Despite grandmothers being notoriously picky, shopping for granddads isn’t some park promenade. There’s only so many Argyle socks and fun ties you can gift before the sentiment wears. In reporting this story, I chatted with my own grandfather to see what he’d like to receive. He said he wanted a phone call or to spend more time together. While that was a sweet sentiment, it’s not the most useful intel for gift buying. So I spoke to grandparents and thoughtful grandkids for their suggestions and dug in our archives to find the best gifts.
According to DeeDee Moore, the founder of the grandparenting blog More Than Grand, grandfathers love digital-picture frames. She called out Nixplay specifically because of its ease of use: “Parents can add new photos and video clips from their phone or computer, and they instantly appear in the frame on Grandpa’s desk,” she explains.
This recommendation comes from our archives. Strategist senior editor Jen Trolio gifted it to several family members including an elderly out-of-state uncle who had been confined to his retirement home all year. Like the Nixplay, the Aura is simple to set up and use. “It was easy to curate a collection of photos and get my siblings and other relatives in on the fun — all through the app — before the frames were even delivered,” Trolio says. On top of its simplicity, the frame doesn’t have a photo limit, and there’s a choice to display each photo for two minutes, five minutes, or ten minutes.
Minh Lê — author of Drawn Together, a book about a grandchild and grandfather — suggests commissioning an illustrated portrait for Granddad of him with his grandchildren. While there are plenty of options on Etsy, Lê recommends getting one from award-winning illustrator Jarrett J. Krosoczka.