You’re still their kid, but you’re no kid anymore. Up your gift-giving game for your folks.
It used to be so easy — a hand-woven hot pad for the kitchen, a misshapen ceramic thing to hold change on your dad’s dresser or a truly hideous brooch hand-picked at your school’s holiday bazaar that cost less than $5. And they loved them all. But you’re not a kid anymore.
It’s time to up your gift-giving game for your parents. After all, didn’t they raise you better than that (inserting mom-guilt here to hammer the point home)?
On your own
Outside of not-ready-for-Etsy handmade gifts, kids sometimes depend on one of their parents to pick out and buy gifts for the other in their names. Some people do this well into an age when they really shouldn’t. It’s time to take the reins and do your own gift buying. It’s not that tough, just think of your parents as … people. Now that you’re over that shock, think of what they might like in the same way you do for your significant other or close friends.
Nobody will turn away a gift of fine jewelry or a watch. Chances are, you got that kind of gift from your parents, maybe for special birthdays, rite of passage celebrations or graduations. It’s time to return the favor.
If mom has a special birthday coming up — one of those decade markers — give her a special piece of jewelry. Diamond earrings or a big gemstone ring she can wear on the hand opposite her wedding jewelry are classic looks that can also be more fashion-forward, depending on your mom’s personal style. They’re not as expensive as you might fear, and if you’ve got siblings, you can all chip in for a show-stopper. Does she like to wear necklaces? While some women don’t care to wear things around their neck as they get older, if your mom does, consider getting her a nice diamond or gemstone pendant.
For dad, look at fine watches. Whether it has a metal bracelet or leather strap, you can find a quality timepiece that will look equally at home on the golf course or peeking out from under a dress shirt and suit jacket. Speaking of suits, cuff links are a cool way to dress up. Get them monogrammed or go a little more whimsical and find cuff links in designs that nod to hobbies or other interests. Now that dapper dressing is coming back, tie bars are making fashion news again.
The more casual dad might be a candidate for a necklace or bracelet. It’s also not out of the question that he might wear an earring — original hippies and punks were known to pierce. You may not even be aware of it (he might have let the hole close up) but the right question may spur him to start sporting one again. Small hoops and metal studs are a cool way to get him in the habit again, and maybe a diamond stud if he’s really feeling it.
Outside of birthdays and holiday gifts, think about jewelry for big anniversaries, too. If it’s a 25th anniversary, the metal is silver and there are plenty of jewelry and accessories made from sterling silver. The 30th anniversary is associated with pearls — easy: cultured pearl jewelry for mom, a watch with a mother-of-pearl dial for dad. The 50th is the golden anniversary, so this one’s kind of easy in the jewelry realm. Matching gold watches might be a cool idea.
Whatever you do, look at it as an opportunity to give gifts that not only reflect their interests and tastes, but also reflect well on the great job they did raising you!