Gift Ideas for Parents Who Have Everything

by Melanie J. Martin

Victor Holguin/Demand Media

Personalized gifts tend to mean more than gifts you could give to anyone, especially when it comes to your parents and other close loved ones. That means tucking a gift card inside a greeting card is a definite "no." However, that doesn't mean any engraved item will do. A truly personalized gift is an excellent choice for parents who have everything.

Something Exotic

Exotic goods are a fun way to show your parents you care. If you travel out of the country, pick up something special like a set of pottery or handwoven baskets that fit your parents' tastes. Place gourmet local coffees, chocolates or other delectable foods inside. Even if you don't go abroad, you can find such items at a local fair trade shop or online. As a bonus, you'll be supporting local artisans.

A Trip

Even if they have everything, your parents might forget to spoil themselves once in a while. Plan them a special trip to remind them that life shouldn't be just about saving. Send them to a mountain lodge for a long weekend, to the lake or anyplace where they can have a quiet retreat from the world. If you're not sure of their schedule, try to get them a gift card from the lodge so they can book their own stay. Give them a gift basket with wine or champagne, chocolates and gourmet snacks for their stay.


Even if your parents aren't tech-savvy, they'll appreciate gadgets like the Kindle, which makes downloading and reading books and magazines easy. Your parents can even enlarge the font size instead of closing the book in frustration if they can't see. Alternatively, you could give them a digital photo frame with family photos on it.

Homemade Gifts

If you have kids, help them make presents for Grandma and Grandpa. Have a calendar printed from pictures the kids draw, iron their drawing onto a tote bag or decorate handkerchiefs. Homemade cookies, fudge or candies make excellent gifts, too.

A Collaborative Memoir

If you have brothers and sisters, get them all to write a chapter or two for a family memoir. Talk about the time periods and events you want to write about beforehand. Whether you focus on the same time — such as early childhood — or each write about a different time, this gift will touch your parents' hearts. Have it professionally printed, with a copy for you and all your siblings too.

Family History

Similarly, compile a family history dating as far back as you can trace your roots. Consider hiring a professional genealogist to find out as much as possible, or do the research yourself. Talk with older family members to learn more about your family background and record their stories. Your parents will be thrilled to learn facts they never knew, and will be glad your family history is being passed on.