Christmas gift guide: your parents.

I find parents to be among the most difficult people to shop for at Christmas.  It’s tricky to think of something that your parents would like that they don’t already have.  I tend to operate on the principle that a gift for your parents should be something special that they wouldn’t buy for themselves.  It can be sweet and sentimental, or practical and functional.  It’s vital to make sure that whatever you buy is personal and suited to your parent’s tastes and interests.  I find that parents tend to be a lot more open to home made gifts than siblings or friends, so if you want to flex your creative muscles and make them a present, it’s very likely that they will appreciate it greatly.  I’ve compiled a few suggestions for you to pique your inspiration.


Gifts for Mum

– Mum’s tend to be among the most over-worked and under-appreciated people on the planet.  My mother runs herself ragged and never really takes the time out to pamper herself and unwind.  If this is ringing any bells for you, why not buy your mum a voucher for a massage or a facial?  If she’s the sort of person that will leave the voucher to languish in the drawer until it expires, ring up and make an appointment at a time that you know she will be free.  This will give her some enforced relaxation time, and also show her how much you appreciate all her hard work.


– Elegant, classic jewellery is a perfect way to let your mum know how special she is to you.  If you can, check out the contents of your mother’s jewellery box to give you an idea of her personal style.  Try DaWanda for some inspiration.


– If your mother is anything like mine, she loves a nice cup of tea.  Buy her a beautiful teapot and some lovely cups to make teatime extra special.  T2 have a great selection of teas and tea ware.


-Make your mum a scrapbook.  Have prints made of some family photos, or pictures of you and your mum together, and glue them down onto some acid-free paper.  Add charms and adornments, lace, glitter and embellishments.  If you want, you can add keepsakes like movie stubs or pressed flowers, and add little journal entries to each page.  A scrapbook is much more personal than a photo album, and your mother will appreciate the effort that you have put into it.


-Treat your mother to a set of luxurious pajamas.  Choose a pair with a loose fit, in a fabric like silk, satin or cotton for maximum comfort.  Peter Alexander have a range of lovely PJs.


– Perfume is always a nice choice for your mum.  Find out if there is a particular scent that your mum likes and then buy her some other products with a similar scent, such as scented soap or body lotion.


– Splurge and buy two tickets to an awesome musical or concert and then go with your mum for a very special day.


– Get your mother a voucher to a glorious restaurant.


– What parent wouldn’t want a gift that will do the housework for them?  This gift would be perfect for either parent.  While we are a few years off having fully-blown robot maids, check out this little beauty, that will do the vacuuming for your parents.




Gifts for Dad

– Fill a hamper with a couple of different international beers, some nuts and pretzels and some home made chocolate chip cookies for a degustatory delight.


– Dads love ‘Dad Jokes”, or jokes that are a bit lame and kitsch.  What better way to celebrate the “Dad Joke” than by printing it on a tee shirt?  Noisebot have a great range of funny tee shirts.


– Fathers rarely get spoilt with bath and beauty products.  Why not pamper your Dad for a change by giving him a selection of Lush’s best products.  My picks for Dad would be the Razorantium shaving cream, the Olive Branch shower gel, the Demon in the Dark soap, the Daddy-O shampooand the Avobath Bath Ballistic.


– Buy a lovely journal and spend some time filling it with your favourite stories from your childhood.  Try to record things in as much detail as possible.  Hand it over to your siblings and ask them to do the same.  Make sure that you leave some pages blank, so that you or your dad can add to it later on.


-If your dad is a music-lover, get him a dock for his ipod, which will allow him to listen to all of his favourite music, and act as a charger as well.  Bose have the best range, but I have one from Logitech that I love.


-My family has loads of old home movies on VHS.  If you find yourself in the same position, get those old movies remastered onto DVD, and then make personalized cases for them.


– Get your dad tickets to an art or museum exhibit that he would be interested in seeing and then tag along with him.


– If your dad is something of a movie buff, buy him a gift voucher for a Gold Class cinema.  The gold class cinemas are brilliant, with reclining armchairs and gourmet menus.


– Books are always a good gift for dads.  Anything by Ben Elton or Terry Pratchett is good for the man who likes a laugh.  For a more serious read, try The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch.


Whatever you buy for your parents, make sure that it is personal and suited to their own tastes.  Rest assured that even if you don’t get it quite right, I’m pretty sure that parents are legally obliged to love any parent purchased for them by their offspring.  Do put in a little time and effort to get something that is personal and appropriate for your parents.

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