Collectible Gifts to Give Each Year

Special Collectible Gifts to Give Each Year

Silver Chest
What is a special gift to give a child, grandchild, or even godchild each year? I get asked this question all the time. Thankfully, DoSayGive has lots of ideas! Anytime you are looking for a gift for a specific occasion, remember to search our gift guide to see all the thoughtful ideas we have for your loved ones. 

Most of the collectible gifts in this post are for children but can be carried into adulthood. Keep reading to see my ideas and definitely share yours at the bottom of the post!

Collectible Gifts for Girls
There are several collectible jewelry options for girls, including the tried and true James Avery Charm Bracelet. They have a large selection of beautiful charms that can relate to activities and significant events throughout a child’s life. You can also search local jewelers and antique charms for really special charms! 
Add-a-bead or add-a-pearl necklaces are also special yearly gifts. One DoSayGive reader said she bought an entire set of pearls for her daughter at birth and gave one for every birthday.
Very Southern but very lovely: Gift antique linen hand towels. You can find all sorts of beautiful hand towels and napkins with unique elegant monograms at area antique malls. I have a whole collection my grandmother gave me.
Collectible Gifts for Boys

Finding collectible gifts for boys is quite fun! And many of these could be gifted to girls as well. Of course there are Lionel classic train sets that make special gifts for boys and girls. Start with this Lionel starter set and give a different car as a gift each year. Don’t you just love a train going round the tree on Christmas morning? I do!

Dallas friends: Don’t forget about Northpark Trains! You can make a donation to the Ronald McDonald House and they will hand paint your child’s name on a railcar. (Deadline approaching soon!) Call ahead before your visit and they will make sure your train is steaming through the exhibit when you arrive. Your child or grandchild will have so much fun finding his train! Such a sweet tradition and a gift that gives back.

Another option is to gift a beautiful hardcover book each year. Think about how wonderful a child’s collection would be after years of getting a classic each year! A wonderful Christmas book each year is also fun and something the child can eventually share with his or her own children.

Neutral Collectible Gifts

Schleich animals make great little birthday gifts and are very reasonably priced for a collectible gift. The goal of this German toymaker is to help children learn about nature and animals through their detailed, authentic figures. 

Collecting mint julep cups is another uniquely southern tradition. These cups are typically monogrammed and dated to mark special events, and are common gifts to receive as baby gifts, christenings, weddings, and other special occasions. These cups have a variety of uses but are definitely an heirloom that can be passed down. You can give every year with the date or monogram engraved. Fill with flowers for a special celebration gift. Read more about the mint julep cup tradition here.

Giving sterling silver goblets as a gift was a common tradition centuries ago because, typically, a family would have one cup assigned for each child. This practical tradition has become a special gift to give to parents at the birth of their child and would be an equally special yearly gift to give. A reader recently told me that she gifts her godchildren one piece of silver each year on their birthday — they’ll have quite the collection by the time they’re 18!

There are so many Christmas themed gifts you can gift each year. Fontanini is known for their beautiful Nativity sets and while buying a whole set at once can be quite pricy, buying a piece or two each year as a gift will result in a full set one day. I also love that they are plastic so children can enjoy playing with them and you don’t have to worry about them breaking them. 

Gifting a Waterford, Christopher Radko, or one of Neiman Marcus’ annual ornaments are elegant and timeless. If the year isn’t engraved on it, perhaps you can write the date on it. Camille’s Creations are more playful and childlike. Have her paint what your child loves that year (soccer, dance, bunnies!).

Let’s not forget the beauty of a handwritten letter. Remember when Reese Witherspoon posted that beautiful box filled with letters she wrote her daughter and presented to her on her 18th birthday? This is something you can start at any time and is so meaningful.

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18 thoughts on “Special Collectible Gifts to Give Each Year

    1. I posted in my Early Bird Christmas post about Camille’s Creations hand-painted dog ornaments. They are under $50 and personalized. Also our holiday gift guide launches soon and there will be lots of ideas there!

  1. I love this post! ?

    My mama does the add-a-pearl for my little girls each year for their birthday and I get them the Enesco Growing Up Girls and a Charm on their James Avery Charm bracelet.

    For Christmas, each year they get a Waterford Crystal ornament from my husband and I and my mama gets them an ornament that is representative of something they loved that year. When they get a little older we are going to take them to pick out their Christmas China and then they will get a place setting each Christmas so that when they have their own home they will have their own Christmas China set. Most people register for formal China at their wedding but don’t receive Christmas china!

    We also add a classic children’s book to their collection for each holiday! You can never have enough books and I love that they can pass them down to their children as well.

    For yearly ballet recitals, they get a monogrammed mint julep cup with a bouquet of flowers in it to add to their collection.

    1. Hi Lee-
      love all these ideas. I love the idea of a mint julep cup but how do you I engrave it? If I’m giving one to my daughter do I put her initials even though she’ll be married one day and have different initials? And do I put my son’s initials on it or just our last initial?

      1. Yes, she will still enjoy it with her maiden name. Same with your son. It is very traditional to do it this way. But you could also do one initial.

  2. I love this list!
    We do special ornaments for each child; I keep a list so someday I’ll know what to give each when they leave the nest 🙂
    And thank you for the idea about Madame Alexander dolls; I have about 15 I collected as a little girl. My daughter is 2 now, so maybe in the next year or so I will begin passing them to her at holidays. I usually chose dolls that had meaning (a book character, or one representing a country we traveled to) so it will be fun to share those stories.

  3. This is timely and helpful! I remember my aunt giving us a piece to our nativity set each year, and I’m going to ask my kids’ aunt if she would like to do the same.

  4. My godfather gave my twin sister and me and Christopher Radko ornaments each year. As we entered middle school he began taking us to lunch and to a specialty Christmas shop to pick out our ornaments each year. The year I got married my mom shipped the box of ornaments, and my husband and I had a beautiful tree for our first Christmas together. Such a nice tradition!

  5. Love love LOVE these annual gifts. My husband’s family was so thoughtful about these and we had a full julep cup set and a Fontanini nativity to display for our first Christmas. Such special gifts that have found special places in our home. We are excited to continue the tradition for our children, nieces, and nephews!

  6. Hi Lee,
    Any thoughts on setting up a gift registry for a silver pattern for one’s daughters? We have 3 little girls and with the different specifications for flatware (type of knife, size of the setting, etc.), I thought this would streamline gift-giving a bit, but I keep having that “I’m throwing my own bridal shower feeling.” How do traditional moms and grandmothers usually do this, logistically, if they want to invite others (who have asked us what to get for birthdays, Christmas, etc. – I would never give the registry unsolicited) to give such a treasured and traditional gift? Or is it best, ettiquette-wise, to just say their pattern is X (or not even that?). Thank you!!

    1. Don’t do a registry. If asked for ideas in that price range you can tell the friend or family member you are collecting x pattern for your daughters. They may or not want to do that and that’s okay.