Gift Ideas - for ages 70 +

The title says it all.
Gift buying is hard enough for the youngens. But what about the people who have everything? I can’t stand trying to buy for my kids grandparents. They have enough picture collages, and sweatshirts with a college logo on it. They probably don’t want any more crap cluttering up their walls or tables.

So any ideas?

The only thing I can think of right now is something like a fruit of the month type thing. If it’s a good one, at least it would be consumed and not stuck in a closet or thrown away.

If this thread works maybe we can start a
“Gift Ideas - for ages 50 - 70”
“Gift Ideas - for ages 30 - 50”

Large print books are good. I got my grandma The Greatest Generation and The Greatest Generation Speaks last year and she loved them.

A gift card for their favorite restaurant. My parents love getting these - they’re 79 and love to go out to eat, but aren’t well off.

A decent-sized digital picture frame might be nice, pre-loaded with some great pix of your kids. I know you don’t want to buy objects that will clutter their place, but a nice one of these might still be appreciated.

I actually thought about this one. This might be a good reason to break the clutter rule.

My MIL just sent me an email that talked about my FIL’s enjoyment of various teas and flavored drinks you can make by dipping a tea bag.

Does anyone have any experience with the millions of Tea of the Month clubs out there that has one to recommend?

For the last 10 years or so, I’ve gotten my MIL (now 92) something from Alternative Gifts. She has always been genuinely appreciative. I make an effort to buy her a share in a project that she can connect to in some way – literacy projects because she loves to read, projects in countries she’s traveled to, etc.

People always rave about giving/getting boxes of birthday/anniversary cards that are pre-addressed and pre-stamped and ordered by month or marked with a date. The older folks appreciate it because they can take out a card, put in a personal note and send it right off without having to go through the trouble of going to buy a card.

If your older folks are religious, they might enjoy sponsoring a Gideon Bible or 10. We did this for my grandpa one year and he thought it was quite clever.

Also, do they have RECENT, framed pics of grandkids and such? My grandparents have a ton of pics on their walls - kids and adults alike. But they are from like 20 years ago when we stopped getting school photos. One year I scrounged around and got current pictures of all the grandkids (all over the country) and put them in a nice montage frame. That really tickled grandma, I think.

Services. I paid a friend to wash my dad’s windows once. I’ve thought about having his carpeting cleaned, too, but I’ll probably put that off 'til after the holidays.

Just about anything that old folks have a hard time doing in their old age will be appreciated. If you can’t afford to hire someone and can do it yourself, all the better!

My mom’s favorite gift was a grandma necklace – a gold chain with tiny rings – each ring had a grandchild’s birthstone.

Fruit of the Month sounds good. Also other monthly things, like coffee, and food baskets with jam and syrup and pancake mix.

I’m in the 50-70 bracket, and my favorite gift from the last few years was several yards of coordinated fabric from hubby’s son. (I quilt).

Other favorite gifts have been scented candles, tea and jam and a 2-cup teapot from the Republic of Tea, Land O’ Lakes flavored hot chocolate mix, and a gift certificate from the local greenhouse. Christmas isn’t too soon to be thinking of spring.

It’s true that us older folks usually have enough “stuff”, but stuff wears out and goes out of style, so IMHO there’s nothing wrong with practical things like socks, gloves, and kitchen towels for grandma and grandpa.

Unless your mother is Marie Barone. (Everybody Loves Raymond)

Does your local drug store have gift cards? Might help with prescription costs.

I have a friend who is 79 and in an assisted living apartment. She is rather hard to buy for, but she really loves getting gifts. She has more money than I will ever have too, so it is hard to find things for her. And like you mentioned, she doesn’t have space for much more, nor does she really seem to want “stuff”. In fact she has been throwing out and giving away stuff like mad the last few years.

It took me awhile to realize that she just like the surprise of opening a gift, sort of like my 5 year old does, and really doesn’t care what it is. So I get her a lot of little things that she likes, or needs anyway, and try to do it in a fun way. I came up with this “secret santa” gift a day for a week idea a few years ago. It is a MAJOR hit. She knows it is me, but I make all sorts of crazy santa labels, and wrap all the packages in really fun ways and never use my name on anything until the last gift.

She brags to all her friends and can’t wait to get the mail. I send things like: word find books, cute magnets, a tin of candy or fudge, a new deck of cards, a calendar, a pretty Christmas ornament, some scratch off lottery tickets, stamps. Like I said it really isn’t the gift she gets excited over it is just the idea that stuff keeps coming.
I need to get moving I haven’t started shopping for this years week of Secret gifts yet

I made my mom a calendar at Snapfish this year. I was able to put 2 or 3 pictures of her great grandchildren per page. She uses a large calendar for her appointments, so this is useful, not clutter.

Wow I knew I could count on you guys. What great ideas. I see some I’ve already done (birthstone bracelet (instead of necklace), and smaller gifts just because they like opening things up it seems)

In my case the grandkids and I live in the Atlanta, GA area, and she lives in Tulsa so that’s somewhat a limiting factor too. I like dinner gift card idea, though. I’ll have to find a chain they’re happy with.

I really like the alternative gifts site. Um… not for them, but I instantly thought of someone else that would work for.

Large-print magazine or puzzle-book subscriptions are great, too. That way they keep getting something new to read or work. Reader’s Digest was what I got my step-gran, because she liked it, but I believe there are others out there.

Excellent idea–I liked giving my Grandma things she could use and enjoy and then not feel guilty about throwing out. This was usually a centerpiece or wreath, but a calendar is a great idea. (I did one for a friend, with pictures of her son who is one.)

One -of-the-month that backfired: Pop got Grandma cheese-of-the-month from I think the Wisconsin Ag school and she fretted about not being able to eat that much cheese in a month. I would have loved to have that problem!

If the giftee is still reasonably mobile, we like to give date nights. A certificate for a restaurant and tickets to the symphony, ballet, or a play for example.

For husband’s grandmother who wasn’t quite as mobile, we tend towards more practical gift certs, like one for the diner she liked to visit with her friends (only they’re all dead now) or for the grocery store or Macy’s (only she can’t shop anymore. . . this year is a little tricky).

What about a subscription to Netflix? Even if they’re not very computer savvy, you could make the list for them on the website and print it out–then they’d know what order the movies were coming in. All they have to do is get the mail, watch the movie, put it back in the mail.

We just got a subscription for someone who’s hard to buy for. The cheapest year long subscription is $60 - $70 for one movie at a time, limit of 2 per month.

I second the ideas of:

Services: Offers to do yard work and such are always appreciated by the Oldies. Since you are not close by, you can pay for any number of services they may use. Lawn and garden services, a gift card for a carwash place, oil change gift cards, pre-pay the satellite/cable bill, etc.

Pet Stuff: If they have pets, you may contact their vet and pay for future vet visits. Toys, beds, treats, gift cards to pet stores for the pets may be welcome as well.

Restuarant gift cards: If they have a favorite local place, call them and get a gift card. It doesn’t have to be a chain–our local establishments will mail gift certificates.

Food baskets: Of stuff they might miss from their youth, regional items you find, or other combos.

My grandma doesn’t like for us grandkids to get her presents anymore (she’s 87). I got around that…my Xmas present from my husband this year is that he went and raked my gramma’s leaves. :slight_smile:

If they don’t live where they grew up, a subscription to their hometown newspaper. Especially a weekly – they’re full of the human-interest-type stuff and often can be had for the cost of the mailing. Less dire news than the dailies.

Everyone loves a nice fedora. I get compliments on mine all the time:)