Gifts and Ideas for Empty Nesters

gifts for empty nesters

Best Gift Ideas for Empty Nesters

What are the best gifts and ideas for empty nesters? Often, this next phase of life involves changes in lifestyle. Perhaps once the kids leave the nest, your loved ones decide to move into a smaller home with one story instead of two. Or they move to live closer to one of their children. Others choose to live in a 55Plus community where there is lots to do and many other people who are also new empty nesters. Those lucky enough to have a home with a master bedroom and bath on the first floor may choose to stay where they are for sentimental reasons or to accommodate visits from grown children and grandchildren. In this case, many organize and declutter to repurpose some of the rooms. Whatever they decide to do moving forward, one thing’s for sure – they don’t need a lot more “stuff” at this point in their lives. Gifts for the empty nester should be beautiful, useful, and/or clutter-free.

What is an Empty Nester?

An empty nester refers to a person or a couple whose children have grown up and moved out of the family home to live on their own, typically due to reaching adulthood, going off to college, or starting their careers. As a result, the parents are left with an “empty nest,” meaning the house is now devoid of their children. This transition is often associated with a mix of emotions for the parents, including feelings of pride and happiness for their children’s independence, but also a sense of loss or sadness due to the change in family dynamics. Once the children leave home, empty nesters often experience more freedom and flexibility in their lives. They may have more time to pursue personal interests, hobbies, travel, or focus on their careers.  Empty nesters are an important demographic group as they represent a significant phase of life when parents transition into the next chapter of their lives as individuals or as a couple. It is also a time when they may reassess their goals and priorities for the future.

gift for empty nesters

Coping With Empty Nest Syndrome

Coping with empty nest syndrome can be a challenging process for some. It involves adjusting to significant changes in daily life and emotions. Are you a new empty nester yourself? Here are some strategies that may help you navigate this transition:

Acknowledge Your Feelings

It’s essential to recognize and accept the emotions you are experiencing, which may include sadness, loneliness, or even a sense of loss. Understand that these feelings are normal and part of the natural process of adjusting to an empty nest.

Maintain Communication

Stay in touch with your adult children through phone calls, video chats, or visits. This can help you feel connected and involved in their lives while also giving them the space they need to grow independently.

Rediscover Your Interests

Use this newfound time to explore or rekindle hobbies and interests that you might have put aside while raising children. Engaging in activities you enjoy can bring a sense of fulfillment and purpose.

Focus on Self-Care

Take care of your physical and emotional well-being. Make time for exercise, eat well, get enough rest, and consider activities like yoga or meditation to reduce stress.

Strengthen Relationships

Reconnect with your partner or invest in friendships that may have been neglected during the busy years of parenting. Strengthening these bonds can provide emotional support and companionship.

Volunteer or Get Involved

Consider volunteering or engaging in community activities. Contributing to a cause you care about can give you a sense of fulfillment and a chance to make a positive impact.

Set New Goals

Take the opportunity to set new personal or professional goals. This could involve furthering your education, pursuing a career change, or even traveling.

Create a New Routine

Embrace the freedom of an empty nest by establishing a new daily routine that works for you. It can provide structure and help you adjust to your changing circumstances.

Seek Support

Share your feelings with friends, family, or a support group of individuals experiencing similar life changes. Talking about your emotions can be therapeutic and validating.

Consider Professional Help

If you find it challenging to cope with empty nest syndrome on your own, consider speaking with a therapist or counselor who specializes in life transitions. They can offer guidance and support as you navigate through this period.

Remember that the process of adjusting to an empty nest takes time, and it’s okay to have both good and difficult days. Be patient with yourself and allow yourself to embrace this new phase of life as you discover new opportunities for personal growth and fulfillment.

empty nesters ornament

Why Holidays Like Christmas, Hanukkah, and Mother’s Day Cause Empty Nest Heartache

Holidays like Christmas, Hanukkah, and Mother’s Day can trigger feelings of empty nest heartache for parents whose children grew up and moved out of the family home. Several factors contribute to this emotional response:

Traditions and Memories

During holidays, families often have long-standing traditions and rituals that they used to enjoy together when their children were still living at home. These traditions can evoke strong memories and feelings of nostalgia, leading to a sense of longing for the past when the family unit was intact.

Family Gatherings

Holidays are times when families traditionally come together to celebrate. When children have moved out, parents might feel a void in these gatherings, as the absence of their children may make the festivities feel incomplete or less joyous.

Symbolic Meaning

Certain holidays, like Mother’s Day, emphasize the role of parents in the family. For empty nesters, these occasions can serve as stark reminders of their changing roles and the fact that their children are now independent adults.

Sense of Loss:

Empty nest heartache can stem from a sense of loss that parents experience as their children grow up and become more self-reliant. It’s a natural response to the changing family dynamics.

Loneliness and Isolation

Holidays can amplify feelings of loneliness and isolation, especially if parents are living far away from their adult children or if they don’t have other close family members nearby.

Expectations vs. Reality

There might be expectations surrounding holidays that were built around the family being together. When this doesn’t align with the current reality of adult children living elsewhere, it can lead to disappointment and sadness.

