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Best Gifts for Parents (2021 Guide)

Few things are worse than seeing a gift you put time into choosing fall flat; that feeling is even worse when it’s your parents (or your partner’s parents) who are the ones doing their best impression of people who are happy with what they’ve received.

Every year it feels like the ultimate challenge to find great anniversary, birthday or Christmas gifts for parents. Instead of looking for multiple gifts, consider getting them something they can enjoy together if that’s an option.

Regardless of whether it’s the holiday season or you want to show gratitude for something your parents have done for you, the gift ideas below are sure to please, excite and warm their hearts.

Top 7 Best Gift Ideas for Parents in 2021

1. Fitbit Charge 3 Activity Tracker

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Get your parents their own Fitbits and become the favorite child instantly. With a battery life of up to 7 days, this activity tracker will help parents get their health organized.

It has 15 exercise modes to choose from and set goals, automatically records three stages of sleep activity and keeps them connected to their favorite apps, the latest weather and news and of course you. The Charge 3 comes in 5 colors so you can find the right one that best suits mom and dad.

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2. Cleaning Services

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Are your parents always talking about cleaning out the garage one day or turning the empty bedroom into an exercise space once they “get around to it”? Then giving them the gift of a professional cleaning may just be one of the best gifts you can offer!

Choose the size of the space that needs to be cleaned and the amount of cleaning that will need to be done.

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3. The Lotus Plant

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This holiday season, get your mom and dad this beautiful combination of nature, beauty and art. A tall air plants sits in the center of a sustainably made solid softwood sculpture made in the likeness of the lotus flower’s natural symmetry. The tight, repeating loops of the wood are bent by hand, adding to the unique nature of each individual piece.

The perfect gift for parents who have everything, it is elegant and beautifully understated.

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4. Echo Show 5

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Alexa is ready to help your folks around the house in this compact, Wi-Fi enabled Echo device. It instantly amps up any smart home, connecting to other supported devices and keeping your parents updated on anything and everything they want to know.

The compact device can fit into any room in any home and has a screen that allows them to make video calls hands-free to their favorite people – hopefully one of them is you!

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5. Outdoor Patio Table with Cooler

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It’s a coffee table, cooler or cocktail table – it’s all up to your parents. For parents who love to sit outside and even entertain, this bar will offer them everything they need.

Designed with an extendable tabletop for more space and made from weather-resistant materials, it is perfect for indoor or outdoor use. The cooler at the bottom has a 7.5-gallon storage capacity and a drainage plug to make cleaning it a breeze.

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6. Personalized Cutting Board

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Cooking couples will never get enough at looking at and using this personalized cutting board. You can add their first names, special anniversary or wedding dates and the family name, which is emblazoned beautifully right in the center of the board.

Choose between maple or walnut as well as the board size. Perfect for any occasion, it is a great gift for godparents, grandparents or any chef (or would-be chef).

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7. Solar Bluetooth Speaker

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This incredibly powerful speaker easily connects to multiple smart gadgets and can provide up to 6 hours of high-quality sound when fully charged.

Speaking of charging this tiny powerhouse, when you’re outside the sun can charge it or a USB when they’re indoors. It also features an LED flash light for emergencies and has multiple light modes, including a strobe light for the dance party they’re sure to have when they’re alone.

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A Guide to Buying Gifts for Parents

Oftentimes parents have a greater ability to buy what they want than their children. This difference in available resources can sometimes make finding gifts for parents or grandparents particularly hard.

When you want to get them something that they’ll love and use, here are a few rules that can make the task much easier.

Prioritize value over wow factor

You may want to get your parents a unique gift that they won’t expect or may never have gotten for themselves, but it may not be exactly suited to mom and dad’s taste.

A throw blanket and UGG slippers may be better than a pressure cooker for some couples who just want to comfortably snuggle and watch their favorite TV shows. 

Try thinking about experiences or products that your parents have openly expressed interest in but haven’t gotten around to getting for themselves, for whatever reason.

You may find that this thoughtful gift rekindles a passion for a hobby they abandoned years ago. For example, a camera may get them thinking about when they used to travel around town together taking pictures, working on their amateur photographer skills.

Don’t buy elderly parents or grandparents anything that reminds them of their age

Listen up: please don’t buy your parents a jar opener, grabber tool or robot vacuum for Christmas! This kind of gift can make people more depressed, as they are clearly geared towards those of advanced age or people with disabilities.

If a parent does have a disability or they are older, you should definitely get these kinds of items for them, but they don’t make for good Christmas gifts for parents or grandparents.

Get tech they will actually use

Smart devices that make video calls make great gift ideas, especially if there are grandchildren around. While some parents may be hesitant to use a Kindle or other kind of e-reader, a lot of parents find it to be pretty transformative.

You know their interests, so match the tech gift up with something they already enjoy. Just make sure you showing  up to teach them how to use the gadget is also a part of the gift (a Nest thermostat isn’t the easiest to set up).

Tech appliances count here! An Instant Pot is a great outlet for their DIY food recipes.

Give the priceless gift of time

This could be you spending time with them, as most parents love being a part of their children’s lives. If you live in different states, something like a plane ticket to visit them, or bring them to you, would be very meaningful.

If your parents are doing something like looking for a financial advisor or are trying to put the old family photos in a digital format, vet the people they find or digitize the photos for them (as opposed to walking them through how to do it).

Don’t forget that they are busy too, so food subscription or delivery services or someone to take care of the yardwork would go a long way to improving their quality of life and well-being.

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