Like most people, I love my parents. Super, duper love them. Talk-to-them-at-least-once-a-day love them. But still, every year, I wake up on January 11th and realize, “OMG, IT’S THEIR ANNIVERSARY!!!” Like a crazy person I search the Internet for last-minute gifts, only to get sidetracked by the Amazon cart I left open the night before and my growling stomach and my kids’ unpacked lunchboxes…and before I know it, it’s 6 p.m. and I’m sending them a joint text message. Usually that includes lots of capitalizations and exclamation points (“I love you guys SOOOOO much!!”), and I’m always left feeling crappy about it.
Not that my mom and dad expect a gift—I’m sure they genuinely appreciate my annual bombastic texts—but gosh darn it, they deserve one. For countless reasons, we should all be celebrating our parents’ collective anniversaries. Because their marriage contributed directly to who we are today. Because their marriage survived, when many, many did not. Because their marriage is what we’ve based our entire love lives on. Oh, and because we love them a lot, too.
So here are 20 super-thoughtful, parent-appropriate gift ideas that will equally touch and surprise your mom and dad on their anniversary this year. We’ve eschewed the old-school parameters (you won't find crystal, lace, or ivory on this list) and have instead included lots of customizable products that celebrate your family name and ancestry—gifts that your parents are sure to love and will literally last a lifetime.
The Most Heavenly Sheet Set
What do mom and dad want more than anything? Say it with me: sleeeeeeep. Brooklinen's premium set, which comes in 13 colors and patterns, will have them whispering "thank you" to you every night as they snuggle into bed.
Give the gift of a deep family history dive with 23andMe’s ancestral report, which will analyze your parents’ DNA (via an at-home saliva test) to see which populations it's derived from in the world, where your grandparents and ancestors beyond lived, and more.
Custom Instagram Framing
The gift of a custom frame will undoubtedly be appreciated, and Framebridge will make the process painless and easy on your wallet.
Personalized Cutting Board
Everyone needs a cutting board, and mom and dad are no different. This one is not only majorly cute, but also an homage to the family name.
Personalized Family Cameo Portrait
Warning: Mom and dad might shed a few tears when they see their family represented in this modern day cameo portrait.
Double the Love Heart Bamboo
If you’re looking for a last-minute gift, ditch the flowers and opt for this long-lasting bamboo plant instead. The two hearts will win you bonus points.
Custom Heart Snapshot Mix
Was there ever a parent who didn’t enjoy looking at pictures? Nope, not a one. Whether you opt for a collage of vintage shots from back in the day, or of the grandkids on the family vacation, this gift will be a highlight in their home.
If your parents don’t have Prime, they need it. Not only is it great for the free two-day shipping on Amazon, but this gift also includes access to thousands of movies, TV shows, songs, playlists, and e-books. You might have to give your parents a tutorial on how to use the account, but file it under time well spent.
Keter Cooler Table
A two-in-one table perfect for family barbecues, your parents will love that this not only stores ice but can function as a cocktail or side table, too.
Pix-Star 15-Inch Digital Photo Frame
Give your parents a digital gallery that they’re sure to oooh and ahhh over every day going forward. You and your siblings can send images to the Wi-Fi-enabled device, and your parents can upload images via USB, memory card, or online gallery providers.
Though we live in a digital world, we’re betting good ol’ mom and dad still appreciate a hand-written note. So they’re sure to love a personalized set of handsome stationery bearing the family name.
Personalized Aerating Wine Decanter
Elevate their entertaining game with this monogrammed decanter — something dad will surely be proud to poor wine out of.
Gallery of Nine Playing Cards
Because retirees play a LOT of card games! Now you parents can show off to their friends with vintage pics of your family or a collage of their grandkids’ faces on their ace of spades.
Polaroid ZIP Mobile Printer
You know every time you text your parents a photo, they want to print it immediately! Now they can with this mobile instant printer that comes with a super easy-to-use app.
Personalized Throw Blanket
One can never have too many throw blankets, and this one is a bright, cozy accent to any room. The personalization only boosts the gift’s thoughtfulness.
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