism candle or a soft, plush angel doll. Whatever the choice, the idea is to gift something meaningful that commemorates this special day and resonates with the family’s faith and values.

Cultural Holidays

11
Quinceañera

quincenera

Quinceañeras are a rite of passage celebrated by many in Latin American communities, marking a young girl’s transition into womanhood on her 15th birthday. This tradition, steeped in cultural heritage and religious significance, is a vibrant mix of family, faith, and festive fun. It’s not just a party; it’s a deeply personal celebration that reflects the values and hopes of the celebrant and their loved ones, often involving elaborate dresses, meticulous planning, and rituals that symbolize the journey into adulthood.

When it comes to gifts, think meaningful and often symbolic. Jewelry, especially pieces like cross necklaces or bracelets, are go-tos for their timeless appeal and personal touch. Religious gifts, such as Bibles or rosaries, nod to the event’s spiritual dimensions, while keepsakes like personalized photo albums or frames capture memories of the day. Monetary gifts, in the form of savings bonds or cash, are also popular, offering a practical boost toward the celebrant’s future dreams and endeavors. These gifts are not just items; they’re blessings, wishes, and tokens of a community’s enduring support and love.

12
Valentine’s Day (February 14th)

Valentine’s Day, a day steeped in romance and sweet gestures, lands on February 14th each year, painting towns red (literally and figuratively). It’s a day where love is loudly celebrated, not just by couples, but also friends and family who seize the opportunity to express their affection. From young lovebirds planning the perfect date to long-married duos reminiscing about shared memories, Valentine’s Day has a little something for everyone looking to spread a bit of love.

When it comes to gifting, think beyond the classic box of chocolates. Sure, sweet treats and bouquets of roses are as synonymous with Valentine’s Day as heart-shaped everything, but the holiday has seen an evolution in gift-giving trends. Personalized gifts, like custom jewelry or bespoke art pieces, are gaining traction, offering a more intimate touch. Experiential gifts, such as a cooking class for two or a surprise getaway, are also on the rise, emphasizing making memories over material possessions. Whether it’s through a handwritten letter or a carefully chosen gift, it’s the thought that counts, making the day special for your loved ones.

13
St. Patrick’s Day (March 17th)

Valentine’s Day, a day steeped in romance and sweet gestures, lands on February 14th each year, painting towns red (literally and figuratively). It’s a day where love is loudly celebrated, not just by couples, but also friends and family who seize the opportunity to express their affection. From young lovebirds planning the perfect date to long-married duos reminiscing about shared memories, Valentine’s Day has a little something for everyone looking to spread a bit of love.

When it comes to gifting, think beyond the classic box of chocolates. Sure, sweet treats and bouquets of roses are as synonymous with Valentine’s Day as heart-shaped everything, but the holiday has seen an evolution in gift-giving trends. Personalized gifts, like custom jewelry or bespoke art pieces, are gaining traction, offering a more intimate touch. Experiential gifts, such as a cooking class for two or a surprise getaway, are also on the rise, emphasizing making memories over material possessions. Whether it’s through a handwritten letter or a carefully chosen gift, it’s the thought that counts, making the day special for your loved ones.

14
Holi (March 25th)

Holi, often hailed as the Festival of Colors, is a vibrant celebration that marks the arrival of spring. This Hindu festival typically falls in March, painting the landscape with a kaleidoscope of colors and joy. It’s a time when people across India, as well as in other parts of the world with significant Indian diaspora, come together to splash colors, share love, and enjoy the triumph of good over evil. With its roots in ancient traditions and mythology, Holi brings communities together, transcending barriers of age, caste, and religion.

When it comes to gifting during Holi, the focus is on spreading joy and color. Traditional gifts often include packets of gulal (brightly colored powders), which are essential for the color-throwing festivities. Sweets also play a significant role, with delicacies like gujiya, a sweet dumpling, and thandai, a spiced milk beverage, being popular choices. In recent years, eco-friendly gifts have gained traction, with people opting for organic colors and sustainable gift options that reflect the spirit of renewal and respect for nature inherent in the festival.

15
Ramadan (Between April and May [30 Day Period Based on Islamic Calendar])

ramadan

Ramadan is the holy month of fasting, reflection, and community in Islam, observed by Muslims worldwide as a time to commemorate the first revelation of the Quran to Muhammad according to Islamic belief. Typically falling on the ninth month of the Islamic lunar calendar, its start date shifts annually, keeping everyone on their toes. During Ramadan, from dawn to sunset, fasting is practiced, not just from food and drink, but also from negative actions and thoughts, emphasizing self-discipline and spiritual growth.

