48 Best Christmas Gifts for Parents in 2021 | Ultimate Gift Guide

best christmas gifts for parents

The ultimate guide to the best Christmas gifts for parents – for every budget!  

The holidays can be stressful enough without having to worry about finding the perfect Christmas gift for your parents.

That’s why I created this gift guide specifically for parents – so you can find the perfect Christmas gift, no matter what your budget is this year. 

This is the ultimate list of the best Christmas gifts for parents. Use it as you will and happy holidays! 🙂

Note: this post contains affiliate links, which help run this site at no extra cost to you so I can keep providing free travel advice and tips.

Short on Time? Here’s a Quick Look at my Recommendations

Best Christmas Gifts for Parents

Best Christmas Gifts for Parents Under $50

Echo Dot

Echo Dot

An Echo Dot is one of the best gift ideas for parents if you don’t want to spend a lot of money but you’re looking for something trendy and useful.

The Echo Dot is one of the most popular smart speakers on the market and one of the top gifts for parents this year.

It has Alexa built-in, which means your parents can voice-control their music, as well as ask questions to Alexa, call anyone, and control their smart home (if they have other smart devices).

Charging Station Dock

Bamboo charging station dock

If you’re looking for good family Christmas gifts, a charging station dock is the perfect gift idea that benefits everyone.

This is an especially good gift for parents who still have kids living at home or for who have a lot of handheld gadgets.

No more fighting over outlets when everyone’s personal devices needs to be charged.

Cozy Slippers

Cozy slippers for christmas

These slippers are not only super affordable, they’re the coziest slippers I’ve owned.

I’ve had my own pair for almost a year now (and I wear them most days because I work from home) and I’ve given them as a gift in the past too.

It’s hard to go wrong with memory foam slippers that are hard to take off and these are some of the best.

Comfy Robe

comfy robe for mom or dad

If you’re wondering what to get your parents for Christmas, another present you can’t go wrong with is a comfy robe.

If your mom or dad need an upgrade or a cozier option than what they currently have, this could be an ideal gift.

This particular robe is soft, washable, has pockets, and is easy to take care of.

Tea Sampler Gift Set

Herbal Retreat - Tea Forte Sampler Box

Any tea fans in the house? This tea sampler gift set is the ideal gift for parents who are partial to tea and take their tea drinking seriously.

The sampler includes 20 teabags with an assortment of five different types of teas that are perfect to drink at anytime of the year.

Crocs

Crocs clogs comfy shoes

Crocs are notorious for being ugly but there’s no denying that they’re some of the comfiest kick-around shoes on the market.

They’re also very popular with parents, who love to throw them on when grabbing the mail or working in the garden. I know my parents have multiple pairs.

If you want to gift a comfy pair of shoes this Christmas, it doesn’t get much better than Crocs.

Wake-Up Light Alarm Clock

gifts for parents christmas - wake up light alarm clock

No one likes being jolted awake by the sound of an alarm going off. I discovered this Wake-Up light alarm clock a few years back and it’s a game-changer to waking up feeling refreshed and well-rested.

When it’s time for your parents to wake up, the alarm clock emits light that gradually gets brighter to simulate naturally waking up to the sunrise.

So basically, you’d be giving your parents the gift of quality sleep.

Picnic Backpack for Four

picnic backpack for four - thoughtful gifts for parents

If your parents enjoy spending time outside with family or friends, or they’re looking for more reasons to, this picnic backpack for four makes it that much easier to do so.

This backpack has everything they would need for the perfect picnic, including a complete cutlery set, wine glasses, cheese plate and knife, stainless steel shakers, picnic blankets, and an insulated bag.

Best Christmas Gifts for Parents Under $100

Video Conversion Suite

Video conversion suite vidbox

What better way to celebrate the holiday season than making sure your parents can save their favorite memories for years to come?

