As our family members age, they may have already down sized, or maybe they need to. We all know what they likely do not need is more STUFF! (Probably, neither do we!) So what do you get them for the holidays? Here are some ideas that I have compiled:
1. They most desire time with you and/or your family. So, you can:
· Make them a coupon packet of various items you are happy to do with them. It could include things like, a day of shopping, dinner out, going to a movie, a scenic drive, etc. They can call you up to schedule when to use the coupons.
· Arrange to get them tickets to your kids dance, drama, karate, sporting, etc. events (if they live near you) and offer to transport them if they require that.
· Give them a dinner of the month club where you get together monthly and have a family dinner with them – special for them!
· You can apply this theory to any sort of day trip with them. Go to the museum, go to a different city and walk around the quaint little shops, if you were taking your kids to Santa’s Village or some other theme park, perhaps they would like to go too and watch you all enjoy the festivities. Sometimes, they just want to be included in watching you and your family have fun and enjoy life. Sometimes they want to be going on the rides too!
2. Over time the work around the house has lost its luster and they might appreciate a bit of help with it. Here are some ideas for that:
· Find a reputable housekeeping company and buy them a service or a certificate for service. Even having their carpets professionally cleaned for them can be a wonderful thing.
· Window cleaning companies are great too. Having their windows cleaned inside and out is a big help and makes a difference on their happiness level as well. Really, once your windows are cleaned you are amazed by how much light and brightness flows through. I know it sounds silly, but it really does work. Plus that generation was very on top of house hold cleanliness. They actually did clean all of the windows themselves twice a year in most cases – spring and fall cleaning! Remember those times? What a lot of work! Just because they don’t do it themselves anymore doesn’t mean it isn’t still something they would love to have done.
· Landscaping companies offer specials and packages. You could get them a spring or fall yard clean up, lawn service, have a garden planted or weeded/maintained for them. Restore it to the former grandeur it had when they kept it up well themselves. Even a dose of mulch in the spring makes a big difference.
· Hire a person to keep their driveway plowed, or pay for a comfortable amount for their current person to ease that payment for them.
· Downsizing is a bear and sometimes too overwhelming for people to do. However, there is a wonderful solution for this! It’s called a professional organizer. They will come in and help you with as much or as little as you want help with. Get them an hour or two of help from a professional organizer and you may start them on the road to cleaning out more and more. (Trust me, if they don’t get started on it, you will likely end up doing it yourself down the road!!!)
3. Gift Certificates to places they enjoy are helpful. You can find out where they get their hair done, where they like to go out to eat, maybe one to the local theater. Hey, theater tickets can be expensive. It may be something they used to do but now feel that they should put the money elsewhere instead. So, if you give them a certificate, it helps to ease the pain on the cost of a ticket. Better yet, you could refer to number one here and get two tickets and go with them yourself!!
Gift certificates to places where they enjoy things but maybe wouldn’t splurge on themselves can be wonderful. For example, if they enjoy specialty pastries from the bakery downtown, but are too frugal to pay the prices themselves, a certificate to that bakery is a great boon for them.
I hope these ideas have helped you think of some things you think would make your loved one happy this holiday season. More stuff is rarely the answer at this point in life. Experiences and ways to make their lives easier and more fulfilling are really wonderful things to give them. I look forward to you sharing your ideas on what you came up with. Feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
All my best!
P.S. My website has lots of services and certificates you may want to give to them or your friends for the holidays as well! We all know somebody who could benefit. Check it out at www.DonnaDeos.com! Thanks.