Life Lessons & How Tos

Holiday Gift Ideas for Grandkids

Holiday Gift Ideas

The holidays are a special time with family. If you are anything like my nana, you enjoy surprising your grandkids with gifts. It is her favorite part. As a kid, the act of opening presents was half the fun! If you’re looking for holiday gift ideas for your grandkids, consider what made gifts from my nana so special and memorable when I was a kid:

They were always exactly what I wanted and I never knew how she did it

It turns out she checked with Santa (aka my mom) first. She always checked with them to see what my latest obsession was and got me something related to it. Does your grandkid’s favorite show or movie have a toy line? Have they been begging for a new Lego set? Find out what they have been talking nonstop about and purchase that for a guaranteed smile when they unwrap it.

They were unique

Sometimes my gifts were small things, but things only she could get. For example, she went to Germany in December a few years and brought back Haribo gummy bears each time. They were the same bears you buy at your local store, but they were made in Germany. I thought it was so cool that I would hold on to them like a relic instead of eating them. I’d even take them to show-and-tell and tell everyone they were better than regular gummy bears. Do you take a yearly trip somewhere that sells souvenirs? Or do you have something unique that you could give as a holiday gift?

They weren’t things, they were experiences

A few years, my grandparents took my cousins and me on trips with them instead of giving traditional presents. One especially memorable trip we called “Cousins Camp.” For Christmas, she and my grandfather gave us all matching Cousins Camp shirts, flashlights in our favorite color, and a compass in a drawstring backpack with a note about where we were going. A few weeks after the holidays, we went to the local state park. We had a blast camping out and making memories.

Grandkids: Long-Distance Grandparenting Tips

Now that I’m older, I’ve been told I’m more difficult to shop for. But I’m here to tell you that buying for older grandchildren can be a breeze! So here are some holiday gift ideas for those with older grandkids:

Gift cards

You can never, ever go wrong with a gift card (trust me). Repaying student loans, rent, and even keeping the refrigerator stocked is tough on a college or fresh-out-of-college budget. Even when first getting started in a career, making ends meet for regular things can be a challenge. Gift cards to your grandkids favorite restaurants and stores, or even gas cards if they drive often, are always a welcomed gift.

Something practical that they’d never buy themselves

If gift cards don’t feel personal enough, you can also never go wrong getting your grandkid something they need but wouldn’t be able to buy themselves. Things like a handy toolbox, a set of pots and pans, or even real plates to upgrade from paper are all items that would be well received.

The gift of health

Health is something that young adults often overlook, especially if they don’t have health insurance or recently turned 26 and got kicked off their parents’ health insurance plan. You can’t force them to get annual exams or make them go to the doctor, but there are ways you can help them stay healthy – something they may not be able to afford without your gift.

My Red Christmas Coat Remembered

You can do this with:

  • A Walgreens or CVS gift card to help them cover pharmacy costs or buy Nyquil during flu season
  • A pack of classes at a local fitness studio
  • New running shoes to encourage them to get out and exercise!

Pass it down

Does your family have special recipes or heirlooms? The holidays are the perfect time to start passing those things down. Write the recipes in a notebook or pack up that necklace that was passed down to you for a sentimental gift that’s sure to warm their hearts. If you don’t have recipes or heirlooms to pass down, writing down special stories or memories are things your grandkids will cherish – even more so as they age. One day your grandkids will wake up and wish they could ask you something or be reminded of you, and handwritten notes you gave them as a holiday gift will help fill that void.

Regardless of age, it’s the thought that counts

My grandparents always put effort and thought into the gifts they gave to me; whether it was a gift card to my local Kroger or a cookbook of our family recipes. They put an emphasis on things that would be memorable or things that I wouldn’t have thought to get for myself. When you’re shopping for holiday gifts for your grandkids this year remember that they don’t have to be expensive or flashy to make an impact, just thoughtful!

Christmas Gifts for That Senior in Your Life



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