One of the best tech gifts for parents, this video conversion suite by VIDBOX converts old VHS and camcorder tapes to DVDs and digital copies that can be uploaded to a cloud platform.

As a bonus, it’s easy to use and works on both PCs and Macs.

If your parents don’t have a DVD player and you’re just looking for something that digitizes old tapes onto computers, this is a good alternative.

Heated Back and Neck Massager

Neck and Back Massager with heat

Do your parents consistently complain about their back or neck hurting?

This heated back and neck massager is a cool gift for parents that is also practical and will give them a lot of relief from sore joints.

Besides the back and neck, this massager can also easily be used for shoulders, feet, and legs.

Alternatively, if you think your parent needs a more intense massager, there’s always a massage gun to work out specific spots.

Instant Pot

christmas gift ideas for mom- instant pot electric pressure cooker, slower cooker, rice cooker

One of the best gifts for mom or dad on Amazon.

Everyone could use a quality slow cooker in their home (it’s convenient and saves a lot of time).

So if your parents don’t have one yet, this is a great gift to give them.

Plus, it’s the best selling slow cooker model in the US and it’s super easy to clean so it’s a win-win.

Air Fryer

air fryer

One of the best Christmas gifts for parents who love to eat healthy, air fryers are all the rage these days and for good reason.

An air fryer is not only for deep frying food with less oil, it can also be used as a broiler, roaster, dehydrator, and for baking.

Bamboo Charcuterie Board Set

christmas gift ideas for parents - charcuterie board set

A classic and useful charcuterie board can be a good gift for any parent.

This is an especially good gift if your parents enjoy entertaining and host dinners often.

Juicer

what to get inlaws for christmas - Juicer

One of the more useful Christmas gifts for parents, juicing is one of the best ways your parents can keep their health in tip-top shape.

If they need to upgrade their current juicer or they want to start a healthy juicing habit, this is the best quality juicer I’ve come across.

Alternatively, if they’re more of a smoothie person, you can’t go wrong with a Magic Bullet Blender or NutriBullet.

Best Christmas Gifts for Parents Under $200

Digital Picture Frame

Smart Digital Picture Frame

A smart picture frame is a great gift for empty nesters or parents who like to have family pictures prominently displayed around the house.

This digital picture frame comes in different sizes and showcases various photos that can be controlled by your phone. It also allows you to easily share photos instantly with your parents.

This can also be a great gift for hard to buy for parents since you can make it as unique as you want.

Canon Powershot Digital Camera

canon powershot gift

This is the first camera I took traveling with me and I was always amazed at the quality images it produced for a point-and-shoot model.

If you’re looking for a nice gift for parents and they’re in the market for an easy-to-use digital camera, this is the best point-and-shoot camera I’ve come across.

Smart Thermostat

gifts for empty nesters - smart thermostat

One of the best tech gifts for older parents, smart home devices are very popular these days. And that includes smart thermostats.

This is another practical and useful gift you could get your parents to make sure their home is always at the right temperature.

This Google Nest Smart Thermostat learns what temperature your parents like and automatically adjusts as needed.

It also saves energy, has an auto-schedule feature, works with Alexa, and it can be controlled through a phone or computer.

Two-Way Audio Pet Camera

best gifts for mom on amazon - audio pet camera

A great gift for parents who have pets.

This two-way audio pet camera allows your parents to watch their pets when they’re not home and even talk to their fur babies and feed them treats.

The camera is 1080p Full HD, 160-degree wide-angle, and includes night vision, as well as a barking sensor.

Best Expensive Christmas Gifts for Parents

iRobot Roomba Vacuum

iRobot Roomba Vacuum - best gifts for mom and dad

A Roomba Vacuum is a game changer for keeping the house clean without much extra effort. This is an ideal gift for busy parents, parents who have pets, or parents who simply love a clean house.

Features of this particular Roomba include the ability to create a customized cleaning schedule, control it through an app or by voice, and its 3-stage cleaning system.

