Jagwire’s ideas for Mother’s and Father’s day

Mother’s Day and Father’s Day are just over a month apart and right around the corner. When it comes to picking gifts, essentially all the same rules apply.

Choosing gifts comes naturally sometimes, but other times life leaves us a little clueless. It’s okay though, because keeping just a few things in mind streamlines the process of choosing the ideal gift. The number one thing to keep in mind is the generality of a gift. Gifts for parent should be thoughtful and come directly from the heart. Think back to something your parent really wanted, but never took the time to get for themselves and you’ve got yourself a good gift.

Gifts should also under no circumstances throw shade. Just don’t do it.

Imagine the gift is an introductory book to Spanish. There’s a big difference between giving that to someone who wants to learn Spanish compared to someone struggling in a Spanish class. No matter what the intent of the gift is, if it can be interpreted as judgmental or insensitive, you should probably avoid it entirely. Remember: there’s a fine line be- tween a thoughtful gift and a hurtful one.

Gifts people end up using a lot will constantly remind them of the gifter, but gifts that never get used aren’t harmful.Understand there is incentive to choose a good gift, but no penalty for being a little creative.

Price also plays a very significant role in what gift to buy. Buy something that’s too expensive, or more accurately, something that seems expensive, and you’ll make your parents feel self conscious.

A good way to minimize price while dramatically increasing value is to make gifts yourself. Homemade blankets, or fabric things in general, make good gifts.

Homemade coupon books, on the other hand, may have worked when you  were seven, but unless your parents specifically asked, it would be better to find something else.

Then again, gifts don’t have to be limited to physical possessions. The classic breakfast in bed effectively conveys how much a person means to you by the effort  put into making the meal. However, actually serving breakfast in bed is generally a bad idea as it is uncomfortable for the person eating and can be a hassle to clean up, especially if any accidents occur.

Be careful when attempting to select something you are not familiarized with. You don’t want to be the guy that accidentally gets his dad the fifth book in the wrong series.

Gifts can be a secret, but they don’t have to be. If surprising your parents works for you and adds something of value to the experience, go for it, but generally speaking it’s not a big deal.

Mother’s/Father’s day gifts aren’t necessary like birthday gifts. They hit a sweet spot between practicality and need. In the end, you aren’t just celebrating a person; you’re celebrating your parent’s efforts and successes.

If your parent is into carpentry, maybe consider a tool or gadget they don’t already have. If they like to cook, a cookbook isn’t a horrible idea, but a utensil specific to what they cook, like a spatula, might make a better gift. If they like piña coladas or dancing in the rain, buying a blender might be too expensive, but some stylish rain boots might do the trick.

The amount examples for specific situation make all the possible gift combinations virtually unlimited, so remember not to stress yourself too much. You might as well check yourself before you actually wreck yourself, but it’s not the end of the world if you mess up. Feel confident that the gift you thoughtfully selected is the best one you could have given.

Illustration by Ryx Zan