30 Holiday Gift Ideas for Parents

Updated: Dec 30, 2019

Shopping for the holidays can feel like a lot of work—especially when it comes to selecting the right gift for your parents, in-laws, or grandparents. They often seem to already have it all!

To help you select items that show just how much you care, we've compiled a list of 30 meaningful holiday gifts parents are sure to love. Check out the first ten here and download the free guide below to read the full list.

1. Inscribed Books

You may have purchased a book for your parents before, but how much thought and care did you put into the process? If you have a bookworm on your list, take the time to make their gift extra special.

Consider their preferences and maybe even do a little sleuthing. Check out their “Want to Read” list on their Goodreads account to be extra sneaky—or take a moment to stop and talk to a bookseller at your local bookstore about who you’re shopping for and get their recommendations. Then, when it comes time to wrap—be sure to take the time to sign the inside of the book with a heartfelt note explaining why you thought this was the perfect book for them. 

If it’s a book you know well, you could even annotate the book throughout. Highlight favorite passages, jot notes down in the margins and transform the volume into a meaningful dialogue between child and parent.

2. Tickets for a Trip

The gift of a travel experience is a great way to avoid giving more “stuff.” Get plane tickets for your parents to a new destination, or if one of your parents likes to travel more than the other, get them tickets for a trip that you plan to take together in the new year.

Setting aside time to spend together and explore a new place is a sure way to deepen your relationship and create lifetime memories.

3. DNA Kits

There are several different types of DNA-related products available that would make a great gift this holiday season. Help your parents to discover their ancestry, health predispositions, wellness, and more. You can even get DNA kits for your parent’s pets! Check out Ancestry.com or 23andme to get started.

4. Your Family Story, Forever

We’d be remiss to not mention StoryCombs! This holiday season, go beyond the information you can find in a database and give the gift of your family’s story. With the StoryCombs mobile app, your entire family can preserve the unique pieces of information that make up your collective story in a private group called a Hive.

Purchase StoryCombs for your ENTIRE FAMILY for just $1.99/year. Download the app, create a private family Hive, and invite an unlimited number of family members to join. Together, you and your loved ones can bring images, documents, and even recipes to life through narrated photos. All you have to do is record yourself or other family members speaking about the visual you select.  Stories are organized in shared albums of your creation and protected for generations to come.

Learn More About StoryCombs

We’ve even created a holiday gift guide for you to print out and wrap! Visit storycombs.com/gift to learn more. 

5. Family Tree Gifts

Etsy is a perfect place to shop for meaningful holiday gifts and their shops have no shortage of personal family tree items that can be customized to your family’s history. 

Check out this family tree wood slice from shop owner Foxbairn. This hand illustrated genealogy chart screams heartfelt and is bound to become a prized possession.

6. Engraved or Monogrammed items

Adding a monogram to a bag or clothing item is a great way to add a personal touch to a traditional gift. To get really creative, though, you don’t have to stick to a person’s initials. 

This Etsy shop item for sale by AddysCelebration uses laser engraving to preserve a family recipe in a cutting board, for example. Consider what would mean the most to your family member—the cool thing about a gift like this is that it’s also on an item that’s a great conversation starter.

7. Legacy Box  

Do your parents have boxes of old photos and home-movies on VHS? Legacy Box takes your old films and photos and digitizes them, delivering the special content back to you in your method of choice—thumb drive, cloud, or DVD. Ensure your family’s treasured moments and images are converted into a file that better ensures their preservation and makes them easier to share with loved ones through means like StoryCombs!

8. Professional Photography Sessions  

Speaking of photos—the gift of a professional photography session is a great idea if you’re looking for something your parents wouldn’t likely get for themselves. This gift is bound to be something the entire family can enjoy as well—whether it’s just a shoot for your parents as a couple, or a group session for the whole gang. 

9. Local Products From Their Hometown  

Supporting small local businesses throughout the holiday season helps to support your local economy. In addition to shopping around where you live, try searching for local businesses from your parent’s original hometown. Maybe you’ll find local maple syrup or honey, or products unique to that part of the country. Whatever you discover, it’s sure to fill your parent with nostalgia and prompt them to share meaningful stories about growing up. 

10. Artist Renderings  

Is there a particular building or home that has special significance to your parents? Are they considering selling their home and retiring in a warmer climate? An artist’s rendering of your family home, church, or other meaningful location is a great way to memorialize the special place forever. 

For example, the FineArtStoreGallery shop on Etsy provides watercolors or black and white ink drawings for their customers.

Want to read the full list? Download the FREE GUIDE below for 30 holiday gift ideas for parents.

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