If you’ve ever come across a time when your parents have told you they didn’t “need” a gift for a holiday, then we’re sure you’ve felt guilty each year when you show up empty-handed or only send along a card with a handwritten message. We’ve been there, too, which makes us experts at figuring out what gifts to give parents who claim they have everything. We’ve come up with a handy list of unique gift ideas for your parents the next time a holiday comes around, such as an anniversary or birthday.
Keeping Them in Mind
One of the main things you want to do when determining what gift to give your parents is to think about who they are, both together as a couple and as individuals. Consider what is within your scope of doing – if you’re not handy with power tools, don’t try to remodel their kitchen or refurbish an antique writing desk for them. If you are crafty with a paintbrush and a canvas, then consider painting them a unique piece of artwork they can hang up on their wall. Keeping their likes and dislikes in mind will go a long way for you when considering what gifts to give, ensuring they will be ecstatic when they open your gift.
Personalization is Key
Personalization isn’t just about slapping a monogram on an item and sending it over to the gift recipient. When an item is personalized, it means it comes from you with them in mind. Giving personalized gifts will show your parents that you pay attention to who they are by factoring their wants and joys into the gifts you give. A great tip when giving personalized gifts is to include a card with a handwritten note explaining why you picked the gift, how you know the recipient will use it in the future or why it represents them. Your parents spend a good portion of their lives taking care of you, so show them you care by including a sweet note with your gift.
Home Decor Ideas
If you’re looking to do something inside your parents’ home for them this year, consider some of these options:
- Redecorate the Home Office: Your parents probably have a home office or workroom they use. Even if they’re retired, there’s most likely a space within your parents’ home where they spend time doing their hobbies. You can remodel that space without needing to do much handiwork. Have a family member or friend take them out for the day while you and any other friends and family work on redecorating the space. Put a fresh coat of paint on the walls, create a photo gallery in the room using your favorite family photos with them and reorganize the furniture. Consider decluttering the space, too – add in some storage organization pieces such as cubbies and baskets to remove unnecessary clutter from piling up in their workroom. Your parents will love that you took the time to make a favorite space of theirs new for them.
- Spice Up the Kitchen: If your parents love to cook, spend some time finding new ways to make their kitchen fun and fabulous! You can add some spice organizers or create a wet bar area on one of the counters featuring some monogrammed drinkware. Glassware makes perfect engraved gifts because they are personalized, usable and will last a long time. Adding a set to your parents’ kitchen will definitely uplift their cooking area in a fun and fresh way!
- Make the Family Room Fun: Even if you and your siblings have all moved out, your parents still need to have a functional, fun family room for the times everyone comes to visit. Take some time to consider what ways you can uplift the family room, such as adding some decorative throw pillows or one of our unique custom blankets that can make the space feel cozy for your parents.
- Install an Air Garden: Air gardens are great for indoor spaces or decks. Made by hanging small plants from the ceiling, you can put a variety of succulents into small glass terrariums and hang them in a cluster in a corner of your parents’ home. Pick a place that gets lots of natural light, such as between two windows. It doesn’t have to be a corner, either – you can install a floating shelf on any wall in your parents’ home and hang the plants from hooks screwed into the bottom of the shelf. You’ll have created an instant focal point in whichever room you choose it to hang in!
Individual, Yet Useful Gifts
Not every gift you give your parents has to be dedicated to a room within their home. There are plenty of individual gifts you can give your parents that they will use that don’t have to fit in a specific space.
- Hand-Painted Cooler: Hand-painted coolers aren’t just for fraternity formals anymore. Try your hand out at creating a hand-painted cooler for your parents to take with them on picnics, beach excursions or road trips. Paint each side a different scene or theme that you know they’ll love, such as dad’s love for fishing or mom’s favorite pearl necklace. Creating a hand-painted cooler does take some time, but once you find a great tutorial you can have it done in no time. Your parents will be so thankful for the thoughtful gift. Want to take it a step further? Fill it with their favorite beverages and snacks to transform it into a unique gift basket!
- Printed Photo Album: Remember that task you took on over the summer digitizing all the family photos? Go to your local photo print shop and have a personalized family photo album printed! You can print multiples by year or by specific sides of the family – for example, if mom kept all the photos her parents gave her, you can print the ones from her side of the family into one photo album. These albums will ensure the original photos live on for generations to come, printed on quality photo paper and bound like a storybook for you to share with your own children in the future.
