Getting gifts for parents who have everything isn’t easy.
When you’re young, receiving gifts is the best part of the holidays. But now that we’re in college, and real (or pretending to be) adults, it’s time to think about giving back with our favorite gifts for parents.
Your parents will think about you every time they’re snuggled up in it reading a good book or watching Shark Tank (we know, all parents love Shark Tank). Getting gifts for your parents, especially Christmas or anniversary gifts, doesn’t have to be hard—they just want to see that you put a little thought into it.
Are your parents more like a friend? Check out our Best Gifts for your Best Friend.
Our parents worked super hard to make our holidays special for us growing up, and now it’s our job to do the same for them.
Check out the Top Gifts for Parents 2023:
1. Box of compliments
I received this present from a close friend in high school, and still treasure it to this day. It demonstrates that you know and care about the person more effectively than any store-bought present ever could. I can’t imagine the joy it would bring a parent to know their kid thinks so highly of them. There is a lot of room for customization with this one. You can decorate a shoe box or get a gift box from Amazon. All in all, this is the sort of present your parents will treasure for the rest of their lives.
2. Scrapbook / Photo album
A well-organized photo album or scrapbook is an easy one. They’re fun to make, and there’s no right way to make them. I suggest picking a theme, like a vacation or an activity you share together. You can print photos at your local Walgreens
, and buy a photo album or scrapbook from Amazon. I like this specific scrapbook/photo album because it allows you to include as many pages as you like, and the pages can be customized to fit photos or whole pages. While a scrapbook provides more room for customization, if that’s too daunting, then printing and organizing a keepsake of an adventure you went on together will be just as thoughtful.
3. Homemade Jewelry
For creative students, using cheap beads both adds to the aesthetic and is more fun for them to work with. Your mom would likely wear a bracelet saying “I love you” or “Best Mom” all the time. Another good option for those of us who are creative is woven bracelets using your parent’s favorite colors. It could be fun to challenge yourself to create something pretty. Using seed beads is a personal favorite. Again, I suggest using colors and metals you know your parent like for that personal touch.
4. Ugly Doll
They are something that many of us grew up with— many of our parents did as well. I used to make them with my mom. If you know how to sew, they’re very easy to make. Even if you can’t hand sew one, there are plenty of cute ones for sale online. They’re only about ten dollars off of Amazon.
“Ugly dolls are nostalgic,” University of Iowa Senior Emma Stanton said.
While stuffed animals may seem too childish for adults, a homemade one would be appreciated. Furthermore, if your mom or dad grew up with ugly dolls, it’ll be a nice flash to the past for them. Ugly dolls are one of the easiest things to sew. You can cut out pretty much any shape, even just a circle, as long as you have two pieces of cloth of the same shape. You sew the two together pieces of fabric together, then stuff them with stuffing.
5. Lego Flowers
Unlike real flowers, these will never die. While they’re a bit pricey, ranging from $40-60, they’re also adorable. You can also build them together, so this is a two-pronged present: the item and the experience. Finally, they are pet-friendly, assuming you don’t drop any small pieces on the ground. Unlike many real plants, Lego flowers have no toxins that could potentially harm a curious cat looking for a snack.
6. Battery Case
This one is a dad favorite. For twenty dollars on Amazon, your dad can have a well-organized surplus of batteries. He can flex on the other dads all of his batteries. It’s also a useful present, given you will always need batteries. I think it’s a little funny as well because if your dad is like my dad, he will go crazy over some batteries. With dads, it’s the small things that show you know them.
7. Pajamas with Pet Face on it
There are a variety of websites that make these for a variety of price ranges. In general, pet paraphernalia is a funny and personal keepsake your parents will no doubt appreciate. There are companies that will make stuffed animals, socks, and artwork inspired by your pet. I’m certain there is at least one person on Etsy who would Paint an oil painting of your dog. You can also, if you have the skillset, make a painting of your dog.
“Parents love that kinda stuff,” University of Iowa Junior Lila Robbins said.
The reason I think pajamas are the best option is because your parents can wear them. While a lot of other funny presents aren’t very practical, it doesn’t matter how ugly your PJs are. Furthermore, it would be funny to see your parents walking around your house in pants with your dog’s face on it. I’m sure your pet would appreciate it. It would be treasured by your parents after you move out and your pet passes.
8. Funny Shirt
There is a lot of room for personalization here. I’d suggest going to your local thrift or bin store and seeing what ugly shirts they have. Pick something that relates to a niche hobby or interest of theirs. Again, your parents can probably buy themselves a nice shirt, and so a funny shirt to demonstrate you understand their sense of humor would be worth the laugh. You can also make a shirt and have it signed by the family
, or iron on your own decal.
“There are a ton of really good ones on Etsy,” University of Iowa Junior Madeline Fait said.
Etsy is a good option, as is Amazon or Redbubble. You can buy two ugly shirts and sew them together. You can also draw your own design on the shirt or digitally. There are a lot of websites online that make custom shirts if you have a specific vision in mind. If you don’t, then I suggest hunting through second-hand stores until you find something relevant.
9. Ugly Tie
My dad hated this present, but I loved giving it. Furthermore, I know other people whose dads or moms love collecting ugly ties. I wouldn’t suggest dropping a lot of money here
, since they’re probably not going to wear it often. Furthermore, very few things online can provide the genuinely awful selection of ties available at any thrift store. Whether it’s a relic from the 70s, a Santa tie, a cat tie or more, there are a variety of ties out there that will make your parents gasp and laugh.
10. A Projector
While this is certainly more pricey than a lot of presents on this list, I think it’s worth it. It can be used for outdoor movie nights or block parties. You can also use them inside if you have a large blank wall. They’re another experience gift, with the implication of the gift being more family movie nights. They range from $80-$300, meaning there is a variety in price range. You can even customize these by adding some stickers onto the outside, as long as you don’t cover up any important machinery.
Check out the Top Gifts for Parents 2022.
Calling all entertainers and dinner party hosts this is the gift for you. If you were constantly bombarded by party guests growing up, your parents need this book. This book compiles drink recipes and traditions from all 50 states.
“I love to entertain and make fun appetizers and creative drinks for my guests so a cocktail recipe book would be great!” parent Becky Poling said.
Combing a love for travel and hosting, this book makes the perfect gift for parents who love to impress their friends and family.
