I need a grandparents perspective or NE! with parents they buy gifts for..
Post ReplyPost New TopicPosted 12/17/2013 by 14U14ME in NSBR Board


PeaNut 223,678
September 2005
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Posted: 12/17/2013 6:31:45 PM
ok so we have 4 kids..and my dad always asks for a christmas list of who wants want... yes a list complete with links and urls of what the kids and everyone wants. He is rather well off.. he wants for nothing, still works because he likes it, and doesn't need anything. He comes over every week for dinner, and to play with the kids, he volunteers in their schools and comes with us on family outings from time to time. He even joins us for a week of our summer vacation ...

Every year he pretty much gets whatever I put on my list. He needs nothing. I get him a calendar of the kids, and a shirt from a company he likes and then get him a framed pic of our family for his office. but I'm at a loss. I know how much he spends on us and i feel bad only having small things for him. He has hobbies but he buys everything for himself, top of the line, stuff I couldn't even afford to get.. honestly this year there isn't much more I could afford to get him but I feel like i need to to compensate for what he gives us.. does that make sense? am i looking into this too much? do grandparents even care?

Ancient Ancestor of Pea

PeaNut 288,459
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Posted: 12/17/2013 6:36:04 PM
It is the attitude of gratitude that grandparents appreciate.

I'm not as well off as your father and I can say that it thrills me to buy things for my dgd. The joy of being able to do that is it's own reward.

Including him in your lives, and his grandchildren's lives is probably way more important to him than any thing you could buy.

just my opinion of course.

Just Lizzy
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PeaNut 19,817
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Posted: 12/17/2013 6:47:49 PM
I'm a grandma, and there is nothing I appreciate more at Christmas than getting pictures of the grands. Nice ones, framed for display. Daughter shares pix all year long on FB, and will upload pix from special occasions to my Flikr account, but I really love getting nice family pictures.

They don't have to be professional. She usually coordinates their clothes somewhat and has someone she knows take the pictures. To me, it really is the thought that counts. These pictures are priceless to me; worth so much more than the $$$ I spend on the grandchildren's presents.

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PeaNut 109,127
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Posted: 12/17/2013 6:50:43 PM
It doesn't sound like he needs/wants anything and I don't think it bothers him. What about a game that he can play with the kids or something that the people at the school sign.

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PeaNut 294,285
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Posted: 12/17/2013 6:52:15 PM
I make photo books "a year in review" of my grandchildren for MY parents and MIL. They love it! As a grandma, I'd love it, too.

I agree with the Pea that what I enjoy is knowing my son and his wife appreciate what we do for them and their children. A simple thank you is so nice.

Another idea for your dad, who sounds great, is an activity with the kids...maybe a zoo membership or tickets to a ball game? Or, have the kids make him a coupon book...an ice cream cone, read him a book, etc?


PEAceful Pea

PeaNut 14,521
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Posted: 12/17/2013 6:55:28 PM
How old are your kids? What about one on one outings with each of them? Tickets to the zoo for him and one of them, tickets to see a particular movie or play with another, tickets for him and one to go to the video arcade, etc.

Doesn't have to be actual tickets, could be passes, homemade tickets, gift certificates, etc. But, give him one on one time with each grandchild along with a fun outing.


pearl-clutching nitpicker

PeaNut 201,774
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Posted: 12/17/2013 7:00:28 PM
If you want to spend actual money, how about buying him gift cards to restaurants he might not go to if you didn't point him in that direction? or sports or show tickets?

My parents are comfortably off and don't want a bunch of STUFF. We try to get them consumables. Gourmet food gifts, wine or liquor, restaurants, events, etc.

northern california

"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts."
--Bertrand Russell


PeaNut 302,707
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Posted: 12/17/2013 7:00:44 PM
And in the spirit of the attitude is the gratitude as your kids get old enough make sure they are sending hand written thank you notes. Those are more valuable than all the little things you can get.
Photos, photo books, photo calendars all are priceless. Photos of him with each of the grands also priceless.
And as someone mentioned, tickets or passes to take each one of the grands on a one on one outing, movies, zoo, doesn't have to be big and grand, just time spent.

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PeaNut 142,772
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Posted: 12/17/2013 7:40:57 PM
I am a grandparent and the gifts that you mentioned would mean the world to me. I wouldn't honestly care if my daughter didn't have any money to spend and just gave us pictures of her and the kids.


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PeaNut 183,518
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Posted: 12/17/2013 7:50:14 PM

but I feel like i need to to compensate for what he gives us.. does that make sense? am i looking into this too much? do grandparents even care?

