Written by Carol J Alexander
December 12, 2019
Everyone has that person in their life that’s impossible to buy for—you know who they are. If they want something, they go out and buy it for themselves. So, when gift-giving time comes around, you’re at a loss as to what to give.
If this sounds familiar, don’t despair this holiday season. The following ideas work for the seniors in your life and the hard-to-buy-for, no matter what their age. And, if you want to include some little ones in your gift-giving experiences, we’ve included a few things they can make, with a little help, of course.
Compile a photo book
Use a service like Shutterfly or Snapfish to create a memory book of photos. Choose pictures you’ve taken throughout the year and have a book printed that your loved one will cherish. Variations on this theme include using the photos for a wall calendar or having one special photo printed onto a coffee mug.
Assemble a gift basket
Sometimes the best gift is a basket of little things. Shop for items that are similar in theme, like kitchen gadgets, skincare items, or desk supplies, and a basket or box to put them in. A few gift basket ideas could be:
Snack basket—granola bars, nuts, chewing gum, favorite candy, or dried fruit
Bath basket—chapstick, hand lotion, bath/shower bombs, make-up, razors, and manicure kit
Kitchen basket—tea towels and dishcloths, pot scrubby, refrigerator magnets, and various gadgets
Car/travel basket—maps, box of tissues, first-aid kit, car freshener, deck of cards, and small flashlight
Pay for a monthly service
If your older loved one could benefit from a housekeeper or lawn service but is unable to pay for it, give the gift that keeps on giving and hire someone for them. If they’re set in the home care arena, pay for their cell phone, cable, or another entertainment service.
Subscribe to a meal box or CSA
Even if cooking isn’t a challenge, subscribe to a service like Hello Fresh or Blue Apron. Better yet, have a farmer deliver his weekly CSA box to their door. If they tire of cooking, set an evening each week or month that you go to their home and cook for them. Or, hire a personal chef to visit and cook for them a few times.
Countless families have found lost relatives on both sides. If your older loved one would welcome finding lost relatives or would like to know more about their heritage, purchase them an ancestry kit from someone like Ancestry.com or 23andme.
A few more useful ideas
• People who have everything still welcome surprises like these:
• Grocery store gift certificate
• Restaurant gift card
• A subscription to her favorite magazine
• The latest novel or a Kindle loaded with books by his favorite author
• A digital picture frame with a memory card of photographs
• A video chat device like Portal from Facebook
• Potted herbs for the kitchen windowsill
• A package of note cards or stationery with a book of stamps
Getting the grandkids involved
I’ve never understood why teachers think that gluing colored popsicle sticks onto a tin can makes a nice gift for mom or dad. A pencil cup—really? Children are capable of much more creative and artistic endeavors than that, no matter how young they are. Here are a few ideas that grandparents cherished and used.
Pot a plant—Take your child shopping for a clay pot, acrylic paints and brushes, a plant or bulbs, and potting soil. Choosing colors to match the grandparent’s decor, allow the child to paint the clay pot. When dry, sign and date it with a permanent marker. Then, insert the plant and water.
Color a picture with Crayola transfer crayons—Crayola transfer crayons create an iron-on transfer. A picture you draw on a piece of copy paper will iron onto fabric. Important to know if you’re including lettering in your picture, the image will reverse. This idea works great for tea towels, T-shirts, quilt blocks, or anything fabric.
Paint and put handprints on a pre-bought shirt—For children too young to participate in much crafting, this is a fun project. First, paint your child’s hand or foot and then stamp it onto a shirt. Under each print, add the child’s name and date of birth and at the top, the words “Merry Christmas.” If your older person wouldn’t wear such a garment, consider making a wall hanging. Using green paint, arrange the handprints in the shape of a wreath, add red berries and a bow. It makes a memorable Christmas decoration.
Draw, paint, or take a picture—Using quality paper from a sketchbook, have your child paint or draw a picture using oil pastels, colored pencils, or watercolors…and then have the picture professionally matted and framed for gifting. Or, for another twist, let your child loose with your camera. Choose their best photo and have it framed for grandma.
With a little thought, a few supplies, and a lot of imagination, you and your children can produce lovely gifts. Hopefully, these ideas give you a place to start.