This definitely the gift question I get asked the most often. What do I buy my parents/grandparents? Parents pose quite a few problems. Sometimes they have everything they could ever want or they’ve “downsized” and have no space for things. If your parents are seniors or in assisted living it can be even harder. You want to show you love and care about them by giving them gifts on special occasions but you don’t want to give them unnecessary clutter or things they won’t or can’t use.
I talked a little bit about how I try to be very mindful and purposeful in my gift giving. This extends to giving to my parents as well. Often my gifts fall a little more on the sentimental side because I think parents and seniors really enjoy those types of gifts.
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Here are a few gift ideas for seniors!
These won’t be just your normal photo book. Make it more special by including written memories. After choosing a theme (Christmas, Birthdays, Family Vacations, Growing up, etc), compile old photos and memories and put them into a photo book. Sites like Shutterfly really simplify the process! Imagine having old family Christmas photos, combined with you and your siblings’ favorite Christmas memories or traditions. This would take some coordination but would make a very special gift. Here is a great Memories from Home 8×11 Photo Book“>photobook option to check out.
Family Photobook Subscription
Another idea would be to send them a photo book of what your family is currently up to each month. Chatbooks makes this VERY EASY! Have you tried Chatbooks? They are the truly the easiest photo book ever! After downloading their app, you can set up a photo book series that pulls from your Instagram feed (or favorites you mark in your phone’s camera roll). A book is printed and sent automatically each time you have 60 Instagram posts or favorites (if you choose that option). Sending an additional copy to your parents or grandparents is incredibly simple as well. To do so, you’ll open your Chatbooks app (or login on the website) and you’ll click on your series, and click “additional copies.” Then click “order additional subscription”. Then follow the order steps and enter your parents or grandparents’ address! Each book costs $8, so you a whole year would be $72. What a fun and simple way to connect with your family and have them up to date on all the fun and funny things that happen with your fmaily This way they can keep up with your life and enjoy fun pictures and memories! Here is a code to get your first book FREE! XNE93VXL
Audio books would be a useful and fun gift for older parents/grandparents. One option would be a “Book of the month” club, where each month a family member would be in charge of choosing a book, and either recording the audio, or coming to visit the parent/grandparent and reading them the book throughout the month. It would be an amazing way to spend time with them, and fun to share a book!
If family is unable to do a recording, another great option is Amazon’s Audible. For $14.95 a month, you could purchase an Audible subscription. That allows for unlimited audiobook downloads. You can set it up to play from a desktop, or if that isn’t available Amazon’s Echo works amazingly well with Audible! It costs $180 and will take some set up, but once it is done it can be operated solely by voice, and plays Audio Books from its own speaker! I did call and ask Amazon about their new Echo Dot. While it is less expensive and CAN be used with Audible, you would need to purchase separate speakers to be able to play the audiobooks. If you’d like to see how Audible works, here is a free month membership!
Life Story Interview
Evalogue.life is a company dedicated to helping people record their life story. They have several services you can gift to your loved ones. I’ve shared a do-it-yourself personal history gift idea, but I can tell you from experience that sometimes the DIY option overwhelms people and they never actually start it. Evalogue.life takes the labor (and fear!) out of writing a personal history. Some of Evalogue.life’s options include:
Life Story Interview– This can be conducted in person (in Utah) or over the phone. Prior to the interview, interviewees are contacted to make goals for the interview and receive “food-for-thought” questions to get prepared. After the interview, you’ll receive approximately 75 minutes of audio on a flash drive, interviewer notes and a printed booklet of life story questions. You could have several family members contribute towards this gift and give a series of interviews to get a more comprehensive life story (or even a book!) created.
Story Coaching– If your giftee has talked about wanting to write their own life story, this is a great option to help them along their way. Let the experts at Evalogue.life give them professional advice and encouragement to help jumpstart their writing.
Purchasing a personal interview means that your giftee will be interviewed by a talented journalist who not only has all of the right questions but also has the ability to delve deeper when needed and encourage opening up that might not happen otherwise. This is what one of their customers said about their experience gifting a Life Story Interview.
Another amazing part of this gift is that you can purchase and print a gift certificate right from your computer…this thoughtful gift can be purchased and given in a very short timeframe (a last minute gift!).
Right now they are having a holiday special for $10 off each interview or coaching session and if you use the code GiftyGirl you can get an additional 5% off their lowest price. Click Here to purchase.
If you want to learn more you can read about Evalogue.life here
Cookie/Soup/Dinner /Dessert of the Month Club
This is a gift that we usually do for my dad. I give him a certificate and then we bring him that item each month. For the Dessert of the Month Club, I gave him a big list of desserts and let him choose his 12 favorites. It was fun to try out recipes that I never would have tried (Flan! Rice Pudding!) and my kids really enjoyed cooking them with me! We also enjoyed dropping the desserts off and visiting the first Sunday of each month. Currently we are doing a “Soup of the Month” club. I’ve made Chicken noodle (yum!) and butternut squash soup (not so yum!). This gift is obviously limited to people who live nearby their senior, but I’ve included some FREE PRINTABLE gift certificates you can download! Click here for the Cookie-of-the-month certificate, click here for the soup-of-the-month certificate, click here for the dessert-of-the-month certificate. There are options to do something similar through Harry and David, here is their dessert of the month club . Much more expensive than do-it-yourself but still great!
Grandkid photo gallery
This is a DIY gift idea I wrote about in this post. If you had a parent or grandparent that didn’t have a lot of space you could do a scaled down version. It makes a fun talking piece and gives grandparents the ability to talk about their favorite subjects.
I hope this helps you with an idea for your parents/grandparents or another special older person in your life. Happy Gifting!