I thought it would be nifty to do a gift guide for your parents (or in-laws, as it were) because they are sort of a unique category outside of ‘gifts for her’ or ‘gifts for him’. A lot of the time, the people that gave you life on this earth or raised you are warranted an extra-special present in the form of a joint gift from you and your hubby (or your family), or you and your siblings. If that’s the case, maybe one of these parent-oriented gifts is just the ticket!
Bubbly Champagne Flutes – $36.50 for four @ Indigo
Forget decking the halls – these elegant stemless champagne flutes are just the thing to decorate your parent’s table. A modern take on your typical glassware, the metallic bubbly design feels ultra festive. Note that each set includes four of the same colour (unlike what I have pictured above) – so you can either grab a set of gold or a set of silver for your giftee, or mix and match between two sets for an extra sparkly, party-ready look. A wonderful choice for your parents, especially if they’re known for their legendary party planning skills (hint: bring a bottle of champagne to really liven up the night).
LED Blue and White Chess Set – $19.99 @ Bits & Pieces Canada
Let’s face it, this is about as close as we’ll ever get to ‘Wizard’s Chess’ a la Harry Potter. This nifty set features battery-free LED pieces that brighten up when they get close to the board. Whenever you take your opponent’s pawn (or whatever playing piece) and remove it from the board, watch as the glow fades to represent your fallen comrades. A cool choice for empty nesters looking to wile away the hours with one another.
MOTOROLA DEFY PRO Phone – $300 @ Rogers
Is mom or dad still hanging onto that clunky chunky phone from the last decade? Stop rolling your eyes and do something about it – upgrade their mobile to a sleeker, shinier, smarter package with this Android-powered phone. If your parents are like mine, they’ll fully embrace the QWERTY keyboard (as opposed to those slightly obnoxious touchscreen keyboards), and absolutely adore the crazy-long battery life. Best of all, the phone is practically bullet-proof for on-the-go types. Spills, scratches, and dust begone – you can toss this one in your gym bag, ‘forget’ about it for a few days, or stash it in your glovebox with nary a worry. A must-have to stay connected with your nearest and dearest – and best of all it’s actually available for as little as $0.01 if you sign mom or dad up with a contract when you buy.
Jasmine Essential Oil Diffusers – $69.95 each @ Linen Chest
Make your home smell delightful for up to 21 hours (at full blast, mind you) with this ultra-sonic aroma diffuser that gently wafts the exotic scent of jasmine into the air. With multiple settings to allow you to let a little or a lot of fragrance loose, this is the 21st century answer to potpourri. The difference? A much less powdery scent, a much sleeker package, and an eco-friendly vibe as well: you can also purchase refill oils to keep the good smells comin’.
Wine Enthusiast EuroCave SoWine Home Wine Bar – $499 @ Bed, Bath & Beyond
Another idea if your parents are in empty nester mode. With no young adult types around to imbibe, they might not be polishing off a full bottle of wine on a nightly basis. If that’s the case, consider this high-end home wine bar from EuroCave. Place an uncorked bottle inside and the system will actually seal it back up to keep it fresh and ready for a second sip for up to 10 days. Not only that, you’ll also be able to chill both red and whites at their ideal temperatures with the dual temperature controls. A must-have for any wine-loving folks on your list.
Animal Mini-Pillows – ~$48 each @ Designhouse
Pay homage to your parent’s precious pet or add a pop art splash of whimsy to their rec room or entryway with one of these animal-shaped mini-pillows. Meant more for gazing than resting, there’s over a dozen species rendered in cheery Warhol-style photo prints. From the everyday (like your daschund or terrier) to the slightly more obscure (like a pig or zebra) this is a totally unexpected choice.
Arctic Air Season 1 – $24.99 @ The CBC Shop
Get wrapped up in the first ten episodes of this breathtaking new show about a big city Vancouverite that returns to his hometown of Yellowknife to help right the rapidly sinking ship that is his family’s airline business. Shot in the Northwest Territories’ (at times) unforgiving climate, this adventure story (with a dash of romance) will open your eyes to a rarely-visited corner of Canada’s great white north, and it’s surprising metropolitan flavour. The cast has won critical and fan praise for their earnest performances, while the show itself is a gripping, drama-filled, homegrown program that would only ever exist here in Canada. Best of all, you parents can catch up in time for the next season’s debut in early January.
Dropp! Fruit Bowl – $49.95 @ Emmo Home
I hate my current fruit bowl. I really do. But this? This I can get behind. Although I’ll admit the whole effect of fruit falling into your bowl will be lost upon actual use, I’m still drawn to the juicy-inspired splash effect these bowls possess, and I love that they come in a whole host of cheerful colours to brighten up your kitchen island or countertop. Made from silicone and inspired by a splash of paint frozen in time, these bowls can work pretty much anywhere – serve up a bowl of chips, keep your keys handy by the front door, or display some fresh rolls at your holiday dinner. A hip gift idea for your chi-chi parents.
