Grandparents typically are at the stage in their life where they have already purchased everything they want. They bought the good sturdy brands that have lasted and nothing is in need of replacement. Often times their home is filled and there is simply no needs at all.
So, what do you get them?
Here are a few ideas:
- Family photo. Every grandparent I know wants a family photo- photos of each of their children’s families, as well as a big group photo of all the descendants. If you have the chance to get everyone together for a big group photo, that’s wonderful, but if not- encourage each family to give an updated family photo once a year.
- Photo Calendar. Many online photo sites help you create family calendars- complete with birthdays and anniversaries printed on.
- Digital Frame. No longer does a grandparent’s home have to be cluttered with frames to always keep their loved ones in view. Download a variety of pictures of the entire family and have it ready to go.
- Kindle. If the grandparent isn’t tech savvy, change the settings to what they need. Teach them how to search for books, or load some for them. One can adjust the lighting, spacing of sentences and font, so it’s easy to read. You can also get a plethora of audiobooks to listen to.
- Monthly clubs. wine, coffee and flowers are always wonderful and consumable.
- Magazine or Newspaper Subscriptions. Sports, Gardening, Traveling, whatever they enjoy- get them something you know they will enjoy reading about.
- Dinner Theatre Tickets. Fun and entertaining, especially if it’s not something they would typically splurge on.
- Bed and Breakfast. Give them a night away to enjoy a quaint, quiet area and perhaps a small town they have never toured before.
- Donate to a Favorite Charity. The older we get, the more we realize how important giving and helping others is. Find a cause that they feel is important and donate in their name. Charities will send a nice thank you card to the person you are gifting to.
- Hobby Gifts. There are consumable gifts that each hobby uses- golfers need tee times, knitters need more yarn, woodworkers need more supplies. If you are unfamiliar with the hobby, go with a gift cards so they can pick out something they will use.
- Small but Necessary Items. If on a fixed income, having a stash of gift card/certificates for necessary expenditures is a nice break. Gift cards to their drugstore or grocery store, gift certificates to a hairdresser or vet for their pet.
- Home Cooked Meals. Once they live alone, the joy of cooking a meal often turns to survival and next thing you know, they’re microwaving Lean Cuisine and calling it food. Get some small containers and freeze portions of your home cooked meal that they can just reheat. Soup, stews, casseroles and quick breads freeze beautifully. It’s like delivering a box of pure love right there!
- Memories. Ask every child, grandchild and great-grandchild to write a note, poem or picture of special things they remember about the grandparents. Tie it up in an envelope, or scan into the computer and make a small book.
- Entertainment Coupon Book. Many schools or clubs (sports/music) offer these for fundraising and by gifting it, grandparents can be pleased with the gift and also what it is supporting.
- Card Organizer. An organizer like this is super helpful. Gather a big variety of greeting cards and include stamps. Be sure to write down all the family birthdays and anniversaries Grandma likes to remember.
- Digitizing VHS. Preserving family memories is often an overwhelming task for someone with many years worth. How about doing a few VHS at a time and gifting them memories that keep.
- Time. For the home-bound grandparent, give them a calendar with a year’s worth of visits scheduled out- dinners together, afternoon puzzle dates, BBQ and yard games, lunch or ice cream dates. Make sure to copy everything scheduled onto your personal calendar, so you don’t miss any plans.
- Work. Often times the to-do list gets too long with projects that take more muscle and agility then they used to have. Just like #17, mark days on the calendar when you will be there to work. Weed the flower beds, plant the garden, clean the gutters, rack leaves and mow the lawn. If you live too far away, hire someone to do these things. But if you live close enough, I encourage you to go and work. It’s more meaningful and they know you love them and are there for them.
Want more clutter free gift ideas? Check out:
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- 11 Ways to Get Friends and Family on Board with the Limited Gifts Idea
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