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If you’re a parent to an adult, you’ve probably had this struggle. Your adult kid has a job, maybe even a house and a family. They can basically buy whatever they want! So how in the world do you choose a gift for them?
Fear not! You can still find a wonderful, excitement-inducing gift for the person who has it all.
I recently asked readers gift ideas for adult children and great responses came flooding in!! I found all the best ones and broke them down by budget.
Gift Ideas for Adult Children:
- Larger budget: Plane or train tickets, a cruise or vacation package (for just them or the whole family), a week at a cabin or beach house, a down payment for an all-inclusive vacation, festival or concert tickets, zoo/aquarium/museum membership
- Smaller budget: Amusement park tickets, tickets to axe-throwing or escape room, zoo/aquarium/museum tickets, gift certificates to spend if you know they’re already going on a vacation (like Disney, Universal or a restaurant at their destination), cooking/painting/dancing classes
- No budget: Handmade gift certificates for kid/dog/house sitting, coupons for lessons with you i.e. how to make your famous cheesecake or how to change a flat tire
- Larger budget: A wine subscription, gift certificate to a high-end restaurant they’ve been wanting to try, a food box subscription, a full or half cow for their freezer (meat all year!), a high-end bottle of Bourbon or other spirits
- Smaller budget: A basket filled with their favorite snacks and treats, gift certificate for their favorite takeout (look for gift card deals and coupons), a home-smoked ham or turkey
- No budget: Create them a freezer stash of casseroles and soups they can grab when they’re low on time, make their favorite fudge, dessert, etc., write a collection of their favorite recipes you make for posterity, homemade jellies/salsa/pickles
Funny or Gag Gifts
- Larger budget: Cold hard cash (literally freeze the cash in a block of ice) or other fun cash-giving ideas (check out these ideas by One Crazy House), a Scottish Nobility title (seriously, this is a thing)
- Smaller budget: Give them something they always wanted for Christmas but never got (one reader mentioned an Easy Bake Oven), socks and underwear, a basket of essentials like toilet paper/laundry detergent/trash bags, something insanely oddball like this book on Crafting with Cat Hair or this rubber chicken purse
- No budget: Use your creativity and make something that will make them laugh (check out this list of 41 DIY gag gifts from Down Redbud Drive), funny coupons like a free hug or get out of one family dinner, etc., lumps of coal
Handmade and Photo Gifts
- Larger budget: A piece of original art (there are lots of Etsy), a handmade leather bag or piece of luggage, pay for them (or even the whole family) a family photo shoot with a professional photographer
- Smaller budget: A handmade quilt or knitted/crocheted afghan, a puzzle made from a favorite photo, gift certificates to Shutterfly or similar so they can print out all their photos, homemade food items (see above for more ideas)
- No budget: A scrapbook or collage of favorite childhood photos, handmade ornament exchange, write them a nice personal letter from the heart about everything you love about them, a cute coupon book (babysitting, a sewing machine lesson, an oil change or tire change lesson, a lesson on making your famous cheesecake, etc)
- Larger budget: Buy gifts for another family in their name, make one house or car payment for them or pay down some student loan or credit card debt, a gift certificate for car detailing, a year of a streaming service, an Amazon Prime membership, a professional house cleaner to do a deep clean, a mini photo album of gift cards to various places, a generator, gold and silver coins
- Smaller budget: Make charity donations in their name, a Shipt or other delivery service membership, a Sams or Costco membership, safety items like this keychain car escape tool or plug-in carbon monoxide detector, pay attention to home items they need replaced like kitchen cutting boards, a basket of stuff for their favorite hobby (sewing, crafting, grilling, etc)
- No budget: Personal mementos like a piece of art, furniture or something they are attached to (one reader said she loved when her mom handed down all her nursing pins), sneak and do a deep clean of their car or house, cheap lottery tickets (a reader said her mom calls this the gift of hope)
See more gift ideas!