The Best of the Best 2020 Christmas and Chanukah Gifts for Everyone and Especially Grandchildren in This Far From the Best Year for Celebration

Thanksgiving 2020 took a toll.  Not only could this Grandma not cook small enough for two, nothing tasted as good as when the entire family is together.  And none of us were together.  Zoom just did not cut it for Thanksgiving.  The grandchildren were not loud, boisterous, and involved, from youngest to oldest.  This year is far from the best year for celebration.

Because it is far from the best year, I have invented projects to keep busy and looked for unusual or unexpected gifts.  For one of his presents, I created a “yearbook” for our youngest grandchild’s first year in preschool thus far, just with Amazon page protectors, an adorable looseleaf, and 2″ sticker letters for his name on the colorful cover. I am creating a Shutterfly book too, and have found the website much easier to maneuver this year.

In addition to a donation to a charity below, the school age grandchildren and the middle and high school students get cash for their “bank,” withdraw their gift money for what they want at one time or in amounts, or save for a very large item, or ask for a “loan” to buy a big item.  It is so hard to find something they want and cash is the biggest winner.  For how to set up a grandparent “bank,” see blog post, “If Allowances Are A Tool To Teach About Money, How Grandparents’ “Bank” Is Perfect” 

The following best of the best are part of our new experience of “Cyber Week,” not just one day, which I anticipate will be extended too, as most sales have been lately.


Vitamin C For the Winter Holidays from Hale Groves

The one thing I have learned from living in Florida for over four decades, is that Florida oranges are great, BUT the best quality are kept for the holiday market and are truly amazing. For more years than I can remember I give gift boxes of oranges to every Floridian I have on my list, as well as non Floridians, to show off our signature fruit.  I get raves each year.  This year with COVID-19, we are all trying to be healthier, so this gift is the best of the best this year.

Hale Groves has special holiday gift boxes.  Specials seem to change every few days, so watch for a special.  The “Awesome Oranges” gift box, regularly $34.99 is now only $19.99 ($5.99 shipping).  You get ten pounds of 20 pieces of the best quality fruit: 6 honey-sweet Tangerines, 8 navel oranges, and 3 petite red navel oranges.  Code is HNSH-C312.  Limit is 5 boxes per customer.

Gift Republic: Name a Star Gift Box

Dedicate a star to your child or grandchild of any age. Each metal gift tin contains the details of a unique unnamed star that is ready for naming by your child or grandchild, along with a huge wall map to locate the star. Buy on Amazon for $25.

Adopt a Rescued Orphan Baby Elephant, Rhino or Giraffe

For $50 a year, you receive a painting of the animal, adoption papers and regular video updates of the rescued orphan baby elephant, rhino, or giraffe.  Best of all there are photographs on the website so you can choose your baby and learn about it.


Supporting small businesses is supporting Etsy businesspersons.  I have had the most wonderful experiences with:

Little Look Alike Dolls by Lori Reader

PopPop and I have not hugged our youngest grandsons for nine months and they are both younger than three years old.  Yes, we have photographs and videos daily, FaceTime and Zoom, but it is just not the same when the grandchildren are so young.  Searching Etsy, I found the best for grandparents. Littlelookalikedolls are larger than most.  We dressed ours in jeans and a white long sleeved t-shirt with our grandparent names and a heart, have the photo of our faces on the front and back of our heads on the back, and a 20 second message we delivered to each of our grandchildren so that they can hear our voices saying how much we love each of them.  Lori Reader, the owner, is not only responsive, but very helpful with selection of your purchase.  For $31.99 right now you can be with your grandchild all the time, until this far from best year is over.

Superhero Capes for Children -Capes and More

Preschoolers love capes.  When our youngest, almost three, used tulle as a cape, I realized that I needed to find the best cape at the best price. . . on Etsy, where homemade items are great.  I ordered from Superhero Capes for Children, and personalized it, red cape, white sparkly thunderbolt and blue letter, all for $14.99, $4 shipping, and tax.  Our two youngest grandchildren love them, and did not take them off.  Dawn, the owner of Capes and More, was responsive and quick in delivery.  I ordered them November 16 and they arrived November 19.  I found this specific company from a great article with many gift ideas from newborn and older, not only limited to girls as the title suggests.  “33 Toys That Will Delight Girls No Matter Their Age,” by John Mihaly, November 12, 2020, Buzzfeed.

Initial Necklace, Name Necklace by StephKBoutique

StephKBoutique on Etsy has almost 22,000 five star reviews.  I purchased two initial necklaces for myself with the initials of all of our grandchildren, one in silver and one in gold.  They also come in rose gold.  I picked the 20″ length, but you can pick your own.  I sent them as gifts to mothers and grandmothers, friends who also love them.  They have embellishments such as hearts, so you could even get one for a grandchild with initials and a heart and a 14″ chain.  The quality is outstanding.  Right now on sale for $19.99, and look much more expensive than they are.  Delivery took nine days.

Mindcraft Creeper Ear Warmers and Hats by BeckbyDesigns

Mindcraft Creeper Ear Warmers and Ear Warmer Hats by BeckbyDesigns, sizes newborn to adult, are fabulous for the grandchildren who love Mindcraft or you want the cutest baby hat.  The earwarmers are $14.40 and the hats are $24 right now.  Shipping took four days, and my nine year old grandson is thrilled with his Mindcraft ear warmers.


Choose Ruth Bader Ginsburg Christmas ornaments.  See, “These 15 RBG Christmas Ornaments Will Help You Celebrate a Merry Resistmas,” by Sydni Ellis, November 19, 2020, PopSugar.

When I came upon 2020 Christmas ornaments that commemorate this year in funny pictures and sayings, I knew some who would love them too.  At $8 each, a great stocking stuffer.


UNICEF USA helps save and protect the world’s most vulnerable children. UNICEF USA is rated one of the best charities to donate to: Less than 3% of every dollar spent goes to administrative costs. We like to have our grandchildren select a UNICEF division to give to, and donate on behalf of each grandchild. What is nice is that UNICEF sends a thank you card to each child so they can hold the symbol of holiday giving.  This year, choices include Yemen’s children in crisis, Syria’s children under siege, COVID-19 global health emergency, end child malnutrition, and more.  During this time donations are matched and doubled.

The New York Times had an article, “Choose a Gift That Changes Lives,” By Nicholas Kristof, November 21, 2020, which gives links to donate to charities to educate a girl in Africa for as little as $30 which provides a year’s education, CAMFED; send a young person to college, ONEGOAL; restore a person’s sight, Himalayan Cataract Project, $25 per person, or $50 for both eyes.


Buzzfeed’s article, “29 Gift Ideas For Kids If You Have No Clue What To Get Them,” by Rachel Dunkel, November 10, 2020, has all winners for every age group.  Our grandchildren already own most and love them.

My personal most favorite gift is a plasma car.  If your grandchild does not own one, consider it for a holiday or a birthday.  It comes in blue, red or pink at $60 and up, and, for some reason, purple for $40, for ages 3 and up.  It can be used indoors or outdoors, and requires no batteries. It is a multiple award winner, including the Oppenheim Portfolio Platinum Award and Dr. Toy’s Best Vacation Winner.

May this year end on a note of hope for the end of 2020, which to date is far from best celebrations, with a vaccine with





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