The older I get the harder it is for me to think of birthday gifts for my parents. My mom and dad’s birthdays are only a few days apart so I typically have to think of two gifts at the same time and most years I have no idea what to get them. Also, they are now divorced, so it is even harder because I can’t do a “joint” gift. I usually do the joint gifts when I am desperate and can’t think of anything. I know that’s sad, but older parents are difficult to buy for because most of the time, they have everything they want or need.
I’ll stop whining about it because I know how fortunate I am to have my parents and they are such wonderful people and deserve to be celebrated on their birthdays. I love to buy things for other people, especially gifts that they are totally unaware that I knew they wanted. When I buy gifts for someone, I want them to know that I personally sat down and thought this gift through because it meant a lot to me that they like it and I want them to know that they were on my mind. Isn’t that what a gift is supposed to be for? Or, if you would rather just check out these ideas below to help you out, that’s fine too 🙂
For the die hard sports fan, this is always a winner. However, I am talking a little more classy than just a t-shirt that says “Go Team”. Opt for tickets to a game, unique autographed items or maybe framed memorabilia. My stepfather and I share a love of the same college football team (I won’t tell you which in case you have a strong opinion against my team, I would hate to have to delete your comments) so I always know that he will enjoy a gift that bears our team logo.
I saw that someone was trying to sell an encased piece of gum chewed and spit out by a famous baseball player and I just cannot get on board with that. Sorry, guys. Instead, I would go with something like this Columbia shirt with a team logo. My stepfather wears a lot of these Columbia “fishing shirts” as my people call them so I came across a site that sells them with many popular sports team logos on the pocket. It is something he can wear often and root for his team at the same time. Perfect!
Netflix or Hulu Subscription
My parents can be a little tech savvy, after they’ve asked a million questions, been given a face to face lesson and an instructional video. Giving them a streaming subscription would very likely cause me and my brother more trouble than its worth. We gave my mom a Firestick a couple Christmases ago, I am pretty sure it hasn’t been used yet. But that’s my cross to bear.
As for you, maybe your parents are great at things like “the technology” and could easily utilize something like Netflix. If so, good for you and definitely consider getting them a subscription if you think they would (could?) use it. You can pay for the first few months, or heck, go big and do it for a year and then let them decide if they want to keep it up. Personally, our family has stopped paying for satellite/cable altogether and just use streaming platforms (is that the right lingo? I don’t know… I guess I’m not that tech savvy either, go figure) and so do our kids. At five years old, my son can work Netflix without even looking at the remote. I can’t help but be a little impressed.
A Filled Photo Album or Scrapbook
We all have our digital pictures and the cloud that makes it easier to keep our thousands of selfies and random pictures that our kids take of their fingernails but sometimes, I like looking at an actual material photo. Maybe it’s the 80s kid in me, but I love looking through all of my parents old albums and yearbooks and I am sure my parents do as well. If my kids made us a photo album or scrapbook with their own two hands, I think it would be something I would keep forever. This is great for those with grand kids, especially, because the kids can get involved. Let them take some pictures themselves to include in the book or give them a scrapbook page to decorate with their own stickers and pics.
There are so many options in this area. Airline gift cards, trips to theme parks with the kids/grand kids (maybe not as enjoyable as some of the others, ha), cooking classes, skydiving lessons (yep, my mom can’t Netflix but she went skydiving) or any number of other “out there” experiences that they always wanted to do but just haven’t because life.
Boating classes, tours of historical sites and towns and music or dance lessons are all fun things for people in their 40s and 50s to get out and do. Cooking classes are pretty abundant in most places and you can always give them spa days or golf tee times. Top Golf is super fun if you have parents that enjoy golfing. We go as a family and it is so much more fun than I would’ve thought. Other ideas could be a winery tour (if you’re close to some) or a weekend getaway for those big ballers.
What do you get your parents for their birthdays? Comment below with your thoughts on these ideas and any others you may have!