Adult children's birthday gift?

TubaMom asks from Heath, OH
15 answers

Just curious what you do for your adult children's (living at home & not) birthday gifts?

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15 Answers


Ebird's mom

answers from Los Angeles on

I don't have adult children. I'm the adult child. My mom gave me cash. My inlaws also give me cash.

Barb K.

answers from East Mc Keesport on

Now that my kids are all "adulting" I have two that love cash/gift cards (to their favorite stores) but one that loves to open things. I ask for lists in September, I listen to them and ask them what they need/want, and I try to get them things that I know they won't necessarily get for themselves but want. It's a balance. Good luck.


Heidi M.

answers from Midlothian on

I only adult child (or he thinks he is) 19. I unusually do cash.



answers from Spring on

We give gifts to our kids and to our daughter in law. My daughter and son got money this year.

1 mom found this helpful

Suz t.

answers from Sharpsburg on

when they were in college and at the start of their full time working careers i did more practical things. money was tight for them then, so socks and hoodies and food were appreciated.

now that they're both making good money and don't need *help* any more i try to lure them in with things to do with MEEEEEEE. tickets to a baseball game, or dinner at a fancy schmancy place.

if i know they're going somewhere fun i might slant in that direction- paintball ammo if they're headed to a tournament, or an item of Ren Faire garb if it's that time of year.


3 moms found this helpful


answers from Orinda on

I get them something I think they will like, and because they are my children, and I know them pretty well, they usually do! As young adults with jobs, school and bills they appreciate gifts even more now than they did when they were kids :)

1 mom found this helpful

Diane B.

answers from Westborough on

I'm from the "it's fun to open stuff" club, so I usually do a gift bag (if I see my son around his bday) or one of those "if it fit, it ships" boxes from the post office with a bunch of things wrapped in tissue paper. He's a runner, so he always needs shirts (the kind that wick away the sweat), sweat bands and UnderArmor. He's particular about running socks and shorts so I let him buy his own. He likes those casual, stretchy dorm pants so I watch for sales on those. I usually give him a few packs of coffee from the local coffee roaster place, usually to suit his global views (helping countries experiencing turmoil or drought). This year, we were with him, so I bought some preserves and so on from local farms that he grew up visiting (hitting the farm stand, picking berries, etc.). He lives far away now, but when he was in this area, we took him to dinner and sometimes to a movie or comedy club.

I'm the sort of person who shops all year for people, picking things up when I see them. I have a couple of shoe boxes on my closet shelf labeled for each person or each family. It's kind of a relief when a holiday or birthday comes up, and I look in the box and find I already have some things!

It's not about the money. Never was, never will be. It's about showing that I was thinking of him and I picked up something I thought he would like. He loves it.

My son will be 30 next year (gulp!) so I'll have to do something more involved. I'll probably work with his girlfriend to do some sort of surprise - like showing up with my husband and having a dinner out or joining in on whatever she's doing.

3 moms found this helpful

Diane D.

answers from Norwood on

I give a card with a $50 bill inside. A little fun money.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from New York on

My brothers wife and I both keep an updated wish list on amazon. Mom can pick what we have on there, or buy something similar elsewhere and remove it from the list. She usually has a dollar amount she spends. Buys us a gift and writes a check for the rest.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

I don't have an adult child, but I AM an adult child ;) If my parents can make it up to visit me, they will take me out to dinner. It's lovely. If they can't come in, they just send a card which is also fine.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from San Diego on

Nothing. You don’t have to do anything, don’t feel obligated to buy gifts just spend time with your kids.

2 moms found this helpful

MilitaryMom 6.

answers from Woodbridge on

We try to do experiences or visits for our adult children, or if more appropriate, get them something they need. For our oldest daughter's 30th, I flew to VA and surprised her at her job. For our 2nd oldest 28th, I took her for mani/pedis, foot massages and a lunch out. For our middle daughter's 21st, we actually paid for her and her husband's tax prep forms and filing fees (both of their birthdays are the same month). For our adult son (he is disabled) still living at home, we usually do a gift - this year he got a bike!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Wood Dale on

Gigantic towels!! crazy socks, skin creams...Well, my daughter in law and son live very far away and she doesn't like it when I find her clothes or something so I sent her twenty dollars. Not sure that was a decent amount so you pick the amount but I am sure she will like opening a card and getting money. Gift cards of course...but that depends on for where. I found out we got a gift card once for a place nowhere in our I sent it to my son.

1 mom found this helpful

Margie G.

answers from Portland on

I don't have adult children but my siblings do. They usually either give money (so their adult kids can put it towards something they need or are saving for) or ask them what they specifically want.

If everyone is going in on a big gift (if someone just got a house or needs a new TV etc.) then they will go in on that, and make up the bigger portion of the difference for example.

Sometimes it's a flight home (if they live away) etc.


answers from Chesapeake on

A card and maybe a little cash or a gift card.
Our son's in college - so things he can use at school and not take up dorm room space.
A Subway gift card works well for him.

1 mom found this helpful
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