Do you need meaningful gift ideas for your parents? Finding gifts for parents who have it all can be tricky, but we’re here to help.
We recently made another list with personalized, thoughtful Christmas gifts for parents, and both lists are great for holidays, birthday gifts for mom or dad, or anniversary gifts for parents; we’re going to share our favorite ideas!
Update: This post has been updated since I first shared it years ago.
Do you ever feel stumped when looking for gifts for YOUR parents (and gifts for your kids’ grandparents, who already have everything they want and need?
It’s so hard because you know that they can order whatever they want online or just pick it up at the store (so if they WANTED something, they probably HAVE it already).
They’ve created and maintained the home they want. It feels like there’s NOTHING to give them! That’s when you have to get creative and buy (or make) truly meaningful gifts.
My Favorite Meaningful Gift for Parents.
I can remember talking to my mom when I said, “I think I’m going to write a post about gifts for Grandparents because it’s hard when I know that you already have everything you want. “
My mom said, “Oh, Yes. I can remember thinking about it when you were little, too, with my parents. It’s hard because we just run to the store to get whatever we need. We don’t need to wait for Christmas or special occasions. If we are out shopping and like something, we can buy it.”
So, instead of just writing about “Gifts for Grandparents” or “Gifts for Parents,” you’ll find ideas and links on this page for “Gifts for Parents and Grandparents who already have it all.” 🙂
It can be hard to think of gifts for your parents or your gifts for in-laws.
I know, because every year I try to think of ideas for gifts for them.
Our mom and dad (both my husbands and my own) are so kind and generous with their gift-giving with our children, Mickey and myself, especially during the holiday season.
I love to find meaningful gifts to give them in return (not an instant pot or a pressure cooker!).
The problem/question is this: They Already Have It!
What do you buy for your children’s grandparents (your parents and in-laws) who already have everything that they want, and can afford to buy whatever they don’t have?
What do parents love? This situation is one that takes some creative thinking.
I love to try to find gifts that are special and personal to that specific person.
My mom is an excellent example in that area. She has always been so great at finding the perfect gift for everyone. I also want our kids to be involved in helping me pick out the perfect gift for their grandparents. It’s a tough one, but one that I will help you with today.
Today I am narrowing it down to my top favorite gifts, with affiliate links to find the products online.
MEANINGFUL GIFTS FOR PARENTS
These are meaningful, thoughtful gifts for parents and grandparents who already have everything that they want, and can afford to buy everything that they need.
1). A personalized pillow
I love the quote, “My favorite blessings call me ____,” so I had a pillow made that said, “My favorite blessings call me Gi.” I found someone on Etsy to make it for me, and I asked her to include all of the names of her six grandchildren.
It turned out to be adorable, and I loved that I was able to find a neutral pattern and color. Of course, you can change the color or find a pattern/style/font matching their decor.
(This is the one we ordered for my mom AKA: “Gi” to the kids).
I also love pillows with little quotes or sayings that would make someone smile. We have this pillow, and I love it. I ordered it on Etsy last year. I couldn’t find the exact pillow anymore, but I did find a few similar ones on Etsy.
Personalized Pillows are a great gift because they’re not seasonal, so they can be left out all year round. When they look at it, they will know someone else is thinking about them.
2). Personalized Custom Mug
This “I Wish You Lived Next Door” coffee mug is my favorite gift for a long-distance parent, grandparent, aunt, sister, or friend. This Long-Distance Friendship Mug is a great gift for a long-distance family member or friend who lives far away in distance but is always close in heart.
Customize this personalized ceramic coffee mug to make a unique gift for any occasion Whether it’s as a birthday present, Christmas gift, anniversary present, or just because – this thoughtful and meaningful gift will put make the gift receiver feel special, appreciated, happy, and loved.
The perfect way to show your love and affection to that special someone that is far away from you, this mug features a heartwarming message of wishing them were right next door!
Here are a few more mug options:
They have great mugs for dads, brothers, uncles, and grandfathers. Here’s an example:
There are over 300 options in her Etsy store, so take a look here if you want to find the perfect one.
3). Handprint Apron & A Personalized Cutting Board
Our kids made an adorable apron with their handprints a few years ago. We used a black apron, and the handprints were made with white paint (to look like flour).
When they were done, I wrote everyone’s name with a permanent paint pen below their handprint. It was adorable!
The apron would be so cute if it had a personalized cutting board to go along with it. I’ve seen cutting boards like this on Etsy and on a few other websites online. You could have one that says something like: “Best Grandparents in the World!” or even their last name. You can personalize it with anything!
