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Grandparents are notoriously difficult to buy for when it comes to Christmas (or birthdays, for that matter).
No matter whether they're in their 50s or their 80s they've probably reached that stage in life where they genuinely don't need or want anything. Yet these are the people who have sat through countless sporting matches, musical recitals and nativity plays, have put up with sticky fingers on their soft furnishings and been there for emergency babysitting, temper tantrums and childhood sickness, so you need to show just how grateful you are with thoughtfully chosen gift ideas.
But don't fall into the trap of getting the grandkids to pose for a picture and popping it in a frame – trust us, their walls are probably already full of their favourites. This year, think outside the box a little and seek out Christmas gifts that not only honour their position the family but are also genuinely useful.
New grandparents tend to be easier to buy for: framed pictures of the new baby, ceramic plaques with their grandkid's footprints or a photo book stuffed full of pictures of little ones will be excitedly received. Grandparents who've already earned their stripes many times over may be harder to find that unique and special buy for. But, it can be done!
With these Christmas gift ideas for grandparents, we've tried to find items that can be given jointly to the grandparents however if you want some ideas for presents just for Grandma we've got you covered. Equally, if you're picking Christmas presents for Grandpa we have lots of suggestions too.
Our Top Choice
1. Story Of My Life Journal - Piccadilly
They say that everyone has a story in them, and with this fantastic journal your grandparents can put pen to paper to write their very own biography. The beauty of this journal is that it comes complete with writing exercises and prompts to tease out the story of their life. The end result will be a book packed full of treasured memories and family history for everyone to enjoy. Inside you'll find 204 pages of wood-free, acid-free paper which will last for years to come and preserve their memories for future generations. If you need gifts for grandparents who have everything we truly think this will deliver and at a tiny price.
- Price: £6.26
- Includes writing prompts
- High quality paper
2. Personalised Photo Coasters - Photobox
If grandparents are the house-proud type then these customised coasters will sure beat yet another nan and grandad photo frame. It's super easy to create them from your own computer, all you need to do is upload your four chosen photographs, and the company will do the rest for you. We love the fact that you can select four different pictures, which is great if you're looking for a gift for multiple grandchildren to give or want to include several family members. The coasters have a high gloss melamine finish which is wipeable and an anti-slip cork bottom. Although it's personalised you should receive the item within six working days too, faster if you select an express service.
- Price: £12.99
- One photo per coaster
- 9.5cm X 9.5cm
Best For Long Distance Grandparents
Long Distance Friendship Lamp - Uncommon Goods
While some of us may have grandparents living locally, others may not be so lucky. But, these clever lamps won't let a little detail like geography stop you showing grandparents how much you care. They can be bought in pairs or singularly, and can connect multiple homes, all you need is a WiFi connection. With one lamp in your home and the other in the grandparents' home, a simple touch of one of the lamps will cause the second lamp to also light up so they know you're thinking of them. If you choose to connect multiple lamps (such as at siblings' houses too) then you can assign certain colours so you know who is thinking of you. It's a really simple idea but for many families separated by geography, it's a really thoughtful gift. The only downside is that these come shipped from the US so you'll need to use the relevant adaptor for the power socket.
- Price: £131.58 for a pair
- Add on extra lamps
- Requires WiFi
Best For Grandparents Of Young Children
How To Babysit A Grandad/Grandma Books - Jean Reagan
If you're buying a gift from young children to give to their grandparents we think these books are a great gift idea. It's something they can enjoy with their grandchildren time and time again and both the old and young will get much enjoyment from them. The books will need to be bought individually, so each of the grandparents will have their own gift to open which is a nice touch too. It's packed with lots of useful tips to turn any run-of-the-mill grandparent into an expert level Grandma or Grandad, including how to keep grandparents busy and what to do at the park. Silly reads for fun times.