Apple iPad Pro

2021 ipod pro, an expensive but thoughtful gift

Whereas my generation seems to be all about smartphones, parents are much more into iPads.

If your parents are iPad enthusiasts, an iPad Air is great splurgy gift to treat your parents to.

An iPad Air can also be a great joint tech gift. My siblings and I all went in on an engraved iPad for my mom last Christmas and she loved it.

Espresso Machine

gift ideas for inlaws - espresso machine

A Christmas gift idea for the in-laws or parents who enjoy a solid cup of coffee.

This dual espresso machine is one of the best entry-level options on the market, allowing your parents to make the perfect frothy latte or Americano from home.

This is the perfect gift for both parents, assuming they both love caffeine. And a great luxury Christmas gift for parents if you’re trying to make a good impression.

It could even be a good joint Christmas present for parents if you buy it with your spouse or siblings.

Unique Christmas Gifts for Mom & Dad

Himalayan Salt Lamp

best gifts for mom - natural himalayan salt lamp

One of the best gift ideas for mom or dad if they’re into healthy living and beautiful home decor.

This lamp is made from 100% Himalayan salt and helps to relieve stress and purify the air.

It’s especially good for helping with tiredness, so it can also be a good gift for aging parents or parents who work a lot.

Globe Whiskey Decanter

best christmas gifts for dad - globe whiskey decanter

If you’re looking for unique Christmas gift ideas for dad or mom, look no further than this globe whiskey decanter.

This can be a great gift for an elderly father or mother who likes to drink their whiskey in style (extra bonus if they’re an avid traveler).

If they’re not a whiskey drinker, this decanter is also good for any other kind of liquor.

Or they can simply fill it with water or iced tea and use it as a statement piece.

Herb Garden Kit

herb garden kit

If you have a parent who has a green thumb or loves cooking with fresh herbs, an herb garden kit can be a fun and practical gift.

The kit includes seeds for 10 herbs and a detailed and straightforward planting guide.

Alternatively, if you have a parent who’s more of a succulent fan, these owl pots are adorable for any kitchen.

Complete Calvin and Hobbes Box Set

meaningful christmas gifts - calvin and hobbes box set

A great gift for middle-aged parents, did anyone else grow up with parents who loved Calvin and Hobbes?

My parents and I loved this comic when I was younger, and looking through this Calvin and Hobbes box set brings back Sunday morning memories from my childhood.

This is the perfect Christmas gift for parents as an adult if you’re looking to give them a nostalgic present.

Echo Dot

christmas gifts for mom and dad - Professional Binoculars binoculars

One of the best gifts for mom and dad if they’re fond of the outdoors and birdwatching.

If your parents regularly go camping, hiking, or simply have a penchant for ornithology, these binoculars are a must-buy.

They’re also the perfect gift for parents who are into stargazing and sports.

Tieks Flats

gifts for mom who doesn't want anything - tieks flats

One of the best gifts for a mom who doesn’t want anything (she probably doesn’t know about Tieks yet!).

I’ve owned my Tieks for years now and they’re my go-to stylish flats that I can walk in for hours.

Tieks are made from high-quality Italian leather (or they also have a line of vegan flats), easily fold up in a suitcase, and last for years.

If you’re looking for a unique Christmas gift for mom, these flats are a good option. Plus, they look great with most outfits.

Read my full review of Tieks.

Portable Grill

christmas-gifts-for-father-in-law-portable-grill

A portable grill is a great Christmas gift for retired dads and moms or parents who need a good grill for their next family barbecue outing.

This portable grill has everything your parents need for an outdoor barbecue on the go.

It holds up to six burgers at a time and it’s compact and lightweight enough to take anywhere.

Allbirds Wool Runners

unique christmas gifts - Allbirds mens wool runners

Allbirds have made waves in the footwear industry in recent years for their sustainable and cloud-like sneakers.

