What to get the grandparents who have everything?

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Posted 12/5/2012 by writermom1 in NSBR Board
 

writermom1
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Posted: 12/5/2012 6:53:37 PM
Elderly grandparents all in their 80's.

One set very financially comfortable. Thinking of a gift certificate to a restaurant?

Other appreciates gift certificates to favorite grocery store.

All are at the point where they are cleaning OUT so no candles, cocoa mix, mugs, framed photos, sweatshirts, socks, sofa throws or etc.

Not digital users. No wireless, etc.

Ideas please???



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IScrapCrap
StuckOnPeas

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Posted: 12/5/2012 7:00:11 PM

Thinking of a gift certificate to a restaurant?


If they drive I would, or offer set to up a time you can go to lunch or dinner together.

Would they be offended by practical gifts? A gift basket of body wash, lotion, soap, etc... At least it would get used.

Do they send cards? Card sets for different occasions.

KikiNichole

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Posted: 12/5/2012 7:04:10 PM
We got my husband's grandmother a Christmas edition of the Chicken Soup for the Soul books (I can't even remember what it was called, now) and then I'm sending her some Mrs. Fields cookies. She still loves her sweets, but doesn't back much anymore.

It's not much, but she's a Reader's Digest kinda gal who loves to snack...so I figure she'll be pleased.


~Kristen~

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Posted: 12/5/2012 7:06:27 PM
Fruit of the month?
A window cleaning service?



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enjoytotheend
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Posted: 12/5/2012 7:06:28 PM
I talked to my 92 year old grandma today. She said how much the cards I have given her over the years and thanked her for alls he did for me meant to her. It seriously made me tear up. So whatever you do or give writing something like that personally that really details what you are grateful makes a huge difference. Then again my grandma's love language must be words of affirmation. The elderly are a little hard but I think your gift card idea is a good one. Honestly at that age they are done accumulating for the most part. Or they should be (I just cleaned out my grandma's house).

lucyg819
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Posted: 12/5/2012 7:09:58 PM
We like to do consumables or experiences for our old people, unless we have a good idea for an actual "thing" they can really use. Like this year, we're getting my mom a GPS for her car. But for my stepfather, we're getting him a fancy $100 bottle of Scotch. We've done food/wine baskets in the past, theater tickets, gift certificate for high-end restaurant.

They don't want STUFF, unless it's something they truly do want.


LUCYG
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writermom1
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Posted: 12/5/2012 7:10:19 PM
Thanks all!

Gram is a reader but has friends who hand down so she has boxes of books waiting I'm told (we are not local).

Soaps and lotions don't get used. My mother and uncle recently discovered this when they hauled out all the unused/unworn items.

I truly get that they don't need anything.

Already have a cleaning service.

I saw rent a cow on one these threads. May check it out for Grandpa. He farmed at one point so he might like that.



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writermom1
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Posted: 12/5/2012 7:13:06 PM
I like food and meal ideas ...



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heartcat
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Posted: 12/5/2012 7:13:43 PM
We have started giving my parents (mom is in her early 70s, dad turning 80) the gift of experiences. At first, we did tickets, etc. for events that they could attend together.

Then we realized that as much as they enjoyed that, they could purchase those things for themselves. So we started giving events/experiences where the whole family participates.

The first year, we went on a sleigh ride, my brother and his kids, my sis and her kids, and dh and I and our kids. I know that my parents enjoyed the ride, something they hadn't done before, and that we all did it together and have that shared memory.

This year, my sis and dh and I took my parents on a riverboat luncheon cruise. There was a music recital beforehand (awesome!) and then the cruise and a really nice lunch. I believe that they really appreciated not only having a new experience, but sharing it with us.

Next year we are thinking of doing a 'progressive dinner' at a pioneer village near here. You can get a group together and have a course of a meal at different homes in different centuries in the country, from the 16th century to the present. The 'homeowners' dress in the costumes of the times, and serve the food that would have been served for Christmas dinner. The 'actors' talk to the participants and interact with them in character. We have been there when the dinners were on, and it looks like so much fun.

I think that we will continue to do these kinds of things with them. The memories that it creates are invaluable to all of us, I believe, the recipients and the givers.

Of course, this wouldn't work for family that lives long distance.


***********
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writermom1
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Posted: 12/5/2012 7:21:45 PM
Heartcat your gift of experiences sound wonderful



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LLinIN
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Posted: 12/5/2012 7:28:20 PM
My inlaws would go to Redbox and rent movies, which was a hassle for them in the cold or snow. They don't really do the computer thing. We set up a Netflix account and we manage it. When it needs more movies added, we add them. My MIL tries to keep a list of movies they'd like to watch. It doesn't cost us much, but is really convenient for them.

sunny 5
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Posted: 12/5/2012 7:41:55 PM
small books of drawings by the kids...calendar of drawing by kids...