4). A Personalized Doormat
Last year for Christmas, my sister-in-law ordered the most adorable doormat. It was a personalized doormat that had beautiful stones on it to look like it was taken straight from the stream. At the top of the doormat, it said “MY FAMILY ROCKS” and on each of the pebbles, it has the names of the kids and grandkids. It’s so creative.
Here are a few other doormats that I thought were adorable, like this one: There’s No Place Like Grandma’s!
Or this one that says “Grandkids Welcome (Others Tolerated)”
I like this one that says: “Grandkids Spoiled Here.
Or a simple doormat like the one below (with the last name) is cute, too!
5). Personalized Cookie Jar
Create a one-of-a-kind personalized keepsake with this Personalized Cookie Jar.
This is a classic gift that is special and personal.
It’s also an adorable gift for a mother, grandmother, someone with a large family, aunts or uncles, a teacher, or a group of cousins or friends. This cookie jar (below) even includes names. You can add up to 8 names here.
To make this a complete gift, I think I would also include a blanket.
You could even splurge and get one of these giant chunky knit throws. I don’t have one, but they are just beautiful!
6). Minted family tree “Family of Oranges” Custom Family Tree
I love gifts like this and the Family Tree picture by Minted is a great way to display the family lineage. It is classic and beautiful at the same time. The colors are perfect and I love that it has the names of family members. Find more information here.
7). Family Tree Wood Slice
What better way to display your family tree… than on a tree! Each genealogy chart is hand illustrated with love and engraved (burned) into a wood slice harvested from a sustainable forest.
This personalized piece of art will become a family heirloom and a conversation starter for any home. A sawtooth hanger is mounted on the back for easy hanging & Foxbairn’s logo is engraved into the back of each piece.
8) Recipe Tea Towel
A recipe with one of the grandparents’ favorite recipes, written on this adorable custom tea towel, is a wonderful gift.
This handwritten recipe towel is a gift that I know would be so thoughtful, kind, and meaningful. It doesn’t get much better than a memory of someone cooking your favorite meal… and seeing their handwriting while you’re remaking it at home.
Give it with a mixing bowl and ingredients to assemble the recipe. Or you can create a gift basket with the recipe towels, bottles of wine, and a set of stemless wine glasses.
You can even have it copied AS-IS (instead of turning the background white) and see it printed right onto the towel, background & all… like this one.
9). Scratch Map
If they are world travelers, a scratch map is perfect. They start with a neutral map and every time they go somewhere, they scratch off that location to reveal a colorful spot below. You can choose to have a map of the entire world…
Or, if they prefer to stay in a specific country, find just that country. I love the way that this United States map looks when it is completely scratched off.
I love this gift idea because it lets them document their travels and remember that you cared enough to think about them every time that they scratch off a new adventure!
9). Personalized Oak Clock
This handmade clock is a classic idea – it is traditional and will always look nice. It’s great for a Christmas gift or birthday gift. This would be perfect if you are looking for an anniversary gift idea for your parents’ anniversary. You can the wedding date, year of marriage, or first date night on the bottom for a wedding anniversary gift, too.
You can have a name, a special date, or a special quote like “It’s always LAKE time” on the clock. This would be perfect for an anniversary gift for parents, too!
There are many more options so you can find the perfect gift. (Even add their wedding vow or a special quote that they say to the clock)
10). Personalized Wooden Birthday Calendar
If you have time to make a personalized gift, this DIY Wooden Birthday Calendar is perfect! We made this for my parents a few years ago & they have it hanging in their living room.
It’s filled with the names of family and friends. My parents loved it and we loved knowing that we were making a gift that was practical and meaningful. You can always order one from Etsy, too!
11). Handprint Art
I love these custom handprint art ideas! These prints are perfect because you can choose any colors that you want, you have a lasting memory, and they are so special! You can order a custom print from Etsy to get the perfect one.
Or you can even make your own as we did for my mom’s birthday. We had all of my parents’ grandkids add their handprints (our four kids, my niece, and my nephew).
TIPS TO REMEMBER WHEN MAKING YOUR OWN PRINT:
1). Let each handprint dry before adding the next color.
2). Use a blow dryer to speed up the process.
3). Add their names on the pinky finger 🙂
12). Custom Calendars
PHOTO CALENDAR: I know that the idea of a photo calendar isn’t a new idea, and perhaps not as creative as other gifts, but they are the perfect gift. In my mind, they show the gift recipient that you took the time to find the perfect photos.
Photo calendars can be personalized to the month by changing out the picture, and you can also add in different events that occur throughout the year, like a birthday or just a special day.
You can even add in little messages on certain days, like “Have a great day today!” or “We love you!”
INSTAGRAM CALENDAR: I’ve even seen calendars like the Instagram calendar that use images right from your Instagram page. It’s an adorable option!