I now own three pairs of Allbirds and I recently gave another pair to my mom as a gift. They’re by far the most comfortable walking shoes I’ve owned.

If you’re looking for practical Christmas gifts for dad or mom, Allbirds will allow them to walk for miles in comfort and style.

Read my detailed Allbirds review comparing different styles and my review of the Allbirds Tree Runners.

Best Christmas Gifts for Parents Who Have Everything

23andMe DNA Kit

gift ideas for parents who have everything - 23andme DNA kit

One of the most unique gifts for parents who have everything – an ancestry kit!

I did 23andMe earlier this year and it was eye-opening to find out parts of my ancestry I never knew about before.

This can be a great gift for any parent who is into their family history (I know my dad is).

There’s also the bonus of finding out your health traits.

This will allow your parent to know their carrier status and whether they’re predisposed to any health issues, making it one of the best gifts for elderly parents as well.

Dog DNA Test

Dog DNA test

If your parents aren’t interested in getting their DNA tested, what about their dog’s?

My dad just got his rescue dog’s DNA tested because he was curious what mix she might be, your parents might be too if they have dogs.

Similar to the human version, it also tests for genetic health conditions in pups.

The Five Minute Journal

The Five Minute Journal - sentimental christmas gifts

Another great gift idea for parents who have everything – a mindfulness gratitude journal.

If you’ve noticed that one of your parents is especially overwhelmed, stressed, or constantly complaining, gratitude journals can be one of the best holiday gift ideas for parents.

It allows them to see the bigger picture and find more daily happiness through even five minutes of showing gratitude.

Tile Pro Trackers

Okay, so maybe your parents seem to have everything, but do they tend to lose a lot of what they have?

I’m not going to name names, but this definitely happens in my family.

These Tile Pro gadgets attach to things like keys, so you can track lost items whenever you misplace them or can’t find them in the house.

This is an especially thoughtful gift for older parents who regularly misplace their smaller items.

Candle Making Kit

candle making kit

If you’re looking for creative gifts for parents, a candle making kit can be a fun and cute Christmas gift for your mom or dad.

It’s hard to go wrong with DIY type gifts and who doesn’t love candles to make a home more warm and welcoming?

Best Christmas Gifts for Expecting Parents & New Parents

Newborn Handprint and Footprint Kit

christmas gift for expecting mothers - newborn handprint and footprint kit

A good Christmas gift for expecting parents, this newborn handprint and footprint kit is all kinds of adorable.

If you’re looking for a good sentimental gift for parents who are about to have a baby, this is one they’ll cherish for a long time.

Foot Massager Roller

christmas gift for expecting mothers - Foot roller

From what I’ve heard from my friends who have gone through pregnancy, one of the most uncomfortable parts of it can be swollen and sore feet.

Help soon-to-be moms relieve some of that discomfort by gifting them this foot massager roller.

Portable Changing Mat

meaningful gifts - portable changing mat

A great Christmas gift for new parents, this portable changing mat allows them to change their baby on the go.

This waterproof changing mat allows new parents to do diaper changes one-handed and includes a memory foam baby pillow and plenty of pockets for diapers, wipes, and creams.

Blue Apron

gifts for parents who have everything - blue apron

A solid Christmas gift for a new parent, Blue Apron is a meal delivery subscription service that drops off already prepped meals that are quick to cook.

One of the hardest things to adjust to as new parents is the lack of time with a newborn in the house.

A Blue Apron subscription could be a lifesaver in terms of giving them more time with their baby and less time in the kitchen.

Spa Day Gift Card

gifts for new parents - spa day

One of the more meaningful Christmas gifts for parents, especially new parents, is an all-expenses-paid spa day.

This is one of my favorite go-to gifts for anyone in my life who needs some relaxation and a day of pampering after a stressful time.

Research a few local spas online where the new parents are located. 90% of the time local spas have gift cards that you can easily purchase online and print out.

