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Ohio Department of Aging Boomerang: It all comes back to you!

Boomerang: It all comes back to you!

My Family - December 2009

Great Gift Ideas for the Older Relative
Look to Your Heart and Their Interests for Inspiration

Still stumped on what to get that hard-to-buy-for older relative for the holidays? Have you spent countless, fruitless hours wandering the mall in an effort to find the perfect gift for everyone on your list, only to come home empty-handed? Time is running out, but don't despair. There are many gift ideas for the person who truly has everything that don't require wading through crowds, standing in long checkout lines or, in many cases, spending any money at all.

There are many gift ideas for the person who truly has everything that don't require wading through crowds, standing in long checkout lines or, in many cases, spending any money at all.
  • Give the gift of a family tree. Do you have a loved one who is fascinated with his ancestral roots, but has limited information about them? If he knows the names of his grandparents and where they lived, and maybe his great-grandparents as well, affordable computer software can help him connect the dots and flesh out his family tree. If he isn't particularly computer-savvy, an offer from you to help makes the gift that much more meaningful.
  • Make a keepsake album. Gather family memorabilia, such as photographs, certificates and family documents, into an album. For an extra-special touch, consider getting it professionally bound. Most scrapbooking stores will have all the supplies you need and can provide guidance about how to create your album to ensure that it will last for decades.
  • Give the gift that keeps giving. Got an aunt who loves to read? Give a gift subscription to her favorite magazine or local newspaper. Or, if she likes movies, go for one of those services that allow her to have rental DVDs delivered by mail. Or, get her a subscription to something she probably wouldn't buy for herself, such as a membership to a food-of-the-month club that mails monthly baskets of gourmet items such as cheeses, fruits or steaks, or a flower-of-the-month club from a local florist.
  • Use those airline miles. Many companies allow you to transfer accumulated airline miles or hotel points to another person or book a hotel stay or airline ticket in their name. Send Uncle Steve to visit his brother, surprise Aunt Mildred with a visit from her grandkids, or meet Grandma somewhere for a family vacation.
  • Go green. Do you have a loved one who is interested in using less energy or reducing pollution? Give him a "green" gift pack with compact fluorescent light bulbs, recycled stationery, herb and vegetable seed packs, packaged organic foods and other eco-friendly gifts. Wrap your collection up in a reusable shopping bag with a cloth, not plastic, bow.
  • Your time is a gift. Create a booklet of certificates that entitles a loved one to services such as a day of errand-running, a homemade meal, handy-man repair or house cleaning. Or, just make a commitment to spend time with her and take her places with you.

It's a bit cliché, but it is, indeed, the thought that counts. A gift from your heart that shows you took the time to think about her and that builds on aspects of your relationship will be worth more to a loved one than anything you can pick up in a crowded department store.