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24 No-Fail Gifts for Grandparents

Gifts for grandparents
Design: theSkimm | Photo: Etsy/Hamlin Row
October 21, 2021

Grandma, nanna, saba, yiayia, papa — whatever you love to call ’em, the bond you share with your grandparents is like no other. That’s why we rounded up some foolproof gifts (at all price points) that’ll make their day, no matter the occasion. We’ve got sentimental items for an anniversary, gifts that say ‘I love you’ just because, stuff they’ll love for a birthday — and things to gift your parents from your kiddos. You can split them with fam or go all in for yourself. Either way, get ready for grandma and grandpa to say thanks the best way they know how: with a phone call, a delicious home-cooked meal, or some happy tears. Awww.

Pen pal set

A pen pal set for the grandparents who cherish your every word…

If they’ve still got the crayon art you drew in third grade hanging on their wall, they’ll love getting handwritten notes from you on the reg. This set provides fun prompts for letters you can write to each other. Whether it’s a heartfelt message you’re sending or a place to let your kiddos practice writing their grandparents’ names, this is a crowd-pleasing gift that’ll make the whole fam happy. ($30, Uncommon Goods)

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Digital photo frame

A digital photo frame with a slideshow function…

High-quality pics? In a high-quality wooden frame? Yes, please. This can support various photo formats, and once it's turned on, it’ll cycle through your pics for all to see, without requiring massive IT support. All you’ll have to do before wrapping it up is connect it to a USB flash drive or an SD card, and your desired photos will be displayed. Plus, it’s easy to update when you want to add new pics to the mix. Say cheese. ($36.99+, Amazon)

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Non-alcoholic gin

A non-alcoholic gin for the grandparents who love a good family party...

Hangovers at 80? We don’t think so. This alcohol-free, sugar-free gin will let them enjoy a night of mocktails, no next-day consequences necessary. A wild night in, coming right up. ($40, Food52)

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A ‘grandkids spoiled here’ doormat…

Fact: The only thing they love more than telling everyone how much they love you. This natural coir mat lets everyone in the neighborhood know just how much they adore their grandkids. It’s hand cut, comes in a variety of sizes, and has a slip-resistant PVC rubber backing too. Awww. ($19.60+, Hamlin Row on Etsy)

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Golden girls cookbook

A “Golden Girls”-themed cookbook…

Because they love Sophia, Dorothy, Blanche, and Rose almost as much as they love you. It’s filled with more than 90 recipes — everything from salads and soups to party foods and drinks. Bon appétit. ($10.99, Amazon)

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Zabar's bagels

A dozen New York–style bagels…

Because nothing says ‘I love and miss you’ quite like some fresh dough from Zabar’s. Add some cream cheese and a little toasting and they’ll be in a New York state of mind. You can choose from a variety of plain, poppy seed, sesame, and everything bagels. Plus they freeze easily, so after a brunch or two they’ll still have leftovers for days. Xoxo. ($59, Goldbelly)

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Parachute robe

A unisex robe that’ll make them feel like they’re lounging at a five-star hotel…

Because they probably haven’t been traveling a whole lot lately. This one will transport them to loungewear heaven. It’s made from 100% Turkish cotton with pockets and a snug-waist belt. And there are even matching slippers too. And if they say they don’t need a robe, don’t listen. They really don’t know what they’re missing. ($99, Parachute)

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Happy care package

A happy-themed care package to brighten up their day…

Maybe they’re dealing with something difficult, or maybe you just really miss each other. This cheer-up care package to the rescue. It comes with a tote bag, a ‘drink up buttercup’ ceramic mug, some ultra-comforting chocolate chip cookies, and more depending on your budget. Snail mail = pure joy. It’s just the truth. ($56.28+, Parcelly on Etsy)

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Custom recipe book

A custom family recipe book so they can pass down their kitchen secrets…

A book of their best recipes for posterity? Sounds like a gift to ourselves if we’re being honest. Whether they choose to fill it with grandpa’s always-perfect tomato sauce, or your bubbe’s famous pierogies, this book has space for about 80 recipes. Let’s get cookin.’ ($30, Uncommon Goods)

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Crossword book

A supersized crossword puzzle book…

For the ultimate New York Times fan. Or the one who just likes to keep their mind sharp. This volume has 1,001 puzzles — of all difficulty levels (from the Monday through Saturday editions) — for your grandparents to do in their free time. Game on. ($21.22, Amazon)

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Knitted weighted blanket

A knitted weighted blanket to help them get a more restful sleep…

Because tossing and turning isn’t quite what the doctor ordered. Evenly distributed weight can produce a deeper sleep, with more serotonin and less cortisol. Aka more relaxing vibes and less stress for grandma and grandpa. It’s made from very soft organic cotton and is machine washable. Zzz. ($199+, Bearaby)

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Cutting board

A personalized wooden cutting board... 

