Not everyone is great at picking out memorable holiday gifts for parents, but you probably want to get them the best Christmas gift possible. Some of the best gifts are personal, homemade, or thoughtful, but practical gifts also offer a lot of value that shows you care.
Capture has 20 years of experience helping people preserve Christmas memories and other family experiences in digital format. Over that time, we’ve learned a thing or two about the best Christmas gift for parents, which is why we’re here to offer you 20 great gift ideas as inspiration!
Keep reading to see 20 perfect gifts for Mom and Dad including personalized gifts, experiential gifts, DIY gifts, practical gifts, tech gifts, great gifts you can get on a budget, and much more including how to make your present even more special.
- Understanding Parents' Desires and Preferences
- The 20 Best Christmas Gift Ideas for Parents
- How to Make Your Gift Even More Special
- Ensuring Your Gift is Memorable
Understanding Parents' Desires and Preferences
Before we jump into some Christmas present ideas, it’s a good idea to understand what parents love in the best gifts. The best presents revolve around their unique personalities and preferences. This goes for personal gifts as well as practical ones.
For example, if your Dad is into classic 80s cars, you can get him a gift set with a classic car calendar, models, and guides to the best cars of his favorite decade. Or, if your mom loves to try new recipes, you can get her a gift basket with recipe books and some useful gifts like a gift card, air fryer, cutting board, or even wine glasses.
In addition to these types of gifts, you might also consider sentimental gifts for parents. These are thoughtful gifts that tell them how much you love them. Some of these are personalized with messages or homemade, but you can also have Capture preserve your parent’s most precious family memories by digitizing home movies, photos, film reels, and more.
Now that we’ve got this approach to gift-giving out of the way, let’s look at 20 great gift ideas for Christmas (or for other occasions like 30 year anniversary gifts).
The 20 Best Christmas Gift Ideas for Parents
These are 20 gift ideas that you can use as inspiration (or copy outright) divided by gift types including personalized gifts, experiential gifts, DIY gifts, practical gifts, affordable yet thoughtful gifts, technological gifts, and health and wellness gifts.
Personalized gifts are those that you can engrave or imprint with a special message, name, year, or other information. This adds a level of thoughtfulness and care, and you can find personalized gifts online at places like Etsy or Amazon.
1. Custom photo albums
Customizable photo albums are great because you not only get to engrave them with a special message, but you can also fill them with their favorite photos. If you think they’d rather have a digital photo album, you can convert photos to digital to not only preserve them but to create an interactive digital album or digital picture frame. Plus, some digital photo frames have Bluetooth so your parents can upload more photos anytime!
2. Personalized home décor with family pictures
Another great personal gift idea is to create wall art, home décor, or family trees with pictures of family members, birthdays, names, and other information. This is not only a great method for organizing photos in a meaningful way, but also ensures they get to see your gift every time they enter the room.
3. Customized jewelry with initials or birthstones
Everybody likes jewelry and you can get personalized options at places like Wayfair that are engraved with names, messages, or a simple “I Love You Mom.” This makes for a meaningful and unique gift that is also something your mom or dad can use every day. There are tons of options from picture lockets and necklaces to watches, rings, bracelets, and more.
Some of the most memorable gifts are based on special experiences. Christmas gift experiences for parents can be a special date night just for your parents or can involve you and other family members.
4. A weekend getaway package
Getting your parents a weekend getaway is something they will cherish forever. They can spend a long day lounging at the beach, going to a bed and breakfast, having fun, and making memories. Just make sure you encourage them to bring an old video camera to capture the memories!
5. Concert or event tickets
Does your dad like football games or does your mom enjoy live theater or music? Give them concert or event tickets to give them something they will enjoy and remember forever. These are the types of things they might not buy themselves but would absolutely love going to if you got it for them.
6. Cooking class for two
A cooking class is a great gift for old and new parents alike. They can learn how to prepare their favorite meals during the holiday season and learn skills they can keep using for the rest of their lives. Plus, you get to enjoy the delicious meals they will be cooking soon!
Homemade presents for Dad or Mom are always great. Not only are they usually pretty affordable, but they are thoughtful and come straight from the heart. Here are some great DIY gifts to consider for your parents or in-laws this Christmas season.
7. Homemade candle-making set
You can make homemade candles with a candle-making set from Walmart or Target. You can make it in your parent’s favorite colors and scents or even add special charms. It makes a great practical gift or keepsake, and you can even give them the remaining materials to make their own candles!
8. Handmade scrapbook
If you learn how to scrapbook, this can be a wonderful gift. You can make pages about specific family members, family memories, vacations, or anything else. It is sure to be a memorable gift that lasts forever and can rest on their coffee table so they can revisit it and reminisce every time you visit!