HANDPRINT CALENDAR: Another precious idea is to have your children create a calendar using their handprint. When our kids were in preschool, they made a calendar for our Christmas gift.
They made different creations for each month, so for example: In July, they made a flag with their hand. In December, they made a reindeer with their foot. (You can find all sorts of ideas online!)
13). The Gift of Your Time
I received a comment from a reader, “Marg,” and I loved what she wrote.
“The gift of our childrens’ and grandchildrens’ time. I would love to receive a “coupon” book to redeem for tasks we can either no longer do or have difficulty doing…one of my sons came and spent the day with us doing small projects… installed a ceiling fan, change light bulbs, some yard work. I enjoyed cooking a meal for him. Gifts are nice, but time with our children is priceless” – Marg
Find Something to do Together
A charming idea would be to find something special for your child and their grandparents to do together.
Perhaps you can get tickets for them to go to a tea house for lunch. These are always charming, quaint, and wonderful for creating memories. (Call a few local places to inquire about special events.)
This is an especially nice holiday gift. Who doesn’t love a beautiful tea during Christmas?
We have several cottage-style stores or old southern plantation-style houses nearby that have become event venues. They will host tea parties and other events around the holidays.
You purchase tickets ahead of time, and they reserve your table for two (or more). It is always fun and creates wonderful memories. My mom and I have done this several times.
I hope these gift ideas helped!
I hope this helped you to get some ideas together for Christmas, birthdays, or any other reason to give a gift. 🙂
Don’t look past fun gifts like a subscription box or even an annual subscription to your favorite streaming apps (so they can watch their favorite TV shows – they don’t have to have a smart home with a smart TV… you can always include a ROKU or FIRESTICK with the gift).
Remember… above all – experiences matter more, so make it special. 🙂
More Gift Ideas…
If you need more ideas —check out our list of Christmas gifts for parents. They are perfect for Christmas, birthdays, anniversaries, or anytime you want to make your parents feel special and appreciated.
Find More Gift Ideas Below if You are Looking for Gifts that are Unique & Special…
Your post is so appropriate for the holidays…Thank you for your wonderful ideas.
Love these Becky!!! Our parents and in-laws are both so hard to shop for ! 🙂
PS. Love your new blog layout!
Hello Becky! I live the printed recipe in a tea towel idea! My mom grew up on a farm with hand me down recipes but unfortunately most were never written down. My mom would have treasured a gift like that from my two girls because they had such a bond with her. She no longer lives at home but instead in long term care. So I do have some of my mom’s favorite recipes and can gift these to my girls when they move out! Such a fantastic idea, thank you!
Great ideas for present. I would add one more thibg to this list. I recently ordered digital watercolor portrait of my parents first house on etsy. I printed,framed it, and I can’t wait for my parents to see it. The shop is called 1fantasydesigns on etsy. I would recommend for everyone. It is amazing gift.
Becky Mansfield says
I love that idea!! My husband actually made one for my mom, too (he is SO talented… I have no artistic talent), but I haven’t posted it yet because I’m afraid my mom will see it before we give it to her. lol!! I might have to share it &just tell her not to read this post. 🙂 hahaha!
My aunt gave me such a great idea to give my mother. I ordered one of those picture frames that opens from the front and gave it to her for christmas and then each month we give her a different piece of art from one of my children to go in it. 12 months of the grandkids art. She loves it.
Becky (Your Modern Family) says
I made a photo calendar a few years ago for my mother-in-law who tells us not to get her anything. She loved it and said it is the only gift she wants from now on. So I have been making one for her every year since. My husband takes photos of every occasion throughout the year and I include everyone’s birthdays on it. When the year is over, I cut the photo pages off the calendar and put them in a photo album for her. She is ecstatic every time she receives one.
Becky (Your Modern Family) says
That is the PERFECT gift!! You’ve inspired me to start collecting photos to make one for my mother-in-law 🙂
Mary Pickler says
Thanks for all of your hard work. I hope I can save every thing you have told me tonight. I appreciate your hard work.
Cherri Barber says
I have a couple of ideas that I’ve helped my Daughter do with the Grandkids for their other Grandparents, have the kids hand drawn pics put on a Yeti, they loved them. The second is a family tree with an album containing 7 generations of detail for the relatives.
As a grandparent, I want to throw out another thoughtful gift…the gift of our children’s (and grandchildren’s) time. We are retired and disabled. I would love to receive a “coupon” book to redeem for tasks we can either no longer do or have difficulty doing…one of my sons came and spent the day with us doing small projects… installed a ceiling fan, change light bulbs, some yard work. I enjoyed cooking a meal for him. Gifts are nice, but time with our children is priceless ❤️💙
Becky Mansfield says
Such a sweet idea!
