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18 Thoughtful Gifts For Grandparents Guaranteed To Make Them Cry Happy Tears

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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 15 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.

1. A Curated Set Of Chocolate

Chocolate enthusiasts will love this collection of six chocolate bars made in Scotland from South American cocoa. Flavors run the gamut from plain ole (delicious) milk chocolate to the more adventurous orange lavender or rhubarb ginger. The packaging is so pretty they’ll want to keep it, and the decorative box can be repurposed once all the chocolate is gone (which won’t take long).

2. 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.

3. 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 twelve 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.

4. 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.

5. 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, and light will glow in their grandchildren’s house (as long as both homes have WiFi) to let the other person know they’re thinking of them. You can also change the color and the brightness of the light.

6. 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.”

7. 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.

8. A Gift Card For A Fun Night Out

If your parents live close by, they may do a lot of (very helpful) babysitting while you go out, but chances are you haven’t been out of the house together in a long time. Grandparents will love the opportunity to spend some one-on-one, kid-free time with their own children and a gift certificate to a dinner and a movie is something they’ll really appreciate. You could also DIY your own gift certificate detailing the plans (and the day!) of your outing, so they’ll have something to look forward to after the holiday festivities calm down. Just make sure they don’t try to get the bill.

9. Cozy Slippers

If the grandparents are sleeping over a lot, it’s nice to have a cozy pair of slippers and maybe even a set of pajamas or a robe to leave at your house. This means they don’t have to pack as much every time they come over, plus it shows that you appreciate the time they spend with your kids (and you!) and want it to be as cozy and comfortable as possible.

10. 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."

11. 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.

12. 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.

13. A Personalized Cookie Jar

Every time grandma or grandpa reaches for a cookie, they’ll be greeted by their whole family (hopefully they’re not trying to sneak a dessert). 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).

14. Super Comfy Shoes

First time grandparents haven’t had to keep up with busy little ones in awhile, 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.

15. A Toothpick Holder For Cocktail Parties

Entertaining is a little different with kiddos around, and this hedgehog-shaped toothpick holder is perfect for serving hors d' oeuvres to little kids and adults alike. It can hang right on the bowl or rest on a table, and it’s so cute, kids will (just maybe) opt for a toothpick instead of touching every olive or cube of cheese.

16. A Game Set

Everything you’ll need for game night is in this 7-In-1 set which includes chess, checkers, backgammon, poker dice, dominoes, cribbage, and playing cards. It’s fun for grandparents to teach their grandchildren new games that they can play together again and again, plus who doesn’t love cribbage? While you can find much less expensive games out there, this set is made of rosewood, walnut, and maple inlays which give it quality family heirloom potential.

17. 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.

18. A Book Of Memories

This memory book is a special way for grandmother’s 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.

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