When it comes to gifting during Ramadan, the vibe is all about thoughtfulness and reinforcing bonds. Traditional presents often include books, especially religious texts like *The Quran*, to inspire and uplift. Scented candles or diffusers are also a hit, bringing peace and tranquility to the home. For those looking to sweeten the deal, gourmet dates or artisanal chocolates are a classic choice, perfectly in tune with the breaking of the fast. Whatever the gift, the key is to reflect the spirit of giving, gratitude, and community that defines Ramadan.

16
Eid Al-Fitr (After Ramadan)

Eid Al-Fitr, often known as the Festival of Breaking the Fast, is a vibrant and heartwarming celebration that marks the end of Ramadan, the Islamic holy month of fasting. This holiday is observed by Muslims around the world and typically falls on the first day of Shawwal, the month following Ramadan in the Islamic calendar. The exact date varies each year, moving around the Gregorian calendar, as it’s based on the sighting of the moon. It’s a time of joy, community, and gratitude, bringing together families and friends to celebrate their spiritual achievements and togetherness after a month of reflection and fasting.

When it comes to gifts, Eid Al-Fitr is all about spreading happiness and sharing blessings. Cash gifts, often referred to as Eidi, are a popular tradition, especially for children, providing them with a sense of joy and the freedom to buy something they desire. Apart from cash, giving sweets, clothes, and books are also common, aiming to add to the festive mood of the day. The gifts are thoughtful and modest, reflecting the spirit of generosity and care that the holiday promotes. It’s a time when people go out of their way to ensure everyone around them feels included and cherished.

17
Earth Day (April 22nd)

Earth Day rolls around every April 22, casting a global spotlight on environmental protection. It’s not just for the green-thumbed or eco-warriors; pretty much anyone keen on giving Mother Earth a little TLC gets in on the action. From school kids planting trees to businesses pledging sustainability, it’s a day where the planet’s health takes center stage. Think of it as a collective timeout to appreciate and advocate for our shared home, with folks from all walks of life joining the eco-friendly bash.

When it comes to Earth Day gifts, the vibe is decidedly green and thoughtful. You won’t find plastic trinkets or anything that screams ‘I’m part of the problem’. Instead, it’s all about seeds for planting, reusable goodies (think metal straws and cloth shopping bags), and DIY kits that encourage a more sustainable lifestyle. Gifts that keep on giving, like donations to environmental charities or adopting a piece of wildlife habitat, are also top-tier choices. It’s about celebrating with gifts that reflect a commitment to the planet, nudging us all towards a greener, more sustainable way of living.

18
Cinco de Mayo (May 5th)

Cinco de Mayo is that splash of color and culture that pops up every fifth of May, a vibrant celebration that’s become a staple beyond its Mexican roots, especially in the U.S. It commemorates the Mexican army’s unexpected victory over the French at the Battle of Puebla in 1862, a David vs. Goliath tale if there ever was one. While it’s a relatively minor holiday in Mexico, in the States, it’s a full-blown fiesta, with everyone from history buffs to party seekers joining in on the fun, rocking out to Mexican music, and savoring the rich tapestry of Mexican culture.

When it comes to gifting on Cinco de Mayo, think vibrant, fun, and culturally rich. Traditional gifts aren’t the norm, but if you’re feeling generous, items that celebrate Mexican heritage hit just right. Picture beautifully handcrafted Mexican pottery or vibrant textiles that add a pop of color and culture to any space. For the foodies, a basket of gourmet Mexican spices or an artisanal tequila can be a thoughtful nod to Mexico’s culinary excellence. It’s all about sharing the joy and richness of Mexican culture, making any gift that does just that a perfect pick for Cinco de Mayo.

19
Memorial Day (Last Monday in May)

Memorial Day is that reflective pause on the calendar, landing on the last Monday of May, where we collectively tip our hats to the brave souls who’ve served and sacrificed in the U.S. military. It’s a day steeped in American tradition, observed widely across the states by families, communities, and especially military families, marking not just the onset of summer but a moment to honor and remember.

When it comes to Memorial Day gifting, think less along the lines of flash and dazzle and more about heartfelt, meaningful gestures. Flags and flower arrangements, particularly those with a patriotic theme, often find their way to grave sites as a tribute. Customized memorabilia that celebrates a loved one’s service, like engraved keepsakes or photo albums, also hold special significance. It’s all about showing appreciation, remembrance, and a touch of national pride.

20
Eid al-Adha (June 16th)

Eid al-Adha, often known as the Festival of Sacrifice, is one of the two major Islamic holidays celebrated worldwide, alongside Eid al-Fitr. It falls on the 10th day of Dhu al-Hijjah, the last month of the Islamic lunar calendar, marking the climax of the annual Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca. It’s a time when Muslims across the globe come together in a spirit of generosity, remembering the willingness of Ibrahim (Abraham) to sacrifice his son as an act of obedience to God. The date varies each year on the Gregorian calendar, but it’s a period of joy and reflection for those who observe.

