It is safe to say our parents have been monumental figures throughout our lives. They have raised us from birth, kissed our boo-boos, and sent us off to college. Although nearly impossible to pay them back for all the rides to the mall, homemade dinners, and unrelenting cheers at sports games, the least we can do is buy them great gifts this holiday season.
The question on most minds is, ‘where to start?’. The first thing you need to do is identify your parents’ interests. Once this is accomplished, the gift options not only get easier to choose from, but will also suit them much better. For example, a great gift for book lovers would be the Barnes and Noble Nook or Amazon Kindle.
The e-readers are priced as low as $79. These e-readers are great for on-the-run parents since they are easily portable.
For parents that love MU as much as you do, stop by the on campus bookstore. Gift options range from all types of University apparel such as sweatshirts, hats, mugs, car decals, and more. Some are even branded with “Proud Mom” or “Proud Dad.” Make your parents proud to say that their kids go to MU
Next, set a budget. Sophomore Nicole Gregory goes above and beyond for her parents saying, “There is usually no limit if it’s something that my parents want.” Last Christmas she bought her parents tickets to a Broadway play in the city, a great gift for those who enjoy a night out.
For Gregory, it is important to buy parents nice, sentimental gifts because her parents have “helped a lot through-out the years.” She continued by saying, “On Christmas, it’s nice to give and not only get.”
Unisex gifts, such as the Nook or Kindle, can be great and easy to find, but those that pertain to a particular hobby your parent enjoys can be even better.
For moms who love the kitchen, a homemade cookbook is unique, and benefits the whole family. If you think your mom would love this idea, then get creative. Type up some recipes, mount them on nice paper, and place them in a binder with page protectors. A homemade cookbook will not only speak from your heart, but your stomach as well.
If your mom prefers to shy away from the kitchen, treat her to a day at the spa.
For the dads who also enjoy the art of cooking, pick up an outdoor grill set. All grilling essentials can be priced together for as low as $60 and can be found at retail stores such as Kohl’s, Macy’s, or Home Depot. If you want to get your dad even more, throw in some spices and seasoning to give his favorite foods a boost. For dads who love to eat food instead of making it, you can never go wrong with a gift certificate to a favorite restaurant.
Julie Schaaff, a second year professor in the health and physical education department and parent, particularly enjoys the holiday season. For her, “It is always nice when there is some thought behind the gift.”
One of her all time favorite gifts was a leather bracelet that had three silver beads to represent the three members of her family. The beads were marked with their initials, and the gift she says, “Made me smile every time I looked at it.” Schaaff’s daughter, a 19 year old sophomore at Flagler College, has also given her one of the best sentimental gifts, an original poem accompanied by a DVD that the family “Loved watching together.”
If your parents are like Schaaff and appreciate quality not quantity, there are a number of thoughtful, creative gifts. A compilation of family photos whether it be in the form of an album, scrapbook, or collage is always a great idea.
Ideas for original gift baskets can be found on websites such as Pinterest. com. Depending on the parent, you can personalize the basket with goodies they enjoy such as their favorite snacks, bottle of wine, or movie tickets.
Aside from gifts of monetary or sentimental value, perhaps the greatest gift any of us can give to our parents this holiday season is our time and attention. Being away at college, for most students and their parents, provides insight into how much they truly appreciate each other.
Generally, as people get older, they come to appreciate the holiday season for more than the decorations, presents, or weather but for the inexpressible value of family and friends. Whether parent or child, establishing family traditions and making memories that can be taken anywhere throughout our lives has always been what makes the holiday season so special.