Gift-giving for a grandparent can be tricky. After all, they most likely already have all they need, they purchase what they want when they want it, or they’ve downsized and don’t need more “stuff” filling up their new accommodations. So how do you make sure they feel extra-special on Valentine’s Day and really feel the love?
Check out these six unique ideas to show your grandparent how much you truly care:
- Dates to Remember: An easy but very thoughtful gift is a calendar filled with important family dates. Simply pick out a calendar at your local drugstore or office supply store, and take the time to compile all your family’s important days, such as birthdays (include the year born), wedding anniversaries, recurring family events and reunions, and possibly even anniversaries of special loved ones’ passing. This is a gift that can be used for the following year’s calendar as well, so it truly does keep on giving. If you have extra time, you can even create your own calendar with family photos for each month.
- A Personal Touch: From handprint-design cards, to coffee mugs festooned with thumbprint flowers, homemade designs that incorporate a physical touch can make a lasting memory. This is an especially fun way to incorporate any great-grandchildren, since the artwork of their age make precious keepsakes for years to come. Go simple with construction paper and glue, or visit your local hobby store for blank mugs and plates you can decorate yourself. There is also a wide array of craft kits that a grandchild or great-grandchild could build and gift, from wooden birdhouses to garden pavers. Having these items around the house can help your grandparent feel loved for the rest of the year.
- 3, Treats for a Year: If your grandparent has a sweet tooth and your family is large, an easy and fun gift is to divide up the upcoming year and assign each person a month to deliver a homemade treat. Cookies make an easy choice; take a pretty cookie jar, filled with the cookies for February and include a card explaining that a special treat will be delivered each month to fill the jar. An added bonus is a guaranteed visit from family members your grandparent will look forward to each month.
- 4, Treasured Items Shared: Most grandparents have tucked away treasures from their lives or even the lives of their own parents or grandparents; most are hidden away in drawers or safety deposit boxes. An attractive shadow box can be an easy way to display a few special items, whether it’s a pocket watch, a monogrammed brush and mirror set, or military medals. Surprise your loved one by creating a lovely display piece by including the special item along with a personal photo from the era, postcards, maps, or ticket stubs. Shadow boxes often go on sale at hobby stores, and you can often get a nice large one for 50% off. Be sure to make a copy of any paper items you use so that you can save the original.
- More Communication: While many of today’s grandparents are technically savvy, older generations may still enjoy sending and receiving mail in the post. A unique gift is a set of personalized stationary, complete with envelopes and a book or two of stamps. Encourage your loved one to write to you or your children if they do not live nearby, and encourage family members to return correspondence. If your loved one is lacking many recipients to write, you might instead select a nice, bound journal and pen. Add a list of prompts and topics on which to write, like questions about his or her life as a young person, upbringing, early married years, career, etc. In the end, you will have your own gift to treasure.
- Music of Memories: Recent research has shown that the part of a person’s brain involved in processing musical information often remains intact even in the presence of dementia. Being exposed to familiar music can deliver numerous benefits to your loved one, including a reduction in anxiety and agitation, and an increase in likelihood to speak and interact. Even if he or she is not suffering from dementia, a musical playlist with highlights from their mid-teens to 20s (the age shown to evoke the most memories) is a gift that’s sure to please. If your grandparent is tech savvy, you might be able to send the list to their own phone or computer. Otherwise, you might consider purchasing a simple mp3 player with headphones, and fill it with the music from their past. There are even players on the market now that look like old-fashioned radios, for added nostalgia.
Remember that the most affordable and often most-appreciated gift for a grandparent is time spent with their loved ones. It truly is the thought that counts, and making the extra effort to deliver a meaningful gift will make this Valentine’s Day even more special.
Written by: Megan Hammons