You do not need to compensate your dad for what he gets your kids. Grandparents have many years ahead of you on the road of life. When they were your age, they probably couldn't afford all the stuff they can now. They have it and want to share it. Let them. As a parent of grown kids and a grandparent to two, I don't want a blessed thing except time with my family. I'd be perfectly fine if my kids never gave me a gift but just spent time with me. Your dad probably feels the same. Write him a letter telling him what he means to you and your family, make that calendar because he probably looks forward to that and the updated pic is the perfect thing. Let him spoil you, if he wants.

You call me Pollyanna like that's a bad thing.

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PeaNut 273,904
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Posted: 12/17/2013 7:50:54 PM
As a grandma, I really don't want anything from my kids for Christmas or birthday or other events, other than their presence - them in my life.

The best gift was the handprints in plaster of the grands growing up. Their pictures, awkward printing, silly pictures. I love doing things with them, making memories. I don't need food, trinkets or stuff to fill up my home.

I understand how grown kids want to "gift" their parents, however, my parents started a new way, called "giving with a warm hand as long as the hand is warm". My kids have wonderful memories of trips with their cousins, stuff that they did with my parents. That is REAL.

I don't want anyone to stress out trying to buy me something. Spend time with me, that is REAL and long-lasting.

Please ignore my spelling mistakes

A proud Canadian Pea


PeaNut 11,212
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Posted: 12/17/2013 8:06:27 PM
I'm a grandma who is really well off, but I have everything I need or want. I would love the stuff you have mentioned, but really I would rather the kids would spend the money on their families. One of the things I know they are trying to teach their kids is giving to others, so I understand the reason they wrack their brains to find something to give us.

Another thing you could do is to write your dad a heartfelt note after Christmas expressing how much you appreciate all he does....that will mean the world to him.


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PeaNut 74,479
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Posted: 12/17/2013 8:54:18 PM
Why don't you have your kids write a poem about them and him, or a story called grandpa and me. My mom loves those kinds of things.



PeaNut 197,450
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Posted: 12/17/2013 9:14:50 PM
You do not need to compensate him. He is giving your family those gifts because he loves you and he wants to give them to you. Imagine yourself later in life, won't you want to enjoy your days giving nice things to the people you love the most if you can? The fact that you all are excited and appreciative is gift enough for him I'm sure. He sounds like a sweet man.

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PeaNut 595,029
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Posted: 12/18/2013 6:33:17 AM
My parents know that there is no way that any of us kids can spend a lot on their gifts, and they are in a position that they need or want nothing.

Generally, each year they pick a "theme" and ask us to do something within the "theme." For example, one year it was 10 random acts of kindness, write it down and wrap it up. Another year it was the gift of "time" given to someone else.

These things don't have to cost us anything and my parents get real joy out of seeing how each one of us interpret their requests.

The year that we did the 10 random acts of kindness, each of us presented in different ways that were personal to us. Because I am inclined toward artist interpretations, I did a piece of art with 10 butterflies representing my 10 acts. My brother, who TOTALLY isn't artistic, gave her 10 seedlings representing his acts. My other sisters (3 of them) did varying things from calligraphy to post it notes. My parents LOVED it.

Maybe you can do something for your dad in his name and then do something that represents that to wrap?


PeaNut 85,321
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Posted: 12/18/2013 7:22:18 AM
I think the perfect gifts would be:
-time spent with him
-a handmade item
-a video of them singing some kind of grandpa related song..performing something

Peaing From Podunk

PeaNut 45,443
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Posted: 12/18/2013 7:25:08 AM
I'm another grandma who wants and needs nothing. I have more "stuff" than I know what to do with now. A few years back I called a halt to Christmas and Birthday gifts. I would rather my kids spent their money on themselves or their kids and most of my friends who are grandparents feel the same way.
Let your Dad know how much you appreciate the things he does by telling him and by teaching your children to always thank him.


Mother Goose's Meandering Mind

Ancient Ancestor of Pea

PeaNut 134,808
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Posted: 12/18/2013 7:40:46 AM
I am also a grandma who wants and needs nothing physical. What I do want are things that connect me to my grands. Pics are he best. Things made my the grands are second best. I love pics they draw, refrig magnets, clay "sculptures" anything that says "I was thinking about you, Grandma."

One on one time would be awesome too.

