Grandparents' Guide to Christmas Shopping

Grandparents' Guide to Christmas Shopping
29 November 2017

What do we buy the grandchildren for Christmas?

It’s a question which always leaves the grandparents in our family scratching their heads at Christmas, and we're not alone. Every Christmas, nans and grandads up and down the country agonise over what to buy their grandkids to ensure December 25th doesn’t end in disappointment.

Now experts have revealed a go-to guide for grandparents of exactly what to buy - compiled by the youngest members of the family, no less.

The list features everything from Play-Doh to a PS4, costing anything from under £10 to over £50.

A fidget spinner, CDs or DVDs, a Pop-Up Pirate game or Guiness World Records Book 2018 are also among the things kids would love to receive, and all cost under a tenner.

Grandparents willing to stretch their budget up to £20 can pick up a Smiggle watch or clock, Pie Face game, Mr Potato Head or make-up set in a bid to impress.

Slightly more expensive toys included a Build-a-Bear, a scooter, a Barbie doll or Disney Classic Monopoly board game.

But if money is no object, grandparents are sure to win over the little ones with an iPhone, bicycle, smartwatch or Xbox One.

The list, which emerged from research commissioned by SunLife in which 1,700 children aged six to 15 were asked what they’d most like for Christmas, reveals the top 20 gifts in a variety of price brackets.

Ian Atkinson, Marketing Director at SunLife said:

“We’ve learnt from previous research that generations often feel out of touch with each other. As a company for everyone over 50, we wanted to help grandparents with their Christmas shopping this year. So, we’re giving grandparents a practical, informative list based on the answers we got from asking over 1,700 children what they want from their grandparents at Christmas. Their answers were funny, informative and really heart-warming – from many saying their favourite part of Christmas is spending time with the family… to lots of others desperate for a pet unicorn!”

From gifts under £10 for those on a budget to electronic gizmos and gadgets over the £50 mark, the list also include clothes, CDs, the Pie Face game, VR headsets, Barbie dolls, make up and plenty of Lego sets to choose from.

The study found pyjamas are the most popular request when it comes to topping up kiddies' wardrobes, followed by tops, dressing gowns and jeans.

The most sought-after branded lunchbox choice for boys is Star Wars, closely followed by Spider-Man and the Avengers.

Spider-Man sweeps the top spot for girls’ choice of lunch bag from their grandparents, closely followed by Doc McStuffins and Disney’s Frozen.

Of general toy requests, boys would most like to be treated to a Lego set, computer games or gadgets.

And girls would most like board games, followed by jewellery and craft sets, clothes and science at home kits.

Parents of the 1,700 children polled said their grandparents will spend £41 on each grandchild on average.

When asked if they could get absolutely anything for Christmas from their grandparents, a number of children made pet requests – including dogs, cats, horses, a goat and even a unicorn.

Other children added family holidays or a trip to Disneyland to their festive wish list.

One third of children confess to receiving a bad present from a grandparent in the past and revealed the worst gifts they’ve been given – so take note.

Many children told of disappointing offerings such as clothes or toys that were designed for a child much younger than themselves.

Other apparently poorly-chosen presents included a toothbrush, a tray and seeds accompanied by a bag of soil. (Bah, I think that's a lovely gift from a grandparent.)

Anyway, despite one third wishing for cash this Christmas from nans and grandads, 43 per cent would rather have presents over pounds.

The official guide can be found on the SunLife website here.

Top 10 general gifts for boys:


2. Computer games

3. Gadgets

4. Board games

5. Mobile phone

6. Tablet

7. Computer game system such as Xbox or PS4

8. Nerf guns

9. Action figures

10. Science at home set such as make your own slime

Top 10 general gifts for girls:

1. Board games

2. Jewellery/accessories

3. Make it yourself such as jewellery

4. Clothes/fashion

5. Science at home set such as make your own slime

6. Books

7. Mobile phone

8. Puzzles

9. Tablet

10. Sweets and chocolate

We'd love to hear what you make of this study. Why not come and join the conversation over on our Facebook page?

TOPICS:   Christmas UK


  • Ann-marie R.

    maybe some ideas on here lol xxx

  • Janet H.

    as if mom needs a shopping guide :grin:

  • Sarah J.

    Could have done with that yesterday! X

  • Vikki G.

    My parents give me the money and I buy and wrap everything

What do you think?

Your comment