The Grandparent Gift Guide

Is there a grandparent lotto?  If so, I hit the jackpot with my 4.  My grandparents have never missed a milestone: from birthdays, graduations, showers, my wedding, vacations, athletics, to big school performances, they were always there.  Oh, and did I mention they all live 1500 miles away?  Yeah, they showed up.  My grandparents provided an abundance of a lot of things: unconditional love, support, encouragement, humor, comfort, patience, life lessons, and most importantly treats.  There were (and still are!) always treats.  I’m 32 years old and when I just went to visit my nana she made my favorite meal and slipped me cash as she left.  I’m blessed to have 3 of the 4 still with me and have loved watching as they now play the role of the great-grandparent too.

It’s been fun to watch my parents and inlaws make the transition into grandparents too.  I’m convinced something happens in your brain when you become a grandparent.  When I was growing up my parents played by the rules – now it’s candy before dinner and board games past bedtime.

I take my gift giving pretty seriously.   If gift giving was a sport, I’d be on the ‘A team,’ no question.  I train all year for Christmas gift giving, making list, compiling ideas, saving cash.  When November rolls in, it’s open season.  Grandparents can be hard to buy for, at least I think so.  I mean how many handprint art pictures can they really want?

So here are 10 gift ideas for the grandparents in your life.  As you will notice, I tend to err on the side of sentimental.

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  1. Photo Books: There are so many different ways to go with this one.  You could do a book for the year in review, to celebrate a milestone (wedding, baby’s birth), or one that focuses on just pictures of grandparents and grandkids through the years, “grandpa and me.”  Shutterfly is my go to.  It’s user-friendly, they have tons of style choices, and you can often find a 40% off coupon.
  2. Photo Blankets: A couple of years ago Cam gave me a photo blanket for Christmas.  The blanket had just photos of me and him and when he gave it to me, he said: “this way you can always cuddle me, even when we aren’t together.” ( If your heart didn’t just melt a little, it’s probably made of stone.)  It’s my go-to blanket for sentimental reasons, but also because it’s super soft! Jimmy ordered from PrinterPIx.  There is currently a Groupon where I think it will cost you $7 before shipping.  (Groupon expires 11/18 at midnight – so no time to waste!)
  3. Keychain Artwork: Did you know you could have your child’s artwork made into a keychain?  Well, you can, and it’s pretty cute.  Here are three Etsy vendors that will make custom pieces for you, all with a different style. Option 1, Option 2, and Option 3.   My advice on Etsy is to order early.  If a vendor receives too many orders, they will close their shop to catch up and you could miss the Christmas ordering deadline.
  4. Silhouette Necklace:  This is a custom necklace, made from your child’s silhouette.  Unfortunately, the store I purchased from no longer makes them.  But I found two different Etsy vendors that offer them.  The first is a glass/metal pendant and the second is made from wood and has several different styles and color options.
  5. Handwriting Bracelet: You can have a bracelet made with a phrase or name of a loved one written in their handwriting.  It’s hard to picture, so here is the Etsy link, where you can see all the different varieties of this.  I’ve actually given this gift twice for two different reasons.  The first time I gave it to my grandma after my granddad passed away.  I took his signature from a card he wrote and had it put on a bracelet for her.  Last year, Cam wrote “I love YaYa (that’s what he calls my mom)” and I had that engraved on the bracelet.  Both were a hit.
  6. Updating Photo Frame: This is a twist on an old classic: the digital picture frame.  The problem with digital frames is that it plays the same pictures over and over again.  This particular product from Nixplay lets you upload pictures from social media, iCloud, or Dropbox remotely.  This is perfect for family members that don’t live locally.  You can upload pictures weekly/monthly and they can see what you and the kids are up to.
  7.  Family Tree Artwork: Grandparents leave a special legacy.  What better than a gift where they can see the fingerprints of that legacy?  Here are two of my favorites: Option 1 or Option 2.
  8. Initial Necklace: Sentimental and trendy – you know I’m in.  This is a great gift for moms too! There are lots of vendors that make these, you can find my favorites here and here.
  9. Grandchild & Grandparent Activity Set: From Uncommon Goods.  The cool thing about this gift is that it turns into a keepsake.  This card set has fun activities for grandparents and grandkids to do together and then reflect on the experience.  Once the entire pack is completed you are supposed to trade cards with each other and see what the other person said about the adventure.
  10. Letter kit: This gift is for grandparents who live a distance away.  It’s a monthly set of postcards with prompts for the grandchild to write old-fashioned letters to their grandparents.  It asks a few simple questions, has some fill in, and a place for a photo.  You can find them here.

Hopefully, this helps! Got another good idea? I’d love to hear it.  I’m always in the market for a good gift idea.  Happy shopping!