I don’t know about you, but I hate having to buy gifts for my parents and grandparents. Not because I don’t want to give them anything – far from it! It’s just that, well… What are you supposed to give someone who already has everything? I mean, seriously, if my mum needs new slippers? She’s going to buy them. Simple as that. And sure, I know I can always give my grandpa a book and he’ll be happy. But, sometimes? I just want to go for something a little more personal. And also – something that won’t just add to the collection of *stuff* they already have. So here’s my gift guide for (grand)parents!
Okay, so, I don’t know about you, but I come from a family of very busy people. All of my grandparents’ are basically that cliché of “as soon as you retire, you’ll never have time for anything”. And, if I’m honesty? My parents’ social calendar is probably busier than mine. All that to say – vacuuming isn’t really something that they look forward to. Then again, does anyone? So why not splurge a little (okay, a lot) or work together with the siblings to give them something that’ll actually make their lives that little bit easier? (iRobot)
Yes, this is a cliché gift. However, mugs are some of those lovely gifts that are just that right mix of “useful”, “can be personalized” and, of course – the most important one: “in regular need of replacement”. Well, at least if you’re me and have a slight tendency to let things drop from time to time. Just sometimes. I promise :p (Uncommon Goods)
3. Taster sets
As you age, you sometimes tend to get a bit used to a certain routine. And, let’s be honest – no one really wants to try a full-sized anything if they’re not really sure they will actually like the product, right? So why not give your mum, your dad or grandparents something that might just make their life that little bit better – but in such a quantity that it’s okay if they don’t like it?
And of course, why not combine this with a coupon for a full-size of whatever product they like best? My dad loves the real English jams, so for his birthday this year, I gave him a taster set, and then he got to choose his three favourites and get a full size of them – he loved it! (And he had a lot of fun rating all the jams in every possible way possible… So it was actually a bit of an experience as well 😉 ) (Whittard)
1. World maps
This might just be my family, but all the cousins have a bit of a tendency of (temporarily) moving abroad. My grandpa on one side has family in Australia, France, …; I’ve got cousins who’ve lived on just about every continent… So why not get your (grand)parents a map that allows them to easily follow along where they have/have had (grand)kids, where their family is traveling to next… It could be a fun way to see which set of cousins is most adventurous as well! (Etsy and National Geographic)
2. A cute picture
Again, the second one is a bit of a cliché. But, for example, last Christmas, my gran moved into a service home. So, in order for her to be able to still see all her grand- (and great grand!) children, one of my cousins made this cute picture frame which featured all of the grand children per family, as well as all of their children.
The best thing? You can just adjust the pictures to the current family situation (in my case: there’s 3 new great-grandchildren on that side of the family :p ), so you’ve basically given her a gift that keeps on giving. And yourself as well, because guess who can now just adapt the frame each Christmas? (Talia Christine)
3. Memories objectified
Okay, this one’s actually better than it sounds, I promise. Quite often, when we have family get-togethers, the number one thing we talk about is what happened since we last saw each other. And quite often, that results in phones being passed, photos being shown… But why not make it so that all those memories are combined into one book?
For example, when my grandparents celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary a couple of years ago, my gift to them was a photobook, in which I collected photos from the moment they met, through each of their children being born, as kids, as teenagers, getting married, and now. Also included: all of the grandkids in those same stages, as well as a family tree. Basically, they got an entire lifetime of memories, collected in one book.
Or why not do it the way a round-robin works? Collect everything that happened to your family in one photobook, add in some pictures, some text, … Et voila, they have the entire year in review, in just one gift! And again: once you start this, why not keep doing it? You can basically re-give this gift each year! (Resnap)
1. The practical
Honestly, I feel like most parents and grandparents just really want your time. That is to say: they appreciate the fact that you don’t just spend your money on them, but are willing to spend your time with them as well. Now, of course, this could be all sorts of things, but one of the main things I like to give, are a bunch of coupons for chores.
So, for example, for years I would basically just give my grandma and my grandpa “a day”. During that day, I would cook for them, I would go with them anywhere they wanted to go, I would do chores for them if they needed to… Or, for my parents, I know exactly what chores they don’t necessarily like to do that much… So I would just give them a bunch of coupons for me to do those whenever they wanted me to – regardless the circumstances. And guess what, they really appreciate that!
2. The fun
Why not give your grandparents or parents a day of fun? This could be a day of shopping (where you pay for at least one of their items, maybe?), or a day to the ballet (I actually gifted this to my gran, ones, and 4 years later she still talks about this!)… Why not have them come over to your place for a day? Or, as I’m gifting my gran and my granddad this year: a day to both visit my place ànd to see Brussels again, a place where they both used to come to visit their aunts and uncles (we’re talking about the 30’s and 40’s here!) but where they haven’t been a lot or even at all since!
3. The “no-children-allowed”
This is basically the next step up from the previous one: why not give your parents or your grandparents an experience they can do, just the two of them? We have this thing called “bongo bon” around here, which is basically where you pay for an activity (for example: a brunch for 2 persons) and the person you give this to can choose out of a list of around 50 places where they actually want to validate this coupon. Maybe your parents have a set group of people that they like to go to the cinema with? Why not gift them tickets for their group for a movie of their choosing? (Guess who’s giving that to their mum this year…)
The best thing about all of these experiences? They don’t need to cost money – and you can easily combine them with one of the previous categories, with stocking stuffers… Just make an entire basket out of it! I know that’s what I’m doing this year!
What are you giving your parents and grandparents this year? I’m kind of ready as far as gifts go, but… Well, you know – I don’t know how to stop buying gifts? So, yes, I could definitely do with some more recommendations… Or maybe you should just save me from myself, and go down below to tell me not to buy anything else! And of course, while you’re there – why not check out the rest of this year’s blogmas-posts, or even the Christmas-tag?