Archive for Sunday, November 24, 2002

Try these gift ideas for friends and family

November 24, 2002


We're approaching holiday time again, and the seniors on my gift-giving list seem the hardest to shop for. Some are in nursing homes; others have houses filled with the accumulated gifts of years. Clothing is such a personal thing. Any new ideas?

Gifts for friends and family - of any age - are best when you give with real thought and knowledge. If your giving is like something in a grab-bag for a miscellaneous recipient, it won't be particularly special.

Think about the older people on your giving list. Consider each individual's economic situation. What is his or her current activity level - can they get out of the house easily? Do they have a hobby or passion that fills their time? The key is thought and knowing.

If you don't know them well enough to choose a special gift, perhaps you should make time between now and the holidays to get better acquainted.

Here are some ideas that might get you started thinking:

  • Prepay their long-distance or cable service. (Or give them a prepaid long-distance calling card.)
  • Offer a gift certificate for monthly hair appointments - or monthly housecleaning (done by you or a service).
  • Make or buy a gift of their favorite food, something they would never get for themselves because it seems too expensive.
  • Provide a ticket for two (you and them) to a movie, museum, play or other favored activity.
  • Take them on a drive to see the holiday lights and finish with coffee and dessert at a favorite place.
  • Create a current family photo collage.
  • Give a bird feeder, and promise to supply sunflowers or other seeds monthly.
  • Create an updated recording of music from their youth.
  • Provide a subscription to the daily newspaper or a magazine you know they'd enjoy.
  • Give them an invitation to a monthly afternoon (or evening) out - to the movie, library, museum or park.
  • Give videotapes or books about places they've been or have always wanted to go.

- If you have a question or comment for "Sense for Seniors," write to Betty Gibb, Kansas Senior Press Service, 11875 S. Sunset, Suite 200, Olathe 66061. Or call (913) 477-8103 or send

e-mail to

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