Gift Guides

Holiday Gift Ideas for Grandparents

Greetings, friends! I’m back with another holiday gift guide, and today we’re talking about what to get our aging parents and grandparents.

Most people of retirement age pretty much have anything they need, and many are even downsizing, which makes them particularly tricky to shop for. I admit, I always struggle with what to get my parents and in-laws for the holidays.

I’ve gathered some ideas from the comments on a recent blog post, and I’ll share what we do, and then I admit to inquiring on Facebook and pilfering some of the gift guides my blogger friends have put together. Hey, it takes a village!

Holiday Gift Ideas for Elderly Parents/Grandparents

Experiences // We are big on giving experiences as gifts. In years past, we have 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.

Photo Books // A few years ago, I spontaneously decided to make a photo book for my in-laws. I collected pictures from all of Paul’s siblings, and I created it online and ordered it. THEY LOVED IT. It became a tradition, and now I do one every year. I love that they keep the most recent photo book on their coffee table, and my kids always enjoy looking through them when we visit. The best part of a tradition like this is, I don’t have to come up with a new idea every year!

Photo Gifts // This goes along with photo books, but there are tons of other photo gift ideas if the photo book isn’t a good choice. Ornaments are nice because they probably have a Christmas tree they decorate. If they have an iPhone or tablet, a custom case is a fun idea. For all these and more, check out the photo gift selections at Shutterfly and Snapfish.

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 their name.

Slide Viewer // If they still have old pictures on slides, this is an easy way for them to view them.

Legacy Box // Allows them to digitalize their old photos and movies.

Garden Clogs // If they have a yard and like to putter, garden clogs are a useful gift and something they may not think to buy for themselves.

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

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.

Robe & Slippers // Who doesn’t love getting a new robe and slippers? Okay, maybe it’s just me, but I think this always makes a nice gift. How cozy do these UGG Ballet Slippers look!?! Macy’s has started their Black Friday Sale early, and their robes and slippers are on sale plus you get an additional 20% off with code SCORE. See also men’s robes and slippers. (Unfortunately UGG is excluded from their promotions.)

Gift Cards to RestaurantsStarbucks / Movies // Gift cards aren’t super personal, but they’re great because they’re consumable, and again, these are little luxuries some living on fixed incomes either can’t afford or aren’t willing to buy themselves. So many older people are super frugal, but they will use a gift card if they have it.

Plants / Flowers // Something living to brighten up their space may be appreciated, especially for those living in assisted living types of situations where they only have a room or small apartment.

Food Gifts // I like food gifts, again, because they’re consumable. You get bonus points if they’re homemade! Also keep drinks in mind. If they like wine or a particular spirit, this is a great time to treat them to something a little nicer than what they’d typically buy for themselves.

I hope that’s helpful. Feel free to leave any other ideas in the comments, and also check out my other 2017 Holiday Gift Guides! They’re linked on the sidebar for easy access throughout the season!

For more ideas, see the Holiday Gift Guide for Grandparents at 5 Minutes for Mom!

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7 thoughts on “Holiday Gift Ideas for Grandparents

  1. These gift guides are the best!!!!  

    Have you ever tried Legacy Box?  Last year, I purchased a slide converter for my parents.  They had a great DIY project that kept them busy through the winter.  Plus, when they finished, I was able to enjoy all of those pics with my family in digital format!  I have thought about doing something like this to preserve their old movies.  Legacy Box may be the perfect gift!

  2. Great post. I’ve been looking for new ideas for my parents and in laws this year as their mobility and independence are much reduced. A couple additional suggestions:

    Make sure food items fit their dietary needs. For example, low sodium (I was mailing my Grandma stuff that she couldn’t eat for 5 years before she finally told me she was throwing it out!).
    For parents with vision problems, a Kindle loaded with books they will like can enable them to enlarge the print as much as they need. Also consider a subscription to audio book services. For any technology, just make sure you show them how to use it and they can learn.

  3. I love your fashion style!  Can I ask for your help in choosing what to wear for an office Christmas dinner?  I am the only employee. Every year my employer and his wife take me amd my spouse to a very nice restaurant for the holidays. The restaurant chosen is a semi formal one and I am in my 50s so comfort is important. We live in western Canada (close to Banff) so our weather fluctuates all the time throughout the winter. We actually had rain yesterday. Any fashion help you can provide would be very much appreciated!  Also, the dinner is right after work so I will not have time to change. 

    1. Yeah, I would try to find a “festive” sweater that works with dress pants or jeans and can take you from the office to dinner. Wear it with black pants and pumps. Or a blouse and blazer that you can take the blazer off after work and wear the blouse to dinner? White House Black Market usually is good for that type of thing:

  4. Hi, Jo-Lynne!

    This guide is amazing! I seriously took my time reading the whole thing. My favorite would be the robe and slippers! I think it can make elderlies feel and look cozy. 🙂

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