Who prints out pictures anymore? Who even has the time? Your parents certainly don’t. Get them a digital picture frame to help keep them up to date on all the festivities you attend. That way they don’t have to keep reusing that picture of you from 10 years ago. This digital frame has 16 GB of storage and can auto rotate through pictures so you don’t get tired of the same old picture sitting on your shelf.
13. Fire TV Stick
I don’t know about you, but my parents love to unwind with their favorite TV show at the end of a long day. But who wants to pay for cable when you have Netflix, Hulu, Prime Video, Disney+, you get the point. Help your, probably technologically impaired, parents by combining all of these services into one with a Fire TV Stick. You might have to help them login to all their streaming services, cue the password child, but once they’re in, they’ll be eternally thankful that they have all their comfort shows in one place.
14. Home Décor
Is your mom always fretting about how her house looks? Same here. Get her something she’s sure to love. Celebrating culture is always a good bet.
“I would like a Menorah because I just love decorating my home with Jewish symbols,” parent Issa Ghelman said.
Get your parents something they are sure to love and use every year. A Hanukkah Menorah represents the eight days of Hanukkah and the eternal flame in the Temple. For the not so traditional parents, a nice vase or a throw pillow will work.
For all the fitness obsessed parents out there, if you don’t have a Fitbit, do you even lift bro? A Fitbit is the perfect gift for your parents to help them keep track of their health.
“Health and a stress-free mind. If you don’t have health, you have nothing,” parent Jeff Smaga said.
No matter how old your parents are, keeping up with your health is one of the most important things in life. For whatever fitness goal your parents have, getting them a Fitbit is an easy way for them to track of heart rate, sleep modes, and daily steps.
Repay your parents for all those home-cooked meals they made you growing up. A personalized cutting board and a new set of plates and bowls would make their day. Your parents deserve to only eat off the best.
“I would like to have a new set of kitchen plates and bowls. It keeps my kitchen nice and clean,” parent Sosy Nalbandian said.
Putting that thoughtful touch on a personalized cutting board makes it become a part of the family and something your parents will actually want to use. Maybe try to cook them a meal too, just a thought.
If your parents are coffee addicts, this gift is for you. The Ember Temper Control Smart Mug will keep their coffee nice and toasty all day long. Perfect for those who like to sip on their coffee instead of chugging it like you do before your 8 a.m. class. This app-controlled mug allows them to start heating up their coffee from bed. Enough said.
For all the on the go parents out there, it’s hard to keep a charge on your phone alone, much less your Air Pods and Apple Watch too. This 3 in 1 wireless charging station allows your parents to charge all their important devices at any moment. Say goodbye to all those cords and cables.
“I’m constantly on my phone checking in with my kids so having an accessible charging station would be a life saver,” parent Karen Russell said.
This charging station will help your parents keep all their electronics in one place, and fully charged as well. No more hearing “oh no my phone’s about to die!”
19. Ring Doorbell
I’m sure everyone’s seen at least one TikTok of someone’s Amazon package getting stolen. But thanks to the Ring Doorbell, the culprit can be stopped. If your parents don’t have one of these, go ahead and add it to your cart. This will help give your parents peace of mind and no more stolen packages.
20. Bedside Caddy
It’s easy to have a cluttered bedside table, charger, laptop, book, remote, phone, glasses, water, and look at that, no more room. With a bedside caddy, help your parents eliminate this clutter with the ability organize it all right next to your bed. They could also use it on their desk or kitchen table. With working from home spiking in popularity, keeping your home space organized is a must.
21. Local theater tickets
Your parents deserve a night on the town. Local theaters put on well-known musicals like Mamma Mia, Jersey Boys and Lion King that’ll get your parents singing along to the show tunes. And if you want to spring for trendy shows like Hamilton, try entering a lottery for more affordable ticket prices. Or find them tickets to a show they already love, whether that means a Broadway show, opera, classical music performance or something else. Bonus if you score a seat for yourself at the show, too.
Your parents’ hearts will ache the minute you pull out of the driveway to head back to school or walk into the airport. Remind them a piece of your heart is always home. “[I want] something with my kid’s name on it. Maybe a necklace with their names engraved on the back. That way they are always close to my heart,” said Inna Pullum. If your parents have grandkids, you could choose those names to engrave, as well.
23. A Roomba
iRobot Roomba 675 Robot Vacuum: $149.00
“I am very much like my mother in that I love to clean and to have a clean house. So last year my dad and I decided to get my mom a Roomba and she absolutely loved it,” said University of Florida Student Elizabeth Heidrich. “She was so fascinated by it that she just stood there and watched it clean for a good 10 minutes before she snapped out of it.”
Family Frame: $24.79
As a baby your parents cooed over you, taking endless snapshots with each new sound you grunted. Now they beg you in the middle of dinner for grainy selfies of you mid-bite to share with their high school buds on Facebook. Do them—and yourself—the favor of finding a photographer that focuses on lifestyle photography. “We haven’t had [family photos] done since everyone was younger and it would be so special to have them done when you’re all grown up,” said Darcey Spensley. Lifestyle photography captures every day, real-life moments. So instead of sitting for a stiff portrait of you and your sibs, you’ll get a high quality candid family shot that captures everyone’s personalities and your mom can display proudly on the wall.
25. A Mini Fridge
Mini fridge = mini getaway in the garage. Your parents might spend hours perfecting the house landscaping or fixing up their mid-life-crisis antique sportscar. Either way, they’ll appreciate the quick access to cold refreshments from their mini fridge. “I put it in my garage so whenever I’m out there working I can stay hydrated,” said Ray Deliz. Check the mini fridge next time you head home for a visit—they might also hide the good beer and aged wine from you in there.
Back in the 70s, 80s, 90s or whatever decade your parents got married, family and friends showered them with house gifts galore. And some still may use those dingy pots and pans etched with memories of burnt dinners past. Give your parents’ kitchen an upgrade with some stainless steel cookware. “I would never buy myself a nice set of non-stick pans. I love cooking and every time I used them, I would think of my daughter,” said Cindy Bourgoin. Plus this makes the perfect excuse for them to make your favorite home-cooked meal.
27. A Grill
Speaking of fancy kitchen wear, how would you like to enjoy a thick, juicy steak when you visit home? “My favorite Christmas gift would be… [when] Jessie gave me [a] grill,” said Charles Cato. Your dad will enjoy figuring out all of his new grill’s high-tech features. And you’ll enjoy chowing down on all the food he makes for you on it.
