Christmas Gifts for Elderly Parents and Grandparents
Every year the same question returns: what gifts can you get your grandparents that are memorable and yet meaningful? What can you get them that will be actually used and enjoyed? How can you avoid buying a gift that is stashed away or collects dust on a shelf?
What you should do is to focus on grandparents hobbies, activities, experiences, and individual tastes to guide you in picking the perfect gift.
Buy a Gift That Entertains
How does Grandpa entertain himself? Does Grandma like watch TV and movies? Do they read books?
If Grandpa is a book lover, get him some of the latest books published in the genre he favors. Amazon has a huge list of bestsellers that you can look into.
If he is interested in technology, consider buying him Kindle. The reader will enable him to get a large selection of books without having to go anywhere and cluttering the shelves, that are filled anyway. The Kindle is also lightweight, making it easy to transport his favorite titles wherever he goes.
If your grandparent is a movie lover, get him a subscription to Netflix, Hulu or Amazon Prime. Streaming services are perfect for movie lovers with mobility issues as you don’t have to go anywhere and can simply do it from home.
Nowadays, grandparents are quite tech-savvy. Although they may not aware of what’s new on the market, they can be persuaded to embrace the technology. Still, grandchildren who buy their grandparent’s new high-tech gadgets need to be careful in their selection.
Make sure the keys and buttons are large enough and user-friendly. Make sure you don’t deliver the gift and run. Have them open the package and be sure they are comfortable using the new gift.
But if you grandparents have sense of humor, why not get them something that is both practical and fun- Rainbow motion sensor toilet light that fits on any toilet bowl and can actually prevent falls in the bathroom. There are estimated 30.000 injuries every year in US alone from toilet related injuries.
Walking Sticks Can Make Unique Christmas Gifts
Walking sticks are produced in all lengths and designs. They make a perfect Christmas gift for seniors because they portray a sporty look, rather than fragility. A great one we found online is this adjustable walking stick that comes even with a LED light!
A person walking with a cane receives polite smiles. A person walking with a hiking stick is either passed by or asked, “Where did you buy that?” These sticks are fashionable, useful and beautiful.
Of course, you can also go down a more traditional route and get a handcrafted stick made by Brazos. They are made from different types of wood and decorated with leather or carvings and come in beautiful shapes. Just watch this video to see how they are made. Simply awesome!
Just as for hikers, walking sticks improve balance, and spare the back and knees. For the elderly who are somewhat unsteady, but too proud to use a cane, a walking stick may be the perfect solution.
Comfort & Safety Come First!
As people age, comfort becomes ever more important. Does your Granny or Grandpa play solitaire on his computer all day? Perhaps he needs a more comfortable or ergonomic office chair. Do they live in a cold house? Perhaps he could use some slippers lined with shearling, a pair of wool socks, or a throw adorned with the logo of his favorite football team.
Talk to your parents for clues about what kinds of items could enhance their lives on a daily basis or see if they complain about something constantly- a great gift idea may reveal itself just like that!
Another fantastic idea that is helpful for anyone who is a bit absent minded (and this does not only include seniors) is this key finder with LED light. This innovative gadget includes 4 receivers and can find all your keys , or other items you tend to lose within 130 feet range.
Of course, any gift that your grandparent receives that is personal will be especially meaningful. Even here, though, focus on how he can use it to ensure that it doesn’t become a dust collector.
Many older people live in small homes or apartments and have limited space for framed photos and large albums. A smaller condensed photo album is easy to make, inexpensive, and will provide hours of pleasure.
The family album can be organized by year, child, etc, depending on family size and composition. Grandparents will also enjoy an album with early photos of themselves that have been copied from old family pictures.
Descriptions and digital photos can be printed together on the paper or regular photos can be arranged with handwritten or printed descriptions and attached to the page.
You could also consider making Grandpa or Grandma a calendar with family pictures that will make him smile as he remembers past holidays and family events.
Other great ideas include personalized mugs, mouse pads, magnets, or pot holders adorned with pictures of the grandchildren or their artwork.
Grandkids could get together for a trip to the local pick and paint pottery studio and make a ‘matching’ set of ornaments hand-painted and dated in each of their different styles. Or, check out craft stores for ornament making kits, or simply purchase inexpensive wooden ornaments in Christmas shapes that can be embellished with glitter and sequins.
Personal gifts may or may not cost a great deal of money, but most require some time and planning. That is exactly why parents appreciate personal gifts. The addition of a handmade gift card with a personal message of love and appreciation is the perfect way to top off a personal gift.
People with a wealth of life experiences can be difficult to buy for because it seems like they have everything they need. If this is the case with your grandparents, a gift of consumption could be a good choice.
If Grandparent has a favorite drink, indulge his/her love for it. You could get a bottle of scotch, a great bottle of Cabernet, or even a fine vodka. Subscribe to a Fruit of the Month club for him. Check out Harry & David or Williams Sonoma for some decadent flourless chocolate cakes that he/she can pop in the oven on special occasions, or buy him/her his favorite, Grade B maple syrup.
Gift baskets can be expensive and often contain a few items that the recipient might not love. Customizing a gift basket to suit the family member or friend saves money and assures that all items will be appreciated, or you can simply get them this super popular nut and dried fruit basket by Oh!Nuts.
Try choosing a container that becomes part of the gift. A watering can for a gardener’s gift, a tote bag for knitting or crocheting supplies, and a reusable grocery bag for spices and kitchen towels add value to the gift and save wrapping paper.
…or Get Busy?
For grandparents who tend to buy themselves all the latest gadgets, try giving them a day to remember. After all, your time will be the most valuable gift you can give. If you need help organizing something, there are companies which can arrange for an experience voucher for a wide variety of experiences from a helicopter flight to a day with a professional photographer at the Zoo.
Alternatively, grandchildren can plan a special experience themselves and it does not need to be expensive or elaborate. Sometimes even a picnic in the park or a day out is all you need to bring a smile to your grandma’s grandpa’s face.
If your elderly relatives are active and enjoy learning new skills, you could help them with this.
Local community classes offer a variety of learning opportunities, from painting to creative writing to target lessons. Classes are typically in the $50-$150 range for two to four sessions. Keep grandparents’ mind sharp and support your community at the same time this Christmas with the gift of learning!
Be Christmas Savy!
People on a fixed income will appreciate a gift that has more than one use. An example is a Christmas plant or flower that can be used as a Christmas decoration or table centerpiece and can be kept as a houseplant or planted outdoors when the weather warms.
Amaryllis bulbs are perfect for Christmas giving and are available online and in many discount stores and garden centers in the months leading up to Christmas. When the amaryllis bulb blooms, the display is spectacular.
Buy the bulb and plant according to directions in the provided container about four to six weeks before Christmas. When gifting time arrives, place the plant in an inexpensive small basket or wrap with felt, foil or tissue paper and tie with a bright bow.
The gift can be given early so the recipient can use it as part of the family Christmas decorations. Instructions for caring for the amaryllis to make it bloom again should be included in a Christmas card given with the plant.
Offer a Helping Hand
A gift of a cleaning or handyman service might well be appreciated by a person who finds it hard to do these things for themselves. Or perhaps someone in the family could offer to do some gardening, giving a handmade card outlining the service they will be offering.
The same technique could be used for offering other services, such as decorating. It would be worth visiting the elderly person in advance and finding out what they are likely to need. Such personal and useful gifts are always appreciated.
And finally, remember that a gift that comes from your heart is the one they will remember!