Gift Guides

Gift Guide for the Grands

Happy Monday, friends! One of my most requested gift guides of the season is here! It’s the question we’re all asking when the holidays roll around… What to give the grandparents?

You know, the people who have everything… the ones trying to downsize, not add to their clutter. The ones who prefer experiences over things.

Some of these ideas are from last year, but a lot are new, and I actually cheated a bit. I did some crowd sourcing in my Facebook Group, and I’ve included a lot of those ideas in this list.

one // two // three // four // five // six // seven // eight // nine

And yes, I realize a lot of you are actually grandparents yourselves, so feel free to chime in if you have good ideas.

I hope you find some good ideas in here!

Oh, and there are a lot more gift ideas below than those shown in the graphic. That really just hits the highlights.

2020 Gift Guide for the Grands

#1. Brookstone Photoshare // This or something like it was suggested by several members of the JLS Insiders, and I know my grandfather loved his. Besides the ability to share pictures with him, it gave us some good conversation starters when we visited.

My mom filled it with old family photos, and then she would add new ones from the kids and grandkids. We would hook it up to the TV so he could see it on a bigger screen, and he loved to look at the pictures with us and reminisce about old times, or hear about what the grandkids and great-grandkids were up to.

#2. Personalized Family Recipe Board // This was one of the most popular from my Grandparents Gift Guide last year. The unique cherry wood cutting board showcases the ingredients and instructions for one meaningful dish.

You just submit a scanned image of your recipe card, and the exact directions are etched in your loved one’s handwriting. (If you don’t have the card, you can enter a typed recipe and it’ll be etched it in a lovely script that feels handwritten.)

#3. Health + Ancestry Service // This was recommended by one of my friends; she says her dad loved this gift last year. You submit a saliva sample, and 23andMe provides insights on your genetic health, traits, and ancestry through detailed reports and other tools.

#4. Indoor/Outdoor Wireless Thermometer // These handy gadgets are always a fun gift for the person who has everything.

#5. Reclaimed Wood USA Wall Art // How cool is this piece of art? Made of reclaimed wood sourced from recycling centers, building sites and factories, every block tells a story of sustainability and resilience.

#6. Latitude Longitude Pillow // Shout out to Arna for sharing this idea in the comments on last year’s grandparents gift guide. I thought it was really clever, so I poked around and found these on Etsy.

#7. Cashmere socks // This was an idea from the JLS Insiders, and I love it. Who doesn’t need socks, and cashmere is a luxury they may not buy for themselves.

#8. Wine Club (or Beer Club) // I’ve really enjoyed my Firstleaf wine subscription this year, or if they’re more into beer, you could gift the Craft Beer Club.

#9. Photo Calendar // The nice thing about this gift is, you need a new calendar every year! Along those lines, I always do a Snapfish photo book for my in-laws for Christmas. I ask all the kids to send pictures, so everyone is evenly represented.

#10. Magazine Subscription // For those on a fixed budget who don’t want another monthly expense, a subscription to their favorite magazine may be appreciated.

#11. Home Chef Subscription // Meal subscription services like this are great for empty nesters because you can get servings for two. It gives them some new recipes to try, and there aren’t a lot of leftovers to go to waste.

#12. Flash Furniture Grandstand Comfort Seats // Perfect for the grandkids’ ball games, band performances, graduation ceremonies… or anytime they have to sit  on those uncomfortable metal bleachers.

#13. Experiences // We are big on giving experiences as gifts. In years past, we’ve taken our parents to a local theater production at Christmastime, and sometimes we give them a handmade “dinner voucher” and take them out to dinner sometime after the holidays.

These types of gifts are really a two-fer because they get the experience, but they also get to spend time with US! We think we’re a pretty fun gift. Ha!

Also consider memberships to local museums, botanical gardens, etc. I realize with Covid, these aren’t all possible right now, but hopefully it won’t be too much longer…

#14. Donations in Their Name // My father always likes us to make a donation in his name to one of his favorite charities, and this is a gift I always feel really good about. I’m not adding more clutter to his life, and we can give a useful gift to someone truly in need.

I that same vein, you can give gifts from Compassion’s Gift Catalog in someone’s name.

More ideas from the JLS Insiders:

  • Gift subscription to Audible
  • WeatherTech CupFone or DeskFone: Helps while using GPS in the car.
  • Amazon Show: It works like an Alexa, but you can also FaceTime and upload pictures regularly.
  • Neveo: I thought this idea was really cool. Family members can to upload pictures from their phone, and this is a service that puts them together and mails a newsletter each month.
  • Grandpad: I’ll just copy and paste the description: “You can post photos to it, call to it, and email to it. It’s a very simple tablet that’s easy to use. All the family members who’re sent invitations can read the group posts, so it allows the entire family to remain in touch through the hub of the senior – an outstanding tool!”
  • Calendar of Events: This is another really fun play on the experience gifts: “One time we purchased a calendar for the up-coming year, and had the siblings and grandchildren pick one day out of the month. We wrote their name down on the date on the calendar that they would be coming to take the grandparents out to lunch or dinner, and gave the completed calendar as a gift to the grandparents. Of course, you could make a meal or get carry-out due to Covid. They enjoyed this so much and looked forward to the visit.”
  • Gift cards for hotel getaways
  • Gift certificates where they get their hair done (for the women) or gift certificates to where they buy their groceries

I’m sure there are a lot more, but I thought these were really clever, and I learned about a few new services and gadgets that I may have to look into when I get around to my own Christmas shopping!

