Trying to find meaningful gifts for parents and grandparents is tough, mainly because in many cases, they could purchase the things they want or need. So what do you give them? Most gifts fall into two categories: tangible/physical gifts and consumable gifts. I've compiled lists from both categories that will hopefully help you find the perfect gift for your parents/grandparents.
- Heartfelt Letter or Poem : Taking some time to write a letter or poem is probably one of my favorite gifts to give. It is also one of my favorite gifts to receive. I have a stash of letters and poems from family and friends that I like to pull out on rough days to read and remind me of the love others have for me.
Image from O Jolie Designs
- Custom Jewelry/Keepsakes : Last year for Christmas, I participated in a sibling group gift to my step-mom for a custom necklace with all of the grandkids names and birthstones on it. My step-mom loves it and wears it regularly. There are so many awesome Etsy shops out there that offer all types of custom jewelry, keychains, engraved wallet cards, etc. One of my favorite Etsy shops for hand stamped jewelry and keepsakes is O Jolie Designs.
- Supplies/Accessories for Hobbies : Sometimes the easiest way to figure out a gift is by using a theme. And what better theme than a hobby? One year my husband and I got my dad some nice microfiber clothes and cleaning supplies for his restored Chevy. It wasn't anything unique or expensive but he liked it and it was something we knew he'd use.
- Combine with Siblings : If you don't have the resources to give a nicer/more expensive gift, consider going in on it with your siblings. Adults are going to be happier with a gift that means something to them as opposed to having multiple gifts. I've done this many times and I've never been disappointed in the receiver's reaction.
- Handmade Items : As someone who crafts, I really enjoy making things to give as gifts. I've given crocheted hot pads and blankets, embroidered pillows, wood signs, scrapbooks and various other items. I feel like even though the gift itself isn't necessarily unique, the time that I spend making it, makes it unique and meaningful. If you don't feel that you have the crafting skills necessary to make something, you could always ask someone you know for help, look at tutorials or order it through a small business site, such as Etsy.
- Pictures/Photo Gifts : I feel like one of the most requested gifts from me are pictures. My parents, in-laws and grandparents are always asking for updated family pictures and pictures of the kids. One of my grandmas that I don't see very often has a grandchild photo wall, so every year for Christmas I give her an updated picture to put in her frame. When giving a photo gift, I always make sure to buy a frame that fits the receiver's individual style, even if it's not my own.
- Gift Cards/Certificates : Gift cards and gift certificates are awesome because in many cases, they allow you to give a better gift at a savings to you. I like using sites like Groupon, Living Social and Amazon Local. I've found great deals on massages, restaurants, air vent cleaning services, etc. I've signed up on their email list and there have been times where I've looked at them for ideas when I haven't known what to give.
My kids at the aquarium with my mom
- Experiences : Making memories through shared experiences is one of my favorite gifts to give. We've gone to concerts, seen Christmas lights, visited the zoo and the aquarium, just to name a few. The time spent together is precious and the memories are carried around for a long time.
- Acts of Service : As a kid, I remember giving my parents "coupon books" with coupons for cleaning the windows, vacuuming the floor, doing the dishes, free hugs and kisses, etc. I think you could put this same type of gift into practice for parents and grandparents by helping them clean out their garage or basement, trimming back trees/bushes in their yard or sorting through old pictures and organizing them. The list of ways you could give service to a parent or grandparent are endless.
- Donations to a Charity or Organization : A few years ago, my husband's family decided that for Christmas each year we would donate resources, such as money and/or food, to someone in need rather than exchanging presents with each other. This has turned out to be a great way to honor his parents and show our appreciation for all they do for us throughout the year. Another option would be to donate to a charity or organization that is special to your parent(s) or grandparent(s) on their behalf.
What other gifts do you like to give to parents and grandparents?