With the holidays right around the corner, it’s time to start making your own list and checking it twice. For many of us, the hardest people to find gifts for are our parents. By the time you actually get an idea of what to get them, it feels like it ends up being “a new set of spatulas” or “something for the yard” and not anything that feels meaningful. When looking for your parents, it’s not just about getting something to meet the holidays, it’s a way to say thank you, to show your love, and to make them feel special in the same way they made you feel growing up.

When looking for gifts for our parents, it’s not just a question of “do I buy something for both of them to share or something for them individually?” Nor is it a question of “what don’t they have yet?” Instead, think about gifts that will help you show your gratitude to them, something that makes them feel loved. Studies have shown that the biggest psychological effects of gift giving can be on ourselves, so let’s look for gifts that we would be proud to give our parents, not just a gift that ensures we got something. Here are four ways to think about finding the best gift for Mom and Dad this holiday season.

1. A nostalgic gift

Researchers found that nearly half of the gift givers thought it was important to give their fathers something thoughtful and meaningful, and a majority of shoppers thought that getting a gift that is unique or different for their mother was the key. When thinking about what might fit those criteria, a great option is to think of a gift that is nostalgic to your parents. This could be the box set of your mom’s favorite television show as a kid, or maybe a toy that your parents had when they were kids. My dad still commutes to work every day and said he wanted a new lunchbox (typical dad answer). So instead of buying something plain from Walmart, we found him a Gentle Ben lunchbox online, a show he watched every day growing up. It was the perfect way to not only get him something he wanted, but a way to show him that we wanted to make him feel special. When looking for your parents, think about those stories they told you again and again about what they did growing up, you never know what might spark inspiration

2. A gift personalized to mom and dad

A classic option, but a classic for a reason. Whether it’s because your parents are difficult to shop for or because you want to turn what may be a simple gift into something unique, personalizing a gift for your parents can never go wrong. Perhaps your parents have everything monogrammed and you want to add to their collection. Or perhaps you want to give them something just for the two of them and want to add that personal touch. Regardless, getting a personalized gift is a great way to show you put thought into the gift. If you’re trying to figure out what to get them, look to their daily habits. If your parents love having wine with dinner, you could get engraved wine glasses. If they travel, you could get them personalized passport holders or journals to record their trips. Adding that little personal element can go a very long way.

3. A gift mom and dad can use (and actually use, not just is cool)

Similar to above, what could your parents use that maybe they haven’t taken advantage of? We live in a world of ever-changing gadgets and tools and there may be something that would truly make their lives easier. If your parent loves adding seltzer to drinks, maybe look into a carbonation machine. Maybe they’re a little forgetful, then maybe getting them item trackers could be a great gift. Or perhaps you could sign them up for a monthly membership for new coffee or food. The key to getting a useful gift for your parents is that they have to actually be able to use it. Streaming devices can be an awesome gift, but if your parents are still sending text messages like they are emails, the latest gadget may not be something they could actually take advantage of. There are tons of options out there, and the good news is that finding useful gifts can be as simple as asking your parents what they’ve been watching recently or if they’ve picked up any new hobbies

4. A gift you can share with them

Whether your parents live across the country or right down the street, giving them a gift that you can all share and experience together makes the gift feel even more special. This could be a set of new games to play as a family, a scrapbook to make together, or tickets to a show you can all enjoy. The ability to share in the gift as a family bring you all closer together and adds a whole new level of meaning to the gift. It’s a chance to make new memories and cherish the ones you have. Seeing the joy that even the most simple gifts can bring lets that joy flow both ways, so why not give the gift of a shared experience?

And if you are still thinking about what you can get Mom or Dad that fits one of these categories, consider giving them the gift that truly brings you closer together: the gift of memories. Consider Quilted’s Legacy Gift so your parents can document their life story for generations to share for years to come. Or Our Memories with You package gives you and your siblings the opportunity to tell your parents what they have meant to you, and share your most cherished memories with them. Whether it is a last-minute gift that want them to experience putting together, or a completed gift that you and your family create to share, give your parents a gift that shows them how much you love them and appreciate their stories. By giving them Quilted, you are creating entirely new experiences and conversations with one another and capturing memories to share with those you love and with future generations. Don’t wait for the perfect time to sit and write these stories down, start capturing those memories now.

Let Quilted help you deliver the perfect gift for your parent this holiday season.