The older you get, the harder it becomes to sleep comfortably. You can’t ease the stiff joints or the backaches that come with age. But you can give your parents luxurious PJs that feel so comfortable that they forget the pain. “I bought [my parents] pajamas and sweatpants, like five or six years ago. Surprisingly, they really liked it,” said Delaware Community College student Damarr Moon. Talk about a useful gift.
29. Upscale restaurant gift card
Fleming’s Gift Card: Price Varies
Treat your parents to a fancy dinner at an upscale steakhouse like Morton’s, Capital Grille or Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse. “I like gift cards because they’re simpler and more convenient for other to give especially for those that have a hard time getting out,” said Carole Meuser.
Freaking out about gifts for your parents?
Coupons for free hugs were adorable when we were in elementary school, but now that we’re adults it’s time to step up our gift-giving game. Don’t worry, we’ve rounded up some of the best gifts for parents to make your lives easier with this gift guide for parents.
30. Something Sentimental
There’s really nothing parents love more than family photos. What if they could take them and print them instantly? Every parent’s dream come true. Hook your parents up with an Instax. Or get fancy and frame a sentimental photo in a gorgeous picture frame. You can even get creative with a photo collage that includes your family tree. Both are fun and easy ideas when it comes to gifts for parents.
If you want to make it extra special, book a special photoshoot with your siblings and/or extended family members. “I’ve always wanted my kids to get professional pictures taken for a gift,” said Darcey Spensley. “We haven’t had them done since everyone was younger and it would be so special to have them done when you’re all grown up.”
Prepare to hear your parents say, “Awww–you are the sweetest!”
Believe it or not, Kindle prices are dropping. Still, this gift may be a little steep for most college budgets. But if you really want to spoil your parents this year, it’s a great gift option. Kindles are practical (especially for bookworm parents) and easy to use.
32. Cat swag
Most of us just check our phones for the weather, but this digital thermometer is a cool gift for parents who still do it the old fashioned way. It tells you time, temperature and how humid it is. Plus it comes in a lot of fun and different colors. You’ll have them operating like a smart home in no time.
34. Golf Gadgets
If your parents love golf, you can’t go wrong with feeding their addiction…I mean, love of the sport. These gadgets will be a constant reminder of just how thoughtful you are to consider their favorite hobby. Golf gifts = the ultimate gifts for parents.
Tech lovers take note: This isn’t your typical speaker. This wireless bluetooth portable indoor and outdoor speaker is the perfect gift for parents because it fits all of their music playing needs. They can use it for family dinners or BBQs. It’s super easy for even your parents to use and play songs from their iPads. If your parents still can’t figure out the ancient stereo system in the house or they just play music from their phone when you’re at a family gathering outside, it might be time to give them a nice upgrade. Maybe now your dad will stop talking about how much he misses his turntable from the 80s.
36. Literary Pillow
This is the ultimate gift for any parents who like to start the day with a nice cup of tea. Simply steep your loose leaf tea with water, and this device automatically strains itself when placed on any sized mug. Consider making a custom mug to go with it for a thoughtful plus functional parent gift. Even if they’re not tea lovers quite yet, they will be soon.
38. Cool New Camera
Parents love cameras. That’s a fact. And since your parents never got the hang of taking pics on their iPhone, help them go old-school with a designated camera that will help even the most technologically-challenged parent take awesome photos.
39. Mophie Charger
In the 21st century, all parents need to be plugged in. Help Mom and Dad keep their cell phones, tablets and cameras charged to the max with a portable charger that Dad can take to the gold course and Mom can take to brunch with the ladies.
40. UGG Slippers
UGG Slippers: $89.95
Your parents gave you life, so you give them slippers. Fair trade, right? To help even the score, get them top of the line footwear to keep their toes warm even in the coldest of winters.
“My mom adores polaroids so I plan on getting her a printer like this so she can print out all the pictures we’ve taken over the years in the style she loves,” said UC Berkeley freshman Mia Rubem.
42. Echo Tech
Echo Dot 4th Gen: $99.99
“My mom loves her Alexa, I honestly think she considers her another child. My dad, on the other hand, would prefer if my mom wouldn’t yell for Alexa’s help from three rooms away, so getting speakers in multiple rooms would help keep the peace,” said University of Oklahoma senior Kelly Stern.
43. Family Name Art
What says “family pride” better that a big sign of your last name? Not much by our standards. Maybe a family crest, but those are hard to come by.
44. Key Finder Love
Tile Pro: $60
“My dad is constantly losing his keys, so I know both he and my mom would be very appreciative of any gadget that helps them get out the door faster,” said San Francisco State University junior Lily Brown.
45. Music Love
“I love to play music when the girls come over for brunch, but I don’t know much about speakers and the like. I’d love help from my kids on setting me up with a speaker so we can listen to Lizzo when we drink mimosas,” said Ginny Whelan, a mom from Ann Arbor, MI.
Wishouse Walkie Talkies: $60
“Walkie talkies take me back to the days when the kids were little. There’s a lot of memories of walkie talkies and blanket forts in the living room,” said father-of-four Lee Tully.
“I would like a pair of those touch screen gloves, the ones that allow you to use your phone. I like to go on walks in the morning and it is very cold,” said Michael Siu, a dad from Seattle, Washington.
48. A plane ticket home for the holidays
“No material item, that they are home for Christmas and they are happy and at peace, understanding the true meaning of Christmas and being with family and not getting caught up in gifts,” said Kim Wiegand, a mom from Spencer, Iowa.
49. Star Wars Onesie
University of Maryland sophomore Yasmeen Brooks said, “My dad loves Star Wars, so last year I got him a Darth Vader onesie from Walmart. He basically wears it every day during the wintertime.” If Star Wars isn’t your parents’ thing, find them a onesie with a character from one of their favorite TV shows, like Rick from Rick and Morty.
50. Waffle iron
“I think the best gift my kids every gave me was when they pooled together their money to get me a waffle iron,” said Theresa Sullivan, a mom from Viroqua, Wisconsin. “It’s something we can all use and enjoy and makes me think of them.” Just make sure you cook them breakfast with it, too.
51. Something sparkly
“I’ve always wanted a diamond necklace or jewelry set for Christmas,” said Darisa Cespedes, a mom from Reading, Pennsylvania. You probably can’t afford to get your mom those diamonds until after paying off those student loans, but you can get her a charm bracelet that lets you keep adding memories to her wrist.
