Best Gifts for Parents That They Actually Want

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.

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.

YOUR WARMTH AND LOVE

If you’ve procrastinated and need an easy last-minute idea, a super soft blanket is the solution. This gift for your parents represents your warmth and love.

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. A blanket speaks volumes.

1. LOCAL THEATER TICKETS

Your parents deserve a night on the town. Local theaters put on well-known musicals like Mamma MiaJersey 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.

2. AN ENGRAVED NECKLACE

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.

3. A ROOMBA

“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.”

4. INSTAGRAM-WORTHY FAMILY PHOTOS

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 candid family shot that captures everyone’s personalities.

5. 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.

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