Play Video Memo Recorder – $59.99 @ Native Union
Let them post love messages for one another, make grocery lists, leave reminders – whatever you want with the Play Video Memo Recorder. This petite-sized screen has its own camera and hard drive that allows you to record up to three minutes of greetings for your loved ones. The magnetic back means you can stick it to your fridge (or any metallic surface) and it comes in seven colours from neutral to nearly-neon. Best of all, with just three buttons, even the least tech-savvy parent can figure this gadget out.
Craft Coffee Subscription – Starting at $22.49 / month
Indulge your parents’ caffeine cravings with this super smart artisan coffee subscription service. Each month you’ll be sent three bags of beans from three different roasters, in quantities large enough to make over 42 cups of brew! Each kit also includes a handy tasting guide and preparation tips to ensure you’re really drinking in the experience. If you know what type of coffee machine your rents already have, you can also specify what type of coffee will arrive at your doorstep – from whole beans to pre-ground. Best of all, if they land on any particular favourite flavours, you can hunt down the coffee brands for future gift ideas.
Holiday Snowstorm & Three Wise Men Fine Silver Coins – $114.95 each @ The Royal Canadian Mint
Whether your giftee is an avid coin collector or not, chances are they’ll appreciate the beauty and continued innovation from Canada’s world-renowned Mint artisans. It was just a few short years ago we broke new ground by printing colour on our coins. Today, the Mint has produced sparkling treasures with intricate etchings, Swarovski crystals, and even a glow-in-the-dark coin. This year they’ve released two new limited-edition holiday-themed coins, with a Mintage of 10,000 each. Both of these $20 coins are made from fine silver, featuring glittering gems, and are an artful choice for anyone on your list.
Faux Leather Pet Ottoman – $29.99 @ Wayfair
It’s a known fact, cats love to burrow themselves in secret cubbyholes (when they’re not curled up on your lap that is). Allow them to stay close by investing in this affordable pet ottoman that seamlessly blends into any home’s decor. Available in black faux leather and beige microsuede, it’ll also work well for a petite-sized pup looking for a quiet resting place.
Le Creuset Holiday Mini Cocotte Gift Set – $69.99 @ The Bay
Foodie types in-the-know are well aware of Le Creuset’s stellar cookware reputation. Whether your parents are already converts (like mine) or simply avid kitchen types, this holiday-themed set of mini-cocottes is a seasonally appropriate gift on many levels. Colours aside, you can use these little enamelware pots to whip up everything from apple crisp and holiday pudding to mini-quiches and baked brie, making them a great choice for entertaining.
Correspondent Watch – $249.99 @ The CBC Shop
Make mom or dad one of the lucky 250 to own this limited-edition watch from The CBC. Every single global correspondent-inspired watch is individually numbered and only available in this single 2012 run, making this a gift that’s truly frozen in time. The simple black nylon strap and sporty style make it a completely unisex choice, while the modern features like stainless steel, illuminated markings, and a water-resistant case makes for a totally practical pick as well. Note on both this AND Arctic Air – all items from The CBC Shop have to be ordered by December 17th to ensure holiday delivery…so make that list, and check it off once, pronto!
Multi-Stripe Throw – $115 – $230 @ Echo Design
I absolutely love snuggly blankets at holiday gifts. It’s the kind of thing you’ll rarely splurge on for yourself but makes such a sensational gift – it mixes practicality (warmth!) with pretty (stripes!) and is something you’ll probably use year-round. Print & colour aficionados Echo Design have rolled out three gorgeous woven oversized blankets, all of which would be a worthy pick for your parents’ den or guest room.
Breville One-Touch Tea Maker – $299 @ Sears
If your parents aren’t the coffee-drinking types, consider this pinnacle of relaxation mini-appliance from Breville. No more guesswork for what temperature and time your favourite teas should be brewed at, simply select what type of looseleaf tea (like green, red, or black) you’re sipping and it’ll do the rest. The very best part of a tea maker like this one is the fact it won’t obliterate the subtle tastes of flavourful dried tea – making every sip that much sweeter.
There you have it! Fifteen wonderful gift ideas at a whole host of price points to please the parents – your lifeblood, the folks that put you on this planet, and those deserving of some of the loveliest gifts. And on that note, I’m giving away a lovely gift to one of you: a prize package featuring three of the items highlighted in this post – the MOTOROLA DEFY PRO phone, a set of the Indigo Bubbly Champagne Flutes, and Season 1 of Arctic Air; a prize package valued at over $350! Here’s how to win:
1) Leave a comment by December 26th with your favourite parent-friendly gift idea on this list.
2) Entries are limited to one per person / per email address / per household (or more if you score bonus entries). A random draw will be conducted on or around December 27th to select the winner, who will have 48 hours to respond before another winner is chosen in their place.
3) Entries are limited to Canadians that have reached the age of majority in their province. Quebec is not eligible to participate in this promotion.
4) Bonus Entry: I really like giving back to my subscribers. If you are one, remind me in the comments to score an extra entry. If you aren’t, what on earth on you waiting for? Sign up and let me know you’ve done so in the comments!