PlanningPea
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Posted: 12/5/2012 7:51:50 PM
stamps - possibly paired with greeting cards (purchased or made) that they can use
newspaper or magazine paid subscription
gift certificate to where they get haircuts/oil change/car washes


Dawn

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scorPEAo
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Posted: 12/5/2012 7:56:10 PM
when my grandma was alive she like Wolferman's english muffins and spreads.



scrapsuzy
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Posted: 12/5/2012 8:26:06 PM
My 86 year old grandmother just died, and at the time she lived in one tiny room in a nursing home. Not much room for "stuff" even had she wanted it. But she absolutely loved the 8x8 photobooks I would make her each Christmas, full of pics of the family. She would carry the latest one around for months, in the pocket of her scooter, I've been told.

My mother and mil also love the photobooks, and it is THE expected gift each Christmas.


*******
Suzanne





BEF2008
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Posted: 12/5/2012 8:46:42 PM
Every year i make my parents and inlaws a photo calendar with important dates (family birthdays and anniversaries) marked in for them.

My mom gets a box of assorted greeting cards with pre-stamped envelopes.

Mary Kay Lady
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Posted: 12/5/2012 10:06:58 PM

For several years I've made mini scrapbooks to give as Christmas gifts to the grandparents. I select photos from activities that my family has done through the year and put them in the scrapbook. I do all the journeling and everything.

They've thanked me again and again for the scrapbooks. They love watching the grandchildren grow up and seeing pictures of all of their events and activities.


Belia
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Posted: 12/5/2012 10:12:32 PM
Postage Stamps

Misc Greeting Cards and a calendar of important dates

scrapmaven
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Posted: 12/5/2012 10:36:24 PM
Do they like to go to the movies? If so, what about movie gift cards?

We got my mil an e-frame and we send her digi pics. At night she looks at the photos while she's having her dinner. We can upload new photos whenever we want and surprise her. Sje doesn't have internet, so I'm not sure how the frame works.


_____________________________________________________

I'd like to help you out. Which way did you come in?

Really Red
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Posted: 12/5/2012 10:50:22 PM
I got all my mom's old pictures and am in the process of scanning them. I'm making her a calendar with them. My MIL who lives in Europe and is 80, but climbs mountains, did the St. Jacques de Compostele (800 km!), we're getting her a calendar of her experiences.

I know you said they weren't electronic, but what about Netflix for a year? Or even the Downton Abbey series or Call the Midwife? Also a digital frame is not really digital if you have it set up and all they have to do is plug it in.

My mom loves going to the theater and she lives in DC. We have so many choices! We get her two tickets so she can take someone.

I know this sounds odd and it's really for your grandmom, but a mani/pedi. This makes my mom so happy! Not my MIL, but there you go!

Good luck!


Andrea

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PBev
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Posted: 12/5/2012 11:01:16 PM
For my Dad and Stepmom (mid 80s) my sister and I are giving them the gift of freezer meals. Because of step mom's health issues Dad has taken over the cooking. It is not a big deal, really. I just make 2 extra portions when I cook our meals and put them in freezer containers and pop them into the freezer. The tricky part will be him remembering to put them into his own freezer when he gets home since the gathering is at our place.

I am also giving them an assortment of herbal teas from Davids Tea . They love their herbal tea.


Bev

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Posted: 12/5/2012 11:12:26 PM
Calendar. I do one every year with pics from the year.


Angela


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Creativegirl
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Posted: 12/5/2012 11:14:14 PM
My grandparents are exactly as you described! Last year, I got them fruit (a box of apples and pears) from Harry and David and they loved it. I am giving that again this year.


Anna




Swordscrapping
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Posted: 12/5/2012 11:19:22 PM
For my great Aunt (age 86) I had a little notebook made w/pictures of the kids on the front and her name on it. She is always asking for photos of the kids and ...she has a habit of accusing others of taking her things. She has a lady who comes in to help her each week and does shopping so she can write her list on the paper ..or not.

I will also send a rum cake. She likes sweets and especially liquor cakes.

Dana

rainydaypea
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Posted: 12/6/2012 12:26:45 AM

The tricky part will be him remembering to put them into his own freezer when he gets home since the gathering is at our place.



Since this is such a labor of love, it would be terrible for all of that to accidentally sit out all night. Could you maybe set an alarm on your phone(for a time that they would be getting home) to call remind them to put everything away?

VivMarina
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Posted: 12/6/2012 1:28:21 AM
We've done American Express gift cert for a nice dinner out. Also theater tickets. A digital photo frame preloaded with pictures.

I would love to know where one can get this e frame. Couldn't find it online.

mlana
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Posted: 12/6/2012 2:09:15 AM
My grandmother is 84, and last year she got really sick and wasn't herself for most of the year. She hasn't been able to come up here as much because she couldn't handle the stairs. Thanksgiving was her first visit in several months, and it was such a nice visit. She and I had a little time to just the two of us, so I put together a little tea party and she was tickled. I had bought some small rounds of Brie from Costco, so we had a tasting party with our tea. When she left for home, I gave her the rest of the Brie and told her to call me when she was ready to have her cheese and tea and we would have a virtual tea party. And that's what we did.

