It can be difficult to know what to do or say if you know someone who has lost a loved one. One of the best things you can do is to give them a memorial gift basket. A sympathy basket is a gift you give the bereaved to express condolences. These baskets can include different kinds of items, like food or flowers.
The grieving process is a challenging time for the bereaved, so being there for them is crucial, especially days during and after the funeral. While giving these sympathy gift baskets won’t speed the grieving process, you let the bereaved know that you’re looking out for them and have their back. Keep reading to learn more about these unique gift baskets and find out which one is right for you!
How Does Giving Out Memorial Baskets Work?
One of the best gifts you can give to someone grieving the loss of their loved one is a memorial gift basket. Giving a sympathy basket is a thoughtful way of expressing your sympathy and offering support for your friend or loved one during this difficult time.
Depending on the type of gift basket you want to give, some shops already have a few options prepared that you can just buy. However, you can make the contents of your condolence basket more personal by handpicking them, especially if you’re close to the bereaved.
Why Is It Important to Choose the Right Memorial Baskets?
Your goal is to provide some comfort for the bereaved, so you must choose the right items that wouldn’t make them sick or uneasy. This is why it’s vital for you to choose the right memorial basket and contents.
Do your best first to determine if your recipient has any allergies to food or items that you’re planning to give. It also helps to find out if certain items they’d find inappropriate based on their culture or religion.
3 Different Types of Memorial Gift Baskets to Choose From
Here are the three best types of gift baskets that you can choose from:
One common sympathy gift people think of immediately is a flower arrangement. Funeral flowers are given to express sympathy and love for the people the deceased left behind.
Another one you can consider as an alternative to flowers is food gifts. The grieving period is an extremely tough time for the bereaved; sometimes, they forget or find it challenging to find the time or motivation to prepare food for themselves and their family. You can take this difficult task off their shoulders by giving them food and encourage them to still care for themselves.
There are various types of food basket gives you can choose from, but a few of the most common ones include the following:
- Sympathy fruit basket
- Baked goods basket
- Gourmet snacks basket
- Chocolate basket
Similarly, another gift that can encourage your friend or loved one to take some time for themselves is a self-care basket. Especially if they were fond of going through some pampering process before going through a sorrowful time, you could give them a basket with some wellness products they can use when they're ready.
What Do You Put in a Memorial Basket?
What you include in a memorial basket depends on the type that you want to give.
Some florists already have prepared baskets you can choose from for a flower basket. However, should you want to choose specific ones, some of the most common condolence flowers given include lilies, orchids, roses, chrysanthemums, and hydrangeas.
For the food basket, it really depends on what you want to include or what's already available after considering what type of food you want to give. For example, you can consist of fresh fruits, like some seasonal apples or pears, for a fruit basket. If you're giving baked goods, you can incorporate some gourmet cookies or tea cookies, like oatmeal tea cookies or lemon shortbread cookies.
You can also give a selection of comfort foods if you know the bereaved family enough. Of course, you can always mix some of these food items in a single basket if you prefer.
For a self-care basket, you can incorporate some candles, essential oils, and cleaners. You can also find other comfort items, like a box of tea that they like or a weighted blanket.
3 Characteristics to Consider in Choosing Memorial Baskets
One of the key characteristics you should consider is how personal the basket is. This would depend on how close you are to the bereaved. For example, if they're your close friend, your sympathy gift basket would be more heartfelt if you include their favorite snacks. On the other hand, if they're neighbors you're not too close with, you can opt to give them flowers, common fruits, or chocolates.
You should also consider the appearance of the basket that you're giving. While the basket's content is more important, you should also consider what the basket looks like. Find a gift basket that's arranged and decorated well enough. Suppose you're handpicking and putting the basket together on your own. In that case, you don't have to worry about using intricate designs to decorate it - you can definitely keep it simple as long as you put some thought into organizing it to make the contents look presentable.
Lastly, you should consider the perishability of the products that you're including. Of course, it's always better to have non-perishable goods. However, if you still want to give perishable goods, selecting items with a longer shelf life is better. For example, you can choose savory snacks that your recipient can store for a while without expiring.
What Are Other Good Memorial Gifts to Give?
Besides gift baskets, there are other thoughtful sympathy gifts that you can give. You can provide the bereaved family with some keepsakes or mementos of their loved one. For example, you can give them a framed photo of the deceased if you were close to them. You can also give them personalized items, like a personalized garden stone or jewelry that can honor the memory of the deceased. You can also give them a watercolor memorial painting where a photo of their deceased loved one is merged into a recent family photo.
If you want to stick to food or drinks, you can also give them dishes they can easily store and reheat. Some common dishes include a chicken pot pie or casserole.
4 Important Tips Involved in Giving Out Memorial Baskets
Consider the Recipient’s Religion
When giving a memorial basket, you should ensure that you're not giving something inappropriate or offensive to the recipient's culture or religion. For example, you shouldn't send flowers to the bereaved's family for Jewish funerals as this practice is inappropriate, while some Muslims prefer not to give flowers as gifts. If you need more clarification, you can always ask the bereaved before picking your memorial basket.
Keep the Recipient’s Interests in Mind
Similarly, it's best to consider what your recipient would want to receive. As previously mentioned, if the bereaved is your close friend, you can include items you know they would like or appreciate. On the other hand, if you're close to the deceased but not so much with their family, you can give them something that you think they could use or consume the most. For example, if the family includes kids, giving them something that even the kids would appreciate is better.
Write a Note or Letter
While the basket is already an expression of sympathy, it's better if you attach a message to it. It can be a brief letter if you're unsure what to say. A simple sympathy message to express your condolences is enough. Just make sure not to say anything offensive or insensitive.
Think of the Best Time and Place to Give the Basket
Finally, consider when and where you should give your comforting gift. There's no strict rule about when you should be giving your gift, but generally, it's better to give it closer to when you find out about the death of a loved one.
Still, you should consider when and where they'd be able to receive and keep the basket. For example, if you're giving a pamper basket, it's best not to bring this to a funeral as the basket could take the focus away from the ceremony and be difficult to bring around. You can, instead, get a flower basket.
Frequently Asked Questions About Memorial Gift Baskets
Can I Give a Gift Basket Even if I Can’t Attend the Funeral?
Yes. In fact, some gifts might be more appropriately given either before or after the funeral. Also, if you live far from the bereaved, sending them a heartfelt gift can let them know that you're still thinking about them despite this distance.
Who Should I Give the Gift to?
If you personally know or are close to the bereaved, you can directly give the basket to them. If you're close to the deceased, you can give the basket to the immediate family or relatives of the dead, like their widow or child.
What Are Other ways I Can Show Support to a Grieving Person?
You can do several things for the bereaved to show your sympathy. One of those can include helping them around their house by volunteering time to clean, cook, or even garden.
Visit Memorialize Art and Read About Memorial Gift Baskets and More
Memorial baskets can provide comfort and a sense of healing to those who have lost a loved one. There are many different types of memorial baskets to choose from, so it’s essential to consider what the bereaved person might need most. If you’re unsure where to start or would like help putting together a sympathy basket or alternative memorial gifts, visit Memorialize Art for more information. They offer a wide variety of thoughtful gift baskets and memorial gift ideas that you can choose from.