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The Best Gift Ideas for Grandparents

November 9, 2021

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The holidays may be the most wonderful time of the year. But when you’re trying to think of gift ideas for your grandparents or other older adults in your life, holidays can also be the most frustrating time of the year.

Honestly: What do you give someone who has either downsized or has everything they need and want? 

We can help with that! Here are 10 great gift ideas for grandparents, so you can give a thoughtful gift they’ll enjoy. We’ve also provided 6 specific gift ideas for Grandma or Grandpa , in case you’d like to get something that’s a perfect fit for just one of them. So all together, 16 great gift ideas for grandparents. And taking the guesswork out of shopping this holiday season? Well, that’s our gift to you!

Gift Ideas for Grandparents

You want to give them a shared gift that’s remarkably thoughtful but isn’t too expensive and won’t clutter up their home. Sound like a tall order? Not really. Here are 10 gift ideas for grandparents that will fit the bill.

  1. A temperature-controlled smart mug. If your grandma or grandpa drinks coffee or tea throughout the day, they’ll appreciate a smart mug. It keeps the drink inside it at the temperature they specify; ​​they charge through a USB cable and keep warm via a coaster-style charging plate or built-in heating function. Mugs start at around $20, though pricier options with more bells and whistles can set you back $100.
  2. Digital picture frames. Sending prints is soooo 20th century. Give your grandparents a digital photo frame instead! Plug it into a regular wall socket and connect it to Wi-Fi or download a phone app, and you can remotely upload new images for your grandparents. It’s a great gift idea that keeps on giving!
  3. Matching bathrobes and slippers. If your grandparents don’t pamper themselves, they might love the cozy comfort of new his and hers bathrobes with slippers. Whether it’s fleece, chenille or flannel, you’ll find robes in a range of prices. Robes can also be monogrammed for a little personalization.
  4. Personal genetic DNA kit. You might have asked your grandparents questions about where they came from, but even they weren’t sure. One way to find out definitively is through a DNA kit. There are more than a few affordable kits out there that will reveal your ancestry information; some will provide deeper detail about your family information.
  5. Season tickets. If your grandparents are music lovers, season tickets to their local symphony provide a great experience instead of giving them a tangible thing. If they’re into baseball, football or another sport, buy them tickets to a particular game — buy three tickets and tell them you’re going with them. It’s a great way to give an experience and create an opportunity for some time together. And when you’re thinking about the best gift ideas for grandparents, time together is at the top of the list.
  6. New coffeemaker, espresso maker or French press. If your grandparents enjoy coffee but refuses to spend $7 for a cup of “fancy coffee” at a coffee shop, an at-home espresso maker or French press is a great gift idea. A new single-cup brew coffee maker, such as a Keurig, may be perfect when your grandma prefers a strong French roast and your grandpa favors his flavors like French vanilla and hazelnut. As a bonus Christmas gift idea for grandparents, buy them a monthly coffee bean subscription.
  7. Robotic vacuum cleaner. While these can get a bit pricey, it’s on this list because it’s a great convenience, and can save your grandparents from at least one chore around the house. Plus, your grandparents will have fun showing it off to their friends who still sweep their floors the old-fashioned way.
  8. Gift cards. Before you roll your eyes, consider how much you appreciate gift cards when they’re from a store you actually like shopping at. And that’s the key: Think of where your grandparents enjoy shopping, and give them those gift cards. Or have some fun and buy gift cards in small denominations to a gas station, a movie theater, a favorite restaurant and a boutique hotel. Then package it as a date night out!
  9. A magazine or newspaper subscription. These can also be digital subscriptions, which can be enjoyed anywhere and on any device. If your grandparents enjoy reading books, there are also lots of book-of-the-month clubs, which will send them the latest fiction or nonfiction bestsellers. 
  10. An electric blanket for cozy cuddling. Electric blankets aren’t just for the bed anymore. If your grandparents enjoy curling up on the couch to stream their favorite movies, an electric lap blanket is almost a prerequisite.
  11. MasterClass subscription. If your grandparents have streamed every movie worth watching, MasterClass offers virtual classes in nearly every topic, taught by some of the biggest names in every industry. 

3 Gifts for Grandma

So your grandma likes gifts that are just for her, and her alone? Understandable. Here are 3 great gifts for your grandma that she’ll love (and she won’t have to share).

  1. Gardener’s tool seat. If your grandma likes to garden, she’ll love a combination seat and tool caddy. It’ll save her knees and back, and help her keep her trowel and other tools handy.
  2. Cocktail kit. Grandmas sometimes like to tipple. If she’s fond of a certain cocktail, give her the ingredients. Vodka tonics are easy, but if she’s a big fan of an old-fashioned or a gin rickey, it can be even more fun to assemble all the ingredients and shake up a cocktail together over your next Zoom call.
  3. National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Senior Pass. Maybe the National Park Services’ best-kept secret, this senior pass is a one-time purchase and is good for the lifetime of the senior. So your grandma can visit any national park in the country, any time she wants, for free with this pass in her pocket.

3 Gifts for Grandpa

If you give a gift to your grandma and not your grandpa, feelings will be hurt. To avoid that, pick one of these gift ideas for your grandpa, and you’ll be back in everyone’s good graces.

  1. Personalized golf balls. You can buy these with your grandpa’s name on them, or with some snarky grandpa saying. You can also put a photo on them, so when he hits the links, there will be no question which ball is his when he finds it in the rough.
  2. Wireless TV headphones. If your grandpa likes to sit in his comfy chair with the TV volume turned up, this gift for grandpa will save your sanity (and your hearing).
  3. A wine membership. Grandma has her cocktail; Grandpa has his wine. And what better than to have a bottle of an interesting red, white or rosé show up every month for him to try?

Best Gift Idea for Grandparents: Make a donation in their name.

We all know the best things in life aren’t things. So consider making a donation to Franciscan Ministries in your grandparents’ names. Your contribution helps ensure we can continue to serve others through our unmatched care and services in our senior living communities, Madonna Foundation and St. Jude House.