I’ve always had problems coming up with gift ideas for my older relatives. For the most part, I know that they don’t want anything that will just gather dust. I know that they don’t really need flashy things, or the latest electronic gadget. Even if I know that what they like, it can be difficult to come up with something that will make them happy and not require work (i.e., dusting) on their part.
Some successes that I’ve had in the past include the following:
- Several books of word search puzzles or crosswords for those who enjoy word games
- Puzzles to put together of a picture that suits the recipient – represents a hobby, somewhere they lived, a subject that they are interested in, or something similar
- If the recipient is cold-natured, something warm like a wrap, a scarf, a throw, or a blanket is always welcomed. If you have time to make it yourself, that is even more welcome (usually).
- Gifts matched to particular tastes. For example, my grandmother absolutely loves damson plum preserves, but can’t find them in her normal grocery stores. I’ve found them at an orchard near my house and in several other locations, so I pick them up for her periodically and give them to her with biscuits, English muffins, or something similar. She thinks it is great. Really, anything that shows you took time to really think about the recipient is a good idea.
Other ideas that work for older relatives or for those on a limited budget include gift certificates to their favorite restaurants, gift certificates to their grocery store or favorite clothing store, gift baskets with their favorite treats or ingredients for their favorite meal, writing materials including stamps, gift sets of cheese and crackers or candies (things that can be enjoyed but used up!), or a certificate to their hair dresser (for a woman).