Gift Ideas to Help Celebrate Memorial Day

While it’s unlikely to be any child’s favorite holiday on the calendar, Memorial Day is as important as any other federal holiday and should be regarded with the utmost respect. Rather than baskets of candy and presents under a festive tree, the main thing being given on Memorial Day is public acclaim and appreciation for the members of the military who put their lives on the line to serve our country. 

Memorial Day is held on the last Monday of May every year, but it was originally observed on the thirtieth of May from 1868 to 1970. Memorial Day marks a time for the public to honor and mourn the loss of soldiers who have fallen while serving in the United States armed forces. Whether it is by attending a parade down the city blocks, or personally thanking a veteran for what they have sacrificed, there are many ways to give respect on this holiday. 

As the herald of the unofficial start of summer, Memorial Day is paired with a three-day long weekend and tons of sales and deals at different retailers. Sure, it’s no Christmas or Halloween, but Memorial Day still has plenty of special qualities about it to make it enjoyable in its own way. 

How Can You Celebrate Memorial Day?

Celebrating Memorial Day is fairly simple and there are a lot of different ways you can show your appreciation to members of the armed forces. Lots of Americans choose to observe Memorial Day by visiting special spots such as cemeteries and memorials, holding family gatherings and cookouts, and attending parades and other community events. 

There is no right or wrong way to celebrate Memorial Day, but if you are looking for some ideas on what you can do to observe the holiday, we’ve got plenty of options to share with you. 

Five Ways to Commemorate Memorial Day

  • Flags. Many folks choose to honor the men and women who have served by decorating the graves of veterans with flags. For individuals with flag poles, they may choose to fly the flag at half-staff from dawn until noon.
  • Attend a Ceremony. Towns across the country hold a variety of ceremonies, parades, and memorial services that the general public are welcome to attend. While it’s easy to get distracted by sales and such, it’s important to take time to pay your respects to past and present members of the military. 
  • National Moment of Remembrance. While some folks may not have time to attend ceremonies and other events, the National Moment of Remembrance exists to ensure everyone has a chance to pay their respects by pausing for one minute at 3PM local time on Memorial Day in an act of national unity.
  • Purchase a Poppy. In the days leading up to Memorial Day, you will likely see members of the VFW (Veterans of Foreign Wars) accepting donations for poppies. Buddy Poppies have long been assembled by disabled and needy veterans in VA hospitals, and purchasing a poppy helps support national and state rehabilitation and service programs for veterans. 
  • Thank a Veteran. Veterans certainly get their share of love on Veteran’s Day, but Memorial Day also presents a great opportunity to show appreciation for past service members. Honor those who have fallen and those who have retired from the armed forces. 

Memorial Day Gift Ideas

1. Military Veterans Challenge Coin

Challenge coins have been a long-standing tradition of the United States military. This timeless coin is engraved with beautiful messaging and honors all who have served our nation. It is the perfect gift to add to a soldier’s collection of challenge coins. Purchase for any military veteran who has been a part of the U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard. 

Check out the Military Veterans Challenge Coin

2. Decomil – Military Challenge Coin Display Case

On the subject of challenge coins, any soldier who has a large collection of challenge coins deserves to have a dedicated space to display them. The Military Challenge Coin Display Case by Decomil provides an elegant way to showcase all of the challenge coins you have earned while keeping them in pristine condition. This gift is just the thing to give to a soldier you know on Memorial Day!

Check out the Decomil – Military Challenge Coin Display Case

3. American Hero Memorial Keepsake Block

A stunning plexiglass monument with custom engraved characters is the perfect tribute to honor the memory of a soldier close to you. Modest in design yet breathtakingly beautiful, the American Hero Memorial Keepsake Block fits neatly into any room of the house and serves as an eternal reminder of someone who has served. 

Check out the American Hero Memorial Keepsake Block

4. Gentleman Jon Deluxe Wet Shave Kit

Every soldier has a mandatory grooming routine they follow while on duty. In an effort to ensure they are always able to look their best, consider gifting them a luxury wet shave experience with the Gentleman Jon Deluxe Wet Shave Kit. Designed for the modern man, this shaving kit comes with all the tools needed for a smooth and refreshing wet shave. Every man is certain to feel classy and distinguished when he uses this wet shave kit. 

Check out the Gentleman Jon Deluxe Wet Shave Kit

5. Casio G-Shock Wristwatch 

If your soldier needs a dependable piece of hardware that can withstand tons of tough conditions, the Casio G-Shock Wristwatch is definitely worth checking out. This watch comes with plenty of features and its sleek design makes it a suitable fashion piece for any scenario, including sports, work, restaurants, etc. This watch is water-resistant up to 200m and displays times for forty-eight different cities. 

Check out the Casio G-Shock Wristwatch

6. Bambusi Cheese Board and Knife Set

Do you happen to know any past or present military service members who are passionate cheese connoisseurs? If you do, then you will definitely want to check out the Bambusi Cheese Board and Knife Set. This delicious and savory charcuterie board is presented on a beautiful bamboo tray and includes your favorite cheeses paired with crackers and wine. 

