Christmas Present for New Grandparents
November 2, 2016 7:55 AM   Subscribe

We had a baby this year (yay!); she is the first grandchild for all four of her grandparents and they are all nuts about her. For Christmas, I'd like to get my parents and in-laws something related to her. The problem is, we send photos every day so I don't want just to give them more pictures and they don't want stuff so no mugs or t-shirts with her picture. Ideas appreciated!

Possibly relevant:
  • Our families don't live THAT close to us; they usually see our beautiful little monster about once a month although that may decrease as she gets older (she's not quite four months old yet)
  • My mom's always saying she prefers "experiences" to tangible stuff but the baby is too young for them to do anything like take a trip together and I don't want to give her a gift that feels like a responsibility ("you get the baby for the day!")
  • A relative gave my father-in-law a book to read to her which we thought was a great idea but is a bit small for a Christmas gift
I wanted to ask early in case anyone has ideas that will take time like a scrapbook (good idea but my mother won't want to have it physically around and my husband's parents already print out the daily photos we send and put them in an album) or having something made or engraved or whatever. Thank you for any suggestions you have!
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl to Shopping (19 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
My mom's always saying she prefers "experiences"

What about paying for professional photos to be taken of grandparent + baby together? That's an experience and a tangible stuff.
posted by phunniemee at 8:06 AM on November 2, 2016 [33 favorites]

we're planning on getting a loop for ourselves and each of the grandparents' houses this christmas. it's a digital frame that's designed specifically to handle sharing/web integration well and do video chat. so basically a tablet that we can setup for them and then they'll easily be able to browse stuff.
posted by noloveforned at 8:06 AM on November 2, 2016 [6 favorites]

I got keychains with baby pic for his grandfather. Useable inconsequential trinket

Otherwise, what about a weekend away, with you and both sets of grandparents. Book a condo or similar. We've been doing a trip with my husband's parents every year since kid was born. Usually a week in the summer and they love it. Time to spend with kid, but you're there to do the work.
posted by Ftsqg at 8:06 AM on November 2, 2016 [1 favorite]

This is not an experience, but you can make Shutterfly ornaments with pictures of babby with her grandparents, and start a collection for them.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 8:07 AM on November 2, 2016 [4 favorites]

This is possibly more appropriate in a year or two, as your little creature begins to talk, but last year for Christmas I got my parents a pair of engraved crystal whiskey glasses that say "Gandma" and "Grandmapa" which is what Nanopanda was calling them at the time.*

My parents also don't need Stuff, but my dad consumes a whiskey-like beverage from a crystal glass most every evening, and so this fit the (rare!) niche of a thing he will actually use. And they particularly enjoy having that ephemeral moment of baby language frozen in time. You might consider whether there exists some small everyday item that your parents would be willing to replace with a grandbaby-relevant version.

*I actually had to have the goddamn things redone, as I discovered after opening the box I'd had shipped to my parents' house that the store people had corrected the fucking spelling, thus defeating the purpose entirely.
posted by telepanda at 8:09 AM on November 2, 2016 [9 favorites]

Professional photo shoot of babies + send grandparents a DVD or digital album?

Professional video shoot of babies?
posted by Sockpuppets 'R' Us at 8:25 AM on November 2, 2016

Shutterfly book filled with pictures of the baby. That way, they can show the book off to friends.
posted by heathrowga at 8:27 AM on November 2, 2016 [3 favorites]

I know your mom doesn't like "stuff" but does she still decorate for the holidays? You could make casts of your kid's teeny tiny baby hand or foot and put it on a ribbon for an ornament. Leave plain and spray with a heavy duty varnish, or paint it with colorful patterns and maybe her name and birthdate and then varnish. (These guys have lots of ideas and materials.) I saw a few of these on a tree at someone else's holiday party once. I thought it was a touch bizarre, but the hosts came over and exclaimed how delightful it was to have a tangible reminder of how itty bitty their now-grown grandkids once were, and it's small and easy to store away so they get the moment to reminisce every year when they are trimming the tree.
posted by Mizu at 8:41 AM on November 2, 2016 [4 favorites]

Clay imprint baby foot or handprint coasters.
posted by DarlingBri at 8:53 AM on November 2, 2016 [1 favorite]

How about a Grandparents Book? (example) It's a blank book with prompts that they can fill in about their lives back in the day. "When I was in school, I wore...." "In my free time, I occupied myself by ..." The experience is that they get to think about what they want to transmit to the younger generation and write about how much things have changed.
posted by Liesl at 9:15 AM on November 2, 2016 [2 favorites]

What about a sound recording of your little munchkin?
posted by congen at 9:38 AM on November 2, 2016

Response by poster: Lots of excellent ideas, thank you!

What about a sound recording of your little munchkin?

In fact I already do this; I record the noises she makes while we're trying to go to sleep (adorable but loud) and text them to my mother. I'm planning to use these recordings as the kraken's alarm clock when she's in high school.
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 9:42 AM on November 2, 2016 [6 favorites]

Planet Jill makes custom jewelry with pictures in it. There's a wide selection from pendants and charms to key rings and cufflinks. I can vouch for the quality of the work.
posted by janey47 at 10:34 AM on November 2, 2016

I've been very tempted to get my parents a Joy or Aura digital picture/video frame that I can update for them remotely, but they're still pretty expensive.
posted by jeffch at 10:59 AM on November 2, 2016

I gave my mother earrings with the baby's birthstone, (opal) and my father a 2-part desktop frame with prints. The idea was that I would send them more prints, but I haven't really done that. (Whoops.)
posted by vunder at 12:04 PM on November 2, 2016

Nixplay frame. It's a digital frame and you can wirelessly send pictures to the frame, updating it with new pictures on the fly. No effort on their side (don't need to upload pix via USB) aside from plugging it in. $250 or so. My son's grandparents love it!
posted by St. Peepsburg at 12:51 PM on November 2, 2016

You can make ornaments and wall decor with clay foot and hand imprints.

A hard-cover picture book.
posted by Neekee at 1:10 PM on November 2, 2016

I do handprint art for the grandparents. They don't really need more stuff, and (sorry to be morbid, my parents and in laws are older) someday I'm going to have to go through all of their stuff and decide what to keep and what to toss.

Protip for a couple of years down the line - when your kid comes home with 15 new drawings every day from preschool and elementary school and you have no idea what to do with ALL. THE. PAPERS. send some of them along to the gparents.
posted by vignettist at 1:44 PM on November 2, 2016

I did these calendars for the grandparents last year. They are so nicely done, plug into instagram if you want, and the wooden holder has a magnet on the back. They were a hit and I plan to do it again this year!
posted by missjenny at 7:10 PM on November 2, 2016

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