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Present ideas for old people, please!

(25 Posts)
EndoplasmicReticulum Wed 07-Nov-12 21:13:53

Grandparents-in-law are 89 and 90. They are tricky to buy for, they have everything they need if you see what I mean. Grandad-in-law used to do a lot of gardening, so that was easy enough, but as he's getting less mobile doesn't do this so much any more. We usually get Granny-in-law something for the kitchen as she likes baking, but I'm a bit stuck for ideas this year.

Any good present ideas for the elderly? They wouldn't mind a joint present, we got them a hamper one year and that's a possibility, although I suspect Granny-in-law probably re-distributed a lot to the "old people" she visits through her church.

And yes, I've tried asking what they would like, I get "oh, you don't need to buy us anything". But they won't stop buying for us, so I think I ought to try!

Yokel Wed 07-Nov-12 21:15:29

Do they have a bird feeder in their garden? Big sack of peanuts always goes down well!

CunningPlan Wed 07-Nov-12 21:17:29

Oh god, I have the same problem. My gramps doesn't read, used to garden (but doesn't any more) and is diabetic.

I bought him a book about scenic train journeys. Gran is getting hand cream or nice shower gel.

I know that's really boring, but I am stumped.

MeDented Wed 07-Nov-12 21:20:00

Voucher for an afternoon tea / lunch somewhere local?

Yokel Wed 07-Nov-12 21:20:33

Home made sweets? Fudge, truffles etc in a nice box.

invicta Wed 07-Nov-12 21:21:01

Magazine subscription

Theatre tickets

Afternoon tea at local hotel

Restaurent meal vouchers

procrastinor Wed 07-Nov-12 21:24:50

Plants that can grow on the windowsill in the kitchen? Maybe something that requires a bit of care and attention?

As above a magazine subscription might go down well - gardener's world or something similar? We get our nan 'People's friend' (proper old lady magazine).

EdgarAllansPo Wed 07-Nov-12 21:32:34

The RSPB has some nice things, and it is a good cause too.
How about a hamper you make up yourself including lots of things you know they will like, and which are a bit naicer than the things they would normally buy for themselves. Not nice enough to be passed on as a gift to someone else! Special bottles of bubbly water, quite nice biscuits, tea bags...

You could knit/crochet/make something? Sew an apron for Granny? and matching oven mitt/pot holders/tea cosy?

Plant up some bulbs in pretty pots. Put in a 'voucher' to offer to do further jobs for them when it suits them! (I love it when my children do this, they've done it since they were small and the thought of them continuing into adulthood amuses me.)

A lot of the oldies in our family appreciate well made things from craft fairs. Also a good, framed, original print or watercolour of a place which is dear to them.

DameFanny Wed 07-Nov-12 21:34:10

Posh marmelades and chutneys? Pictures of or by the kids?

EndoplasmicReticulum Wed 07-Nov-12 21:37:27

Ooh, thanks everyone - some good suggestions here. The lunch voucher is a definite possibility, they like going out for lunch.

pigleychez Wed 07-Nov-12 21:44:07

Bit boring but DH's gran likes it.
Years ago we bought her an annual subscription to her favourite wordsearch book. She says it keeps her mind active so each year it gets renewed.
Saves her abit over the years too.

scrappydappydoo Wed 07-Nov-12 21:47:55

A pre loaded digital photo frame went down well with my granny last year.

PoppyWearer Wed 07-Nov-12 21:48:26


Three grandmothers in homes to buy for.

All with varying levels of dementia.


EndoplasmicReticulum Wed 07-Nov-12 21:50:15

Or Posh Afternoon Tea, I've found a lovely place near them I'm going to send them to.

EndoplasmicReticulum Wed 07-Nov-12 21:51:37

Poppy - I have 3 nonogenarians of my own (we're a long-lived family!) - but luckily we decided years ago not to do presents for adults in my family. I get the children to make them a card and send a copy of the latest school photo, they are happy with that.

NorbertDentressangle Wed 07-Nov-12 21:55:19

When my Gran was in a nursing home we bought her a birdtable to go outside her window and one of those birdfeeders that attach to the window.

She always loved gardening and being outdoors so loved to be able to watch the birds from her room when she was no longer able to get out.

canyou Wed 07-Nov-12 22:01:33

We have given in the past
A bottle of Brandy [expensive on a pension] for medicinal reasons hmm
A scrap book of pictures of their life and some written stories/ memories that family have from those pictures.
A cd of music from their past
An ipad [they could use it better then me ]
A sweet hamper from the Olde style sweet shop [hard boiled clove rock is always a winner]
Slipper socks they can wear to bed but has grips so they do not slip when they get up
A nice scarf set/ head scarf
A subscription to a magazine
A herb/flower set that can be grown on a window sill
Sunflowers to be grown with the DGC.

harbingerofdoom Wed 07-Nov-12 22:02:40

Mine are huge merino wool fans as it gives them a layer of warmth without too much thickness. My DF would still wear merino in the summer (but without the waistcoat and jacket). DM loves old fashioned scents and says that M&S shower cream helps her dry shins grin.

canyou Wed 07-Nov-12 22:03:20

All the DGC clubbed together to pay for some one to come in and build raised beds so that DGM could keep growing veg

gwenniebee Wed 07-Nov-12 22:09:35

Scented drawer liners! I like them too and I am not old smile

Oxfam do great gifts too (like goats etc) which you could just adorn with nice handcream/bar of chocolate if you really felt that they mean it when they say not to buy them anything.

DesperatelySeekingSedatives Thu 08-Nov-12 07:45:45

My mum used to do a little hamper for her elderly (bachelor) uncle.

It contained:
nice tea,
a new cup and saucer or mug for said tea
a miniture homemade fruitcake (made with a giant baked bean tin instead of a regular size loaf tin or it would have been too big)
some sweets like humbugs
posh marmalade and jam
gloves or thermal socks.

He always seemed very pleased with this. His eyes lit up when he saw it anyway smile

fantashtic Thu 08-Nov-12 08:04:31

Agree to the lunch/afternoon tea vouchers. My grandma is 90 and I like to give her things that will keep her from being lonely or give her something to look forward to. So last year it was vouchers for Betty's tearooms, this year it's a trip on the city wheel (mini London eye!) plus a 'voucher' (homemade) for a trip to a stately home sometime in Spring.

ClareMarriott Thu 08-Nov-12 17:52:02


If you don't think it too morbid or you don't think you'll have the time, what about a scrapbook of major events/or things relevant to them that have taken place since 1922/1923 when they were born ( if they don't have anything like that already) ?

motherofluvlies Thu 08-Nov-12 18:35:16

High necked cotton nightdress

Marne Thu 08-Nov-12 18:50:12

Great thread, i always find my grandparents hard to buy for, one year i bought them a new tea pot (as they had been using the same old tea pot for years), they were both really pleased with it. I havn't got a clue what to buy them this year, i often go with a box of black magic for my grandad and some nice smellies for my nan. This thread has given me lots of ideas smile.

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