BreakingModern — Old people are not difficult to buy for, but in order to get a truly great gift for an aging grandmother, grandfather, aunt or uncle you should steer clear of gag gifts and anything that may make them feel old. Check out my gift guide below.
Personalized and Specific
If you are stymied for ideas, try some of the online stores that specialize in gifts. The Gold Violin gift center is a great resource. Another good source for ideas is the Things Remembered website, where you can search by category like “Grandma” and “Grandpa.” When viewing the Gold Violin and Things Remembered websites you’ll notice that personalized items are always popular. Shutterfly has its own specialized area called Gifts for Grandparents that features everything from photo books to mugs to aprons.
Comfort is Key
Older folks always appreciate gifts of comfort. For instance a blanket is a great gift, especially if you add a digital, personal touch like creating a blanket with a picture of the kids or grandkids on it. What could be better for Grandma than wrapping herself in a blanket that feels (and looks) like a constant hug from her loved ones? If your recipient lives in a cooler climate, another great gift this year is a small room heater. Some of the latest models are safe, inexpensive replicas of real fireplaces that can sit on an end table or bookshelf.
Old People Tech
If you are looking for some high tech presents, both the Jitterbug and the Snapfon cell phones are great for someone who doesn’t have much experience with cell phones. If your recipient has an HDTV and Wi-Fi and they love movies, look at the $39 Amazon Fire TV Stick, an inexpensive streaming device with a good remote. Even simpler, why not buy them the DVD of Christmas Story, It’s a Wonderful Life, Christmas Vacation or other Christmas classics that you can all watch together? Nothing wrong with a great movie they already like.
If your loved one has a computer and is used to doing email, don’t hesitate to get them a tablet. I know several people in their eighties and nineties who said they didn’t want a tablet, but once they got one they were extremely happy with them. Remember that larger screens are better. Also make sure they have a wireless router and expect to give them a few (cough, cough) lessons. Oh, and be sure to download a few good solitaire games for them.
Gifts of music are always welcome. If your intended recipient has a turntable, vinyl records are a possibility. Also, the many Bluetooth speakers on the market today can easily be paired with a smartphone or tablet if they have one. If they don’t have a portable device, you might be able to set them up with an old cellphone that can play Pandora. Let it run on their Wi-Fi network and keep it plugged in. With a good speaker it can provide great musical companionship. Even people with Alzheimer’s and dementia have been shown to respond well to music.
So, if you have to buy for someone two or three times your age, don’t panic. With a little extra thought you can find just the right present. They’ll treasure it all year long.
First image credit: Sandy Berger
Second image credit: Great Call
Featured image credit: © ra2 studio / Dollar Photo Club