Nov 132009

gifts for elderly parentsHere are eight creative – yet practical – Christmas gift ideas for grandparents, elderly parents, or beloved old folks. They include everything from Kindles to memory quilts, and they’ll help you wrap up your Christmas shopping!

One of the best gifts I’ve ever given my elderly in-laws is the automatic card shuffler (pictured). I describe it in more detail below, or you can see what it’s like on Amazon: Automatic Deck Card Shuffler.

Before you get anxious or worried about finding the perfect gift for your grandparents, remember that you can do no wrong as a grandchild – or if you’re a gift giver! Elderly folks will love you no matter what (especially if they’re your grandpa or grandma).

And, remember how healthy it is for elderly people to be challenged and learn new things – which is why I think a Kindle Fire in full color with built-in Wi-Fi is a great gift idea for elderly folks.

One of my coworkers was given a Kindle as a gift last Christmas, and she LOVES it. She didn’t think she would, but she thinks it’s way better than print books. She’s in her mid-60, and say it was the best gift she ever got!

If you don’t have a lot of money to spend on your grandparents’ gift, remember that you can always ask your family members to pitch in financially. Pooling your money to buy a gift may be the best solution for them, too — because finding the right gift for a grandparent is challenging for everyone.

Gift Tips for Elderly Parents and Grandparents

The best gift ideas for grandparents and elderly parents involve stuff that you can do together. Don’t just give your grandpa and grandma another picture frame! Give gifts that encourage y’all to spend time as a family.

Many elderly folks like knowing what’s up with the weather. Last Christmas, I gave my husband a Touchscreen Programmable Thermostat. He’s not an elderly parent or grandparent – but we were at my in-laws, and they loved that gift!

A book about writing their life story – or a professional historian

Many people don’t realize how much history is lost when their grandparents or elderly parents pass on, and they regret not writing down their family’s life history or genealogy. A great gift idea for older people is a book about writing your memoirs – such as Turning Memories Into Memoirs: A Handbook for Writing Lifestories – perhaps accompanied by a professional life history writer.

I used to write life histories for older people, and was often given as a gift. That is, family members would hire me to write their grandparents’ or elderly parents’ memoirs – and the old folks loved it!

A book or class about computers or the internet for seniors

Many grandparents can’t keep in touch through email, Facebook, Twitter, or their children’s blogs because they don’t know how. So, a book or class about computers and the internet – such as Internet for Seniors in Easy Steps – For the Over 50’s – would not only connect them and you, it would keep your grandparents’ brains young, improve their memories, and help them stay in touch with technology. This isn’t the best gift for grandparents because it’s a little ho-hum, but it’s practical.


The best, most creative gift idea for elderly parents and grandparents are things that match their hobbies, lifestyles, and interests. For instance, if they’re into gardening, surprise them with easy-to-put-on garden shoes.


Tickets to the Cirque de Soleil, concerts, sporting events

I once lived next to a little old lady who had season’s tickets to the city’s hockey team (the Edmonton Oilers!). She went to every game, and took a different person with her every time. It was fun — I went with her once — and I think it kept her young and lively. Tickets to events are one of the best gifts for grandparents.

Gift certificates, gift cards, gift baskets

Remember how I said the best Christmas gift for elderly parents and grandparents is time spent together? Well, you could send them a My Cup of Tea Gourmet Food Gift Basket, and tell them you’ll visit every week or every two weeks to dive into it together!

I like giving (and receiving) Amazon gift cards almost as much as gourmet gift baskets (which I love a lot)! Good types of gift certificates for grandparents include restaurants, beauty salons, health spas, community centers, gas stations, grocery stores, and continuing education classes.

If your parents have a dog, read Best Gifts for Dog Lovers.

An annual membership to a local zoo, aquarium, or museum

Some grandparents would love to round up a few friends and go to fun places like the aquarium or zoo! For others, it’s a great way to spend time with grandchildren. A gift of an annual membership could encourage the family to spend more time together and get to know each other in a different way.

A memory quilt

Creating a quilt out of baby clothes, army uniforms (if your grandparent or dad served in the military), wedding dresses, and other unique clothes or heirlooms is a very special gift. Quilts are practical and meaningful Christmas gift ideas for grandparents or elderly parents, especially if you make it yourself – or you make it with them!

A monthly flower bouquet – a whimsical gift for elderly parents or grandparents

A monthly bouquet of flowers, roses, tulips, or your grandma’s favorite flower is a wonderful gift that will remind her that you love her – and all year long! Same with a monthly bottle of red wine or Scotch for dear old grandpa, or perhaps a gourmet nut and dried fruit basket from

christmas gift ideas for grandparents

Many elderly people love playing cards!

The first Christmas gift idea for elderly parents or grandparents that I mentioned was the automatic card shuffler that that I bought my elderly in-laws (my mother-in-law is 71 and my father-in-law is 82). We use it every year when we visit and play cards. This is one of the best gifts I’ve ever given them – even if they only use it when I’m there.  I still love using it to shuffle the deck!

The Da Vinci Wood Automatic Card Shuffler is better because it’s made of wood. The plastic card shuffler I gave my in-laws is super duper loud. It works great, but it’s all plastic and it makes a horrendous sound when it shuffles the cards. We laugh about it – we have to issue a warning before using it!

I welcome your thoughts on these Christmas gifts ideas for elderly parents or grandparents below.

Article Name
8 Christmas Gift Ideas for Elderly Parents or Grandparents
Here are eight creative - yet practical - Christmas gift ideas for grandparents, elderly parents, or beloved old folks. They include everything from Kindles to memory quilts, and they'll help you wrap up your Christams shopping!

  36 Responses to “8 Christmas Gift Ideas for Elderly Parents or Grandparents”

  1. Thanks for your thoughts on these Christmas gift ideas for elderly parents or grandparents! If they like coffees and teas, then a nice gift of fresh ground coffee beans would be delicious.

    We often buy our elderly parents gift certificates for restaurants — the inexpensive ones. They don’t like the expensive restaurants as much.

  2. Gifts for the elderly loved ones in our lives have definitely got to be picked out with care, and bought with purpose in mind. There is just no sense in sending them something they don’t want, won’t use, or can’t use. For this reason — we recommend using Gramps Gifts for all of your old people gift buying needs. It seems like a great site with only the best items pre-selected that your grandma or grandpa will love!

  3. We always buy a gift certificate to Uncle Albert’s for my in-laws. They don’t need more stuff, and aren’t into kindles or memory quilts or live performances. But, they love the senior’s plates at their local restaurant, so that’s what we’re giving them for Christmas!

  4. Hi Laury,

    Good to see some tips for Christmas presents. I have to do all my shopping still and a new smart phone for my gf seems the way to go. Last year I spend my entire budget on prescription meds for my dad but he is OK now so I have something extra to spend.

    Hope you have a nice Christmas eve!

  5. If you haven’t thought about a camera for your elderly parents, it’s a good gift idea. Get one with a large screen so they can see the picture better. This is a Christmas gift they can use right away.

  6. Yay, this article made it to my home page as one of the Most Popular Articles! There must be lots of people searching for Christmas gift ideas for their elderly parents or grandparents….I hope you find what you’re looking for here…

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