Gift Guide for Parents + In-Laws

Some names on my Christmas shopping list are tougher to tackle than others but few trump the parents category. Beyond my own flesh and blood, the parents’ category spans across almost everyone in our lives. There are my actual parents, Braun’s parents, and grandparents. And then there’s the fact that, come a certain age, the word “parent” has now started to encompass our friends who are now creating their own spawn – it’s honestly a never-ending list!

But this list is specifically for your parents and your in-laws. Key in on your parent’s personalities like you would your friends. As for your in-laws, I think I’ve got some gold nuggets on this list that will be helpful for navigating those choppy waters. But most importantly, remember that unless they’re truly clueless, parents of all walks of life are seasoned veterans at politely loving anything you decide to gift them. Bless their hearts – haha


This list has something for everyone on it – from the picky to the I-love-anything-you-buy-me parents. So take your pick – they’ve all been chosen because, 1. We’ve given them as gifts 2. Own them ourselves, or 3. Bought them this year to give!
Oh yeah, and they can all be delivered before Christmas! Happy gift giving!
Xx Tara
Honestly, this is on every single gift list because it's inexpensive ($20) and with a little help from you, your parents can stay up-to-date with what the cool kids are watching these days. It will give them access to everything on Prime + also houses all of their favorite streaming apps like Netflix, Hulu, Disney+ and anything else they want to watch! Plus, they can unplug it and take it on the road when they travel!
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"My Life Story..So Far" Customized Journal
Uncommon Goods
If your parents haven't been staunch record keepers for their entire life, this book makes it easy for them to preserve their most prized memories + shed some light on who your parents are! It has easy-to-fill-in prompts and will spark memories of everything from school friends to first loves. What I love about this gift is that because parents are so present, we forget to ask them about themselves. How many of us truly know what our parents have been through? This book will help capture all of those special memories that will last much longer than any of us will.
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One Pan Two Plates Cookbook
Carla Snyder
One pan + fresh ingredients = dinner for two! My parents are empty nesters so big meals are reserved for Sundays! But my mom also made the comment that sometimes meals get a little stale and boring. So I picked up this cookbook that decreases prep time and the usual sinkful of dishes. These are meals that are simple, complete, and super yummy - basically everything we needed on college but instead chose to survive on Ramen noodles and PB&J sandwiches.
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Air Purifier
One of the best purchases we made this year was an air purifier. Not only have we seen a major decrease in seasonal allergies and colds this year, but our red eyes have all but gone away, stuffy noses, and I'm hoping (fingers crossed) that the flu skips our house this year (and next) as well! This is not the one we bought but for the price, it's the best bang for your buck and perfect for your parents or in-laws! It REMOVES 99.97% OF MICROSCOPIC PARTICLES, utilizes a true HEPA H13 filter that is guaranteed to capture particles as small as 0.1 microns in size (really tiny). And a bunch more - this is the perfect gift - especially if you insist on bringing your germ-infested kids over to Gammy's house.
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Cozy Throw
Barefoot Dreams
I have been trying to share my love affair with this blanket with you for literally a month but it's been sold out! I just went to check and it's back in action AND over 50% off!! This is the comfy, coziest blanket I've ever snuggled up with and makes the best gift ever. And I don't care what age you are, everyone wants a comfy, plush blanket all their own. Get matching ones for your parents or in-laws as couch throws or car blankets!
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Key Tracker Fob
Help your favorite forgetful parents keep track of everything in their life from keys to the kid's sports gear with this tracker, which lets you keep tabs on its location from a phone app and can even be prompted to make an audible ring if you're searching for something out of sight. I actually got one of these this year and have loved having a tracer on the thing I misplace the most!
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Unisex Ansley Slipper
Who wouldn't love a cozy pair of slippers to wear around the house? And since these happen to be waterproof and have grippy treads, they can even go outdoors for leisurely strolls, walking the dog, or grabbing more firewood on a snowy evening. Plus, you can get the 'rents matching ones!
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Voice Controlled Plugs
Amazon - Alexa
It’s not only already one of the best-sellers of the year, but it’s super easy to use too! Now your parents or in-laws can easily turn any room in their house to a smart home. Plug it in and use voice controls to say things like “Turn on the lights” or “Turn off the TV” and so much more. These also work with Alexa and would be awesome paired with any Alexa-enabled device on this list! The last thing I want to do at the end of a long day is walk through the house turning off lights!
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Ancestry DNA Test
In my religion, we're really encouraged to do out genealogy work but I know that's not the norm! Not only to learn more about where you’re from, but now you can also learn about where your ancestors moved to, what their journey was, and how that reflects in you today! Better yet, your parents and in-laws can do their own test and there’s now even an app that goes along with it. It's like a treasure map for your bloodwork and now you can know where Uncle Jerry gets his strange looks or if your grandma has any long lost siblings!
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Digital Frame