For Christmas, I am going to give her some more Brie and tea and a note inviting her to a virtual tea party each month, with the goodies to be provided by me. I can send her some small treats, like cookies and lemon curd, or homemade scones and fancy jam ( they sell tiny, cute jams at Cost World Market) and include a note about how much I am looking forward to having tea with her and maybe suggesting a time and date. I speak with her often, but there is something different about having a set time, set aside just for her, and a shared ritual.

One year I gave Granny a bulb garden and a day and time when I could come plant it for her. It still blooms outside her window. She calls me when she sees the first sign of the foliage and tells me again how much she has enjoyed it. Wow, I just realized I planted that over ten years ago. Talk about bang for your buck. LOL

When my Grandfather was alive, I took him cheese and olives every time I went to see him. For Christmas each year, I gave him a new exotic type of olive or pickled veggie. The kids gave him a birdhouse or bird feeder that we would buy at the annual craft festival; each year the bird house would be different, and he enjoyed hanging them up and watching the birds.

In my experience, my grands most enjoyed the gift of time, something I was always short of when the kids were small. They just liked knowing they were important enough to me that I made time for them; what we were doing wasn't the important part.

Marcy



redboots
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Posted: 12/6/2012 2:31:20 AM
We stopped buying physical gifts for my parents and in laws a couple of years ago. They are retired, financially secure and are always talking about how they have too much stuff.

Instead of giving them one primary gift, we give a couple of small things and then plan a fun experience for the whole family. Last year, we took the family to San Diego for a weekend. I create a little brochure for the trip/activity and include tickets, vouchers, etc. for whatever we've chosen, and then wrap them up so our parents have something to open.

Perhaps you could do something similar if you are physically close to your grandparents. Plan a nice dinner out, or a concert they'd enjoy. We have made some great memories over the last couple of years. So much better than stuff, IMO.

writermom1
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Posted: 12/6/2012 6:03:08 AM
These are wonderful suggestions. Thanks!

I really want to find out about this frame that you can add photos to without wireless?



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SuzastampinCTMH
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Posted: 12/6/2012 7:12:11 AM
How about a calendar of scrap pages of the grandchildren. Snapfish has a 50% special going on. I did a calendar digitally using CTMH's Studio J. I bought the jpg files and then uploaded them to Snapfish. IT only took me a few hours even though I did custom pages. It you use their suggestions of embellishments, all you need to do is upload your pics, then drag and drop? I had the calendars in hand in only 4 days!



LovMelrose
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Posted: 12/6/2012 7:27:28 AM
Every year we make my MIL a photo calendar with pics of the grandkids throughout the year. She loves it.


Patty


ScrapnMom2Four
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Posted: 12/6/2012 7:28:00 AM
My grandmother, who is 84, has been keeping a diary since her Mom passed away when she (my grandmother) was 28. For the past 25 years, I have been buying her the next year's diary for Christmas. I always find her a different purple one, since that is her favorite color. I will also be getting her a gift card to her favorite grocery store, and I will take her shopping there when she wants to use it. She only drives "to town" (for church, the bank, and the small grocery store) by herself. It's about 3 miles. Any further than that, either my parents, or my aunt and uncle, or myself will drive her. I love my Nana!


~Sherry~
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TexasJen
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Posted: 12/6/2012 9:53:42 AM
Heartcat - Where is the historical progressive dinner? That sounds like something my family would LOVE!

My 90-year-old Grandma always says she just wants pictures, rather than gifts. I send her pics year round, plus a Shutterfly calendar with some of the best pictures. Sometimes I send homemade cookies, or a fruit-of-the-month. My mom often sends her flowers or a Christmas-y plant.

We also do other things to help out during the year - recently my Mom (and me if I can) have been flying out there in the spring and planting all her flowers. Grandma's got a nice yard and used to do a lot of gardening herself - this way we put in all her annuals and she gets to enjoy the color.


-Jen
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VexedAngel
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Posted: 12/6/2012 11:28:13 AM
We do photo books of the past year. 8x8, and thin, so don't take up a lot of room and full of sentimental value. PLUS instant portable brag book.


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PhotoHorse
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Posted: 12/6/2012 12:18:45 PM
Lots of suggestions for calendars....which I do, but there are photo collages that are nice, too. Upload to the photo site, then use their online help for putting together a collage. Walmart lets you choose the size and how many photos. TONS of options out there, but it's a nice review of the year, too.

heartcat
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Posted: 12/6/2012 4:03:28 PM
Writermom, thank you, we have all enjoyed them.


Heartcat - Where is the historical progressive dinner? That sounds like something my family would LOVE!


Jen, this one is in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. There might be pioneer villages in other areas that do something similar though. Perhaps something might come up if you googled it. Good luck! We've been there before touring the village (the place is open while the dinners are held) and it looks like soooo much fun! Everyone always seems to be having a great time. The actors/volunteers speak to the participants as though they are also from that time period, which can get quite funny.


***********
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My blog: Nifty Thrifty and (Almost!) Fifty
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