Knock Knock Vouchers: $8.18
“The gifts I enjoyed the most were when you girls were both young and made your own cards and included a card that was good for a free hug or back rub,” said Terry Wiegand, a parent from Spencer, Iowa. Except actually follow through on those coupons this year, ok?
“For my mom, I took pictures of me and my siblings and ordered a huge canvas print of all of us… she cried,” said Temple University sophomore Kimi Bath.
54. Ceramic Tea Pot
Toptier Leaf Teapot: $25
“Honestly, I don’t care what gift my kids gives me for the holidays as long as it comes from the heart. My daughter made me a ceramic teapot last year as a holiday gift and I loved it because I know it came from the heart,” said Rokshana Akter, a parent from Upper Darby, Pennsylvania.
Camera Camcorder: $245.99
“The most memorable gift I’ve ever received from my children was a music video they created for me,” said Dayna Ingrum, a mom from Dallas, Texas. “Their dad did the filming and they acted out all the parts, it was a total surprise! To this day every time I think of or watch that video it fills my heart with joy, love and a whole lot of tears! I will forever treasure it!”
56. Some Much-Needed “Me Time”
“Because I have the tendency to overstress at times, a massage would be the perfect stress relief, especially at holiday time,” said Lori Ledbetter, a mom from Pensacola, Florida. “It would mean that they (my kids) care about my well being and see the importance of me taking that time for myself.”
You can never have enough gifts for parents. Here’s more.
57. Calendar Poster
Every proud parent loves to see their children, especially when they’re at work. This gift allows them to be reminded of great times with their families every day while they’re at the office.
58. Framed Vows
Search around your house and see if you can get a copy of your parents’ wedding vows. You can either have them custom framed—although it can get quite pricey—or buy a frame and do it yourself. Your parents will be touched by your thoughtfulness and you’ll have some cash left over.
This thermometer allows your dad to grill while socializing without worrying about burning the meat. The thermometer verbally tells you when the food is “Almost Ready” and “Ready.” The thermometer takes the guesswork out of grilling.
Huski Wine Cooler: $59
This electronic wine chiller is great for parents who love having dinner parties or just enjoy opening a bottle of wine to share together. The wine chiller has an electronic thermometer that chills over 40 types of wine to their recommended temperature. The device also has a “quick chill” option that gets wine cold fast for those last-minute occasions.
Creative Letter Art: $59.95
This long rectangular frame has an individual spot for each letter of your name, and each one is filled with a different black and white photo of something that looks like that letter. The print is a wonderful family symbol and a conversation piece that your parents will love to mount on their wall. You’ll want to reuse this gift idea for your in-laws when you have a spouse, one day.
62. Snack Helmet
When your dad needs a break from his hectic work week, help him relax on Sunday with this football team-themed snack bowl. The full-size football helmet can be ordered for any football team and includes two removable dishes for snacks, one in the face guard and one in the top of the helmet.
63. A Family Activity
When you have to be away from home slaving away on your studies, the family will want some quality time. Often times, the best gifts come in the form of experiences, so plan an excursion that will allow for some unforgettable bonding time and won’t break the bank. You can do anything from going to the movies to solving an escape room. “I enjoy receiving gifts from my kids that involve spending time together. To me, it’s not about the stuff. I’d prefer to go somewhere or do something. A movie, dinner, a puzzle or escape room…things like that. It’s about creating memories and having fun,” said Carrie Sides. Your parents (probably) consider you the best gift they’ve ever received and they will cherish the effort you put in to spend quality time with them.
64. A Bike
Around the Block Mint Green Cruiser: $221.00
It may be just me, but getting a bike might be the best gift you could ever receive. Bikes have so many pros: they grant you freedom, they let you soak yourself in the fresh outdoors, they work better for the environment and simply act as a reliable and cheap transportation method. Whatever reason, bikes rule. Your parents may never buy themselves a new bike, but that doesn’t mean they wouldn’t love to have one. Think of all the fun mini-treks you could provide for them in proper style.
Sometimes your parents just want to be warm. So help them, please. Fuzzy slippers remind us of the holidays and the comfortable warmth of being indoors amidst the cold weather. The point is, slippers can go a long way to remind someone that you care and give them a cozy holiday season.
Giving your dog or cat a cute sweater acts as a gift to your parents, but will actually get everyone involved. Just imagine the cuteness potential with this one… Give your dog the sweater they deserve in the disguise of giving your parents a gift (kidding). Bonus points if your mom has a Facebook and posts a picture online.
67. A Journal
A journal works as a perfect store-bought gift that still offers a great deal of sentimentality. You can personalize a journal or get one with a cover that emits the right personality. “I would appreciate a personalized gift, something representative of myself that shows someone pays attention and cares. So, a journal would be great. I love collecting journals,” said Ron Martin. You can easily make something as simple as a journal extremely personal and unique that anyone would love to get. Never forget, every single person always needs a journal. Whether they know it or not.
Even though we constantly thrive on texting and direct messaging now, we all collectively as a species love handwritten notes. They make our communication so much more human and heartfelt, and, if you put real time and effort into writing your parents letters or poems from the heart, they will cherish it and read it over and over again—literally forever. Write about your life, your favorite memories with your parents, the things you remember or love most about them and anything else you want. “The best gift my daughter gave me was a book of handwritten letters. The letters were about her favorite memories with me, her favorite trip that we took together, the things she’s always wanted to tell me and more. I still read it now!” said Connie Ferretti.
69. A Handmade Painting or Something Else Artistic
If you have an artistic side, make a painting or other art piece that you can tailor to your parents specifically. Homemade gifts always go over well, you can show off your creative talent, plus you can make literally anything you want, so the art piece can be personal and special to the person you give it to. “The best gift I’ve ever received was a hand-made painting of all of my favorite sports teams’ logos and helmets from my daughter,” said Connie Ferretti. So grab a canvas, some paint and some brushes, and let your artistic side shine this holiday season.
Nothing gets more topical than gifting someone a Disney Plus subscription. Every parent loves Disney movies and will appreciate the much-needed new streaming service content. “[I want] a subscription to Disney Plus! I’m pretty maxed out on subscriptions already!” said Sunii Benday. You better hurry now—they need to catch up to the last episode of The Mandalorian.
