Which Christmas memorial ornaments are best?

The passing of a loved one brings unspeakable pain. In these moments, finding a way to remember and honor them is the ideal solution to solidify their memory. Christmas memorial ornaments can help to keep our late loved ones in our lives, in our memories and send messages of hope for the future.

Some ornaments can be personalized with an inscription or a photo. Others, like the K9King Christmas Ornament Angel Wings, simply have an inspiring or heartfelt message already engraved on them.

What to know before you buy a Christmas memorial ornament

What is a Christmas memorial ornament?

Memorial ornaments are a fantastic way to honor and remember loved ones who have sadly passed away. Christmas memorial ornaments have a festive theme and are traditionally hung on the Christmas tree. You can find memorial ornaments for people and pets, including specific ones for dogs. Some memorial ornaments can be personalized, others have a stock inscription.

Personalizing your memorial ornament

Personalized keepsakes help to keep a family member, friend or pet close to your heart. For that reason, many people choose an inscription that reflects the deceased’s personality or has a message to them. The inscription could be a poem, a song lyric or a favorite quote. Some like to include a religious message or verse. Others like to keep the text simple, purely writing a loved one’s name and the dates of their life. A memorial is a personal memento, therefore there is no right or wrong message to inscribe on the ornament.

Check your spelling

When sending your inscription to the creator, remember to check and double-check your spelling. Ensure all dates and names are spelled correctly and any message or quote is accurate. The manufacturer will inscribe exactly what you tell them to, so if you make a mistake it’s unlikely they will accept responsibility for it.

What to look for in a quality Christmas memorial ornament

Memorial ornament materials

Ornaments are available in a variety of materials including metal, slate, resin, ceramic and plastic. When properly cared for, all of these materials should last several years. If your ornament will be exposed to sunlight, metal and slate options are less likely to fade over time.

Christmas memorial ornament shapes

Metal, resin and plastic ornaments come in a wide range of shapes, such as angel wings, wreaths and hearts. Slate selections typically have more simple and less defined shapes, many being circular or heart-shaped. 

Inscription font

Different companies use various fonts and text sizes on their products. Typically the customer cannot choose or change the font or size of the text as it is part of the design. However, if you really want something different, it’s worth contacting the manufacturer to see if they can accommodate your requests.

Memorial ornaments with photographs

Some memorial ornaments include a photo of the deceased. Ensure you follow the creator’s guidelines related to photo size and quality. For a Christmas memorial ornament, it’s a nice idea to choose an image of your loved one during a Christmas celebration.

Hanging methods

Most memorial ornaments feature a ribbon or string with which to hang it on the Christmas tree, or wherever you choose. Others have metal hooks, which look great as part of the decoration but can sometimes make it more difficult to hang on a branch of the tree.

Gift bag

Most Christmas memorial ornaments come in a small velvet drawstring bag. They are often black or red. The bag is a great addition if you plan to gift the ornament and it also makes a good storage pouch when you need to pack it away at the end of the season.

How much you can expect to spend on a Christmas memorial ornament

Christmas memorial ornaments start at around $10 for a simple design with a stock inscription. If you want to include a personalized message expect to pay a little extra — usually between $15-$25.

Christmas memorial ornament FAQ

How big are Christmas memorial ornaments?

A. The exact size of an ornament varies depending on the manufacturer. However, most pieces are roughly 3 inches by 3 inches.

Do I need to send my photo to the manufacturer?

A. This depends on the style of ornament you opt for. If the photo is simply inserted into a frame, usually you can do this by yourself after receiving the ornament. Alternatively, some resin or ceramic items might require the manufacturer to print the image directly onto the ornament, in which case you would need to upload a photo of your loved one.

What are the best Christmas memorial ornaments to buy?

Top Christmas memorial ornament

K9King Christmas Ornament Angel Wings

K9King Christmas Ornament Angel Wings

What you need to know: This small metal ornament is a stylish addition to any tree.

What you’ll love: The thick silk ribbon complements the dark silver design to create a contemporary yet subtle piece. Additionally, at the center of the angel wings, a small heart bears a poignant inscription.

What you should consider: This ornament cannot be personalized.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top Christmas memorial ornament for the money

GiftsForYouNow Personalized Memorial Ornament

GiftsForYouNow Personalized Memorial Ornament

What you need to know: Displaying a dove and a holly leaf, this ornament has a specific Christmas theme.

What you’ll love: This beautiful hand-painted selection can be personalized to display a heartfelt message or memorial dates. Its white resin construction is durable and stands out nicely against the green of a Christmas tree.

What you should consider: This ornament can only accommodate three short lines of text.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Banberry Designs Memory Photo Ornament

Banberry Designs Memory Photo Ornament

What you need to know: The perfect ornament for those wishing to display a photo of their loved one.

What you’ll love: This charming wreath design features a decorative metal hanging hook. Consumers can add their own 2.25-inch photo of their loved one and there is a memorial message inscribed in a heart at the bottom.

What you should consider: It’s a little tricky to insert the photograph.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon


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Catherine Bushen writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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