9. Personalized recipe book
Some of the most important family traditions and memories involve family recipes. By putting together those recipes, some of your own, and your favorite meals your parents make, you can create a personal, practical, and sentimental DIY Christmas gift for parents.
Practical gifts are any gifts that they can use. As we mentioned before, it’s a good idea to keep their hobbies and preferences in mind because it adds a thoughtful element to uncommon goods.
10. A premium coffee maker
A coffee maker is something your parents can use every day when they make a cup of coffee. Consider getting them a high-quality espresso machine or coffee maker as well as a bag of artisan coffee or a personalized coffee mug or smart mug to go along with it.
11. Gardening tool set
Gardening not only keeps them healthy but is something they can enjoy for years to come. You can get them a tool set or create your own gift box complete with seeds, tools, and guides. If you don’t think they like gardening, you can do the same with BBQ sets, cooking sets, and more.
12. High-quality kitchenware
Good kitchenware makes cooking more fun and less stressful. There are tons of great stainless steel, washable, or pro-level kitchenware sets that your parents would probably enjoy. Some kitchen supplies you can even engrave with a special message as personalized gifts for parents.
Affordable yet Thoughtful Gifts
On a budget? That’s okay because it’s still possible to get a thoughtful present with these affordable Christmas gift ideas for parents.
13. A curated photo frame
A photo frame might be cheap, but when you add their favorite wedding Polaroid picture, a photo of a new mom and dad, or other special memories, it becomes a thoughtful gift. Plus, you can choose a frame that matches their personal style choices.
14. Subscription box service
There are tons of subscription box services that can be very affordable including things like books, grooming supplies, food, perfume, makeup, and so much more. These make a great meaningful gift for Mom or Dad without breaking the bank.
15. Themed gift baskets (e.g., gourmet, spa day)
Themes gift baskets can be DIY or bought as-is. You can have them revolve around delicious new coffees, wines, gourmet foods, spa days, or anything else. That means that you can find or create one that specifically fits your budget.
Do your parents like new gadgets, Apple devices, or trendy technological gifts? Check out these ideas for inspiration on what to get.
16. Digital photo frame
A digital photo frame is a great way for your parents to display their favorite pictures, upload new memories, and reminisce about family events. You can fill it with pictures of kids and grandkids or create custom slideshows for them to enjoy.
17. Parent-child book club subscription
More than anything, parents love spending time with their kids. For book-loving families, a parent-child book subscription can be a great way to ensure they get together to create new memories, share fun stories, and build a bond to last forever.
18. Smart home accessories
Smart home accessories like home security devices, wi-fi light switches, Alexa devices, smart thermostats, and so much more can be a ton of fun to play with while improving the comfy aspects of their home.
Health and Wellness Gifts
You probably want your parents to take care of themselves, which makes health and wellness gifts a great option.
19. Spa day vouchers
Spa day vouchers allow your parents to visit the spa when they want to for relaxation, stress relief, and comfort. If you don’t think they want to go to a spa, you can get them supplies to do it on their own like essential oils, bath bombs, manicure kits, and more.
20. Yoga retreat for two
A yoga retreat is a unique Christmas present for Mom and Dad that can rejuvenate their well-being and provide them with happiness. They will come back with less stress and memories of a great time in tranquility.
How to Make Your Gift Even More Special
While any of these best Christmas gifts for parents are already special, you can make them even more special with the presentation.
For example, instead of using generic Santa wrapping paper, you can use personalized wrapping paper. The packaging can match the gift or their unique personalities with their favorite colors, hobbies, or pictures.
In addition, don’t forget to add a personal handwritten note to your present or card. This is often people’s favorite part of a gift and makes the entire experience special and memorable. Write from the heart and tell them what they mean to you as your parents.
Ensuring Your Gift is Memorable
To make sure this Christmas is memorable, make sure you capture the moment of giving with your first digital camera or video camcorder. Sharing and revisiting these moments of gift-giving not only preserves the memories but also solidifies Christmas traditions that are sure to last for future generations to enjoy.
You can also turn a single gift into a longer memory by adding to it every Christmas or with other 50th birthday gift ideas. For example, if you make a scrapbook this year, you can add a page each birthday or Christmas. Or if you get them smart home accessories, you can keep helping them build their smart home with more gadgets and devices each Christmas.
The best Christmas gifts for parents are thoughtful, memorable, and come from the heart. Whether you get them something from this gift guide that they will love to use, provide them with a memorable experience, personalize a gift with a special message, or make your own practical Christmas gifts for presents, they are sure to love it.
If you get photo gifts for him or her using the prints, you need to make sure you first preserve the photos in high quality digital format. Plus, digital copies allow you to add them to digital picture frames, photo albums, or online photo collections. Capture offers state-of-the-art equipment and professional services trusted by over 12 million families. Click here to learn about our photo scanning services!