When it comes to gifts, Eid al-Adha isn’t just about the giving; it’s about the meaning behind the gesture. Traditional presents often include new clothes, to symbolize starting the holiday in purity and freshness. Sweets and chocolates are also a go-to, because let’s face it, who doesn’t love a good treat during festive times? Money, known as Eidi, is given to children, providing a sense of joy and teaching them the value of giving. Gifts are exchanged with loved ones and those in need, reinforcing the holiday’s themes of community support and generosity.

21
Juneteenth (June 19th)

Juneteenth, celebrated on June 19th, marks a pivotal moment in American history – it’s the day in 1865 when the last enslaved African Americans in Galveston, Texas, were informed of their freedom, a full two and a half years after the Emancipation Proclamation. It’s a day of deep reflection and jubilant celebration, primarily within the African American community, honoring both the bitter struggle for freedom and the enduring spirit of resilience and solidarity.

When it comes to commemorating Juneteenth, the vibe is all about honoring heritage and fostering community. Gifts that resonate with this spirit are often exchanged, with a focus on items that celebrate African American culture and history. Think books by Black authors, art pieces from Black artists, or even curated playlists of Black musicians. It’s not just about the tangible; it’s about gifting something that educates, uplifts, and pays homage to the rich tapestry of African American history and achievements.

22
Fourth of July / Independence Day (July 4th)

Fourth of July, also known as Independence Day in the United States, is that iconic summer holiday falling on, well, July 4th. It’s a day where Americans from all walks of life come together to celebrate the nation’s independence from British rule in 1776. Think backyard barbecues, vivid fireworks lighting up the night sky, and a whole lot of red, white, and blue. It’s a time for patriotic displays and family gatherings, where everyone from the urban dwellers to the countryside folks gets down with their American pride.

When it comes to gifts, the Fourth of July is more about experiences than tangible items. However, themed goodies do make their rounds, especially if you’re hitting a party or a barbecue. Picture this: American flag-themed everything, from apparel (those stars and stripes tees) to home decor (think flags and banners). Then, there are the more thoughtful, summery gifts like artisanal s’mores kits for the bonfire or a set of craft beers from a local brewery to keep the party going. It’s all about enhancing the celebration vibe, making sure everyone’s having a good time under the summer sky.

23
Rakhi Bandhan (August 19th)

Rakhi Bandhan, also known simply as Raksha Bandhan, is a heartwarming celebration of the bond between siblings, deeply rooted in Indian culture. It’s that special day when brothers and sisters come together to honor their lifelong connection. Falling on the full moon day of the Hindu month of Shravana (which translates to late August or early September in the Gregorian calendar), this festival is celebrated with gusto across India and among Indian communities worldwide. It’s not just a day; it’s an emotion, showcasing the love and duty between brothers and sisters.

When it comes to gifting, Rakhi Bandhan is all about thoughtful presents that symbolize the love and care siblings have for each other. Sisters typically tie a rakhi—a sacred thread—around their brothers’ wrists, praying for their prosperity and happiness. In return, brothers promise to protect their sisters and shower them with gifts. These gifts range from sweets and chocolates, embodying the sweetness of their relationship, to jewelry and clothes, adding a touch of splendor to the celebration. Customized gifts like personalized mugs or photo frames are also in vogue, making the occasion even more memorable.

24
Rosh Hashanah (October 2nd – 4th)

Rosh Hashanah, often dubbed the Jewish New Year, is a celebration that marks the beginning of the Jewish lunar calendar. Typically observed in early autumn, around September or October, this holiday ushers in a period of reflection, renewal, and introspection for Jewish communities worldwide. It’s a time when families and friends gather to reflect on the past year and set intentions for the year ahead, blending spiritual traditions with communal festivities.

When it comes to Rosh Hashanah gifts, the vibe is all about sweetness and prosperity for the new year. Think gourmet honey pots, artisanal apple spreads, or fancy dried fruit baskets that symbolize the wish for a sweet year ahead. It’s also common to see stylish Judaica items, like candle holders or serving dishes, making the rounds as thoughtful presents. These gifts aren’t just about the tangible; they’re steeped in tradition, aiming to bring blessings of joy, health, and abundance to loved ones.

25
Halloween (October 31st)

Halloween is the ultimate ode to all things spooky and sweet, celebrated every year on October 31. It’s a day when the barrier between the mundane and the mystical feels thinnest, inviting everyone from tiny tots in superhero costumes to adults in elaborately crafted disguises to join in the fun. Originating from ancient Celtic harvest festivals, this holiday has morphed into a global phenomenon, beloved by those who relish the chance to play dress-up and indulge in a bit of good-natured fright.