71. Ninja Bullet
Your parents will never know they wanted a Ninja Bullet, but will greatly appreciate it nonetheless. The highly efficient blender will make their lives much easier, especially if they like to make smoothies or juices. “My blender broke and my children surprised me with [the Ninja Bullet] at Christmas and it warmed my heart,” said Cindy Stuart. You can literally never go wrong with any fancy kitchen gadget. Try to convince your brother to buy them an instant pot to go along with your gift, and your parents will never complain about their kids again.
Wow your family with this fun way to remind them of the fun and special times you’ve had over the years. “[The best gift was] when you made me a shadowbox with inside joke quotes that we have had throughout a lifetime. It’s a gift that keeps giving,” said Heidi Kulak. Just take a shadow box and add clips of inside jokes you have handwritten, pictures and memorabilia. Having them displayed all together will bring the family together and let you remember those cherished times while letting you look forward to future inside jokes.
Quad Tote Bags: $21.90
Moms always need new bags. Why not pick her up a super cute peachy tote? Or, for those cat-loving moms, grab a Mew Yorker tote. Perfect to carry all those “mom” things they always have.
74. A Cute Plant
Pick your mom up a new plant from your local botanist. Grab a cute snake plant or an orchid to make her house a little more lively. Flowers will also do, only in a pinch though.
75. A Bottle (or three) of Wine
Let’s face it, moms need their wine (especially now with the whole family home during the quarantine). So, why not stop by an essential liquor store and pick up a bottle of your mom’s favorite (or five). Get out the fancy wine glasses and enjoy this gift with her.
76. A Photo Album
Leather Photo Album: $36
“It’s little snippets of all the good memories we have had together. It really helps show all of the amazing times we had as a family,” University of Kentucky junior Kaylee Poling said.
77. Beauty Product Care Basket
Moms always need new makeup, shampoo, body wash and hair care products, so why not put them all together in a cute little DIY basket? You’ll save her a trip to the grocery store and give her a mini spa day.
You’re home all the time now—your mom is definitely going to need to tune you out from time to time if she doesn’t already. Give her the ultimate gift of peace and quiet with the proper headphones to ignore you.
79. Hulu Subscription
We’re all bored, and your mom is too. Sign her up for a Hulu subscription so she can watch her favorite shows like 90 Day Fiancée or Brooklyn Nine-Nine. She’ll thank you later.
Your mom has been washing your sheets your whole life. It’s time to gift her with a new set. Throw in a new comforter and some cozy throw pillows and you have the perfect gift.
81. A Home-cooked Meal
“When you make a home-cooked meal you can make exactly what they like to eat, and you know your mom better than anyone else. Also, when food’s cooked with love it tastes even better,” University of Kentucky senior Autumn Paine said.
Pandora Charm Bracelet: $65.00
The gift that keeps on giving. Though it might be a little pricey, your mom is worth it. Get her a charm bracelet with one or two charms to start out. Then, for holidays and birthdays to come you always have a go-to gift for mom.
Philips Bluetooth Stereo System: $139.99
Father’s Day can act like a pre-Fourth of July party if you do it right. Gift your dad an all-in-one stereo system to take backyard parties at your house to a new level. Can’t work Bluetooth? Need an Aux? Prefer the good ol’ fashioned radio? Barely finished with the record player? No problem when you buy a stereo in 2020. This gift works for all levels of technologically savvy.
Apple iPad: $299.99
You can’t go wrong with giving your dad an iPad. Show them how to hook it up to their stereo system if you go all out this year. Take an hour to show them everything they can do with it to spend quality time with him.
Make life easier and decorate the bar area for your dad. Wall-mounted bottle openers solve the problem of having to look for an opener to crack open a beer in the backyard. Buy one to suit your dad’s style and you’ve got yourself a thoughtful and practical gift.
86. Travel Books
Cure your dad’s wanderlust and help him prepare for his first trip post-COVID-19. Grab a map, throw a dart and then get to reading travel books. From must-see places to best restaurants, your dad will appreciate narrowing down his options.
So your dad goes for whiskey more than beer? No problem. Spice up his glassware with a set of personalized whiskey glasses. For the whole package, pass by a liquor store and pick up his favorite whiskey so he can try out his new glasses. This will probably excite him much more than the typical coffee mug gift.
88. Shave Kit
Desperate times call for desperate measures, especially when it comes to the hair on your dad’s head. Since going to a barbershop still presents challenges at this point in time, bring it home with a shaving kit. Give your dad the equipment and freedom to experiment with facial hair. Now he can rock lambchops free of charge.
There’s no gift like quality time with your father (bonus: a free meal and movie). Take your dad to his favorite restaurant or enjoy an appetizer before watching that newest action movie he told you about last weekend.
90. Gym equipment
With quarantine, your dad likely misses the gym and working out with professional equipment. Use Father’s Day as an opportunity to help him build an impressive home gym that’ll make him cancel his gym membership. Dad bods require a lot of upkeep! You could even buy him an online masterclass to teach him a new work out.
To go with your dad’s new and improved home gym, splurge and also get him a new pair of sneakers! With this comfortable gift, you’ll catch your dad wearing them everywhere from working out to shopping to sitting on the couch.
Does your dad have an at-home office? Well, then the perfect gift will make his life much easier. Buy organizers, storage containers or just about anything that will make his office space functional AF.
Personalized Super Dad! Book: $34.99
Nothing is more special than creating a heartfelt gift for your parent. “I love whenever I get a personalized or hand-made gift that holds some sort of sentimental meaning. Material gifts are great, but I always appreciate something that has a lot of thought put into it, especially from those I am closest to,” said L.A. mom Sandra Tudon. Giving them something made especially for them with whatever you can gather exhibits an amount of effort they are sure to appreciate. Even a collage of pictures will suffice.
94. Trip out of Town
Whether exclusively for them or for the whole family, getting out the house is a great way to spend the holidays. “I would love to be able to go on a family vacation to Italy. I have always loved going on vacation with my family. I want to be able travel there with my family one day,” said New York mom Luree Arena. COVID-19’s stalled most travel, but you can always plan for the future (especially since plane tickets are dirt cheap these days).
5 in 1 Vegetable Cutter: $32.99
With a world producing new kitchen gadgets day after day, bless your parents with something to take the edge off cooking. “Anything for the kitchen is a great gift, like a small food processor,” said NJ mom Donna Tabatneck. Air fryers are a dream, Ninjas are elite, cutting boards are necessary and even a handy bottle opener can ascend the kitchen to the next level. Focus on what will make meal prep easier for them.
