10 Best Gifts for Grandparents – Less Garbage, More Love

Written by on May 12, 2011 in Anniversaries, Birthdays, Christmas, Grandmas & Grandpas with 3 Comments

If you’re searching for gifts for grandparents at Christmas (or for elderly parents), you’ll find creative ideas here. My first suggestion is a gift I gave my elderly parents (who are grandparents) two Christmases ago, and we all use it every time I come home!

Before you get too caught up in searching for the best gift for your grandparents, remember that you can do no wrong as a child or grandchild. Grandpas and grandmas love you no matter what. The other thing to remember when you’re looking for gifts for grandparents is that they don’t need or want more stuff. Stuff is clutter, stuff makes life more complicated, and stuff isn’t the best gift for grandparents or elderly parents.

best gifts for elderly parentsRadio with a remote control. This is an example of a gift (stuff) that makes a grandparent’s life easier. This year, my husband is giving his elderly parents an Alarm Stereo Clock Radio Docking Station with Remote for iPad/iPhone/iPod. It’s especially attractive because it has a remote control, so his parents can turn the volume up and down without having to get up.

If you don’t have a lot of money to spend on your grandparents’ gift, remember that you can always ask your family members to pitch in financially. Pooling your money to buy a gift for grandparents may be the best solution for all family members, because finding the right gift for elderly parents is challenging for everyone.



Digital reader. Speaking of challenging: it’s important to remember how healthy it is for elderly people to be challenged and learn new things. That’s why I think a Kindle Wireless Reader is one of the best Christmas gifts for grandparents. It’s light, easy to see, and will challenge their cognitive skills (which is always good for elderly folk!).

10 Gifts for Grandparents

The best gift ideas for grandparents and elderly parents involve stuff that you can do together. Don’t just give your grandpa and grandma another picture frame! Give gifts that encourage y’all to spend time as a family.

Heart locket with family photos

gift ideas for elderly grandparents

I know I just said that the best gifts for grandparents are ones that encourage togetherness – and I said no more picture frames! – but you have to consider this Sterling Silver Engraved Picture Heart Locket. It’s a beautiful gift for an elderly grandma because she can carry her loved ones close to her heart. The one pictured can hold four family photos – of course, you’d have to insert the photos before you give the gift!

Tickets to the Cirque de Soleil, concerts, sporting events

I once lived next to a little old lady who had season’s tickets to the city’s hockey team (the Edmonton Oilers!). She went to every game, and took a different person with her every time. It was fun — I went with her once — and I think it kept her young and lively. Tickets to events are one of the best gifts for grandparents because it’s something you can do together. It’s not more garbage or stuff; it’s an experience.

Automatic card shuffler
Christmas Gifts for Elderly Parents and Grandparents

This is the gift for grandparents that I mentioned at the beginning of this article: I bought my elderly in-laws (my mother-in-law is 71 and my father-in-law is 82) an automatic card shuffler a few years ago for Christmas, and we use it every year when we visit and play cards. This is one of the best gifts I’ve ever given them – even if they only use it when I’m there, I still love using it to shuffle the deck!

The Casino Deluxe Automatic Card Shuffler is good because it’s made of wood. The plastic card shuffler I gave my in-laws is super duper loud. It works great, but it’s all plastic and it makes a horrendous sound when it shuffles the cards. We laugh about it – we have to issue a warning before using it!

A book about writing their life story – or a professional historian

gifts for grandparents at christmasMany people don’t realize how much history is lost when their grandparents or elderly parents pass on, and they regret not writing down their family’s life history or genealogy. A great gift idea for grandpa or grandma is a book about writing your memoirs – such as Writing Life Stories: How To Make Memories Into Memoirs, Ideas Into Essays And Life Into Literature – perhaps accompanied by a professional life history writer.

If your elderly person loves to knit, read 8 Creative Gifts for Knitters.

A book or class about computers or the internet for seniors

Many grandparents can’t keep in touch through email, Facebook, Twitter, or their children’s blogs because they don’t know how. So, a book or class about computers and the internet – such as Internet for Seniors in Easy Steps - For the Over 50′s – would not only connect them and you, it would keep your grandparents’ brains young, improve their memories, and help them stay in touch with technology. This isn’t the best Christmas gift for grandparents because it’s a little ho-hum, but it’s practical.

kindle fire Christmas giftKindle or Kobo

Speaking of books or classes about computers…a Kindle Wireless Reader is an excellent Christmas gift for grandparents because they’re light, easy to adjust, and easy to understand. You can preload the Kindle with all sorts of books, which means you’re giving your elderly loved ones more than just a Kindle.

If your grandparent or elderly parent is struggling with Alzheimer’s or another dementia-type disease, read Creative Gifts for People With Dementia.

Gift certificates, gift cards, gift baskets

Remember how I said the best Christmas gift for grandparents is time spent together? Well, you could send them a My Cup of Tea Gourmet Food Gift Basket, and tell them you’ll visit every week or every two weeks to dive into it together!

I like giving (and receiving) Amazon gift cards almost as much as gourmet gift baskets (which I love a lot)! Good types of gift certificates for grandparents include restaurants, beauty salons, health spas, community centers, gas stations, grocery stores, and continuing education classes.

If your grandma has had breast cancer, read 17 Gift Ideas for After Her Mastectomy Surgery. It’s not the most fun Christmas gift for a grandparent, but it is VERY thoughtful.

An annual membership to a local zoo, aquarium, or museum

Some grandparents would love to round up a few friends and go to fun places like the aquarium or zoo! For others, it’s a great way to spend time with grandchildren. A gift of an annual membership could encourage the family to spend more time together and get to know each other in a different way.

A memory quilt

Creating a quilt out of baby clothes, army uniforms (if your grandparent or dad served in the military), wedding dresses, and other unique clothes or heirlooms is a very special gift. Quilts are practical and meaningful gifts for grandparents, especially if you make it yourself – or you make it with them!

If you can’t afford these gifts, read Christmas on a Budget – Gift Ideas.

A monthly flower bouquet – a whimsical gift for elderly parents or grandparents

A monthly bouquet of flowers, roses, tulips, or your grandma’s favorite flower is a wonderful gift that will remind her that you love her – and all year long! Same with a monthly bottle of red wine or Scotch for dear old grandpa, or perhaps a gourmet nut and dried fruit basket for men.

For more Christmas gift ideas for elderly parents and grandparents, read Best Gifts for Dog Lovers – 9 Woofy Wonders.

If you’re overwhelmed at the thought of buying Christmas gifts for grandparents because you’re a caregiver, read Caring for Elderly Parents? A Bucket of Tips and Inspiration.

grandparent gift ideas

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