We’ve already discussed shopping tips for coworkers and kids, so now it’s time for parents. Every year, I agonize over what to get for my parents and my boyfriend’s parents. It’s not that they’re particularly picky, but they are all at points in their lives where they have just about everything they need. It’s hard to think of something they’d really enjoy because most of the time, they’re able to provide that for themselves.

Here are some gifts that have gone over well for my parents and his:

  1. Send a festive drink set. For example, a blossoming tea set, nice bottle of liquor, gourmet hot chocolates, or wine basket. Depending on your mom/dad’s personality, get something that will aid relaxation. My boyfriend’s mom seemed to really like a blossoming tea set (a few kinds of tea and a glass pot) that I got her a few years ago. It arrived when she was suffering from a winter cold, so it was great timing.
  2. Buy dinner and tickets to a show. We toyed with  the idea of Jersey Boys for his parents this year, but ultimately decided against it.  Check to see what’s playing in your area and get tickets and dinner reservations.  If they aren’t into musicals, try a sporting event or a comedy club.
  3. Give cozy, warm clothes.  His parents are always cold, so it was a no brainer that they could use some cozy clothes to keep them warm.  We found a great variety at Bass Pro Shop, but any outdoor store should have a good selection.  And really, who couldn’t use a nice sweater in the winter time?  (Unless your parents live in Florida…)
  4. Upgrade an IT device.  My parents needed a new printer and an external hard drive.  I am sure they’ll appreciate these gifts, if only for the convenience of having something better than their current system.  Just be prepared to help with installation.
  5. Send a nice centerpiece.  I usually send his mom a nice centerpiece.  Since she lives far away, it’s nice to know that she’ll see the flowers and think of me during the holidays.  I like to use ProFlowers, but it’s also a great idea to shop local.  Google is a great way to find a flower shop near your recipient.
  6. Make a photo book.  I’m making one for my grandmother this year.  We have a big family, so I am making a “year of birthdays” for our family.  That’s just one idea.  You can also steal a few of your parents’ photos and make them a vacation photo book – it’ll be cherished for years to come!  I’d recommend Shutterfly, but there are TONS of sites out there that make photo books and other awesome photo products.


Do you have any other ideas for parents?  Any tips for what to avoid?

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