Showing your grandparents you care!

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Grandparents play a significant role in every family.

They took care of their own children and are now often looking after their grandchildren. They know the value of family and share their wisdom and time whenever they can.

Buying gifts for grandparents requires a bit more planning and thought. Having lived a full life, grandma and grandpa may already have completed their list of household items and may have restricted diets due to illness or certain prescription medications they take. This means that driving to the store and grabbing the first gift sets on display will not work.

Despite the caveats mentioned above, finding an appropriate birthday or anniversary gift for your grandparents is easier than you think. Contrary to their fading looks, they are still human and enjoy a sentimental present as much as a humorous one. Do not hesitate to buy a personalized picture frame or door mat, charming coffee or beer mugs with their names on, T-Shirts or wall decorations with funny slogans, locket-type key chains with a picture of their grandchild, a monogrammed bookmark, or a couple of gag gifts.

Like younger generations, grandparents have hobbies. Nana may need a new counted cross stitch kit, new gardening tools, or another 1000 piece mountain-scenery jigsaw puzzle, while grandpa desperately needs a travel pillbox, a remote control holder, or a new 4 DX driver, stand bag and hand warmers for his Sunday golf games. If they like to walk, you can get them gift voucher from a shoe store, knit warm scarves, or buy them stylish windbreakers.

Active grandparents may like to receive tickets to the movies, theater or ballet. If you can afford it, pay for a weekend out of town and have them spend the night at a romantic bed & breakfast. Throw in some spending money for a wine tour, a hay ride, a harbor tour or whatever entertainment the area has to offer. If they are adventurous enough you could even suggest a balloon ride. They will have the time of their life.

A little closer to home are spa treatments for nanny and a day fishing with papa. Invite the family for a BBQ and while the chocolate cake is being cut, offer them a nice album with family pictures. The children could sing a few songs while the older kids could perform a skit, reenacting a favourite moment out of their grandparent’s long life.

Not all grandparents live independently. Some reside in a nursing home with limited private space. Instead of bringing them the traditional flower bouquet, box of chocolates, perfume, cologne and aftershave, why not take them out to a nice restaurant, a walk in the park so they can enjoy watching the children at the playground, or spend the afternoon with them playing cards or board games. They will love the attention more so than any knick knack sitting on top of their television or shelf. Give them a subscription to their favourite magazine or newspaper or set up their mobile phone so they only have to push one button to reach you. It shows them you care!