Tired of grandma leaving confusing comments on your social media posts, but still want to keep her in the loop on your life? Look no further. We gave this digital picture frame to Braun's grandparents for their anniversary last weekend and it is awesome! Every family member can download the app and upload pictures right to their frame. You can even add in captions so they know who and what was happening in the picture and the pictures upload automatically! Honestly? It might be my favorite thing on this list!
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End-Grain Dual Sided Cutting Board
This is for every time your parents slid something under whatever you were cutting when you were a kid. this cutting board is handcrafted in the USA from sustainable Black Walnut and is the perfect size and weight for easy cleaning, and doubles as a countertop butcher’s block. Flip it over and you’ve got a chic serving board! Did we mention it’s end-grain and heals itself? Let’s face it, your parent's old cutting boards are chopped liver. This would also double as an amazing charcuterie board!
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Farm Flower Subscription
The Bouqs
As a person who is raising 4 other persons and 2 dogs, sometimes more stuff just seems like...more stuff. For once, it would be nice to get something that doesn't feel like I have to find a place for it and I know a lot of parents feel the same. I love this gift. I love the idea of sending my parents a bouquet of flowers once a month. Fresh flowers can bring a smile and joy to even the worst days. + you can choose the frequency and you can personalize each one with a note! I seriously love the idea of fresh flowers for the person who has everything else!
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Echo 5
This is the latest Echo Show 5! It’s way cheaper (in a good way) than the last Echo Show and way smaller too! The screen is a 5.5″ smart display, allows you to have video calls with friends/family, watch videos, play games, listen to music, check the weather, control all your smart home devices and more. Another great new feature is the privacy controls. Simply flip a switch on top of the Echo Show 5 to turn the camera and microphone off when not in use. We use ours to call Braun's and my parents all the time!
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Customized Floor Mats
We've all seen the destroyed floors of cars during the winter or inclement weather! This is the gift that absolutely keeps on giving. Just put in your parent's vehicle make, year, and model and get all-weather mats that are custom measured to fit snuggly, and trap all dirt, water, snow, and slush that's tracked in. Plus, it makes them easy to dump for a cleaner, dryer car!
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My Family Cookbook
Uncommon Goods
Every family has that one cook that makes the best food but uses measurements like "a carrot the length of my pinky" because that's the way their mother did it and her mother did it. But at some point, these recipes need to be written down! I love the idea of filling this book with recipes (like my Grandpa's tomato juice and noodles) that are family favorites! This cookbook will ensure that your family recipes are passed down and recorded for posterity! It has sections for ingredients, instructions, cook times, ratings, and of course a slot to give credit so everyone remembers who invented the cheesy calzone that no one wants to live without! It's destined to become a family heirloom!
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Wood Marble Cheese Slicer
Crate & Barrel
This is the gift for the parents who suddenly started buying cheese for those parents who discovered that now that they're not feeding 10 mouths, that they can splurge on some super yummy cheese! This is the perfect gift for your parents to prepare a mini charcuterie board to hunker down with and watch a movie together. Get them a bottle of Martinelli's or wine (if they're drinkers) to go with it and hey, you can even throw in a block of your favorite cheese to help break it in!
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Matching Fitbits
Now that your parents aren't chasing kids around all day (except those days they babysit), it's important for them to stay active! With their Fitbit they can track steps, distance, calories burned, floors climbed, active minutes & hourly activity with up to 5-day battery life. This will help them stay healthy and add some exercise into their daily routine. The downside? When you find out your parents work out way more than you do!
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How to Babysit Grandma
Jean Reagan
One of the best gifts on this list and one of my favorites! Plus, your mom will love it too. One thing my mom loves is reading books to her grandchildren. It helps her connect, they love the stories, and this one is super cute! Plus if you're like my parents, if your mom is happy, your dad is happy. Giving your parents or in-laws a stack of your favorite children's books will ensure that they have an activity to do with your kids and one that will bond them forever!
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Toaster Oven + Air Fryer
Black & Decker
Empty-Nesters have the ideal living situation. It's like college all over again without the school work and lots of money. And this little oven is perfect for the couple on the go who doesn't want to make a huge mess or warm up the house with their normal oven. It's ideal for baking, broiling, toasting and air frying - which browns & crisps food with little to no oil. It fits up to 6 slices of bread for toast, a 12" pizza, and they can just dump the crumb tray in the bottom for easy cleaning!
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Fire Tablet
This tablet from Amazon Fire, is super light, gives you up to 7 hours of reading, listening to music, watching videos, and more on a full charge! It’s oddly cheap in price and the perfect gift for your parents especially if they’re new to the tablet world or just need an upgrade. It will allow them to read on the go, get their daily newspaper, watch their favorite shows, listen to audiobooks, and so much more!
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1 Comment

One Comment

  1. This list right here!! All of these suggestions are perfect for parents or in laws and beyond. I swear this category is the hardest because they already have “everything”. Thanks Tara! You are the best.


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