Best Christmas Gifts for Retired Parents

The Travel Book: A Journey Through Every Country in the World

gifts for retired parents - lonely planet the travel book

A great gift for retired parents who are regular travelers or planning on traveling soon, this Lonely Planet coffee table book takes them through every single country in the world.

Double Camp Chair

best gift for parents - double loveseat camp chair

Looking for good Christmas gifts for parents who like to camp?

These double camp chairs are a cute addition to any camping gear, perfect for family camping trips, sporting games, or for sitting around a bonfire.

Read our guide to the best gifts for campers.

Kindle Paperwhite

Kindle Paperwhite

Looking for a good Christmas gift for a parent who likes to read?Think about getting them a Kindle Paperwhite this Christmas.

A Kindle can also be an ideal Christmas gift for retired parents who now suddenly have a lot more time on their hands to read all those books.

This is an especially good gift for an elderly mom or dad since they can enlarge the text as much as they need and they’re designed to be easy on the eyes.

Airline Gift Card

Southwest Airlines Gift Card

An ideal last-minute Christmas gift idea for parents is to buy a gift card for their favorite airline, like Southwest.

Travel gifts are one of the best things you can give to a recently retired mom and dad.

An airline gift card gives them the flexibility to book a fun upcoming trip wherever and whenever they like.

Inflatable Kayak

Inflatable Kayak Intex

An inflatable kayak is a great Christmas gift for outdoorsy parents who like to do adventure activities together.

The two-person kayak comes with aluminum oars and an air pump. It’s also easy to pack up and take to the river or lake on a beautiful day out.

Best Christmas Gifts for Parents When You’re Broke

Acts of Service

good christmas gifts for mom - acts of service

An act of service is a thoughtful Christmas gift idea that you can give your parents when you really can’t spend money right now.

What is something that would brighten up their day and help them out at no cost to you?

Maybe it’s something they’ve been wanting to do for a while but keep putting off because they’re short on time. Or maybe it’s a regular monthly chore they dread.

Could you clean their whole house, paint the fence, wash the car, or something else they just haven’t had the chance to do in a while?

Cook a Nice Dinner for Them

sentimental gifts for dad - cook a nice dinner

Another one of the best presents when you don’t have much money is cooking a nice dinner for them or baking cookies.

It might cost a little money to get the ingredients, but if you can spare even $20, you can find some pretty solid cheap meal ideas on Pinterest.

Or bake them their favorite holiday cookies or pie.

In general, cooking can be a great experience gift, especially if you’re a somewhat decent cook.

Put Together a Compilation Video

gifts for people who have everything - put together a compilation video

If you have a computer, this is a super easy and thoughtful gift you could do at no cost to you.

Either take your favorite photos or videos (or a mix of both) of you with your parents and put it into a highlight reel video.

If you’re looking for a funny gift, you can only include the most hilarious memories that you know your parents will get a kick out of.

This can also be an especially good Christmas present for parents from college students who recently left home.

If you’ve never used iMovie or similar free video editing software before, just watch a YouTube tutorial.

Easy peasy, no cost, and very thoughtful.

Best Last Minute Christmas Gifts for Parents

Amazon Gift Card

gift ideas for parents who have everything - amazon gift card

Looking for easy Christmas presents for parents?

If it’s suddenly a few days before Christmas and you haven’t had time to go shopping for presents yet, never fear!

One of the best gift cards for parents is an Amazon gift card because they can literally buy almost anything with it.

An Amazon gift card is ideal for any parent who lives in a decently sized city and orders things from Amazon regularly.

You can instantly purchase an Amazon gift card and be done with Christmas shopping by clicking the link directly below.

If you’ve made it this far – congratulations, you’re a champ! 

I hope you found the perfect Christmas gift for the parent(s) you were shopping for. 

If you bought anything from my recommendations or if I missed anything on this list (e.g. you found another great gift that I should add), make sure to comment below! com 

Merry Christmas and happy holidays!


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