Older loved ones in your family reach a point where they no longer need things; they don’t
have room for more things to collect dust. It is difficult for them to take care of their home and keep it
neat and clean. They don’t have the strength or stamina for housework.
Seniors like gifts that provide entertainment and companionship; gifts that make their life more
pleasant, less stressful and that raise morale. They like those special items they would never buy
for themselves or that their budget would not allow.
If you don’t have a lot of money to spend, give them your time. Take on a task that’s too difficult for
your favorite senior, such as cleaning their home or taking care of their garden. Run errands or take them
shopping. Cook them healthy meals. Give them a gift certificate from you with a promise to accept
take care of these chores weekly or monthly and keep your promise! Spend time visiting them or reading for them.
Many of the following gift ideas come from the elders themselves.
- Tickets to a local film, theater, concert, symphony or conference. If they live alone you could give them two tickets so they can invite a friend.
- A magazine subscription, such as Taste of Home, Country Woman, Birds and Blooms, Reminisce, a craft magazine, a sports magazine, or a gardening magazine.
- An offer to organize a holiday dinner at your home instead of theirs.
- A new portable phone.
- Blank CDs to save music or graphics to.
- A box of their favorite candies; one or two boxes a year don’t hurt. (If their health permits.)
- A gift card for a restaurant, department store, pharmacy, grocery store or supermarket.
- The latest book from a favorite author, a gift certificate for a bookstore or a book club membership.
- Calling cards so they can call family and friends without feeling guilty about the phone bill.
- A new computer, computer accessory, or program with lessons to use. A computer allows them to stay in daily contact with friends and family online. If they have a printer, they might appreciate paper, ink, or toner cartridges.
- A computer science class at your local computer learning center or community college.
- For the craftsman, gift certificates from Michaels, Richards or Hobby Lobby.
- Joining a gym or interest group.
- Join a shopping club with local discounts like Sam’s Club or Costco.
- A gift certificate for a dinner for four at a local restaurant and a card telling them to invite three friends who don’t have a family to celebrate. Give them the opportunity to give!
- Favorite foods they love but are too expensive for their budget.
- Take them to church on Christmas Eve and take a tour to see the lights and decorations.
- Help them move furniture or hang new curtains, pictures, decorations etc. in time for the holidays.
- Take the tree and decorations from the storage and help decorate. And most of all, help us put everything back in place once Christmas is over.
- Make a payment over the phone or to the power company.
- Pay for oven cleaning and maintenance.
- Warm winter clothing, gloves, underwear, nightgown or pajamas, lounge wear, coveralls, socks or slippers.
- Take the time to hear their stories and record them for future generations. Sharing their voice on tape with future generations would mean a lot to them.
- Many seniors go through bouts of depression in January and February. Why not cheer them up a little by inviting them to lunch or dinner? It doesn’t have to be an expensive restaurant; just a place to eat and spend time together.
- Make lunch or dinner at their home and help clean up afterward.
- Many seniors don’t drive, so take them out of the house; take them shopping, visiting a relative, or seeing the sites.
- All the children and grandchildren go together to make a great gift. One family gave away a new garbage can full of everyday things, such as detergents, paper towels, toilet paper, garbage bags, and non-perishable foods. Grandchildren can make a card or craft to include.
- A digital camera.
- Food gifts. There are several fresh fruit companies that ship once during the holidays, once a quarter or once a month. The elder can share the gift with their friends and neighbors.
- A coupon book filled with a list of chores to do.
- A cleaning lady every two weeks or once a month.
- Change your bed sheets once a week or hire a nearby child to help you. The difficult task is done and the elder enjoys the child’s friendship.
- A permanent gift certificate for a favorite beauty salon or barber shop. They can go once a week to get their hair done and whenever they need a perm or haircut.
- A gift certificate to get your nails done. As it becomes more difficult to care for your feet, give a gift certificate for a pedicure.
- A kitchen timer to remind them when food is cooking on the stove, when the laundry is ready to be put in the dryer or taken out of the dryer, to wake them up after a short nap, to remind them not to stay awake until late if they are reading before bed. Give more than one timer for the different rooms of the house!
- A roll of stamps with a special holder, papers, stationery and writing pens.
- A spring cleaning coupon or a car wash.
- For the gardener give tools, seeds, starter kits for plants, peat pots.
- A coupon for cleaning a spring yard.
- Gift certificates for Amazon or other online stores so they can order gifts for themselves.
- If they have a favorite hobby, give them a gift that they can use with their hobby.
- DVDs or CDs of music and movies if they have a DVD or CD player. If your budget allows, give them a new DVD player!
- A prepaid mobile phone for emergencies.
- A new kitten, puppy, or bird if they are a pet lover and are able to care for them.
- Those in wheelchairs need assistance with shopping. When you deliver, stay for a snack or dinner picked up from a favorite restaurant.
- Take them shopping that makes them feel safe and not vulnerable to the car theft and bag snatching that occurs in parking lots.
- A shopping offer promise booklet, a shopping date, a gift of supplies, be it mundane supplies or luxury indulgences, are always appreciated and add a sense of abundance and safe comfort. Having a reliable supply of things to use is a wonderful gift.
- Go out for a leisurely brunch in a very nice restaurant with children and grandchildren. Allow them to invite a friend.
- Offer them a special dinner with their favorite foods.
- A rechargeable flashlight.
- Airline tickets to visit a relative or friend.
If you still don’t know what gift to give, talk to them and listen to their needs. Give them yours
time and yourself to show that you care.
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