You would think that in the age of the internet and 2-day shipping from Amazon that gift-giving would be a piece of cake. But what about people who just don’t need anything? Or at the very least, they don’t need MORE things? People like our aging parents.
The collection of stuff can become a challenge later in life. For some, hoarding can be an emotional response to the withdrawing that aging causes. (We’ve previously shared tips to work through this challenge with your loved ones, here.) But just because your parents’ have quite a collection of things already, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t or can’t give them holiday gifts. This is where gifts from the heart become so critical. These sort of gifts don’t add to the clutter, and are sure to help make your holiday memorable.
Here are four ideas of things to consider exchanging with each other to keep the holidays special for your aging parents:
Tasty Local Food & Treats
What’s Mom or Dad’s favorite treat you remember as a child? Maybe there’s a local bakery they loved. Or think local chocolates like Sarris in the Pittsburgh area, or , Groff’s near Lancaster. There’s sure to be something from their own childhood you could treat them to and put a smile on their faces with.
Hand-Crafted Warm Wearables
Knitted or sewn hats and scarves are a cozy way to show someone you care. These winter weather wearables are especially helpful for the elderly as they tend to feel the chill of winter much more than younger generations too! To make it even more special, have the children ask Grand-mom to teach them to knit. The shared time together will be memorable and the resulting scarf will keep them extra warm because of it.
Make Dinner Simple
All too often, as our loved ones become isolated in their homes due to age related challenges, their diets change for the worse. Cooking for one is no fun, and the sodium in TV dinners is not healthy. Make meal-time more exciting with pre-made family favorites like a casserole that can be re-heated, or a pre-mixed frozen crock-pot treat. All they have to do is pop the contents of the bag in the crock-pot and wait until their home is filled with the delicious aromas. Or, for parents or loved ones who still enjoy cooking but need a little push, you can gift a meal subscription service like Blue Apron. If Mom or Dad is alone, then you can make the meal-subscription cooking a fun experience together.
Coupon Book of Chores & Favors
Does the dog need to be taken to the groomers? Maybe it’s about time those carpets get steamed. Or perhaps the task of taking down the Christmas tree is just too much for Mom or Dad. Consider the old-school approach of favor coupon book. Fill the book with tasks and chores that your aging parents might not be as able to do anymore, but may also not yet be ready to ask for help with. This is a great way to spend time together, and also ensure those chores are accomplished. Consider these tasks:
- Wash the Car
- Take down the holiday decorations
- Spring Cleaning Day
- Clean Out the Garage/Basement
- Yard Work
What can you give this holiday season that is from the heart, doesn’t collect dust and will be treasured all year long?