Comparisons with Others

Social media and societal expectations can accentuate the emotions of empty nest heartache. Seeing other families seemingly united during holidays can intensify feelings of longing for the past.

To cope with these emotions during holiday periods we recommend empty nesters create new traditions. For example, volunteer to help others during the holiday season to provide a sense of purpose and fulfillment. It’s also helpful to connect with others in similar situations to share experiences and provide support. Try to remember that it’s also a time for parents to celebrate their children’s growth and independence while cherishing the memories of the past.

Our Recommended Gifts for Empty Nesters

Here are some suggestions for gifts for empty nesters they are sure to appreciate.

Beautiful Bouquets: Mixed Flowers

Beautiful Bouquets: Mixed Flowers

Fresh flowers brighten everyone’s day! It doesn’t matter if the recipient is a woman or a man as both appreciate gorgeous flower arrangements. BloomsyBox brings you handpicked, hand-tied bouquets sent from sustainable farms around the globe
Flowers arrive at the peak of their freshness and may arrive in bud form so you can watch your flowers bloom – plus they’ll last longer than grocery store flowers. Great for a gift; recipients can enjoy weeks of flowers with proper care (included on cards received with flowers), Flowers are responsibly sourced from Rainforest Alliance Certified farms, so you can be sure workers and the environment are respected. Order once or purchase a subscription so flowers are sent every month!

Empty Nest Gift Basket

empty nest gift basket

Their nest may be empty but their hearts will be full of joy when they receive this Empty Nest Gift Box! The box includes an 11oz cocktail mug, polka dot matches, a 4 oz empty nest scented candle, 2 soft and chewy chocolate chip cookies, and a personal greeting from you!

Costa Farms Live Indoor Plants Monthly Subscription Box

succulant gift box

This might be our favorite monthly subscription box!  Each gift box includes up to 3 unique succulents, 2-3 indoor plants, and a collectible plant sticker for a rotating selection of up to 5 different beautiful plants every month. Live indoor plants enhance the aesthetics of any space.  The subscription box provides an easy way to incorporate greenery and natural beauty into our homes and offices with limitless decorating options. The best part? Live indoor houseplants from the Clean Air Collection feature the most efficient potted natural air purifier plants around. They can help improve indoor air quality, according to NASA studies, and boost feelings of overall wellness.

Hummingbird Feeder

hummingbird feeder

Check out this gorgeous hummingbird glass feeder is a hand-blown piece of glass art. Each bottle is unique and skillfully crafted by experienced glassblowers. This lovely flower-shaped feeder is not only attractive to birds but is also an exquisite decoration. The bright and whimsical beauty not only attracts more feathered friends to your yard, but you can also use it as a vase! It’s perfect for both indoors and out.

Paper Shredder for Home Use

paper shredder

A paper shredder may not seem like an exciting gift, but it’s one that people don’t know how much they need until they have one! We love this home shredder to shred receipts, bills, and important documents! No more waiting for “shredding’ days at the library or worse, simply throwing sensitive information in the recycle bin! This one shreds ten sheets at a time and you don’t need to remove staples or clips! My Dad says this is the best gift for empty nesters.

Bamboo Charging Station for Multiple Devices

Bamboo Charging Station for Multiple Devices

Help your family and friends stay neat and organized in their new “right-sized” life! This simple and natural bamboo charging station, compatible with six devices in one, complements the decor in any home beautifully!

Bose Wireless SpeakerBose Wireless Speaker

Bose fans love this wireless speaker that connects to any device with Bluetooth connectivity. This small, portable, and waterproof Bose model provides a crisp, balanced sound for your enjoyment inside or out. This gift is wonderful for anyone who likes to listen to music or podcasts. Wireless Bluetooth pairing with voice prompts allows you to easily take calls and access your phone’s virtual assistant — hands-free. It comes with a built-in mic for speakerphone to take clear conference or personal calls with a wireless range of approximately 30 feet.

High Top Inflatable Mattress

High Top Inflatable Mattress

No longer have a guest room in the house? No problem. Give them an easy-to-store inflatable mattress to pull out when guests stay overnight. This comfortable 22-inch high queen-size mattress comes with an internal electric pump. Problem solved!


This large page magnifier is one I purchase for a lot of people. It’s another gift that makes life so much easier, and the happy recipients wonder why they didn’t have one at their house sooner! Designed to last 100,000 hours, this lightweight magnifier provides an evenly lit and bright viewing area. With three lighting modes and a dimmable switch, this product uses an easy-to-operate one-button/touch design to adjust brightness based on different tasks. Love it!

Liddle Magnetic Bluetooth Speaker with Bluetooth 5.0 Chip for Sound Quality

Liddle Magnetic Bluetooth Speaker with Bluetooth 5.0 Chip for Sound Quality

This portable, water-resistant, and dustproof Liddle speaker is one of our favorite new gifts to buy loved ones this year! Easy to bring with you anywhere, it comes with a Bluetooth 5.0 chip for amazing sound quality and a built-in magnetic interface that allows you to attach the speaker anywhere! Attach it to your phone, refrigerator, or any other magnetic surface, or use the included self-adhesive metal rings to attach it to your car dashboard or anywhere else. Use two in a room for surround sound. It’s hard to believe a speaker this small would produce such great sound, but it does!