When it comes to gifting, Halloween keeps it quirky and themed. Forget your standard fare; this holiday is all about candy corn, ghost-shaped chocolates, and pumpkin-spiced everything. Think mini cauldrons filled with treats, personalized spooky storybooks, or even horror movie marathons gifted via streaming service vouchers. For those looking to add a bit of mystique, tarot decks or crystal balls can make for intriguing presents. It’s less about grandeur and more about adding to the night’s enchantment with gifts that celebrate the peculiar and the paranormal.

26
Diwali (November 1st)

Diwali, also known as the Festival of Lights, is a vibrant and deeply spiritual celebration observed by millions around the globe, primarily in Hindu, Jain, Sikh, and Buddhist communities. It typically spans five days and falls in October or November, depending on the lunar calendar. This festival is all about honoring the victory of light over darkness, knowledge over ignorance, and good over evil. Homes and public spaces are lit up with diyas (oil lamps), and the air is filled with the spirit of renewal and hope.

When it comes to Diwali gifting, the vibe is all about sharing love and prosperity. Traditional gifts include sweets like ladoos and barfis, symbolizing the sweetening of relationships and the spread of joy. Dry fruits and nuts are also popular, representing wishes for health and prosperity. In more contemporary practices, people often exchange decorative items, jewelry, or even eco-friendly gifts to keep up with the theme of light and positivity. The essence of Diwali gifting is not just in the material but in the spirit of generosity and goodwill it fosters among friends and family.

27
Veteran’s Day (November 11th)

Veteran’s Day rolls around every November 11, marking a moment for us to hit pause and honor military veterans who’ve served in the United States Armed Forces. It’s a day that transcends the usual hustle, bringing together folks from all walks of life—veterans, families, friends, and patriots—to reflect on bravery, sacrifice, and the freedoms we often take for granted. While it’s predominantly an American observance, the essence of paying respect to military service resonates globally, reminding us of the universal values of courage and dedication.

When it comes to showing appreciation on Veteran’s Day, traditional gifts lean towards the thoughtful and symbolic. Think along the lines of personalized keepsakes—engraved watches, custom service branch memorabilia, or a heartfelt collection of letters expressing gratitude. It’s less about the flash and more about the sentiment, offering a tangible reminder of respect and appreciation. For those looking to honor a veteran, these gifts serve as a bridge connecting personal gratitude with the profound acknowledgment of their service. It’s all about striking the right note of reverence, respect, and heartfelt thanks.

28
Kwanzaa (December 26th – January 1st)

Kwanzaa is a vibrant celebration rooted in African-American culture, observed from December 26 to January 1. This holiday honors African heritage, focusing on family, community, and culture among African Americans and others in the African diaspora. It’s a time for reflection, remembrance, and recommitment to seven core principles, or Nguzo Saba, which include unity, self-determination, collective work and responsibility, cooperative economics, purpose, creativity, and faith.

When it comes to gift-giving during Kwanzaa, think meaningful over material. Gifts, or Zawadi, are usually exchanged on the final day and are meant to encourage growth, self-determination, and success. Handmade gifts are highly valued as they reflect personal creativity and dedication. Books about African culture and history, art that celebrates African heritage, and educational toys that inspire creativity and learning in children are all thoughtful choices. These gifts aren’t just about the act of giving; they symbolize a commitment to the loved ones’ personal and cultural growth.

29
New Year’s Eve/New Year’s (December 31st/Jan 1st)

New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day are like the ultimate reset button, celebrated on December 31st and January 1st, respectively. It’s the universal party where pretty much everyone, regardless of where you’re from, gets hyped about leaving the old year behind and diving into a fresh one. From Times Square’s iconic ball drop to quiet dinners at home, there’s a vibe for everyone. Whether you’re all about that glitter and champagne or prefer a more laid-back evening, it’s a time for reflection, resolution-making, and, of course, some serious celebrating.

When it comes to gifting, New Year’s isn’t typically swamped with presents like Christmas, but it’s still a prime time for thoughtful gestures. Think along the lines of planners or journals, aiming to inspire those New Year resolutions. A nice bottle of bubbly or artisanal chocolates can hit the right note of celebration and sophistication. For those who love hosting, a chic set of cocktail glasses or a gourmet food basket could be the perfect touch. It’s all about ringing in the new year with style, optimism, and a little something special that says, “Here’s to making the next 365 days amazing.”

30
Chinese New Year (January 21st-February 20th)

Chinese New Year, also known as Lunar New Year or Spring Festival, is a vibrant and deeply cultural celebration marking the beginning of the lunar new year. It’s a time when millions across China and various parts of the world pause their daily grind to usher in new beginnings with their families and loved ones. Typically falling between January 21 and February 20, this festivity transcends borders, celebrated by Chinese communities and those intrigued by its rich traditions and symbolism.

