If you are anything like me, you have been trying unsuccessfully to ignore the premature holiday ads and music that now seem to start sometime in October. Exclamations of “Is it really already the holiday season?!” have been exchanged around grocery checkouts and workplace water coolers for almost a month now.
Many people have that one friend or family member who is difficult to find a present for. Often it is an older relative or friend who insists that he doesn’t need anything, or that it isn’t necessary to buy her anything. “Don’t bother, it’s not a big deal.”
Those fortunate seniors who have the means can buy what they want and really don’t need anything. They are sincere in their desire to spare you the effort and the financial cost of gift-giving. Unfortunately, there are also seniors who don’t have the means, but are reluctant to ask for what they need.
Here are some gift ideas for older loved ones:
- Family time – At the top of the list is the gift of spending time with family. Time with children and grandchildren can create beautiful holiday memories and is often more precious than anything else.
- Long-distance visit – Haven’t seen your parents or grandparents in a while? Plan a visit. Spending time together can mean the world to them. Or send that ticket to your aging relatives and treat them to a trip to your home for the holidays.
- Gift cards – Favorite restaurants, electronics stores, and grocery stores are just some of the preferred ideas for gift card presents.
- Transportation – Whether it’s the store, a medical appointment, or a fun event, sometimes the most difficult part of getting out and about for seniors is a ride.
- Cash – While some people consider it in bad taste to give cash, the truth is, it is nearly always a welcome gift.
- Event tickets – Take your senior loved one to the seasonal Nutcracker ballet performance, to a movie or a concert. Fun never goes out of style!
- Travel vouchers – Assisting with travel costs such as airline vouchers or train fare, or even credit toward a cruise makes a great gift.
- Charitable donations – Making a donation in someone’s name to their favorite charity is a thoughtful and feel-good gift.
- Home projects – Many seniors have home “work projects” that they can’t do themselves and could use your help to complete. Offer yourself as handyman for a day.
- Photos – Family photos. Some seniors can view digital photos, but others feel left out when the rest of the family is exchanging news and photos online. The activities of children and grandchildren become lost to them without being handed real old-fashioned photos they can enjoy again and again.
Before you head to the mall or shop online at Amazon.com, think carefully about how you can really enrich the lives of your senior loved ones. Maybe some family or fun time together can be the greatest gift of all.