It's OK to be sentimental. The best retirement gifts are often photo albums, scrapbooks, or collections of handwritten remembrance letters from colleagues. "Something that recalls a memory of what the person did in their professional life can be very meaningful," says Post. Wanda Sessions, 62, who worked as a theater teacher in Arlington, Texas, received a quilt from her former students when she retired in 2008. Each square of the hand-sewn quilt was made up of scraps of T-shirts commemorating the school plays that she directed, as well as pictures and memorable quotes from the performances. "A keepsake like that is really quite profound," Sessions says. "Each of those plays represents a journey that both the cast and I took together."