You may not stop to think about how the bookshelf you grew up with got all those books. If your parents love literature or a series of affirmations, why not give them a new addition to their reading collection? “I love getting books as a gift. Especially when the person picks a book on a topic I love,” said Florida dad Chris Holder. Though a trip to Barnes & Noble may not seem super special, you never know how a few hundred pages may make your parents’ day.
97. Massage Gun
Massage Gun: $89.99
Your parents may want to get active but have no fun resources to do so. Whether it’s exercise bands, a bike or a yoga pole, a little something to help them fulfill their fitness dreams is meaningful. “The best gift has to be a bike. It’s good to get out of the house and get some exercise. A bike is the best gift for a parent right now,” said Florida mom Kathleen Garner. Your parents care more now than ever about health and wellness. Gift them with something they can break a sweat with.
98. Baked Goodies
Maybe all your parents want is something to satisfy that sweet tooth. Store-bought bakery sections goods are overrated. Break out your electric mixer and make one of your forever-saved Pinterest recipes. “The best gift I received was a special pan just for brownies that made them bake in pre-cut squares. I use it all the time and it’s so practical,” said mom Darlene Lockett. Make sure you make enough for everyone invited. Brownies go QUICK.
99. Family Pictures
Trust us, your parents want more pictures, even though you have an entire catalog under your TV stand and scattered on the walls. They love reminders of moments, events or maybe just the right frame for the picture that’s been hanging around the kitchen counter. Sometimes, a picture of you laughing as a baby or graduating from high school can make their day.
100. Handwritten Letter
Grab the Kleenex. You might get teary telling your parents just how much you love them. Some aren’t about the material things but something they can go back and read over and over. “I would love to receive multiple hand-written letters from my children expressing their love and gratitude toward me,” said Florida mom Sandra Voelkl. Remind your parents how awesome they are. Even if you do already, it’s the affirmation and love behind the words that matter.
101. Something They’ve Always Wished For
You ever catch your parents talking about something they wish they had? Maybe you can be the angel that makes their dreams come true. “It has to be the guitar that my father got for me. At the time I got it, the guitar felt so big in my arms. My father was so proud, every time I played for anybody that came to visit our home. I left it when I left Uruguay. A year ago, my mom brought it back to me. It is so small in my hands now…but it is filled with love and precious memories,” said mom Teresa Valera. Something sentimental and what they never thought would make it under the tree will light their faces up.
102. Yourself (with a Bow on Top)
As cheesy as the thought may seem, your parents really are proud of who you are, what you’ve become and their share in making you happen. “The best gift my kids have given me is being born,” said mom Lori Hankins. Who you’ve grown into is their greatest accomplishment. “The best thing my child can give me is showing how they have confidence in themselves. All I want is for my children to be happy, and always lead their lives with kindness,” said Florida mom Katia Weiner. If you tell them you didn’t have time to get a gift, they’ll certainly reassure you were the gift the whole time.
You probably spent a lot of your childhood paying your parents no attention. Who has time to thank their parents for taking care of them when so many important 11-year-old tasks exist? Now that you’re older, wiser and hopefully a little kinder, gift your parents a handwritten note to let them know how much you appreciate them.
“My favorite gift I received was from my daughter. It was a postcard sent in the mail. She expressed her appreciation for a blanket we sent her and also thanked me for supporting her. It was such a simple gesture, but may me feel so appreciated. Simple, meaningful gifts are the most appreciated,” said Jennifer Schwank.
Choose a postcard that means something to your parents. Do they love traveling? Try this set of National Park postcards. Have they always provided you with a pet cat your whole life? Check out these adorable kitten postcards. You have endless options.
104. A Sweater
If you’ve already solidified your spot as the favorite child (or you’re still putting in the work to earn that title), you should get your parent a gift that always remind them of you.
“My favorite gift [my daughter] ever gave me for Christmas is the one you gave me last year: the beautiful blue sweater. I wear it almost every day, with it in the weekly laundry in between, so I am constantly reminded of [her],” said John Cerrone
When choosing this gift, consider your parents’ tastes. Do they have a favorite color? Do they go to fancy dinner parties or prefer staying home and snuggling up under a blanket? However they choose to spend their time this holiday season, make sure they always think of you (even more than they already do).
You know your mom’s cooking deserves Gordon Ramsay levels of appreciation. If you gift her this journal to write down all of her high quality recipes, she’ll feel just as important as the celebrity chef. Hopefully she won’t insult your cooking as cruelly as he might.
“Cooking with my mom was a very special thing we did, and I memorized all those recipes. This gift was very special to me because I can write down all those recipes and add new ones. Once I am done with it, it can be passed down as a family heirloom” said Laura Gil. (Quote has been translated from Spanish).
Generations from now, your mom’s signature dish will live on in this cookbook. Give her the gift of always being remembered.
Let’s face it–you and your siblings have caused your parents lots of stress over the years. That’s just part of being a kid. Now that you’ve grown up and (hopefully) settled down a bit, you should give your parents some of the relaxation you owe them.
“I loved the essential oil difusser [my daughter] got me last year. I never even realized I wanted it but now that I have it I’m obsessed. It’s so special to think about how sometimes my kids know me better than I know myself,” said Sara Sanfilippo’s mother.
Choose an assortment of different oils based on the needs’ of your parents. If they have insomnia, include Lavender. If they need an energy boost, try Peppermint. An essential oil exists for everything.
If your parents are of the…technologically challenged type, help bring them into the 21st century with a new iPhone. They can finally stay up-to-date on your activities without asking you a million questions every time you come home.
“Well actually my gift would be that the family be together, but I will say if I did receive a phone it would be special because it can keep us connected even though we’re apart from each other,” said Charlotte Herder.
This gift runs more expensive than most on this list, so you might want to go in on it with your siblings. Teamwork makes the dream work when it comes to making your parents happy.
What else could your parent want besides a reminder of the people they love the most: their kids?! You and your siblings are obviously the best things that ever happen to your parents. They should remember that every day.
This gift also works well if your parents have grandchildren. Just make sure to write down everyone’s correct birthday before you customize the ring.
109. Homemade Coupon Book
A coupon book might seem a little corny, but your parents will love a sentimental gift no matter how old you get.