Ancient Ancestor of Pea

PeaNut 6,487
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Posted: 12/18/2013 7:59:33 AM


PeaNut 136,139
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Posted: 12/18/2013 8:03:21 AM
my mom and her boyfriend are decently well off and need NOTHING, she hates clutter and mess so what i do, when i do all my christmas baking, i do up a goodie package for 2, she's not into all the fussy christmas baking and candy making but she loves having just a few of each one, she said its not worth it for her to make a whole batch of fudge, for example, just for the 2 of them, but a platter with half a dozen pieces, some cookies, slices of banana bread, little tarts, whatever i'm making that year.

another thing she loves is that i make little pies in jars, just short wide mouthed mason jars, refrigerated pie dough and canned filling... i make them up and label them and when she and her boyfriend want some pie they bake up a couple, again, no huge pie going to waste just for the 2 of them


PeaNut 345,491
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Posted: 12/18/2013 8:07:23 AM
I think he is just happy to spend time with you and your kids by the sound of it, he seems like a wonderful grandparent! I think the calendar and family photo are probably gifts he treasures most other then spending time with you and your kids.

I have one GD and my son never gives me anything like that for a gift and I would love something like that! I am just happy to spend time with her when I am able to, that is what I treasure the most. I am a younger GP but as parents get older they aren't into gifts anymore they can afford to buy what they want or need thru out the year, it is about the kids.

Useless Information

PeaNut 249,087
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Posted: 12/18/2013 8:14:48 AM
My parents are also past "stuff" and usually just want pictures of the grandkids and time with them. I usually just get them gift cards to a couple resturants I know they frequent because it seems like they're constantly going out to dinner.

With DH's parents, we gave up on trying to find a gift for his Mom. She's not into knick-knacks, doesn't really collect stuff, and usually buys what she wants. We've been feeling like she's making more effort with her BF's kids because they have had babies this year so we don't know what to do for them. This year, she'll be getting some cookies. DH's Dad is a bare minimum kind of guy and is single so I'm giving him the other half of the baked goodies I'm making.


PeaNut 529,899
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Posted: 12/18/2013 10:26:48 AM
From how you describe your Dad, it sounds like he is happy with whatever you give. I'm sure he is aware of your financial capability so he probably knows/understands.

I think what would mean the most (i'm not a grandparent, but my parents are and I see what they want most from my brother) is just a genuine thank you. Just with what you wrote. You could put it in his Christmas card or a separate note but something to the effect of "Thank you for being a fantastic Grandpa, from all the ways you spoil us with your time and going with the kids on school trips. They are lucky to have you and so am i!" something like that.

I think most ppl just want to feel appreciated.

You gots to access your uncrazy side.

PeaNut 83,119
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Posted: 12/18/2013 10:40:42 AM
My child's grandparents, aunts, and uncles really don't need anything. (Aunts and uncles want expensive, out of our league gifts.)

So, we give them a framed picture of our son as their gift. When asked of us, we tell our brothers and sister that the best gift they could give us is a picture of their child/children. We have been trying for years to stop the adult gift giving, but they won't go along with it. My MIL is not doing adult gifts this year because she is still seriously grieving the loss of FIL.

(I give my mom silly gifts and inexpensive items. I'm an only child and she is alone since my step-father died in December 10 years ago, so Christmas is particularly hard for her.)


PeaNut 562,444
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Posted: 12/18/2013 10:47:09 AM

My parents are comfortably off and don't want a bunch of STUFF. We try to get them consumables.

This is my awnser too!

Ancient Ancestor of Pea

PeaNut 288,459
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Posted: 12/18/2013 10:55:20 AM
Ummm, just chiming back in to say that THIS grandma would love those individual pies in a jar! cookies rock too. and a video of them singing songs, would be over the top.


PeaNut 32,327
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Posted: 12/18/2013 11:04:17 AM
How about a hand drawn picture from each child depicting their favorite memory of time with Grandpa. Mat and frame them to hand in an office or home.

The Banana Under the Couch Pea

PeaNut 295,941
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Posted: 12/18/2013 11:17:31 AM
Can you give him the gift of time alone with your kids?

Maybe tickets to a local child friendly attraction. Or dinner and a movie evening out? Maybe just a day at the park with Grandpa.

sunny 5

PeaNut 472,024
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Posted: 12/18/2013 11:18:51 AM
when my kids were small, I would xerox their art work, and put it in a nice folder...so they have something the kids made and a
"brag" book


PeaNut 223,678
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Posted: 12/18/2013 1:06:27 PM
THANK you for the feedback! I think i am going to commission the older two kids (11 and 10) to make a video/poem/photo thing with the younger 2 (5 and 2) to show to and then give to grandpa on Christmas -that will be awesome! thanks peas!


PeaNut 45,810
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Posted: 12/18/2013 1:18:28 PM
I envy your dad. I can't wait to retire and have more time with The Grands. Although all our friends tell us they are just as busy in retirement as before!

I'm a grandmother and both DH and I ask the kids not spend lots of money on us. Young families have more urgent things to spend their money on. We don't need anymore knick knacks, clothes, etc.

Anything made by The Grands, dinner or time spent with us (we'll pay LOL!), anything I can eat up or use up is fine with me.

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