For parents, personal touch is everything

Gift Cards to restaurants or movie theaters are some great gift ideas to get your parents for Christmas (Sahil Arora | The Collegian)

The holiday countdown has begun and shopping for the perfect gift will soon commence. One of the hardest demographics to shop for are those who differ greatly in age from ourselves, i.e. mom and dad.

Lucky for students, parents are a lot less judgmental or materialistic when it comes to receiving gifts from their kids. However, just because parents aren’t going to call you out for a thoughtless, cheap gift, it’s important that you show appreciation for your biggest fans this holiday season. Here are a few gift ideas to make mom and dad happy campers that won’t eat through your wallet.

Anything with your face on it

Parents love anything with their kids’ faces on it, whether it be a coffee mug, a mouse pad or something as simple as a framed picture. Nothing makes parents happier than their own family, so take advantage of this overflowing affection and stick your face on a magnet. It’s relatively cheap and is as simple as going online and searching the Internet for these services.

Walgreens has some great, customizable options available on their website including wall decor starting at $14.99, mugs starting at $11.99 and even smartphone cases starting at $29.99.

Something they can do

Get them out of the house. Parents often lose touch with friends or really anything outside work and their own home. Anything that gets them out of the house – like a gift card to their favorite restaurant, tickets to a movie showing or even a date night jar filled with ideas – is sure to get you on their good side.

Most restaurants will have gift cards, and movie tickets can be purchased online. Big theater chains such as AMC also allow you to add a photo to your gift cards to give it a personal touch. AMC Theater gift cards vary from $5 to $100 and can be found on their website.

Hobby inspired

Everyone has a hobby, so take what your parents do in their free time and morph that into some kind of gift.

For example, if dad is a big runner, invest in some thermal socks. If mom likes to cook, maybe it’s time for some new recipes or pots and pans. Whatever the hobby may be, there’s always some inexpensive spinoff of it. Use this to your benefit.

Get crafty

Do-it-yourself gifts are great for parents because they show there’s really some thought put into whatever it is that you made. Websites like Pinterest make it easier than ever to turn some old wine bottles into a centerpiece or cinnamon sticks into a decorative candle. It may be cheaper, but parents love the effort and time that are put into these gifts because ultimately, it’s the thought that counts.


The way to anyone’s heart is food, and your parents are no different. Holiday time leaves a lot of room to play with new dishes to serve up. Help cook dinner, or make up some decorative sugar cookies. The result is one scrumptious gift your parents are bound to enjoy.

Websites like the Food Network’s are great places to get some ideas. They have entire articles on holiday treats and and meals.

egardless of the gift, parents know it’s the thought that counts when receiving anything from their children. Get into the giving season with the ideas above and you’re sure to have a great family holiday.