“My favorite gift was a handmade coupon book. It included chores and fun activities to be performed by the giver. It was meaningful because it was handmade, thoughtful and many of the coupons represented time that could be spent together,” said Thom Blasberg
You might be a little too old to include a coupon for a free hug, so think of activities you and your parent can do together as adults. If you’re of legal age, maybe you can take them to a winery for a day. You could offer up home repairs that you’ve learned how to do as you’ve gotten older. Think of any activity that can help your parent relax and pay them back for all they’ve done for you over the years.
110. Personalized Candle
Your mom spent a lot of years taking care of your smelly sports uniforms and gym clothes. Repay her for her hard work with a nice smelling candle.
“My daughter gave me a candle with a family picture on it, and it meant so much more than any gift she could have bought from the store! I loved that it was personalized and made just for me,” said Dani Sutherland.
Adding a kind note for your mom or a funny inside joke. Whatever you choose, it’ll help your mom finally forget about all of the laundry she’s done for you over the years.
111. Funny Coffee Mug
Is a dad really a dad if he doesn’t have a few dad jokes up his sleeves? Help him flex his comedic muscles as he gears up for his day with a nice cup of coffee. After all of the exhaustion you’ve brought him over the years, he deserves to drink his caffeine in style.
If your dad isn’t much of a coffee drinker, you might consider buying him a t-shirt instead. Help him look like the coolest dad on the golf course.
112. Sports Puzzle
If you have fond memories of cheering on your favorite NFL team with your dad on a Sunday afternoon, buy him a puzzle to commemorate his favorite team. No man cave can ever have enough sports memorabilia, right?
Once your dad finishes putting together this puzzle, he can glue it together and frame it. If you help him put the puzzle together, he’ll have even more memories to enjoy of you guys cheering on your favorite team. Every time he looks at it hanging on the wall, he’ll think of you.
Still haven’t found the perfect gift for your parents?
113. Netflix Subscription
It’s time to share your Netflix addiction with your parents. Better yet, you can pair this with the super soft blanket for the ultimate gift.
Get them hooked on your favorite shows so you can all discuss what’s going to happen next on Scandal or House of Cards over holiday dinners. If they already have a subscription, try upgrading it or pay off a year in advance for them. Talk about a gift for cool parents. Look who’s #adulting now.
114. College Memorabilia
Fact: your parents love to support you, and that means showing spirit for your school. We’re talking sweatshirts, shirts, bumper stickers, you name it. Don’t make them wait in line at the school store on parents weekend. Beat them to it and get them the trendiest school gear.
Is their closet already packed full? Try something a little more unique like a Christmas ornament, a cool framed photograph of your campus (maybe one with you in it!) or matching onesies (yes, those exist).
115. A Cool Calendar
It doesn’t get any more practical than a calendar. But practical organization is often the best gift for your parents. It’ll also be a nice daily reminder of you.
Get creative by choosing one with a little meaning behind it. You could also make your own online with some of your favorite family photos.
Really stumped on what to get your parents? If you’re shopping for the parents that already have everything, a good old candle might be the gift for you. Sure it lacks creativity, but it doesn’t have to lack design. Find a beautiful candle that serves as a decoration too.
Candles are such an easy and beautiful gift for parents. Who doesn’t appreciate the warmth a candle brings to the home?
If your parents are major coffee lovers, try one of these adorable Starbucks Gift sets. Pick one up the next time you get your pre-final exam espresso boost. Bonus points: Whip them up a steaming hot batch of cocoa and serve it to them in their new mugs.
118. Restaurant Gift Card
Yes, even your parents need a night out every once in a while, so treat them to a nice dinner this year. To make life easier, try a site like Restaurant.com. You can choose from thousands of restaurants and have a gift card sent right to you.
And on your broke college student budget, you can split this gift with your siblings to give your parents enough for a steak dinner and a fancy bottle of wine.
119. A Cook Book
Cooking is always a great family bonding activity. “I don’t enjoy cooking, but my kids do, so it’s fun when they cook dinner instead. I’d love for them to cook for me while I’m catching up on my Game of Thrones or Dancing with the Stars,” said Aamena Khan, a mom from Germantown, Maryland. It’s also a good idea to tackle a meal from the book on your own and surprise your parents with a special family dinner.
Even if you’re not quite a Rachael Ray or Bobby Flay, it’s the thought and effort that counts. Talk about a two in one gift for your parents!
For a fun and inexpensive gift for your parents, stock up on your family’s favorite board games and have a family game night. Mix in some classics like Monopoly with newer games like Catch Phrase or Heads Up.
Grab a few drinks and snacks while you’re at the store and you’ve got a unique gift and an entertaining family bonding moment.
121. Favorite Movies
If games really aren’t your family’s style, try doing the same thing with movies instead. Grab some of your parent’s favorite movies (holiday-themed would be especially fun), a big box of microwave popcorn and treat your parents to a family movie night. A couple of their favorite movies plus time with you is an excellent gift for mom and dad.
122. Family Fun Time
Let’s face it-how much time do we spend with Mom and Dad? Practically none. “[I would like] special time with you. An activity. I love when you guys get me that,” said Yoli Pelaez, a mom from Miami, Florida. According to Pelaez, her daughters once found her Groupons around Miami for fun activities such as escape rooms, karaoke bars or even Segway tours.
“Truly, I would love the gift of time. I’d just like some quality, peaceful time with my kids. Playing games, going for a walk, talking without fighting. No presents that cost money. Instead just thoughtful gifts. Maybe helpful things like taking the time to help me clean out the basement or start a home project,” said Michelle Doyle.
Instead of a physical gift, consider finding a fun or meaningful activity that both you and your parents can enjoy together. Or spend a day joining your parents on their favorite hobby. “I’d want to go hunting with [my kid] since [she’s] never done that before,” Mark Spensley said. Look for local concerts or pretend to be tourists for a day. Segway tours anyone?
123. Donut Pan
Fun kitchen gadgets are a great gift, because they’re probably not something your parents would go out and buy for themselves. This donut pan is an awesome addition to any kitchen and will lead to many fun breakfasts in the future. Bonus points: Make a yummy Christmas (or any day) breakfast for the whole family.
Whether your parents are more Newsweek or US Weekly people, a new magazine subscription is a great gift. If you can’t figure out what they like, you can also pay off one of their current subscriptions so they don’t have to worry about it. Now you can talk about politics together…or maybe not.