20 Pack High-Grade Wooden Coat Hangers

20 Pack High Grade Wooden Coat Hangers

Help someone spruce up their closet with these extra smooth and splinter-free 17.5-inch wood hangers with a non-slip pant bar! This might seem like a funny empty nest gift, but everyone needs hangers, and most of us don’t think to purchase really good ones for ourselves. Once they experience these hangers though, they won’t go back!

Empty Nester Bucket List

empty nester bucket list

Looking for the perfect gift for empty nesters (or are you an empty nester yourself)?  Either way, this awesome bucket list book is your answer!  Jot down notes about things you want to try now that you have some extra time with the kids gone. Bucket lists can be travel adventures, new restaurants to check out, volunteer opportunities, or whatever! Each page has space for couples to record why they want to do a certain thing and what they need to do to prepare.  Then there is space to reflect on the adventure once it is accomplished.  They can write what happened, what they loved, and what they learned.

Digital Photo Frame

digital photo frame

There’s no better way to put a smile on your loved one’s face than to share a special photo. This digital 10-inch color touchscreen photo frame is delightfully effortless To Use. No app or subscription is required. Just plug it in and use the touch screen to connect to Wi-Fi. Then Email photos to the frame’s address and they will appear instantly! For those who are not on social media, the Skylight smart frame can be a life-changing new way to connect with family. But even for the tech-savvy, there’s still something magical about seeing your most treasured photos in your home each day!

Additional Ideas for an Empty Nester

Choosing a thoughtful gift for an empty nester doesn’t necessarily have to cost a lot of money. You can show your appreciation and support during this new phase of life with gifts that involve your time and effort. Here are some ideas:

Homemade Meals or Treats

Cook or bake something special and deliver it to their home. It could be their favorite dish, cookies, or a homemade pie.

Handwritten Letter

Take the time to write a heartfelt letter expressing your gratitude and fond memories of your time together.

Home Maintenance or Organization Help

Offer to help with organizing their home or tackling any home maintenance tasks they might need assistance with.

Nature Walk or Picnic

Plan a day to go on a nature walk together or have a relaxing picnic in a nearby park.

Book or Magazine Subscription

If they enjoy reading, consider gifting a digital magazine subscription or a book from their favorite genre or author.

DIY Craft or Artwork

Create a handmade craft or artwork personalized for them, such as a painted canvas or a knitted scarf.

Virtual Game Night

Organize a virtual game night with friends or family, so they can stay connected and have some fun together.

Music Playlist

Curate a playlist with their favorite songs or music from their era to bring back fond memories.

Memory Jar

Decorate a jar and fill it with small notes or memories they can read whenever they need a pick-me-up.

Volunteer Together

Spend time together volunteering for a cause that’s close to their heart.

Home Movie Night

Set up a cozy movie night at their place, complete with popcorn and their favorite films.

Remember, the best gifts come from the heart, and your effort and thoughtfulness will be appreciated, no matter the cost. Always consider their interests, preferences, and any activities they enjoy to tailor the gift to their needs and desires.

gifts for empty nesters


What are some personalized, sentimental, or thoughtful gift ideas for empty nesters?

Thoughtful gifts resonate deeply and show you value their interests, memories, and well-being. Tailor your gift to their personality and preferences to make it truly special. For example, a customized keepsake like a photo book featuring family memories and milestones is one of our favorite gifts for empty nesters. We also recommend you consider a donation in their honor to a charity or cause that holds significance for them. Or think about planning a surprise weekend getaway to relax and spend some quality time together.

Are there any practical gifts that can make life easier for empty nesters?

Absolutely! Practical gifts can be especially appreciated by empty nesters, as they focus on making their daily lives easier and more comfortable. Consider a house cleaning service, a smart home device, some ergonomic kitchen gadgets, or noise-canceling headphones. Remember to consider their specific interests and needs when choosing practical gifts. Practical gifts that can simplify everyday tasks and provide comfort are often the most appreciated by empty nesters.

How can I support empty nesters in finding new hobbies or interests?

Supporting empty nesters to find new hobbies or interests is a great way to help them embrace this new phase of life. Remember that everyone’s journey is unique, so be patient and supportive throughout the process. The key is to be a source of encouragement and help them discover activities that bring joy and fulfillment to their lives. For example, we recommend you start by providing resources related to potential hobbies they might like. In addition, look for workshops or classes in their area that cater to their interests and encourage them to sign up. Emphasize fun, relaxation, and the opportunity to make new friends. It might be helpful for some to offer to try out various activities or hobbies together. Don’t forget to stay connected and celebrate their progress!

You May Like To Read Also:

  1. 10 Best New Baby Gifts for 2022 
  2. 10 Best Gifts for Senior Travelers They Will Actually Use
  3. With the Nest Now Empty, What’s Next?

originally posted November 2, 2021
updated July 19, 2023


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