Real Grandparents Gave Us The Scoop On What They Want For The Holidays This Year

Sweet items to connect with the grandkids, home upgrades and other creative products made the list.
A custom Shutterfly calendar, Ultimate Sack bean bag, pair of SasNola heeled boots, fresh fruit basket from Harry & David, Aura Carver digital picture frame and the book "King: A Life."

The relationship between grandparents and their families can be one of the sweetest relationships in life, so for the holidays, we want to honor grandparents as they deserve and make sure they’re actually getting the gifts they want.

We spoke to dozens of grandparents from our own lives and from HuffPost’s Facebook groups to find out what’s on their wishlists. Unsurprisingly, a lot of the items they asked for had to do with their grandkids: items to house their grandchildren’s beloved artwork, bean bags for cuddling their grandkids and digital picture frames so they can see up-to-date photos of the whole family.

Still, some of them asked for treats for themselves, including new kitchen tools and books. Read on for all their picks; you’re sure to find something that the grandparent in your life will love and get heavy use out of.

And by the way, one thing echoed by nearly all the grandparents we spoke to? They want to spend time with their grandkids, or “the gift of time,” as Marjie Podzielinski, grandparent to a 16-year-old, wrote on HuffPost’s Facebook page. With one of the thoughtful presents on our list and the gift of quality time with their grandchildren, you’re bound to have a very happy grandparent.

HuffPost and its publishing partners may receive a commission from some purchases made via links on this page. Every item is independently curated by the HuffPost Shopping team. Prices and availability are subject to change.

A kids' art frame that holds up to 100 pieces of artwork
Maria Uribe, grandmother to a newborn and mother of HuffPost senior shopping writer Lourdes Avila Uribe, is asking for an art frame that holds multiple pieces of kids' artwork so that they can be switched out or added frequently as kids bring back works of art from school. This 10-inch-by 12.6-inch option, which Uribe suggested specifically, can hold a whopping 100 pieces of artwork with a front-loading display so anyone can easily admire their grandkid's latest pieces while keeping the rest safe and secure. It also comes in a variety of colorful frame colors! By the way, the glass is shatter-proof, so you don't have to worry about little toes.
A popular digital picture frame
Multiple grandparents asked for a digital picture frame that family members can upload photos to for grandparents to enjoy.

"For Christmas I’ve asked my daughter for an electronic picture frame filled with pictures of [my eight-month-old grandchild]," said HuffPost reader Denise Dupois via email. "As she takes new photos throughout the year I’d like her to upload the pictures to my frame. It’ll be like Christmas every time a new photo is added."

HuffPost selected this highly-rated digital picture frame, which has touchscreen capability and displays photos in a slideshow format so grandpa or grandma can enjoy tons of different photos of their loved ones at once.
The Aura "Carver" digital picture frame
Grandparent Jenelle Johnstone specifically suggested a Carver digital picture frame for the holidays. "[The] Aura frame is the best gift... we love our Carver frame," Johnstone wrote via Facebook. As with other digital frames, this option lets family members load photos onto the frame and continue to add pictures as time goes on. It even has an HD display for maximum photo clarity.
A custom wall calendar filled with photos of their grandkids
My mom, Shelley Z., is a great-aunt and "chosen grandparent" to an eight-year-old and a four-year-old. She absolutely loves the custom calendar she receives every year full of pictures of the kids.

"Each December the family creates a new custom wall calendar on Shutterfly, filled with an array of photos from the year before," she wrote in an email. "I am delighted at the end of each month when I turn the page to discover the next month filled with funny, sweet and special photos... It brings a smile to my face."

Shutterfly has a range of different calendar options to best fit any grandparent's taste, including wall, desk and easel calendars. It's an especially timely gift as we head into a new year.
Some adorable handmade coupons
Shelley also loves the handmade coupons she gets from the kids, which she can "redeem" for sweet activities to do together.

"Each December they create a 'Good for___' book, filled with coupons that I can redeem during the coming year," said Shelley. "The eight-year-old colors and decorates each coupon with stickers. Examples of her coupons include a 'mani/pedi,' a trip to Target, a 'heart-to-heart' talk, a dance performance and getting a burrito together. The four-year-old dictates to his parent what he would like to include in his coupon book... includ[ing] telling me a story, pushing him on the swing, sharing an ice cream, having an 'over-nighter' and playing a game of hide and go seek."

