What to gift your parents this holiday season: a guide

Everyone is working extra hard to stay sane during this Covid-19 pandemic, and a holiday “thank you” can make a student’s tired guardian feel appreciated.


Caity Parkes

This holiday season is anything but ordinary.

This holiday season is anything but ordinary, but students should consider the many things that they could get their caregivers as a thank you for everything they have done during these difficult months. Everyone is working extra hard to stay sane during this Covid-19 pandemic, and a holiday “thank you” can make a student’s tired guardian feel appreciated. Keep reading for a list of sentimental, useful, and sweet holiday gifts for any parent. 

For the parent that loves to cook

A cookbook or a New York Times Cooking subscription ($40 for the year) for a fun new source of recipes. Kitchen gadgets are also a great gift: a new mixer, a pasta maker, or simply a new coffee pot/Keurig. 


Something simple

Chocolates, candies, or flowers are simple yet beloved by many. Students can ask around for Mom’s favorite type of flowers, Dad’s favorite candy, or get a nice box of chocolates for the house. All thoughtful presents that won’t break the bank. Even something as simple as a home made (or store bought with a small written message) holiday card can be a simple and sweet gift. 

Caity Parkes
Holiday candy, including Skittles and Twizzlers.

Sentimental ideas

Photos are simple and can be printed out for cheap at CVS, online (through Shutterfly or other companies), or in a printer at home. A nice family picture can be placed anywhere in the home and is a sweet gift for anyone. Another fun idea: there are now electronic picture frames that can store many pictures and play a slideshow of the selected pictures (students should just make sure that they can help a less tech-savvy parent to set it up). 

Many websites allow one to customize just about anything. A coffee mug, christmas ornament, mouse pad, or t-shirt with a picture of your family. This personalized gift is something both sentimental and heartwarming for caregivers.

Caity Parkes
The website of Shutterfly, a photo printing service.

Gifts for the house

A cute and sweet gift for your caretakers could be something that everyone in the household can use. A whiteboard, calendar, or magnetic letter board can be helpful to keep the family organized or to leave important/fun notes for each other. 

Do something, instead of gift something

If buying a gift isn’t possible for a student and there is no time to make one, doing something simple for, or with, a parent or guardian can be a nice holiday gesture. Like the coupon books for free hugs that we all gifted people with as children, students can offer up their services to make a nice dinner or dessert for the family. In addition, students could plan a family movie, game night, or do a few extra chores out of love and in the spirit of the holidays. 

Source: studio5.ksl.com 

For the exercise enthusiast

Some families may still be motivated enough to go to the gym in person or at home. For the parents who love working out, a pair of leggings, gym shorts, or other workout clothes can be the perfect gift. A piece of exercise equipment could also be something that the whole family can enjoy, but that would be a bit on the pricier side. 

Screenshot by Caity Parkes
The website of American Eagle Outfitters, a clothing store.

Something they always say they need, however simple

If a student’s parents continue to lose their phone chargers, buy them an extra charger or two. If they always lose their keys, purchase a hook to help keep them attached to a belt or purse, or a special alarm keychain that will help them to find them. If the guardian tends to eat all of the ice cream in the house and forgets to buy more, find a few pints of some of their favorites and surprise them! The point is, a great gift can be very simple and affordable, and yet still specific to a student’s loved one. 

With this year being as difficult as it has been, taking a few extra minutes to think about a holiday gift for loved ones is extra important. Students should think about what will make their families’ quarantine better. A little thoughtful gift, whether an idea that costs money or not, will certainly bring smiles to otherwise stressed-out faces.