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(ARA) – With the holidays approaching, shoppers are making their lists and checking them twice. Undoubtedly, there are some blanks, as buying for grandparents often stymies children and grandchildren alike.

Today’s grandparents are a unique bunch, with a number of traditional apple-pie bakers, knitters and chess players that are just as likely to be tech savvy or connected to their children and grandchildren on Facebook. In fact, according to a survey by Consumer Cellular, 67 percent of consumers 50 or older are on Facebook and desire a smartphone for easy Web access; 60 percent want to download financial apps, travel discounts and other offers.

If the grandparents on your list enjoy the latest gadgets, consider these holiday gift ideas:

Share the memories: Pre-load a digital album with the best photos from the past year, including holidays, birthdays, celebrations, vacations and everyday moments. For grandparents who live out of town, such a gift bridges the distance and keeps children and grandchildren connected.

Stay in touch: Select a cell phone that grandparents can use to keep in touch with loved ones, and consider paying for a plan for the first year. It doesn’t have to break the bank. Consumer Cellular offers no-contract plans for as little as $10 a month. From the Doro Phone Easy 410, equipped with large buttons, a bright screen and an emergency call function, to the Motorola Bravo smartphone, Consumer Cellular has phones to suit every personality and price point.

For grandparents who are less technology oriented, think about these alternatives:

Plan a night out (or in): Pick up vouchers to a movie, concert or other special event that grandparents can enjoy. Or, as kids’ schedules are packed these days, consider planning a family outing to ensure some quality time with grandparents. Home-made certificates for a classic movie marathon or a game night are an affordable way to enjoy each other’s company at home.

Dinner, on you: A special dinner is always appreciated. For grandparents, a gift certificate to one of their favorite restaurants is a good way to ensure a great meal without the hassle of cleaning up!

Create brag books: Use an online photo book site to create brag books for all of the grandparents. Make several copies of one version to save time, and you may even cross some aunts and uncles off your list, too. If grandma loves to brag, keep the album small enough for her pocketbook so that she’s always prepared.

Any of these ideas – or your own special variations of them – are sure to bring smiles to grandparents at the holidays.

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Author: Andy Quayle

Andy was born in the Isle of Man and currently lives in Pittsburgh.
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