- Mugs and Tumblers: No one can ever have too many coffee mugs or tumblers. A great thing about mugs and tumblers is that you can add personalized messages and photos onto them so they have extra meaning to whomever you give them. For your parents, consider having pictures of the grandkids printed on them, or pictures of you as a child. You could even have their wedding photos added to create a custom coffee mug, complete with their anniversary etched onto it!
- Monogrammed Robes: Your parents deserve to relax every once in a while. Give them a matching set of monogrammed robes to use while relaxing in bed or after a hot bath. They will love your unique gift idea! Make sure they bring their matching robes on every family vacation and get a picture of the two of them in their robes.
- Map of Their Journey: Have your parents traveled a lot? Consider giving them a framed map of their travels as a gift this year! You can either create the map yourself by etching a stencil into wood and then shading in the states and countries they’ve been to, or you can purchase one from an artist. If you’re not the best at crafts, then it would probably be best to leave the gift creation to the professional – but the fact that you thought to give them something as unique and personal as a map of their story will have your parents in tears!
- Matching Socks of their Pet(s): We’re pretty certain your parents have a family pet – or two! Show them how much you care about their furry family member by giving them matching socks with their pets’ faces printed on them! Available in fun, quirky colors and designs, your parents will love the idea and the tribute to their pets. Make sure to get a few pairs so they can mix and match!
- A Unique Wine Rack: If your parents enjoy wine tasting, and they go to all the local (and far away) vineyards to get their hands on the newest wines on the market, then a unique wine rack is just for them. You can either create your own wine rack, or you can go to a craft wine shop to speak with the owners about the best place to find a unique one that suits your parents’ tastes. Make sure to include a few bottles of their favorite when you give it to them! For some bonus points, offer to install it in their home for them.
- Mason Jar Kits: Mason jar kits are some of the most versatile gifts you can give. From dessert mixes to sangria ingredients to mani-pedi kits, you can put practically anything in a mason jar. Tie the jars with ribbon or twine, and you can either hand write the directions on a tag or print them off. Here are some ideas:
- Hot Chocolate: Portion out powdered milk, cocoa powder and sugar, then add layers of crushed peppermint and marshmallows. On the directions tab, list out how much water or milk will need to be added as well as how long to microwave or cook. You can create a variety of unique hot chocolate mixes, too, so your parents have options and receive something that no one else might think of!
- Sugar Cookie Mix: Portion premixed sugar cookie mix into the jar and add a couple of tablespoons of flour. In a paper muffin liner, add some sprinkles and place the muffin liner on top of the mix. On the directions tab, include the oven temperature and additional ingredients needed, such as butter and egg. Sugar cookie mix is great for Christmas, when you can put the sprinkles in an ornament to tie onto the mason jar.
- S’mores: In a mason jar, place some graham crackers, mini Hershey’s chocolate bars and jumbo marshmallows. You can put in some other flavors of mini chocolate bars, such as cookies n’ cream, to make the mix a little more unique!
- Candles: Consider making your own candles in a mason jar! Use essential oils in the wax mix to create different scents. You can find all the ingredients you need either in your kitchen or in your local craft store. Some craft stores also have candle making kits that you can use if you think your candle making skills are too novice.
- Trifles: Mini trifles in mason jars are not only cute but they’re also really versatile! You can make pumpkin pie trifles, berry trifles, chocolate trifles… the list goes on! You can also make your own whipped cream or whipped topping for the trifles, too. That homemade touch really goes a long way and is just perfect for your parents! They’ll be so glad to have a sweet treat that can be easily stored in the refrigerator until they’re ready to eat it. It probably won’t last long, though!
- Candy Kit: Find fun-sized versions of your parents’ favorite treats, and make them each a mason jar full of them! You can either layer the treats together or mix them up within the jar. Either way, your parents will love that you took the time to give them something filled with their favorite sweets. Everyone loves a little candy now and then!
Your parents deserve the world – and even if they insist they have everything they need, there’s no harm in getting them something a little extra for holidays or special occasions. When your parents tell you they have everything they want, it can be hard to find them a special gift. Focusing on their individual tastes and things they can use together are two of the best ways to help you in your gift search. No matter what, your parents will love any gifts you give them because they’re coming directly from you!