Student Saver Holiday Gift Guide: Gifts for Parents

If you're wondering what to get for your parents around the holiday, we've come up with some ideas for you to consider. You could make them something or take them out to dinner, among other ideas.

Student Saver Holiday Gift Guide

It's the season of giving, which means it's time to give everyone a gift. You may be able to find gifts for your friends with no problem, but what about your parents? It's always so hard to find things that they actually want that you can afford on a student budget! So what can you do to find an inexpensive but meaningful gift for mom and dad? The options might surprise you. It's easier than you might think and you may also find that sometimes the least expensive gifts can be the most thoughtful.

Before we launch into some suggestions, there is one huge piece of advice on getting your parents gifts. Before you go out looking, actually ask them what they want. Your parents know you're only a poor college student, so they probably won't be asking you for diamonds. There might also be something they actually need for the house, like a new duster or wrench, neither of which costs very much. Of course, you may still get the dreaded 'I don't know, don't worry about getting me anything.' If that's the case, then these inexpensive suggestions are for you.

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Hand-Made Crafts

Nothing says I love you like something that has taken time, effort and probably a few botched attempts as well. By that logic, nothing says I love you better than crafts. You can try to be fancy by attempting to sew a pillow, or more simple by making a nice card with thoughtful words and a note printed by hand on the inside. If you want to go nostalgic, you can even make something out of Popsicle sticks and write on it somewhere that you're still their child at heart. If nothing else, that's sure to get a few 'aws' from Mom.

For dads, crafts are a little harder to manage. Perhaps a homemade coupon book with coupons for different chores like mowing the lawn or cleaning out the gutters. A picture frame or maybe a coat-hook for the wall might work - just make sure that it doesn't get too cutesy.

A Day Out

Sometimes spending time with your parents is far more important than spending money. Offer to take the whole family to a movie together at the local dollar theater or maybe just for a picnic in the park. You can tailor it a little more specifically to Mom or Dad with individual outings. For Mom, think about going out on a hike or doing some sort of spa day at home. For Dad, perhaps a fishing trip or a local sporting event.

The idea with these is to make it seem grand and specific to what they like. It doesn't have to be horribly expensive, just make sure you take some time to think about what they enjoy doing the most and catering to that.

Making Dinner or Dessert

The quickest way to the heart is through the stomach, so send love to your parents with the gift of food. Tell your parents that you're making them dinner one night of all their favorite foods and that they will not have to lift a finger for the preparation. Set the table nicely, light candles, pour wine and make it a real restaurant experience.

If you are not the greatest cook in the word, a small confection might do instead. Prepare some cookies to wrap and give as gifts, or make a cake or other pastry for dessert one night. If you're still worried about your cooking abilities, pudding parfaits with instant pudding and fresh fruit is a dessert that's pretty hard to mess up, no matter how little experience you have in the kitchen.

Thrift Store Gifts

Never underestimate the power of thrift stores. You don't even have to go in with anything particular in mind. Just go in and start walking around. You're bound to be hit by a multitude of ideas or inspirations for what kind of gifts would perfectly suit your parents. Because of the varied merchandise in these stores, you're bound to find something that works for either Mom or Dad.

The plus side of this is that thrift stores tend to be pretty inexpensive. Sure, if you're looking at that beautiful table it's still probably going to cost you quite a bit to get it. But if you shop smart, you can still probably find interesting things to give as presents.

Clean and Organize the House

No matter where you live, clutter and disorder are going to invade your house. Surely your parents have a file cabinet that needs organizing or a bathroom with drawers full to brimming with useless stuff. If not, maybe your dad or mom needs help filing taxes this year or budgeting for a grocery list. Offer to organize whatever needs organizing.

Even if your family keeps everything pretty orderly, dust is still going to settle on surfaces. As a holiday present, clean all the windows and wood surfaces to a shine. Even vacuum and steam the carpet if your family has a steamer. A clean and orderly house is something that every mother and father can enjoy well after the holidays have passed.

Procrastinating on Christmas shopping? Try these simple ways to fight procrastination!

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