When it comes to gifting, Chinese New Year is all about those red envelopes, or hongbao, filled with money to symbolize good luck and ward off evil spirits. But it’s not just about cash; it’s the sentiment of wishing prosperity upon your nearest and dearest. Beyond the envelopes, thoughtful presents like tea, sweets, and fruits are common, each carrying its own layer of meaning. For instance, oranges represent wealth and luck, making them a go-to choice for many. It’s these traditions that knit the fabric of Chinese New Year, blending respect for the past with hopes for a prosperous future.

Other Celebrations & Gift-Giving Occasions

31
Mother’s Day (The 2nd Sunday in May)

Mother’s Day is that special day of the year dedicated to honoring and expressing gratitude to mothers and mother figures worldwide. Typically celebrated on the second Sunday in May in many countries, this holiday sees people of all ages taking a moment to appreciate the maternal bonds and the influence of mothers in society. Whether it’s your mom, grandma, step-mom, or any maternal figure who’s made a difference in your life, this day is all about making them feel loved and valued.

When it comes to Mother’s Day gifts, the traditional go-tos range from heartfelt handwritten cards and vibrant bouquets of flowers to more personalized presents that reflect her interests and tastes. Jewelry pieces with a sentimental touch, luxurious spa treatments for a day of pampering, or even her favorite books and gourmet chocolates make for popular choices. It’s all about finding that perfect gift that says, “Thanks for being you” in the most thoughtful way possible. Whether it’s a simple gesture or something extravagant, the aim is to make her feel special and appreciated.

Our Mother Day Gift Lists

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Father’s Day (The 3rd Sunday in June)

Father’s Day is that chill annual celebration dedicated to dads, father figures, and the paternal bonds that shape us. It’s like a calendar shoutout to the unsung heroes of our personal stories, landing on the third Sunday of June in many parts of the world. Everyone who’s got a dad or a dad-like figure in their life gets into the spirit of this day. It’s not just about biological connections; it’s a broad celebration that includes stepdads, uncles, grandpas, and even mentor figures who’ve stepped up to the dad plate.

When it comes to Father’s Day gifts, the vibe is traditionally about showing appreciation with a personal touch. Think classic with a twist. We’re talking about stylish yet practical items that nod to his hobbies and interests. Whether it’s the latest tech gadgets for the dad who’s always up on the new new, a quality bottle of his favorite whiskey, or some sleek accessories for his wardrobe. Books that match his tastes, or perhaps a box set of his favorite TV series, also make the list. It’s all about that thoughtful gesture that says, “Hey, I get you.”

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Graduations (May/June)

Graduations are those bittersweet milestones marking the end of an academic chapter, celebrated across the globe typically from May to June. They’re not just for the grads waving goodbye to high school or college; families, friends, and educators get in on the action too, turning tassel tossing into a collective vibe. It’s that moment when the cap and gown become more than just attire but symbols of achievement and transition, capturing the essence of hard work paying off and new beginnings.

When it comes to gifting, think beyond the basic. Personalized keepsakes like engraved pens or custom jewelry add that thoughtful touch, showing you’re not just about the card-and-cash combo. Tech gadgets are also a hit, with the latest smartphone or laptop offering a practical edge as grads step into their next phase. For those leaning towards sentimentality, a beautifully bound edition of their favorite book or a scrapbook filled with memories can hit right in the feels, making the celebration of this major milestone both memorable and meaningful.

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Boxing Day – December 26th

Boxing Day, that chill post-Christmas vibe happening on December 26th, isn’t just a day for nursing that holiday hangover. It’s got a rich tradition rooted in giving back, where boxes filled with goodies and bonuses were handed out to servants and tradespeople. Today, it’s morphed into a mega shopping day where you can score deals on pretty much everything under the sun, from tech gadgets to fashion finds. It’s like Black Friday’s cooler, less frantic sibling, with gifts often leaning towards the practical or something to pamper yourself after the holiday frenzy.

Traditionally, Boxing Day was about boxing up those holiday leftovers and maybe some thoughtful gifts to show appreciation to those who’ve helped out throughout the year. Think along the lines of handmade goodies, a bottle of something nice, or even just a heartfelt note tucked into a carefully chosen gift. It’s all about extending that festive generosity a bit further, making sure everyone gets a piece of the holiday cheer. These days, while you might not be boxing up leftovers for your mail carrier, the spirit of thoughtfulness continues with gifts that say thanks in the most personal way.

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Birthdays

Birthdays are those annual milestones marking another year of life’s journey, celebrated by virtually everyone, regardless of where they’re from or what beliefs they hold dear. It’s the one day a year that’s all about you (or someone you know), falling on the date of your birth. Friends, family, and even coworkers come together to toast to another year of your achievements, growth, and experiences. Whether it’s a quiet dinner or an all-out bash, birthdays are universally recognized as a day for some well-deserved spotlight and pampering.