Feel free to share your ideas or gifts you have given or received that went over well in the comments!

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14 thoughts on “Gift Guide for the Grands

  1. These are such great ideas! I’ve been trying to figure out what to get for my father-in-law, and some of these ideas are genius! Thanks for doing this work for us and sharing such great information. Have a wonderful week!

  2. Excellent ideas!  Especially since I’m a grandparent!!  I’d be thrilled with any of those gifts!  Our daughters do a photo book for us at the end of the year, we always enjoy that.  I wouldn’t mind getting a gift certificate for a car “detailing”. These days I hate vacuuming out my own SUV, so we send it to the dealership for a thorough clean/wash inside and out.  We also enjoy our personalized Yeti coffee mugs as well as a mug heater when we use regular coffee mugs. Thanks for all the inspiration you provide, both fashion and non-fashion.  It shows in all the research you do!

  3. My mom loves the digital day of the week/month digital clock I got her for Christmas last year. When she wakes up in the night she immediately can see the day of the week, the date, the time…it really is wonderful for her. She is 98 in assisted living, which would put her way into the Great Grand category. : ).

  4. I have a few ideas:  subscription to Daily Guideposts; Guideposts also has regular books by various authors that are great; a daily devotional book off of Amazon; a comfy fleece or Berber throw.  My DIL nor granddaughter asks us for ideas for Christmas, and I really wish they would because more times than not, they give us more stuff that we really don’t need.  I’d really love to receive a gift card from various stores, so that when I see something I want (or need) I could apply the gift card to my purchase.  As a grandparent, I encourage others to ask their grandparents for ideas.  You never know, they just might give you suggestions.

  5. Here are some ideas:
    *1 year subscription to Britbox. If they like to watch public television series, they’ll love this.

    *If there’s a college student in the family, a tee shirt or sweatshirt from that school makes a great gift to a grandparent. I treasure my “Syracuse Orange Grandma” shirt.

    *Wisconsin Danish Kringle ring from O&H bakery. They’re delicious, festive, and can be frozen for use on Christmas day, or whenever.

    *Nuts from Even people on special diets can eat healthy nuts. Their nuts are fresh (and include organics), and their dried fruits are also good.

  6. Great ideas! Just a tip – you can get the “recipe on a cutting board” through many Etsy vendors and they are way cheaper than through that catalog….

  7. Every year since the birth of my granddaughter in 2010, I get a wall calendar. I hang it in my office. Each month has photos taken of her from last year in the same month. Some months only has 1 or 2 pictures, some will have a collage of pictures. July is our 4th of July celebration, October has pictures of her in her costume and going trick or treating. Nov has a picture of her helping prepare the Thanksgiving Feast. March is her birth month and has pictures of her last birthday. The month of May (my birthday) shows her celebrating with me helping blow out the candles. Each month is created with unique pictures and indicative to that particular month. I look forward to this calendar every year and it is my most cherished gift. She is 10 years old and I have each calendar tucked safely away. She and I pull them out every year in Jan and we sit down and look at each one and how she has grown from year to year. Great Gift Idea. My daughter orders off of Shutterfly

  8. All good suggestions. When my husband’s uncle moved close to us we were thrilled. He was such an engaging, intelligent, caring man, with a great sense of humour and always up for an adventure. One of the things we started doing was a stocking for Christmas morning with some of his favourite things, and some necessities. We always tried to make it fun and could see he enjoyed it. It also brought him into our shared Christmas morning, as we all love our stockings. 

  9. I can attest to the calendar. Since our first grandchild was born, our daughter has made me a calendar of family photos from the past year. At first she made it scrapbook style….remember when scrapbooking was popular?  As more children came along, she switched to Shutterfly, and it’s been my favorite gift every year. I keep them all, and unlike a photo book, you see the calendar every day. 

  10. These are great ideas! I’m looking for some ideas for my mother who had to move into memory care this summer. She of course needs nothing, so trying to come up with something. I do know she loves her chocolate, so that will be on the list and maybe some warmer slipper socks. Anyone else with ideas for nursing home residents?

  11. Great gift ideas!  I want to thank you for recommending the My pillows!  OMG they’re fantastic!  I bought two and I am finally getting great sleep without stiff neck.  I had a neck injury about 28 years ago that is catching up with me now and I couldn’t get good night sleep  for months now.  I got the pillows last week and what a difference!  Thank you so much.

  12. Thank you! I am a “grand” who loves your suggestions. Now I need a list of gift suggestions for my grown children. PS…I’m new to your blog and really enjoying it.

  13. Sue S, when my mom was in hospice we brought lots of photos. If your mother still has some memories of being younger, maybe photos of those times.  A digital photo frame that changes every few seconds might work for those.

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