Gift Guide

best holiday gifts for grandparents; grandpa opening christmas gifts with his grandkids
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These Thoughtful Gifts For Grandparents Will Get All The Tears

Oh yeah, you're totally winning Christmas this year.

Originally Published: 

Grandparents are the absolute best. Maybe it's just my family, but it seems like being sappy is a necessary requirement to become a grandparent. It's almost comical: We get yelled at for the better part of our childhood, but then grandbabies come along and they can do no wrong. Of course, that's also the very best part of watching grandparent-grandchild interactions. Spoil the grandparents in your life this holiday with these 18 thoughtful gifts for grandparents guaranteed to make them cry — happy tears, of course.

I've got to share my favorite grandparent story. My sister-in-law was chatting with her mom on the phone, and her son asked who she was talking to. When she responded, "My mom!" he stared at her blankly. "Grandma!" my sister-in-law clarified. Her son looked confused for a moment, and then slowly responded, "You mean, my friend Grandma?" It turns out, my precious nephew hadn't connected the family tree dots, and thought Grandma was simply his best friend who came over to play with him. And hey, sweet boy... you aren't wrong. Today, Grandma's official full name is obviously "My friend Grandma," and she deserves a Christmas gift worthy of the matriarch and best friend that she is.

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Pet Portrait

The BIPOC maker of this Etsy shop not only does incredibly adorable pet portraits, but they also do family portraits as well. Whether the grandparents want their beloved Yorkie forever memorialized in a portrait or they want the entire family, this sentimental gift will be perfect for them.


A Custom Puzzle

Instead of giving the grandparents a framed photograph, try a custom photo puzzle instead. You pick the picture and the amount of pieces (anywhere from 60 to 1014) and they’ll have fun piecing it together by looking at the matching photo box. Just be warned that once they complete the puzzle, they probably won’t want to take it apart.


A Book Subscription

Any grandparent who’s an avid reader or is just hoping to do more reading in the new year will love Book Of The Month Club, a monthly subscription service where you can choose from five great books including early releases and older classics. You can gift three, six, or 12 months of the service, and if none of the five offered books sound intriguing, they can choose a different title from the archives. You can also skip any month without being charged.


A Personalized Name Necklace

They’ll love having their grandchildren literally close to their hearts with this name necklace. You can customize the amount of bars depending on how many kids there are, and you may even want to get a bar with grandma’s name on it. There are seven fonts from which to choose, and three metal colors: silver, gold, and rose gold.


A Light That Lets You Know Someone Is Thinking Of You

This set of two “friendship lamps” is perfect for grandparents who live far away. When they tap their lamp, the light will glow in their grandchildren’s house (as long as both homes have WiFi) to let them know grandma or grandpa was thinking of them. (It works the other way, too!) You can also change the color and the brightness of the light.


A Book About Grandparenting, Written By A Grandparent

Former New York Times’ columnist and prolific novel and memoir writer is back with a book of essays about “adventures in grandparenting”. The writing is tender, straight to the point, and often very funny. Booklist called this book, “required reading for grandparents everywhere.”


A Set Of Salts

Even the best cooks get into ruts sometimes, and this set of 12 infused salts will add a new flavor twist to classic dishes. Beyond well-known favorites like garlic or rosemary-infused salt, the collection also includes more unexpected pairings like pinot noir, vanilla bean, and basil.


A Sweet Doormat

This handmade doormat is so accurate, and the grandparents in your life will very much appreciate the humor, and the potential deterrent for other solicitors of their home.


A Candle Wick Trimmer

I don’t know about you, but all of my grandparents and parents love candles, and these handmade candle wick trimmers will be a gorgeous gift for any of them this year. They’ll think of you and your family every time they trim a wick before filling their home with warmth and coziness.


A Personalized Family Print

The best artwork is personalized artwork. With Shelly Klein's custom prints, you can "choose skin tones, hair, and clothing color to create a lovely lineup, then customize with your family name and the year you were established as a quirky clan."


A CBD Muscle Rub

If grandparents have sore muscles (potentially from picking up a toddler multiple times a day), then a CBD muscle rub may be just what they need. This one is highly concentrated and will absorb quickly, so it won’t leave skin feeling greasy. In addition to CBD it has aloe, vitamin E, tea tree oil, and menthol which make for a soothing and cooling feel.


A Digital Photo Printer

It’s nice to have physical photographs around, especially for grandparents who want to show off their grandkids. This smartphone photo printer pairs with iPhones, iPads and Galaxy/Android devices, and by using the free app, you can print directly from a phone, no computer required.


A Personalized Cookie Jar

Every time grandma or grandpa reaches for a cookie, they’ll be greeted by their whole family right there. The treat jar can be personalized with up to 15 grandchildren figures, and the name can also be customized, which is great if your kids call your parents something non-traditional (like the duo I know who go by Lolli and Pop). This is also just a sweet little reminder that grandparents have the best treats at their house, and it'll be an item your kids will always remember belonging to their grandparents.


A Pair Of Super Comfy Shoes

First time grandparents haven’t had to keep up with busy little ones in a while, so they’re going to need some super supportive and comfortable shoes to get the highly physical job done. These Dr. Scholl’s are made with a memory foam foot bed, which is just as amazing as it sounds, plus they’re slip-ons which means they can be out the door in a moment’s notice. They also come in fun colors and prints, like lilac snakeskin.


A Sign Of Their Grandchildren's Names

How sweet is this customizable sign? And there’s space and options for every grandkid, whether your family is small like mine with just one grandchild, or large like my friends where they have 15 grandchildren. Make sure you use an extra-strength command hook when hanging this sign if there are several grandchildren to list.


A "Miss You" Frame

This gift would be perfect for my family, as my husband’s parents live out of state and they don’t get to see our son all that often — especially since COVID. In fact, I think I’m adding this to my Etsy cart now. Merry Christmas Noni and Papa.


A Digital Picture Frame

Having a digital frame means you can finally display all the photographs you’ve taken with your phone. The “Family Share” feature lets you send photos directly from your frame to a grandparent’s frame, so it stays updated with the most recent pictures. It works with Android or iOS devices, and needs a WiFi connection.


A Book Of Memories

This memory book is a special way for grandmothers to tell their grandchildren about their history in a way that will be remembered and preserved for generations. The pages contain prompts about the family tree, and space to write down important family traditions and recipes. It’s a fun and nostalgic activity for grandmothers, and something you and your kids will cherish.

Additional reporting by Abi Berwager Schreier