Check out the Bambusi Cheese Board and Knife Set

7. Globe Bourbon Decanter

Retired U.S. Air Force vets who also happen to be lovers of whiskey are sure to appreciate this Globe Bourbon Decanter. This elegant globe-shaped glass piece features an intricately designed airplane in the center to pay homage to members of the Air Force. 

Check out the Globe Bourbon Decanter

8. Sterling Silver USMC Men’s Ring

If you know a U.S. Marine who is proud to take ownership of his status in the corps, then this gorgeous ring is absolutely the gift you are looking for. With a beautiful silver design, this ring is the perfect accent to any outfit. It is custom made by a Marine owned company based in the United States, too.

Check out the Sterling Silver USMC Men’s Ring

9. Rugged Grooming Kit/Heavy-Duty Toiletry Bag

This bag is specifically designed for extreme environments and serves as a fantastic companion for military service. The classic style of this rugged grooming kit makes it fit into any setting, from hotel rooms to campsites. It is a high-quality piece of gear manufactured with Cordura ® 1000D fabric to ensure a lifetime of reliable use. 

Check out the Rugged Grooming Kit/Heavy-Duty Toiletry Bag

10. American Flag Cornhole Boards with Bean Bags

If you are in need of the perfect portable game for cookouts, picnics, or camping ventures for Memorial Day weekend, then you should definitely check out this patriotic cornhole board. The American flag design on the boards and the bean bags is a fantastic way to put a little country spirit into every outdoors event. 

Check out the American Flag Cornhole Boards with Bean Bags

11. Large Marine Corps Iwo Jima Statue

This faithful replica of the Iwo Jima Memorial depicts the iconic image of six Marines raising the American flag during the Battle of Iwo Jima in World War II. The Large Marine Corps Iwo Jima Statue is a touching tribute to the struggles and high casualties faced by the corps during the battle. Marine vets are especially certain to appreciate such a heartfelt gift that represents a significant moment in the history of the Marine Corps. 

Check out the Large Marine Corps Iwo Jima Statue

12. All American Pint Beer Glass

Show any past or present member of the military some patriotic pride with this star-spangled pint beer glass. Made of glass and capable of holding sixteen ounces, the All American Pint Beer Glass is great for any soldier who enjoys a good brew. 

Check out the All American Pint Beer Glass

13. Recliner with Ottoman 

Whether it’s for a current soldier or a veteran who has earned their rest, all soldiers need a comfortable place to recuperate and reward all of their hard work. A cushy recliner with a pillowy footrest is an excellent choice that practically oozes comfort. Whether your soldier likes to kick back and relax while watching their favorite sports or needs a comfortable spot to crack open a new book, you can give your solider the rest they deserve with this wonderfully plush and comfy duo. 

Check out the recliner chair with ottoman

14. United States Navy Porcelain Stein 

All veterans of the military should be proud of the service they provided for their country. If you happen to know a soldier who was a member of the U.S. Navy, then this beautiful stein is the perfect present to help showcase their service. This United States Navy Porcelain Stein looks great displayed on any shelf or bookcase around the house and conveys an undeniable sense of patriotism. 

Check out the United States Navy Porcelain Stein

15. Air Force Fighter Jets and American Flag Throw Blanket

Show any loved ones who have served in the U.S. Air Force some respect with this cozy, beautifully crafted blanket. The soft cotton material is the perfect adornment for the back of any couch and is bound to make any soldier feel as snug as ever. This Air Force Fighter Jets and American Flag Throw Blanket is handcrafted in a small mill right here in the United States. 

Check out the Air Force Fighter Jets and American Flag Throw Blanket

Buy Gift Cards for Memorial Day

If you aren’t interested in any of the gift items mentioned above, you should consider going with a gift card to let your gift recipient pick a present that suits them. There are tons of retailers around that offer gift cards, but we’re going to take a quick look at two awesome online gift card retailers that deserve your attention. 

Earn Cash Back on Gift Cards with Gift Card Granny

Gift Card Granny helps folks save on gift card purchases for an array of different merchants by offering cash back. Choose from various gift card categories including restaurants, department stores, clothing, drug stores, and much more. Every retailer available on Gift Card Granny will earn you a specific amount of cash back on your purchase, and after you build up enough you can use it to redeem a gift card at no cost to you!

Start earning cash back on your gift card purchases with Gift Card Granny today!

Send a Digital Gift with GiftYa

If you’re looking for a simple way to send a gift to an active soldier or veteran without any unnecessary fanfare, then why not send a digital gift with GiftYa? In as little as a text or an email, you can gift anyone you know funds for their favorite stores. GiftYa has over two hundred thousand locations to choose from local to you and across the nation, so there’s always something for everyone. 


Whether you’ve celebrated Memorial Day dozens of times in the past or never really paid much attention to the holiday, this list is packed full of fantastic ideas to ensure you keep up the patriotic spirit in any way that suits you!