HuffPost selected these blank coupon cards from Amazon to help get you started. The front side has an area to write what coupon is for, and the back side is blank for decorations. It's made of thick card stock for a simple yet sturdy feel.
Color Me Mine
Dishes hand-painted by their grandchildren
Grandparent Barbara Nan Cooke Behringer asked for plates or bowls hand painted by her grandkids for the holidays.

"I have an assortment, delightfully mismatched, that reflect all the kids at different ages and their interests and abilities at the time they were painted," Behringer wrote via Facebook. "They trigger wonderful memories every day when I use the pieces."

We at HuffPost love this creative gift idea and recommend Color Me Mine for a place your kid can paint on bowls and plates and get them glazed for gifting. They have locations all over the country so you can find one near you.
A popular hands-free LED light
Grandparent Laurie Morrison said on Facebook that she'd like a crochet light, since she loves crocheting but at times has trouble seeing. This light that she selected sports a concentrated LED light and can be worn around the neck so she can keep her hands free. It comes in tons of colors, too.
A gift card for a treat
Grandparents across Facebook asked for gift cards that they can use at their favorite restaurant (preferably for a meal with their grandkids!), at the spa or for a haircut or a manicure.

For a versatile gift card that grandparents can use at the place of their choice, we selected this popular Visa gift card from Amazon. You can preload it with cash so the grandparent in your life can treat themself to whatever they'd like.
A multipurpose zester
Catherine Lee, a grandmother of four children ages 2-5 and mother of HuffPost shopping managing editor Emily Ruane, requested "a few more things we could use in the kitchen with the kids around so much," including a zester like this Microplane model to upgrade from her current box grater. This stainless steel option promises to grate cheese, citrus rinds and more.
A two-stage knife sharpener
Lee also requested this highly-rated knife sharpener since her knives get a lot of use. This one quickly and effectively sharpens knives using ceramic grits.
Harry & David
A Harry & David fresh fruit basket
Lee also told HuffPost that a fruit or snack basket from a place like Harry and David would be appreciated for the holidays.

"Something that's challenging for grandparents over the holidays is that they don't know when their kids are going to show up," Lee said. "I try to stock up on fruit, snacks, whatever you think your kids are going to eat."

Everyone in the family will enjoy snacking on this deluxe fruit basket, which includes fresh apples, pears, kiwi, bananas, limes and more.
A woodland berry centerpiece from L.L.Bean
Lee also asked for an arrangement of greens that she can display indoors or outdoors. This L.L.Bean centerpiece includes berries, pinecones and a festive LED candle to cast a soft light sans flames.
Some new history books
Michael Ruane, Lee's husband and a grandfather of four, asked for books for the holidays, with a preference for history. He's been wanting the new Martin Luther King Jr. biography and a book about World War II's impact on modern Asia.
An Ultimate Sack huge bean bag chair
Shannon Best told HuffPost via Facebook that she'd like this giant, cozy bean bag chair "so I can easily cuddle my grandbabies! They are 9, 7, 6 and 3 and the lights of my life." It's an awesome six feet in diameter and made with cozy foam and a machine-washable cover.
A witty party game
Murray also requested this popular party game called "Give Me 3," in which the three funniest answers to any given question win. Reviewers call it "an absolute riot."
A Brümate insulated cooler for 12-ounce and 16-ounce cans
"My request would be a new Brümate three-in-one can cooler," said Kay Taylor, grandparent to a three- and nine-year-old, on Facebook. It's the "best ever coffee cup." Reviewers love how it keeps drinks cold or hot for hours on end, plus the optional top that you can snap on for leakproof coverage. It's available in tons of colors so you can grab the one your grandparent would best like.
A pair of comfy boots
"I would like a pair of boots designed for people like me with medically induced neuropathy in my feet and hands," said Audrey Herman, grandparent to an eight-year-old, on Facebook. She specifically asked for this SasNola wedged heel pair, which has soft, plush lining for comfy walking and an inside zipper for easily taking it on and off. It's available in women's sizes 5–12 and in sixth width sizes.
American Diabetes Association
Cooking classes for folks with diabetes
Eleanor Mosqueda, a grandparent of five, asked via Facebook for cooking classes for diabetics to help support healthy living. We selected these free online cooking classes hosted by the American Diabetes Association; for updates on classes, sign up for their newsletter.
A trip to Disneyland with their grandkids
Last but not least, Karen Wolstenholme wrote on Facebook that she'd like to take her grandchildren to Disneyland as a holiday gift. It'd be "a lifetime memory," she said.

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