The senior loved ones in your family reach a point where they don’t need things any more; they don’t
have space for more stuff to collect dust. It is difficult for them to care for their homes and keep them
tidy and clean. They don’t have the strength or endurance for household chores.
Seniors like gifts that provide entertainment and companionship; gifts that make their lives more
pleasant, less stressful, and that lift their spirits. They like those special items they would never buy
for themselves or that their budget would not allow.
If you don’t have a lot of money to spend, give them your time. Tackle a chore that is too difficult for
your favorite senior, like cleaning their house or taking care of their yard. Run errands or take them
shopping. Cook healthy meals for them. Give them a gift certificate from you with a promise to take
care of these chores weekly or monthly and keep your promise! Spend time visiting with them or reading to them.
Many of the following gift ideas come from seniors themselves.
- Tickets to a local movie, theater, concert, symphony, or lecture. If they live alone you might give
them two tickets so they can invite a friend.
- A magazine subscription, such as Taste of Home, Country Woman, Birds and Blooms, Reminisce, a
craft magazine, a sports magazine, or a gardening magazine.
- An offer to hold a holiday dinner at your home instead of theirs.
- A new portable phone.
- Blank CDs to save music or graphics on.
- A box of their favorite candy; one or two boxes a year won’t hurt. (If their health allows.)
- A gift card to a restaurant, department store, drug store, grocery store, or supermarket.
- The latest book by a favorite author, a gift certificate to a book store, or a subscription to a book
- Phone cards so they can call family members and friends without feeling guilty over the phone bill.
- A new computer, computer accessory, or program with lessons to use. A computer allows them to
keep in daily contact with online friends and family. If they have a printer they might like paper, ink or
- A computer class at the local computer learning center or community college.
- For the crafter, gift certificates from Michaels, Richards, or Hobby Lobby.
- Membership to a gym or group of interest.
- Membership to a local discount shopping club like Sam’s Club or Costco.
- A gift certificate for a dinner for four at a local restaurant and a note telling them to invite three
friends who don’t have a family to celebrate with. Gives them the opportunity to give!
- Favorite foods that they love but are too expensive for their budget.
- Take them to church on Christmas Eve and for a drive to look at the lights and decorations.
- Help them move furniture or hang new draperies, pictures, decorations etc. in time for the holidays.
- Take the tree and decorations out of storage and help decorate. And most of all, help to put everything back once Christmas is over.
- Make a payment to the phone or electric company.
- Pay for the furnace to be cleaned and serviced.
- Warm winter clothing, gloves, underwear, night gown or pajamas, lounge wear, sweat suits, slipper socks or slippers.
- Take the time to listen to their stories and record them for future generations. Sharing their voice
on tape with future generations would mean a great deal to them.
- Many seniors go through bouts of depression during January and February. Why not spread a little
cheer by inviting them out for lunch or dinner? It doesn’t have to be an expensive restaurant; just a
place to eat and spend time together.
- Prepare lunch or dinner at their home and help clean up after.
- Many seniors don’t drive so get them out of the house; take them shopping, to visit a relative, or
out to see the sites.
- All the children and grandchildren go together to give one big gift. One family gave a new garbage
can stuffed with every day things, like cleaners, paper towels, toilet paper, garbage bags, and non-perishable foods. Grandchildren can make a card or craft to include.
- A digital camera.
- Food gifts. There are several fresh fruit companies that send once during the holidays, once a quarter, or once a month. The senior can share the gift with their friends and neighbors.
- A coupon book filled with a list of chores to be done.
- A cleaning lady every other week or once a month.
- Change the sheets on their bed once a week or hire a neighbor child to help. The difficult chore gets done and the senior enjoys the child’s friendship.
- A standing gift certificate for a favorite beauty salon or barber shop. They can go once a week to
have their hair done and whenever they need a permanent or a haircut.
- A gift certificate to have their nails done. As it becomes more difficult to care for their own feet,
give a gift certificate for a pedicure.
- A kitchen timer to remind them when food is cooking on the stove, when laundry is ready to be put
in the dryer or be taken out of the dryer, to wake them after a short nap, to remind them not to stay up too late if they are reading before bed. Give more than one timer for different rooms of the house!
- A roll of postage stamps with a special holder, cards, stationery and writing pens.
- A coupon for a spring cleaning or a car wash.
- For the gardener give tools, seeds, plant starting kits, peat pots.
- A coupon for a spring yard clean up.
- Gift certificates to Amazon or other online stores so they can order gifts for themselves.
- If they have a favorite hobby give a gift they can use with their hobby.
- Music and movie DVDs or CDs if they have a DVD or CD player. If your budget allows give them a
new DVD player!
- A prepaid cell phone for emergency use.
- A new kitten, puppy, or bird if they are a pet lover and are able to care for one.
- Those wheelchair bound need shopping assistance. When you deliver, stay for a snack or dinner
picked up from a favorite restaurant.
- Take them on a shopping spree which makes them feel safe and not vulnerable to the car-jacking
and purse snatching that go on in parking lots.
- A promise booklet of shopping offers, a date to go shopping, a gift of consumables whether
mundane supplies or luxury indulgences, are always appreciated and add to a sense of abundance and
secure comfort. Having a reliable supply of things to use is a wonderful gift.
- Go out to a leisurely brunch at a very nice restaurant with children and grandchildren. Allow them to invite a friend.
- Give them a special catered dinner with their favorite foods.
- A rechargeable flashlight.
- Airline tickets to visit a relative or friend.
If you are still at a loss for what gift to give, talk with them and listen to their needs. Give them your
time and of yourself to show that you care.