Brenda Calhoun says
Hi Marg, I totally understand what you are saying. We are all going to be in your situation “someday”. My husband & I are only 66 but I have been doing MAJOR downsizing/cleaning out for many, many years. For many years, I have told our children (or whoever may give us gifts) that we want/need NOTHING. If you’re going to give us something, make it something that is “consumable”, home made edibles, something in a bottle that we can use up & put the bottle in recycle or a gift card to go out to eat…we do not even want a gift card to “buy more stuff”. When we get a package in the mail, it really stresses me as it is “more stuff” to have to get rid of. I have a 2020 calendar on my refrigerator now of my 2 grandson’s & it’ll probably get tossed at the end of December. Some people want gifts, gifts & stuff but someday “somebody is going to have to get rid of all that…not a fun job, I just cleaned out my 90 years old Mother’s when she passed. YES…time is priceless!!
This post from the grandmother is the best post I’ve ever read. I love the fact she wanted a coupon book and for the reasons to have it. I have done this in the past for my kids but never thought to make one for my parents. She truly opened my eyes to how our parents really feel, I can say that knowing I don’t see my parents enough. Thank you to the grandmother who posted and the wonderful site I am on. I know see things threw a grandparents eyes.
Becky Mansfield says
I agree. 🙂 I added it to the post.
Rhonda Belton says
Thank you for sharing your great ideas. This will definitely help me!
Thank you so much! You’ve saved my Christmas shopping this year!! There is a gift idea for all our relatives here.
Love from Germany
aahna ahuja says
Thanks for sharing such a nice post on… Christmas gift for parents. It will help me to choose the perfect gift for them.
Their time…….. for a project or tidying up or just for a meal with. Or Christmas cards for each, 12 days of Christmas….. no or low cost. My parents loved getting cards and for you to just popping in for a short visit!! A hour goes along way….❤️
Karen Greer says
These are some cute ideas. I clicked on the link of the last one (the flowerpot) to see how much it was, but it took me to a personalized blanket page, just so you know. 🙂 That would be a really cute idea for Grandma, who’s a gardener.
Becky Mansfield says
Hi I am not a person that puts up family pictures on my walls or on shelves (that I don’t have) My hubby and I have a blended family of 9 grown kids that are married with children ( 15 grandchildren ) and we have also downed sized into a smaller home…Well long story short. Hubby’s son sent us 3 8×10 framed pictures for Xmas 1 of him & wife, the kids and one of the whole family !!!
Becky Mansfield says
I wonder if you could dedicate a wall in one room to hanging photos. I have a friend who does that – she hangs them all in one room, on a small wall, but it keeps them organized and they look pretty.
We love our digital frame, so many memories and takes a small spot on a table. It’s easy to add more photos as time passes.
Hello Becky! Really loved the Oak Clock gift idea. It’s brilliant.
I always read your post and in a wait of some ideas for gifts for husband)
Zoe Campos says
Thanks for reminding me that I have to pick gifts that are special and personal to the people I’ll be giving it to. I’m still a student and since I don’t have any extra funds to spend on a gift, I’m looking for other gifts that I can give to my parents for their 20th wedding anniversary. It might be a good idea to exercise my creative skills and just create a photo collage that will remind them of our good memories.
Thus is absolutely the boat I’m in with my parents! The last few years I’ve gotten my dad 6 months of the Finders Seekers subscription box, while mom gets the Book of the Month box. One time I saw an ad in the back of a magazine for the traveling costumes from Downton Abbey along with a brunch at a museum, and surprised my mom for Mother’s Day. I’m a big fan of experiences over filling their basement with more stuff!!
We have an anniversary sundial that sits on our window sill indoors and it makes rainbows in the room when the sun shines. It was made just for us, for the window in our family room, and it is personalized with our names and a special date line that the time shadow follows on our anniversary day each year. There is a mark on that line that the time shadow touches at the time we were married, and we drink a toast each year when it happens. I think it’s a great idea because it does something special every year on our anniversary. I don’t remember what it’s called exactly but you can find it with a search. Ours works great and the rainbows on sunny days are just great!
Becky Mansfield says
Great idea! Thanks!
Ayala Malls - Augutus says
Thank you very much for the tips, excellent article!
These are WONDERFUL suggestions. As a grandma, I would love any of these!
Wow Becky your final suggestion about spending time with your older family members is exactly what my husband and I said to our kids. We told them we didn’t need or what anything but their company this Christmas. Given how awful the last two years have been since Covid 19 wrecked a lot of peoples lives, spending time with our four kids and our precious granddaughter is all we want.
Becky Mansfield says
So sweet (and true) 🙂