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Buying gifts for recipients of any age can be split into two categories – the gifts everyone buys for everyone, and those unique and unusual gifts, which we remember and treasure forever. The ideal gift is one that shows the thought behind it – it doesn’t have to be expensive and it doesn’t have to be big. It just has to be unique.

The best way to find a unique gift idea for a grandmother or a grandfather is to start by thinking about her or his hobbies. Does granddad have a shed? Does grandma like to knit, or bake? If you buy a gift that will be used regularly doing the thing that he or she loves doing, it means he or she will think of you every day.

Not on the High Street has an excellent selection of well sourced gifts, including the Allotment Tool and Tuck Box featured on the linked page. The site collects a range of unique stores into one online portal, which you can search by three main categories (well, three categories useful for gifts for grandmothers and grandfathers, anyway): home and garden; gifts for her; and gifts for him.

Every grandparent is fond of their grandchild – so any gift featuring photos of the grandchildren is always likely to go down well. A beautiful group shot or individual shots of the grandkids can be done professionally, or if you have the time and the confidence you can do it yourself. For a different look at portrait photos, try Venture Photography – a nationwide chain of portrait studios with a reputation for producing unusual and appealing shots of even the most recalcitrant subjects!

It’s possible to find unusual or personalised gifts to represent just about any interest. Some hobbies are clearly better than others – for example, if you have a fishing-mad granddad then anything tackle-related will be perfect for him. A personalised pint glass or tankard is also a good idea, for a man who likes his beer: or you could go one better and get an actual personalised bottle of wine or beer. Have a look at Gone Digging for more ideas.

Sometimes, a great gift for grandmothers or grandfathers is as simple as a film they love, or a CD with music on they thought they’d never hear again. My own grandfather used to love receiving video copies of It’s a Wonderful Life – every time he wore one out, a grandchild would buy him another one!

Some treasured memories seem lost forever, bound in cine film or doomed to gather dust in those old tin reels in the attic. Unless you can find a film to DVD transfer company like Digital Copycat, which provides transfer services for cine film to DVD; video tape to DVD; and records to CD. It’s possible to transfer 78s as well as more modern records – so any much-loved music or images from the past can be salvaged with ease.

They say gifts don’t matter as much as the thought behind them. When the gift itself is made of memories, you can’t go wrong.

If you’d like more inspiration, have a look at Ask Granny – the online guide for grandparents.