When it comes to birthday presents, the spectrum is as wide as personalities. For the bibliophiles in your life, a copy of their next potential favorite book might hit just the right note. Tech enthusiasts might appreciate the latest gadget that’s been on their radar. For those who cherish personal connections, a handmade gift or a heartfelt letter can mean the world. Then there’s the timeless choice of a cake – because let’s be real, a birthday without cake is just a meeting. The essence of birthday gifting is thoughtfulness, showing the birthday person just how much they’re valued.

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Engagements

Engagement parties are the ultimate pre-game for the big day, where love gets the spotlight before the “I dos.” Typically thrown soon after a couple announces their engagement, this bash is all about celebrating the future bride and groom with their closest family and friends. It’s not just any party; it’s the kickoff to their wedding journey, bringing together people from both sides to toast to the couple’s next chapter.

When it comes to gifts, think less about registry hauls and more along the lines of heartfelt or practical pre-wedding essentials. Picture chic planners to keep wedding plans on track, custom keepsakes that nod to the couple’s unique story, or even experiences that help them unwind or bond. While not mandatory, these tokens are all about adding a touch of thoughtfulness and excitement to the couple’s engagement phase.

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Weddings

Weddings are the ultimate celebration of love and commitment, marking the moment two individuals decide to tie the knot and share their lives together. This event doesn’t have a set date—it happens all year round, tailored to the couple’s preferences. People from all walks of life and cultures celebrate weddings, making them a universal symbol of love and unity. It’s a day filled with joy, laughter, tears (the good kind), and, of course, a ton of dancing.

When it comes to wedding gifts, the aim is to bless the couple’s new chapter with something meaningful. Traditional gifts often include items for their nest—think elegant dinnerware, luxe bedding sets, or those fancy kitchen gadgets they wouldn’t buy for themselves. However, the modern twist leans towards personalized presents that resonate with the couple’s unique story or experiences, such as custom artwork, a subscription service they’d love, or contributions towards their honeymoon fund. In the end, it’s all about adding to their happiness with a thoughtful touch.

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Bridal Showers

Bridal showers are like the pre-game to the main event, a wedding. They’re usually celebrated a few months before the wedding day, offering a moment for the bride-to-be to bask in the love and excitement of close friends and family. It’s a tradition deeply rooted in gathering the bride’s inner circle, typically female friends and relatives, though modern celebrations have become more inclusive, inviting all genders to join in on the fun. This event is less about formalities and more about personal connections, laughter, and making memories.

When it comes to gifts, think of items that add a sprinkle of joy to the couple’s new chapter. Traditional presents often lean towards the domestic side, like kitchen gadgets that look more at art pieces than tools, or luxe bedding that promises endless comfort. However, it’s also a time to get personal; think custom keepsakes that echo the couple’s unique story or experiences that they can share together, such as a cooking class or a wine tasting adventure. The essence of bridal shower gifts lies in their ability to blend utility with a touch of personal flair, setting the stage for the couple’s future together.

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Anniversaries

Anniversaries mark the ticking clock of shared moments, a nod to the journey of either a loving couple or an institution’s existence through the years. They pop up on the calendar with the stealth of a seasoned ninja, yet their impact is as profound as the first sip of your morning latte. Typically celebrated by couples or organizations, these milestones can commemorate anything from a wedding to the founding of a company, turning each year into a checkpoint of growth, love, and resilience.

When it comes to the art of gifting for anniversaries, the playbook is as varied as the seasons. For couples, it’s about weaving sentimentality with tradition – think paper for the first year, symbolizing the blank page of their story, or silver to mark a quarter century of unwavering partnership. Meanwhile, organizations might lean towards commemoratives that echo their legacy, like customized plaques or a vintage wine that nods to their founding year. These gifts are not just items; they’re physical echoes of time spent, challenges overcome, and memories cherished.

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Housewarming Party

Housewarmings are the ultimate nod to new beginnings, a celebration that’s as much about the space as it is about the people who fill it. Typically, this informal bash is thrown by folks who’ve just moved into a new home, aiming to introduce their pad to friends and family. It’s a tradition without a set date, happening anytime after someone has unpacked enough boxes to feel like they can show off their new digs without tripping over bubble wrap.

When it comes to housewarming gifts, think practical with a twist of personality. Classic picks include scented candles that promise to make any room feel more like home, or a potted plant that adds a touch of greenery and growth. For those who love to add a personal flair, customized decor items, like a cutting board etched with the homeowner’s name, hit just the right note. These gifts are not just about utility; they’re a warm embrace to new chapters and spaces.

