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You can’t ask a grandma or grandpa what they want for Christmas. They’ll just say, “I don’t need a thing.” And while that may be technically true, the holidays are not about necessity. They’re about joy and love and delight.
True, it can be hard to buy for super-grownups—their homes and lives are curated to their liking. That’s why we consulted the experts—real-life grandparents—to come up with a gifts guaranteed to hit big. Herewith, the things grands actually want (but won’t tell you because they’re fine, really, and they don’t want to be a bother).
An old-school photo album—with modern styling—is a gift that delights and engages the whole family. Fill the pages with old snapshots and new prints from your digital photo library. There’s nothing like hard-copy photos to melt the heart. Sweet and retro.
Shop it: Printworks Good Times Photo Album, $35, nordstrom.com
The bar has been raised when it comes to teeth, as Al, granddad of six, points out. “Before, actors didn’t have such white teeth. Now everyone on TV has these beautiful bright smiles. I want my teeth to look like that.” Wish granted. This easy at-home kit serves up the sparkling results of a pro treatment. Say cheese!
Shop it: iSmile Teeth Whitening Kit, $48, amazon.com
Eleanor in South Carolina has filled her (now empty) nest with plants—and loves anything related to greenery. “I like to surround myself with life and positivity,” she says. These 4.5-inch (motivational) ceramic planters are hand-painted. Tuck in a little flowering supermarket plant to take your gift to the next level.
Shop it: Garden Greeting Pot, $24, anthropologie.com
Michelle writes letters to her grandkids across the country. The kids get a kick out of the old-school form of communication, and, says Michelle, “it’s something we can save.” Stationery is a winning gift, and this set—with prompts and lists to make writer’s block a thing of the past—is especially fun. It’s made with cross-generation communication in mind. A super-sweet way to engage kids in the lost art of letter-writing.
Shop it: Grandparent Pen Pal Set, $24, uncommongoods.com
Andrea has a well-organized kitchen but it’s missing something. “I eat a lot of fruit, and would like something nice to put it in.” This type-A bowl corrals all the produce into a healthy hierarchy. With bananas hanging high (so they don’t bruise), ripened fruit up top, on the maple-wood tray (so you don’t forget about it) and not-quite-ready produce in the vented glass bowl below, the counter stays clear and nature’s candy is at the ready. As pretty as it is practical.
Shop it: Just Ripe Fruit Bowl, $65, uncommongoods.com
“I’m a chocolate-lover,” says Lillian. Anything in that category is her favorite thing to receive at the holidays.
More exciting and modern than a sampler, this hot-chocolate-on-a-stick turns warm milk into a dark chocolate treat, with a simple stir. The dainty spoon reveals a secret message. Sweets for the sweet, this is the sort of gift to buy in multiples. We can’t think of anyone who wouldn’t want it.
Shop it: Hot Chocolate on a Vintage Silver Spoon, $20, uncommongoods.com
“I keep hearing that CBD is good for aches and pains,” says Mabel, from New Jersey. “I want to try it out. If it works that would be the best gift ever.” With so many options on the market, it’s hard to know where to begin. This rich, soothing lotion (with shea butter, as well as CBD) is the perfect entry point. It eases pain like a magic potion—and the packaging is pretty, to boot. Once she tries it, your recipient will never be the same (in a good way). And you’ll keep your elite status as the favorite.
Shop it: Lord Jones High CBD Formula Body Lotion, $60, sephora.com
“As soon as I wake up, I turn on the kettle,” says Goldie, in California. Her top tea is peach ginger, but she likes to switch it up. She loves a fancy tea gift. With 24-flavors like Gingerbread Blondie, Forever Frosty, and Tulsi Tranquility, this gorgeous set is like a master class from an esteemed tea sommelier. New hobby alert! Set up like an advent calendar, this is just as much fun as a tea-a-day-treat in January.
Shop it: David’s Tea 24 Days of Tea Advent Calendar 2019, amazon.com
Glam lounging products are a natural for grands—and this one is pretty spectacular. Made of bamboo, it can take the heat (and the occasional splash). And for those who have the nerve to let their devices near water, it can hold a tablet or a phone. For the risk averse, it’s perfect for a cup of tea and some reading material. This is spa-level luxury, people.
For the techie-grandparent who loves to stay connected but likes to keep it moving, this battery-operated speaker (with epic sound) can easily go from room-to-room. No fuss, no cords involved.
John from Charleston says he needs a speaker for his man cave: “I have to have my music. I used to have a lot of equipment but now I just have my iPod Touch and computer.” With Alexa built right in, this top-quality speaker couldn’t be easier to operate and enjoy.
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