Grandparent gift ideas

Make Grandma Smile

by Nancy Twigg

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The holidays will be here before you know it. Have you thought about what to give Grandma for Christmas this year? Another housecoat or pair of slippers? No, your family gave her those items last year. How about some perfume or body lotion? No, she has plenty of those already. Maybe you could give her the newest kitchen gizmo. On second thought, she probably doesn't need any more gadgets sitting around the house collecting dust.

Choosing a gift for Grandma can be a challenge, because grandmothers usually have more than enough of everything they need. That's why you must use creativity to come up with something that goes beyond typical grandmotherly gifts. This year, why not try one of these economical gift ideas that allow your family to express your love for Grandma in a way that is anything but ordinary?

Children's Artwork - What grandmother doesn't love the gifts her grandchildren make for her? Children's drawings, paintings or poems all become extra special when presented in an attractive frame. Or bind several pages together to create a special book of artwork for Grandma.

Hobby Basket - What does Grandma do for fun? Create a gift basket using her hobby as a theme. If she loves gardening, create a gift basket containing a book about gardening, garden gloves, small hand tools, and several packets of seed packets. If she enjoys exercise, fill your gift basket with a small set of hand weights, athletic socks, a fitness video for seniors, and a new water bottle.

Family Calendar - Everyone needs a wall calendar, right? Use your computer and digital photos to make one Grandma will love using. There are many software programs available that make it easy to create your own calendars. Decorate Grandma's calendar with pictures of her grandchildren. Be sure to include birthdays and anniversaries so Grandma will never lose track of the family's special days.

Handprints or Footprints - Use her grandchildren's hands or feet to make a memorable gift. The impression of a child's hand or foot can be pressed into modeling clay to make a wall hanging or quick drying cement to make a garden stepping stone. You can also coat the palm of the child's hand or the sole of his foot with washable ink or paint. Then stamp the print onto cardstock to create a keepsake suitable for framing.

"Thanks, Grandma" Book - On each page of a blank journal, write a message of appreciation such as, "Thank you for always encouraging our family." Or write something about Grandma for which you and your children are thankful, such as "We are thankful that you always make time for us." Include a note that instructs Grandma to reread this book often to remind her of how much she is loved and appreciated.

Personalized Apron or Tote Bag - Use fabric paint or iron-on transfers for your inkjet printer to create an apron or tote bag that is just Grandma's style. Plain canvas aprons and tote bags are available at craft stores for only a few dollars each. Decorate these items with transfers of family photos or use stencils to paint on your decorations.

Chocolate Fantasy - Is your grandmother a chocolate fanatic? Tickle her fancy with a gift basket filled with several varieties of homemade cookies, candy and muffins in her favorite flavor. If Grandma loves sweets but is concerned about her weight, use recipes for special goodies that are low in fat and sugar.

Any of these low-cost, high-value gift ideas are sure to bring a smile to the face of the special grandmother in your life. And let's not forget Grandpa. Many of these gift ideas (or slight variations of them) would work equally well as a Christmas present for him.

Nancy Twigg is a Christian speaker and the author of Celebrate Simply: Your Guide to Simpler, More Meaningful Holidays and Special Occasions

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