125. Winter Clothes
Baby, it’s cold outside…no, but actually though. Remember how much you hated receiving clothes as kid, only to turn around and love that now since your clothing budget basically equals zero? Parents feel the same too.
“I could really use a new pair of boots because with weather like this, boots are the way to go to keep you warm,” said Patricia Bobadilla. Or you could try a good old winter staple.
“Some new beanies/winter hats would be nice. I take the bus to work everyday and winter is fast approaching. I need to keep my ears warm,” said Humberto Bobadilla. Either way, they’re bound to cherish and remember it forever.
“I don’t ask for much, i’d be content with a knit sweater or new winter boots,” said Rolando Richardson.
126. A Getaway + Pet Tech
Looks like Mom and Dad are going to Disney. Your parents’ vacation doesn’t have to be nearly as expensive as the place where dreams come true, but you can definitely afford to book them a weekend Bed and Breakfast getaway. Let them spend a romantic time together this holiday.
While they’re away, they’ll miss Fido most of all…so you might as well pair this gift with the ultimate pet tech–a wi-fi pet treat cam and treat dispenser. How cool?
Or better yet, send them off into the ocean on a cruise ship. Parents love cruises. Or if they already have a cruise booked you could hook them up with one of the excursions. How thoughtful!
You could even have them jump off a plane. Wait, wait, that may be going too far. Adrenaline junkie parents only.
127. Andrea Bocelli
He is a famous and attractive singer known for his melodious voice and soft smile as he sings with his eyes closed. Don’t let those gray hairs on Bocelli’s head stop you from becoming his life long fan.
He still has a large audience rearing to hear him in live concerts and CDs. See if you can snag tickets so your parents can have a romantic night out. A CD is a good alternative if you can’t afford the former, so start wrapping up those CDs of Bocelli right away.
This one is a major throwback, but is still just as fun as when you were in kindergarten. They’re such a cute gift for parents.
Basically, the company sends you a box of templates for you to color and draw on as you please. You send the templates back, and then receive actual plates with your drawings preserved forever. These plates last forever and are really fun to look back on years later.
129. Personalized Magnets
Another great, homemade gift your parents will love are custom magnets. You can make these at tons of different places online. Use family photos, old or new drawings, or funny family quotes. It’ll be a nice way to make them smile every time they open the fridge.
130. Family Scrapbook
This heartfelt gift can be as cheap or expensive as you want to make it and will be a prized possession your parents can look back on for years to come. “[I want] a photo album from Shutterfly of moments taken together with my children over the years—even if it is silly pictures,” said Heidi Renud, a mom from Sloatsburg, New York. And with sites like Shutterfly, you can work on that custom photo album on your down time between classes. It might be a little time consuming, but we know your parents will appreciate the homemade effort.
131. Knee Brace
Are your parents more active than you? The term “yoga mom” didn’t come from nowhere, after all. If so, consider gifting them that’ll help them move and shake it like it’s 1989.
“I would like the new Ipow 2 Pack Knee Pain Relief & Patella Stabilizer Knee Strap Brace Support for Zumba and Cardio Dance because I cannot jump and squat without the Knee Strap Brace Support,” said Ling Chen. Useful and relatively inexpensive? Sounds like the ultimate win-win to me.
“[I] would like a cigar light/cutter combo,” said Lee White, who likes cigars. He went on to describe that he would like a Xikar one, since it has a really cool detail with carbon fiber on it. Sounds like a cliche “Dad” thing, but if you want to steer clear from the usual cuff links or tie combo this is the way to go.
Want to take your gift to the next level? Get a cigar humidor to make sure your dad stores those cigars up until the perfect moment to use them.
133. Adopt a furry friend
Your birth turned two people into parents and your leaving to college turned those same parents into empty-nesters (or brought them one kid closer to it, at least). Adopt a pet for your parents from a shelter so they can cuddle with when them when they can’t give you snuggies. “I first saw the bunny, I was mad and thought, ‘Oh great, another mouth to feed.’ But Cleo ended up being the best bunny ever and blessed our family for years. Pets really bring the family together,” said Nancey Gates. Just be sure to also give your parents the supplies they need to take care of the pet—otherwise, your gift of a pet just gives them a list of more things they need to buy to keep it alive.
“Parents want family joy time, their children [to have] good relationships getting what they want and [wanting] what’s good for them,” said Nirma Pina, a mom from Miami, Florida. Aww…am, I right? But it’s true—all your parents ever want is for you to be happy and healthy.
“The best gift by far is to see my kids happy. But, if it has to be a physical thing, then I’d answer that the best gift is something from the heart, a letter or something that was made because the time investment itself proclaims love. I love things that somehow reflect back on our time together,” said Sharon Roth.
“The best gift I’ve ever received is a loving, happy, and healthy family,” said David Burnside, a dad from Cedarburg, Wisconsin. As long as you do you, you can’t go wrong this year.
Now that you’ve found the perfect gift for your parents, check out our incredible gifts for your girlfriend.
Need a stellar gift for your BFF? Thought so.
*Updated November 26, 2016 to include new gifts for 2016, new gift images and additional gifts for parents that will make their holiday extra special by Rocio Cosme.
*Updated December 14, 2016 to include more new gifts and quotes from parents by Valerie Siu.
*Updated November 15, 2017 by Celina Pelaez to include the latest gifts and more quotes from parents.
*Updated November 20, 2018 by Celina Pelaez-Arias to include the top 10 gifts for parents 2018.
*Updated November 20, 2018 by Nancy Mucciarone to include 6 more gifts for parents.
*Updated May 10, 2019 by Celina Pelaez-Arias to include more new gifts and quotes from parents.
*Updated December 2, 2019 by Jordan Thomas to include 10 more gifts and quotes.
*Updated May 5, 2020 by Kendall Russell to include 10 more gifts and quotes for parents.
*Updated June 15, 2020 by Vanessa Vazquez to include 10 more gifts for parents.
*Updated October 5, 2020 by Kalyn Womack to include 10 more gifts for parents.
*Updated November 19, 2021 by Macey Spensley to include 10 more gifts for parents.
*Updated November 18, 2022 by Kendall Russell to include 10 more gifts and quotes for parents.
*Updated November 24, 2023 by Ariana Lessard to include 10 more gifts and quotes for parents.