Written by Emily Fagan
Whether they’re your parent, grandparent, or even great uncle, there comes a certain point where you simply run out of present ideas for the seniors in your life, and unlike your younger days, hastily crafted “original artwork” doesn’t really cut it anymore. So here’s some downsizing-friendly presents that are sure to bring Christmas cheer year-round:
- With 2017 coming up fast, one thing they’ll need for sure is a new calendar. Grid calendars are good for writing down appointments, and some even come with extra note space for task lists or important phone numbers. In any case, you can’t go wrong with the ones featuring exotic landscapes and adorable pets. We are very fond of the Art Calendars made by Blue Heron Art.
- Replace their old computer with a tablet or iPad. Make sure their favorite apps and games are easily accessible, and maybe even show them how to program alarms to remind them to take their medicine or go to appointments. Set family pictures, a friendlier alternative to default stock image bubbles and mountains, as the backgrounds. Not up for the task? Give the gift of an appointment with tutors like eGurus who are trained to teach seniors how to use technology.
- Why not buy tickets to something you can attend together, or sign up for a community class together? Community theatre, the symphony, local fairs, and movies are all great activities to treat them to. Make sure to offer to drive, and maybe even take them out to eat beforehand!
- Do they have collections of old pictures strewn across the house or stuffed in shoeboxes? Scan them onto your computer, or transfer them using apps like Photomyne and load them on to a digital picture frame. This way, all those precious life moments are in one, convenient location that can be displayed in their home. And they can finally get rid of all those shoeboxes full of photos (yes, everyone has them!).
- Ever found yourself wishing you had the time to write down all the stories they tell, or just wanting know more about them? Storyworth will email questions to them every week, and after a year of compiling incredible memories, prints them into a book. A more personal touch is offered by Visual Life Stories in Victoria. They combine sketches, lettering and hand coloring, add photographs, maps and other image ephemera customized to your needs and your story. The best part of this gift is that it can be enjoyed for years to come, by friends and family alike.
Most of all, consider that these folks might not need more “stuff” if they are preparing to downsize or if they live in a small space. Brighten their lives by giving them an event to look forward to, or a project to work on, or a new skill that will connect them to their loved ones in the coming year.