Beyond literally giving you life, your parents have given you a whole lot else over the years. But still, buying Mom and Dad individual gifts is a big effort. If you want to cut your workload in half and get them a gift together (without it seeming that way), look no further. We rounded up the 25 best gifts for parents—in-laws, too—this holiday season, from new tech to unique food
Unique Gifts for Your Parents, Who Really are the Best
It’s the most wonderful time of the year (beside the Super Bowl) and it’s time to figure out exactly what you should gift your parents this season. We’re here to help.
So what do you really get the people who raised you (or at least tried to)? And what do you really get your parents who already have everything? Great question. I mean, we’re at a loss, but we’ve rounded up some really fun and unique ideas that any parent would want and will possibly even share with you (or just borrow it behind their back). Some of these killer gift ideas are perfect options for parents who want to do things together (really?) while others are perfect for the parent who wants to go it alone and have a little “me” time to themselves. Whether they’re younger parents, older folk, working, or retired, shop our picks for some of the best gifts for parents (so far) this year.
- Family Name Sign
- Ullo Wine Purifier with Hand Blown Decanter
- Around The World Coffee Sampler
- Custom Passport Covers
- Wine Cooler
- Home Coordinates Throw Pillow
- One Pan Two Plates Cookbook
- Echo Dot
- Amazon Prime Subscription
- Push Pin Personalized Travel Map
- Monogram Door Mat
- Outdoor Cooler With Table
- Nest Thermostat
- Winc Wine Club
- Espresso Maker
- Family Art
- Fire Pit
- Free Standing Hammock
- Matching Fit Bits
- Try The World Gift Box
- Luggage Set
- Birchbox For Him and Her
- Cutting Board
- Canvas Wall Art
- Matching Ugg Slippers
Great Gifts for Parents From Adult Children
1. A Personal Letter from a Child or Grandchild
A handwritten, heartfelt letter from a child or grandchild is always appropriate and becomes more cherished as time goes by. Grammar and misspellings don’t matter; there is no grading and no critic who will review the contents for plot or accuracy. Simply recalling a time that was shared between child and parent, expressing how much enjoyment you felt, and thanking your parent or parents for that memory is enough to make it special.
A letter to your parents showing appreciation for the lessons they taught you, the sacrifices that were made for you, and the dreams they had for you will be saved physically and in the heart. No child is too old to write a parent, nor is any grandchild too young to say “I love you.”
2. A Special Memory
For my birthday, my daughter printed and framed a list of family aphorisms repeated regularly as she grew to an adult. Her gift has hung prominently on my office wall for a decade and will remain there for the rest of my life.
Whenever I look at the hanging, I remember the occasions that prompted each adage, those times when a father was the most important man in a daughter’s life. Her words and thoughtfulness captured on an inexpensive page of colored paper have made this one of the most pleasing gifts I have ever received.
3. Family Photographs, Books, and Movies
Over the years, families collect hundreds of photographs of family members of all ages, snapshots of past birthdays, holidays, vacation trips, and school events. Important occasions, as well as images of neighbors long forgotten, are randomly scattered in picture albums, boxes, drawers, and shelves. Names and dates are rarely notated, so the lack of organization creates a visual chaos and an indecipherable clamor of people, events, and timeline.
As a consequence of this disorganization, elderly parents lose the links to their past, the muddle so confusing and extensive that it discourages viewing. Consider one of the following to brighten your parents’ day:
4. Shared Family Time
Time together is the dearest present a parent can receive. Unfortunately, it can also be the most difficult for a child with his or her own growing family to give.
Distance, frailty, and careers make getting together difficult and irregular, especially with the tendency to believe there will always be future opportunities to be together. Too many children with the best intentions wake up one morning to find the past has gone and parents are no longer with them.
The following occasions are often overlooked as moments to be together:
- Family Vacations. Sharing a vacation or a weekend is a perfect way to spend time together. Everyone remembers long automobile trips and forced togetherness fondly as they grow older – dump or limit the videos and electronic games for conversation. An added benefit of sharing a vacation with parents – if you are a parent yourself – is having a built-in babysitter for those evenings when you and your spouse have a special evening out.
- Return to One’s Roots. We are a mobile society, often living hundreds of miles from the places where we were born and grew up. One of the best times I had with my father, who is now deceased, was a three-day automobile trip to visit his hometown of Childress, Texas, and the old farms where he and his cousins had played more than a half-century in the past. His retelling of the events of his childhood and the people he knew even though time has erased their presence was filled with tears, laughter, and melancholy. And the trip was memorable to both of us.
- Reunions and Special Occasions. As our nation has become more industrialized with all of the benefits of technology, family members have become separated by distance, losing connections with brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, and cousins, as well as with the shared family lore. The chance to rekindle those bonds is welcomed by old and young alike, just as weddings, graduations, and anniversaries are other opportunities to come together and share a common legacy. Accompany your parents on a trip to see relatives not often seen – you will enjoy the trip, and so will your parents.
5. Technology Assistance
Time eventually catches everyone, however, so learning new processes or understanding complicated instructions becomes more difficult. At the same time, technology can be a boon to the elderly with a little help from their children.
Gifts that are especially appreciated include:
- Programming. Virtually every electronic product requires some programming to use. A cell phone needs to be connected to a communication network, software has to be loaded onto computers, and televisions need to be attached to cable. Even a medical alert system or a home alarm can be beyond the capacity of the elderly. Spend a couple of hours setting up the gadgets that your parents use, and teach them rudimentary skills so they can get more benefits from new technology.
- Social Networking