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Retirement Party

Retirement parties are those bittersweet shindigs that mark the end of an era in someone’s professional life and the beginning of their chill, work-free chapter. Typically, these events are thrown close to the retiree’s last day of work, giving colleagues, friends, and family the perfect excuse to gather, celebrate achievements, and share memories. It’s a mixed crowd affair, where everyone from the retiree’s work bestie to their second cousin twice removed might pop in to raise a glass.

When it comes to gifting, the vibe is thoughtful and personal. Think along the lines of custom keepsakes that scream “We’ll miss you but we’re also super jealous you get to sleep in on Mondays now.” A beautifully framed photo of the team, a plush robe for those new relaxed mornings, or even a subscription to a gourmet coffee service to enjoy at leisure. Gifts that encourage hobbies or leisure activities the retiree has been looking forward to diving into are also spot-on. It’s all about celebrating the individual’s past contributions while also nodding to the joyous, commitment-free days ahead.

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Promotions/Job Celebrations

Promotions and job celebrations are those sweet milestones in our careers where we pause to appreciate the grind and the growth. Typically, these events are marked when someone lands a new role, nails a significant achievement, or steps up the career ladder. It’s not just a personal win; colleagues, friends, and family get in on the celebration too, making it a collective moment of pride and joy. Whether it’s a small win at a startup or a big leap in a corporate giant, the vibe is all about acknowledging hard work and success.

When it comes to gifting for these occasions, think beyond the classic plaque or paperweight. Personalized gifts steal the show—think engraved pens, custom notebooks, or a sleek new briefcase to make those office trips a bit more stylish. For the more tech-savvy achievers, the latest gadgets or subscriptions to professional development platforms offer a nod to their ambition. And let’s not forget the power of a good old-fashioned bottle of bubbly or a gourmet gift basket to celebrate in style. It’s all about matching the gift with the person’s personality and their new role’s vibe.

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Hostess

Hostess gifts are those thoughtful tokens of appreciation you snag for your host or hostess when you’re invited over for a dinner party, holiday gathering, or any special event at someone’s home. This practice spans cultures and is celebrated by anyone who loves to show a bit of gratitude for being included in personal celebrations. It’s all about acknowledging the effort your host has put into the event, making it a universal sign of thanks and respect.

When it comes to picking out the perfect hostess gift, think beyond the usual bottle of wine. Sure, a nice red or a bubbly can never go wrong, but why not shake things up? Aromatic candles, gourmet chocolates, or a hand-picked bouquet can add a personal touch. For the more culinary-inclined host, a set of artisanal salts or a beautifully bound cookbook could be the way to go. It’s all about matching the gift with the host’s personality and interests, making your offering not just a gesture, but a memorable part of the occasion.

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White Elephant Party

White Elephant parties are the holiday season’s answer to gift-giving with a twist. Think of them as the playful cousin of Secret Santa, celebrated mostly during the Christmas holidays but honestly, any gathering can turn into an excuse for one. This tradition is a hit among friends, family, and coworkers who are up for a bit of fun and suspense. It’s less about the gift’s value and more about the laughs and the strategy involved in the unwrapping and swapping process.

The gifts? Well, they’re an eclectic mix. From the hilariously useless—think singing fish plaques—to surprisingly cool finds that you didn’t know you needed, like a retro popcorn maker. The unwritten rule is creativity and a touch of humor. Items often range from quirky gadgets, off-the-wall books, to novelty mugs that proudly declare your love for avocados. It’s all about finding that one item that straddles the line between absurdity and utility, making the reveal an event to remember.

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Sympathy

Sympathy gifts are thoughtful gestures extended to show compassion and support to someone going through a tough time, often due to the loss of a loved one. This occasion isn’t tied to a specific date or universally celebrated event; rather, it’s a personal response to an individual’s or family’s grief. Typically, close friends, family members, or colleagues present these gifts as a way to express their condolences and offer some comfort during a period of mourning.

When it comes to the types of gifts traditionally given, the range is wide but meaningful. Options include comfort food baskets, brimming with homemade or gourmet treats that offer a bit of solace through familiar flavors. Sentimental keepsakes, like personalized jewelry or memorial ornaments, provide a lasting reminder of the loved one. Then there are self-care packages, featuring soothing teas, aromatherapy candles, and luxurious bath products, designed to encourage relaxation and reflection. Each gift, in its own way, carries a message of love, support, and empathy.

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Thank You

Thank You gifts are those special tokens of appreciation we give to express gratitude, recognition, or to simply say “thanks” in a tangible way. This gesture spans across various occasions – whether you’re showing gratitude for a kind deed, acknowledging someone’s support during a challenging time, or thanking a host for their hospitality. Typically, you’ll find yourself scouting for the perfect thank you gift after an event, a favor, or when someone goes out of their way to help you. It’s all about timing and the sentiment, really.

