Christmas Gift Guide: Parents, Grandparents, and In-Laws

24 November 2017

What to get the people who have everything they want and likely more money than you do? :) First, I have to say that many of the gift ideas in the gals gift guide and the upcoming guys gift guide work for this group — after all, parents and grandparents are people, too, and my Mom likes pretty much everything I do!

For this gift guide, though, most picks fall into two categories: either something sentimental, or an upgrade/replacement for something they already have. Again, if your parents are like mine, they have not replaced their oven mitts/Christmas decorations/baking sheets in 30 years. And we love them for it. But sometimes things need to be replaced :)

P.S. I hope you all had wonderful Thanksgivings!!

gift guide for grandparents

Boat and tote | Not a New Englander? Then maybe you will get the honor of introducing your loved one to L.L. Bean’s iconic bag! They can be monogrammed for an extra touch.

Striped pot holders | There are a lot of gems in the Hearth & Hand collection, but I love these simple pot holders! Swap out her stained ones for a new pair.

Echo Dot | Know your audience with tech gifts, but they can make great gift ideas because a) they may not be something the recipient would buy for himself, and b) you will hopefully be there in person to show him how to set it up or use it!

Keepsake Kitchen Diary | This is actually on my wish list! It has space to write in 150 recipes and the stories that accompany them. Not-so-secret-side-benefit: maybe one day your Mom will pass it down to you!

Ceramic spoon rest | A kitchen essential that’s classic and clean. Maybe pair this with the pot holders?

Potted paperwhites | If you’re new to the in-law rodeo, a growing gift is usually a good option. For a much smaller version at a lower price point, I’ve seen pretty options at Trader Joe’s!

Scalloped pot | In the same vein, a pretty pot filled with either a potted plant or a gift certificate to an online nursery (we like White Flower Farm) is a go-to. (The pot shown from Jenny is sold out right now, but this hanging basket is another good option!)

Faux magnolia wreath | A timeless option for their front door or mantel. I’ve purchased faux plants from Magnolia before and have been impressed with the quality!

365 Calendar | This is like those tear-off calendars that used to be all the rage (cute kittens, inspiring quotes, etc.) BUT way better because every day is customized with your photos! I don’t know about y’all, but my parents would LOVE a new photo of their grandkids (and kids!) every day.

A coffee table book | On a subject they are or might soon be interested in. Two good options: Portraits of Courage, whose proceeds support veteran causes and that brought me to tears, and The National Parks, for soaring images and stories from Ken Burns.

A Lindsay Letters holiday canvas | If your parents aren’t of the social media persuasion, introduce them to LL and look like a genius! Any of her holiday canvases would help spruce up a Christmas decor collection. (I also like this metal wreath!)

A fun food item | If you’re truly stumped or your parents insist they “don’t want any more things,” food it is. Bonus points for getting them something yummy but special, or with a story behind it. My father-in-law loves pates, and I’m pretty sure he will be getting this award-winning one this Christmas. Toss in a beautiful platter, tray, or spreaders if you’re feeling daring :)

Other solid ideas: tickets to a show or a gift certificate for a favorite restaurant, a cooking school lesson, or a fly fishing lesson. (These are not cop-out ideas! Experiences make awesome gifts!)

I’d love to hear: What gifts for grands and parents have you been proud of in the past? I have to say, I’m pretty excited about a semi-DIY gift for my in-laws I’m working on this year, but I can’t share it yet! :)

More gift guides:
Sisters, Moms, and Best Friends
Kind-Hearted Picks

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November 24, 2017 8:54 am

Ditto on tech gifts–my grandma is the cutest saying “Okay, Google…” !

LOVE this list, Emily! Thanks for all the great ideas!

November 24, 2017 10:10 am

I love your gift guides!! I’ll be getting my mom concert tickets and my dad basketball tickets. BONUS-both events are the in the city I live in, so they also get to visit with me too! Win all the way around! :)

November 27, 2017 2:28 pm

I have done photo gifts from Costco such as photo plaques and their calendars and they’ve been a bit. Great for our budget. I love the 365 calendar. I am hoping to treat my parents to a nice meal at one of their favorite restaurants with a gift certificate. Definitely a splurge, but I agree. An experience is a great gift!