You choose the medium (maple, bamboo, or walnut) and the design (you’ve got 36 styles to pick from) to find one that’ll match their style. You can add in a monogram, quotes, dates — whatever floats your boat. The boards are about 0.80 inch thick and can be polished with mineral oil for upkeep. Wood-ya look at that? ($17.97+, Engrave My Memories on Etsy

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An AeroGarden they can tend to from the comfort of their kitchen…

This easy-to-care-for in-home garden system is great for aging grandparents who might not be able to keep up with a full yard of greenery anymore. With this sleek gadget, they’ll get to plant and grow basil, parsley, dill, thyme, Thai basil, and mint. It’s mess-free and beginner-proof. Case in point? A control panel will tell them when to add water and plant food and the LED lights will automatically turn on and off for optimal growth. Grow get it, grandps. ($99.97+, Amazon)

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Personalized family mugs

Personalized family mugs they can sip on each AM…

Top of the morning to them. These ceramic, microwave-and dishwasher-safe mugs (top rack, recommended) feature a lil’ illustration on one side and your fam name (and optional year) on the back. They’ll think of you every time they sip their tea, which is ultimately the greatest gift of them all. Love ya. ($30+, Uncommon Goods)

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Urban stems subscription

A fresh flower subscription to brighten up their home…

You can choose from a weekly, biweekly, or monthly membership and they’ll get a stunning bouquet of blooms delivered right to their doorstep. Smells like a thoughtful pick-me-up, courtesy you. ($55+ per delivery, Urban Stems)

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Custom house portrait

A custom portrait of their house…

Because home is where the heart is. And you’ve got a lotta love for your grands. Whether you pick the house they raised your parents in, the first place they lived as a couple, or where their best memories are, they’ll absolutely love this custom watercolor. Just upload your photo, pick your size, and voilà. ($35.99+, Just Artin’ Around on Etsy)

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Adopt a maple tree

An adopt-a-maple-tree set…

Sorry for being sappy. When you gift this trio of syrups (they’ll get an original flavor, a bourbon-barrel one, and a coffee-infused varietal), they’ll also receive the GPS coordinates of the tree you gave them in upstate New York. They’ll get the adoption papers to prove it — and a photo with their name on the tree. Perfect for those who love an adventure and something that’s a little sentimental. Passing it down from generation to generation? We think so. ($95, Uncommon Goods)

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What I Love About

A customizable book that’ll show them how much your little one cares about them…

These hardcover ‘What I Love About...’ books are the perfect thing to gift from your kiddo. Simply have them write in the fill-in-the-blank prompts about why their grandma or grandpa are the GOAT. ($10.99+, Amazon)

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Eberjay pj set

A super-soft pajama set for grandma...

Because she has the warmest soul. And deserves something just as cozy to lounge in. This set from Eberjey (a Skimm HQ fave) feels like pure butter. It’s made of soft modal, viscose, and spandex jersey and has an elastic waist. Plus it comes in 12 colors. Sweet dreams. ($120, Nordstrom)

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Best grandpa ever tee

A ‘best grandpa ever’ tee that’ll he wear with pride…

So everyone else can know that he’s top of the tops. You can choose from a few color and text combos — and from sizes S–3XL. (Pssst: It’s already pre-shrunk.) ($9.99+, Epic Tees 4 U on Etsy)

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Pot holders

Handmade pot holders that’ll make family dinners run smoothly...

Time to give gma and gpa an upgrade if they’re still using the ones they got 40+ years ago. These hat-shaped holders (they’ll get two of ’em) have a 100% cotton exterior and a wool-felt interior. And they’re cut, sewn, and printed all by hand in Massachusetts. Next question: What’s for dinner? ($24/2 pack, Food52

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Custom puzzle

A custom puzzle that’ll make grandma smile…

Over the river and through the woods to grandma’s gaming cabinet we go. This 250+ piece jigsaw is made from luxe matte paper, high-quality chipboard, and three of your most favorite pictures. ($42, Minted)

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Tea box

An artisan tea-themed gift box…

Grandparents and their tea and snacks = the ultimate match. This scrumptious box comes with shortbread cookies from Tennessee, fruit and berry oolong tea from Colorado, and sea salt caramels from Massachusetts. Munch munch. ($56, Sparrow Box)

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A MasterClass subscription so they can get their lifelong learning on...

An annual membership to MasterClass offers thorough video lessons and valuable tips from icons across tons of fields. Think: Annie Leibovitz on photography, Jane Goodall on conservation, Ken Burns on documentary filmmaking, and so much more. They’ve got classes on just about anything they can imagine, from cooking to science. Learning just got even cooler. ($180 per year, MasterClass)

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If you buy anything from this email, theSkimm may get something in return. Oh, and if something’s out of stock, oops, it was there (and all prices were accurate too) when we published. Thanks.

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