- Price: £5.68 each
- Colourful illustrations
- 32 pages
Best For Larger Families
Personalised Grandparents Print - StassiKDesign
Gift ideas for grandparents often fall back on a family photo in a nice picture frame. But why not mix things up with a custom print of your family instead. We love this idea which comes with lots of ways to personalise each person in the illustration and you can fit in as many people as you need. There are literally hundreds of different hairstyles you can pick for each member of the family, and you can also personalise skin tones and what everyone is wearing. Four-legged friends aren't forgotten either with lots of choices for adding in pets to the picture. And you can also add in a quote of your choice or message to run along the top. It's a great way to commemorate your own unique family with something for the home. You'll receive a proof of the work and be able to make changes if it's not quite right, but this is an emailed print, so you'll need to organise the printing of your final picture.
- Price: £14+
- Hundreds of personalisation options
- Add your own quote
Best For Gardening Grandparents
Personalised Garden Hanging Heart Bird Dish
If you don't want to get something for the home why not get something to go in their garden? This item is made from recycled iron and is strong yet lightweight with a weathered, distressed look to it. It features a small tray at the bottom which can be filled with seed or left to collect rain water and the hook at the top will enable it to be hung up straight away. As an extra special touch, it also comes with a personalised natural birchwood tag. Fifty characters of your choice will be engraved by hand on to it.
- Price: £26
- Personalised tag
- Made from recycled materials
Best For Downsizing Grandparents
Smart Garden - Click And Grow
If your grandparents have had to downsize as their own family has flown the nest, they may be missing a garden. We think this indoor garden is pretty smart and just right for a couple who wants to grow a little of their own produce with minimal upkeep. It comes with its own LED light to ensure plants thrive whatever the weather, a reservoir so plants are adequately watered, plant pods to make sowing your seeds a breeze and a built-in timer so it practically looks after itself. The company sells over 50 pre-seeded plant pods - everything from herbs to strawberries and lavender as well as unseeded pots if you want to try something different.
- Price: £80
- Hydroponic growing system
- Includes three plants
Best For Foodie Grandparents
Traditional Treats Hamper - Hampers.com
Indulge grandparents with a sweet tooth with this yummy hamper packed with tasty treats. There's traditional English tea, rhubarb and custard sweets, delicious fudge, cake, chocolates, hand-baked biscuits and more. There are also two jams, coffee and in fact everything they'll need to invite the whole family over for a Sunday tea. It's a great way to spoil family who have a soft spot for the sweet stuff and to stock their store cupboards up with items they may not usually buy for themselves.
- Price: £45
- Packed in a delivery box
- Hand picked contents
Best For Families On A Budget
Pair Of Personalised Mugs
Make them smile every time they enjoy a brew with this pair of sweet grandparents mugs. One mug has a bunny on and the other has a bear and you can choose to personalise them as you wish - Grandma, Nanny, Pops and so on. On the reverse of the mug, there's enough space to write a special message to each of them too as well as the name of the grandkids. They're good quality mugs with a modern, tasteful design on them which makes them a real winner in our eyes. They are dishwasher safe but it may be best to hand wash to preserve the print. We think it's a great price too for a set of two mugs with custom print.
- Price: £15 for a pair
- Pair of matching mugs
- Can be personalised with own message
Best For Coffee Connoisseurs
Coffee Subscription - Monmouth Coffee Company
There are lots of ideas for gift subscriptions that would make excellent Christmas presents for grandparents but we particularly love the idea of ordering them a coffee subscription. With Monmouth Coffee Company you can pick from a three, six or twelve-month plan and the coffees are delivered in letterbox-friendly cardboard boxes so it doesn't matter if they're home or not. The carefully curated coffee is delivered in a brown compostable paper bag, along with a postcard detailing information about the coffee: where it's from, tasting notes and how it was processed. You select whether you want one or two bags delivered a month, along with the type (whole beans, or ground with options for what brewing method). The coffees sent will showcase a variety of regions, processes and flavour profiles.
Kidadl Best Buys selects the top products for families of all ages. If you enjoyed our suggestions for the best Christmas gifts for grandparents then we have plenty more ideas for what to buy sisters for Christmas, through to festive presents for brothers.
- Price: £31 for a 3-month subscription of 250g coffee each month
- On-going gift
Cora Lydon is a freelance journalist living in Suffolk with her husband and two children. She’s also a children’s book author who loves finding activities and place to inspire her children. Her dining table bears the scars of many craft activities attempts (many unsuccessful).