When Grandparents Are Hard to Buy For

When it comes to gift-giving, grandparents can be tough assignments. Many are downsizing, moving, and getting rid of possessions rather than adding items. If you find grandparents hard to buy for, read the suggestions below.

  • 01 of 07

    A Luxurious Gift

    Grandparents on a cruise ship
    Rob Melnychuk / Getty Images

    Spoil your grandparents with a gift that they would never buy for themselves. Cruises are surprisingly affordable these days. Dinner cruises and sunset sails are even more budget-friendly. On a smaller scale, spa days are the stalwart standbys, but a personal chef for an evening is a more imaginative choice.

    Another is a session with a professional photographer. Look for one who has done good work with mature adults. Or book a photography session for the entire family. Most grandparents love...MORE nothing more than family pictures. The final gift should be a photograph that's ready to hang so that the grandparent is spared the hassle of framing.

  • 02 of 07

    The Gift of Excitement

    White-water rafting might please adventurous grandparents.
    Ted Wood / Getty Images

    A once-in-a-lifetime experience makes a memorable gift for a grandparent. Active grandparents might enjoy whitewater rafting or a guided kayaking trip. More exotic choices include hot-air balloon rides and biplane flights. You can even arrange a chance to drive a Ferrari or other dream car. For the less adventurous, a limo ride, a fireworks cruise or a chance to meet a celebrity can offer excitement without the risk of bodily harm.

    Most companies dealing with experience gifts offer refunds or...MORE exchanges on unbooked experiences, so there are no worries if the gift proves to be a bad fit. Experience gifts are great for grandchildren, too, so consider including them in the package.

  • 03 of 07

    The Gift of Learning

    Lessons are good gifts for grandparents
    Ghislain & Marie David de Lossy / Getty Images

    Many grandparents would enjoy a class in painting, cooking, jewelry-making, carpentry, or home decorating. Outdoorsy types might enjoy a guided hike or boat ride with a knowledgeable guide. If a grandparent plays golf or another sport, spring for a lesson with a pro.

    Be sure the subject matter is something that the recipient has shown an interest in, and don't pay for a lengthy series of classes. A sample is sufficient. If the gift is a hit, you have it made for future gift-giving occasions....MORE The lucky grandparent might end up with a new hobby to share with a grandchild!

  • 04 of 07

    Season Passes and Annual Passes

    grandparents visit national and state parks
    Ashok Rodrigues | Getty Images

    Season passes or annual passes are gifts that keep on giving. If the grandparents are active travelers, a pass to the National Parks might be much appreciated. Similar passes can be bought for state parks in many states.

    Many grandparents will enjoy sharing these special destinations with grandchildren. Annual passes to local museums will thrill grandparents who love learning. If grandparents live near a theme park, season passes are another option and one that can definitely be shared with...MORE grandchildren. 

    Continue to 5 of 7 below.
  • 05 of 07

    Give a Ticket

    grandparents enjoy tickets to sporting events
    Chris Whitehead / Getty Images

    Tickets to concerts or sporting events are also fine gifts. Spring for good seats so grandparents can really enjoy the show. If grandparents are hesitant to drive to unfamiliar venues or dislike fighting traffic, include transportation in the package.

    It's possible that your grandparent has never had a ride in a limo, so consider that option. Or make it a family outing and do the driving. Another option is to include a hotel room near the event, so the grandparents don't have to worry...MORE about getting home when the fun is over.

  • 06 of 07

    Charitable Gifts or Crowdfunding

    grandmother saving money for charitable donation
    Paul Bradbury / OJO Images / Getty Images

    Many grandparents enjoy supporting their special causes, but they don't always have a lot to give. Donations to their favorite charitable organizations make fine gifts for such grandparents. They are especially well-suited for people who really don't want more stuff in their lives.

    Some crowdfunding sites offer charity gift cards that allow the recipient to choose a charity. Philanthropic organizations are getting better at working with gift givers and often offer special ways of...MORE acknowledging gifts, ranging from cards to certificates to small token gifts. 

  • 07 of 07

    Gift of the Month Ideas

    Chocolates are just one of the gifts that can be ordered to be delivered monthly.
    Courtesy of Recchiuti Confections

    Remember the Book of the Month club? You're no longer confined to literature if you want to gift a grandparent with a monthly package. Many gift-of-the-month clubs offer creative and quirky choices. Of course, food products are always popular, and you can arrange for monthly deliveries of candy, cheese, coffee, tea, or other tasty treats, in addition to the more traditional wine or fruit baskets.

    You can find companies that will send out everything needed for a new craft project each month,...MORE or ones that will send a different pair of earrings or a toiletry package monthly. Monthly gift clubs are perfect for grandparents who like to try new things.