When it comes to picking out thank you gifts, the spectrum is wide and wonderfully varied. Traditional picks often lean towards items like flowers, which bring a burst of joy and color into any space, or gourmet chocolates, for that sweet, indulgent thank you. But, for those looking to get a bit more personal, customized gifts like monogrammed stationery or a bespoke piece of jewelry can add that extra touch of thoughtfulness. Essentially, the best thank you gifts speak directly to the recipient’s tastes and your relationship with them, making the gesture all the more special.

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Favorite Things Party

A Favorite Things Party is the ultimate get-together for sharing and discovering new faves, typically happening around the holiday season or just for fun throughout the year. Imagine this: you and your crew each bring a few of the same items—those little obsessions of yours, anything from that lip balm you can’t live without, to a quirky kitchen gadget that changed your snack game, or even a book that you couldn’t put down. The price point varies, but gifts usually hover around an agreed-upon budget, making it accessible and stress-free for everyone involved.

When it comes to what’s up for grabs at these parties, think of things that spark joy or offer a slice of comfort in your day-to-day. We’re talking scented candles that can transport you to a cozy cabin in the woods, skincare potions that promise a dewy glow overnight, or gourmet teas and coffees that make mornings less mundane. It’s all about those personal picks that you’re psyched to share, ensuring that everyone walks away with something new to love, plus the warm fuzzies that come from giving.

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Baby Showers

Baby showers are all about celebrating the upcoming arrival of a new little bundle of joy. Typically held a few months before the baby’s due, these gatherings are a way for friends and family to shower the expectant parents with love, support, and, of course, gifts. The presents usually lean towards the practical side, think diapers, onesies, and baby blankets, but there’s always room for those adorable, Instagram-worthy outfits and handmade treasures that make everyone go “aww.”

When it comes to traditional baby shower gifts, it’s all about hitting that sweet spot between cute and useful. You’ve got your essentials like swaddle blankets, baby monitors, and bath products, which are always appreciated for their utility in the baby’s first year. Then, there are the keepsakes – personalized storybooks, milestone cards, and silver spoons – that offer a more sentimental touch. These gifts not only help the parents get ready for their new adventure but also add a personal touch to the celebration, making it memorable for everyone involved.

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Moving Away / Going Away Parties

Going away parties are those bittersweet shindigs thrown to bid adieu to someone embarking on a new chapter, whether it’s for a job, school, or a major move. These gatherings are usually packed with nostalgia, laughter, and maybe a few tears, set against the backdrop of late nights or cozy afternoons. When it comes to gifts, think personalized keepsakes, travel essentials, or something that screams “I’ll miss you” in the most heartfelt way. You’re aiming for memorable, not just shelf-worthy.

Now, diving into the gift department, you want to hit that sweet spot between thoughtful and practical. Customized items like engraved keychains or photo albums that echo “remember me” are top-tier choices. For the globetrotter, travel accessories—think quality passport holders, compact travel journals, or a sleek set of luggage tags—add that practical touch without sacrificing sentiment. Books that resonate with the journey ahead or a scrapbook filled with memories offer a personal touch that says you’ve really put thought into it. It’s all about giving something that carries a piece of shared memories or useful tidbits for the road ahead.

Appreciation Days

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Law Enforcement Appreciation Day (January 9th)

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National Pharmacist Day (January 12th)

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Women’s Physicians Day (February 3rd)

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Thank a Mail Carrier Day (February 4th)

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National Caregivers Day (February 16th)

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Employee Appreciation Day (March 1st)

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Dentist Day (March 6th)

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International Women’s Day (March 8th)

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Certified Nurses Day (March 19th)

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Doctor’s Day (March 30th)

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School Librarian Appreciation Day (April 4th)

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Administrative Assistants/Professionals Day (April 24th)

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Correctional Officer Appreciation Week (May 5th – 11th)

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Nurses Day (May 6th)

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Receptionist Day (May 8th)

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School Nurses Day (May 8th)

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Military Spouse Appreciation Day (May 10th)

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Speech-Language Pathologists Day (May 18th)

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Waitstaff Day (May 21st)

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Armed Forces Day (June 29th)

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Intern Day (July 25th)

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Coast Guard Day (August 4th)

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Physical Therapy Day (September 8th)

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Programmers Day (September 12th)

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IT Professionals Day (September 17th)

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HR Professional Appreciation Day (September 26nd)

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National Principals’ Month (October)

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National Custodian Day (October 2nd)

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Coach Appreciation Day (October 6th)

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National Customer Service Week (October 7th – 11th)

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Accounting Day (November 10th)

Bobby Bernstein
Bobby Bernstein
Bobby is the owner of Masters of Gifts. He is the former Shopping Editor at Heavy.com, and has been a master of online shopping for over a decade. He also owns Nerdmuch.com. With over five years of retail management and over ten years of sharing expertise in the gifting niche, he decided to start-up his own shopping site. You can reach him on Twitter.

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