Slippers and sweaters and bathrobes, oh my! Blankets and powders and nail care, BIG SIGH. What to buy an elderly friend or family member? Some of the best gift ideas require less money and more time.
A homemade DVD featuring reminiscent photos of events and family gatherings gone by combined with recent can bring the family into the living room again and again. Set it to music for an added treat. Don’t forget to include footage of grandchildren’s sporting events, pageants, plays, and concerts.
Gather together family members and friends to generate a collection of best-loved memories of the giftee. Make a journal with each page numbered days one through thirty-one. Journal the memories, one for each day of the month, and remember to include original dates and details as well as the name of the person who recalled the memory.
Many people enjoy the “slideshow” picture frames available in department and electronic stores but, a photo collage is a work of heart. There’s something nostalgic about looking through pictures and a collage is a conversation starter. Professionally framed, it becomes art.
Especially during the winter months, there’s always something satisfying about a hearty, homemade meal. Fill your loved one’s freezer with tempting, “comfort” meals that are oven or microwave ready. Bake up muffins, breads, and cookies that can go the distance from oven, to freezer, and back to the table. Family and friends in a nursing community can enjoy homemade treats too. Check with staff about storage capacity for items requiring refrigeration.
Birdfeeders, homemade or purchased, provide an engaging scene outside a window. Hang one on a shepherd’s hook or choose a model to be attached to a window sill. Don’t concern yourself with thieving squirrels; they’re fun to watch too. Be sure to provide a supply of seed in an air-tight container and someone willing to refill the feeder if the giftee is unable.
Wrap yourself in a bow! The gift of service can be real blessing when you’re too tired to do dishes or shovel the walk and driveways. Chores, big and small, can be worrisome for an elderly person. Have a funny picture taken of you engaging in a chore you will undertake then frame and wrap it along with a catchy message. “Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow! Christmas is the reason, I’ll shovel you out all season!”
Gather a year’s worth of greeting cards sent to your loved one. Hole-punch and have them bound into a book. A year’s worth of special sentiments and messages is at the fingertips. Be sure to include a box of multi-occasion cards, stationery, and stamps to complete the gift.
If time and sentiment still don’t fill the stocking this Christmas, take a tip from Charlie Brown’s little sister who wrote to Santa, “If it all seems too complicated, make it easy on yourself – just send money - how about tens and twenties?” Let’s face it. In this economy, many would agree with the “Peanuts”. A monetary gift delivers with it a greater gift - freedom to choose. Whatever you decide to give, be it bathrobe, birdfeeder, or bucks, be sure your gift comes with the wrapping of some arms for big holiday hugs.