Christmas is a time for loving and giving… but it can be hard to find the perfect gift for your loved ones, especially as they get older. Here are 16 top ideas to make Christmas giving that little bit easier this year.
A medicine organiser can be a thoughtful, practical gift for organising a complex array of medication tablets or vitamins.
Say goodbye to boring medicine boxes labeled from Monday to Sunday – you can now find medicine organisers in more fun designs to include those that beeps when it is time to pop a pill, or those that dispenses pills automatically at the preset timing.
A home massage doesn’t have to mean employing a masseuse – massaging cushions, seat covers, and pillows are widely available! Soothe aching muscles with movement and pressure and choose a gently heated option for arthritis pain.
There’s a huge range of home massage equipment available, so there should be a choice to suit most budgets.
There’s a dizzying assortment of weekly or monthly subscription boxes which provide a regular treat of sweet foods, snacks or even fruit and more practical groceries! This could be a great gift for older people who struggle to eat regularly, or those who tend to forget or lack the energy to cook and feed themselves.
Knowing that they have a few boxes of their favourite biscuits or savoury snacks on hand at all times can mean that our elderly loved ones are able to maintain their intake easily – and give family members a little peace of mind.
Ta Gifts munchies bundles have some great choices, including delicious cookies and brownies as well as some savoury treats.
Some of us find that our appetites change as we get older – having smaller meals and snacks on hand can help people get the right amount of calories and nutrients with minimal effort.
It’s now easier than ever to find online records of births, deaths and marriages. Presenting an elderly loved one with their family tree can trigger memories of people and events that could bring up some great stories to tell.
A gift of a family tree isn’t just for your relative – it’s an important marker for everyone in the family, a hint at generations of connections and interactions that can be so easily forgotten.
It’s easy to start to research your family tree with the use of online resources, but it can also be useful to get professional help, especially if you’re unsure where to start.
Going a little beyond the immediate family tree, you can also get records of genealogy based on DNA tests . This usually involves taking a little swab from inside a cheek or a small specimen of saliva, so it won’t be a total surprise when you gift your loved one their results.
DNA-based ancestry records can give you fascinating insights into your family’s cultural and geographical origins which may bring up some interesting conversations. You can even choose to connect with people who share some DNA with you, and people have found long-lost relatives this way.
Genetic ancestry records can show you how your most ancient ancestors migrated around the world, as well as where your more recent forbears came from.
DNA websites can also use your genetic makeup to tell you a little about your own health and traits.
This ranges from the fun stuff – whether you’re genetically predisposed to like the taste of coriander, or to have wet or dry earwax – to more serious things, like whether you have a genetic likelihood for developing certain diseases.
Charity and sponsorship
What to get for the person who seems to have everything they want and need? It doesn’t have to be a material gift to contribute to the piling clutter at home; why not give a gift of giving? Choose a charity that’s close to the heart of your loved one and make a one-off or regular donation.
Some charities even send photographs and updates on how your donation is helping their cause! The National Heritage Board might be of interest to older residents who are keen to support the upkeep of Singapore’s cultural heritage.
For a truly personalised gift, there’s nothing better than a DIY memory box. Our older loved ones have a wealth of experience to share, and we can help to secure those memories – and we might get a few good stories out of it too.
Fill a lovely gift box with things that will mark important times in your relative’s life. It could include newspapers from the day their children were born, a keepsake from their wedding, photographs and letters from old friends, nostalgic jewellery and personal items that will bring back happy memories.
For those of us whose loved ones haven’t kept many items from their earlier lives, perhaps something like a reproduction of a loved childhood game – even a bag of marbles or some favourite childhood snacks could be a thoughtful – and fun – gift.
Adding in popular magazines, music, and television programmes from your loved one’s younger days can provoke some fascinating memories, and give them something interesting to do, too!
For the book lovers, a personalised choice of reading material can be a lovely gift; it could be a novel that you think would interest the recipient, or one of your favourites to share.
A non-fiction book may be of interest too, and you could consider one that would be relevant to some significant historical events that your relative lived through, or one of their interests or hobbies.
Book subscription packages are also available, specially curated according to taste, and with monthly new books sent out as a gift that last the whole year.
It’s important that our loved ones can actually enjoy their presents, and it may be helpful to find a book with a large print or other accessibility options built in.
Audiobooks can be especially invaluable for those whose eyesight isn’t quite what it used to be, or when our levels of alertness and concentration can be unpredictable.
There’s huge value in being able to lose yourself in a good book; it opens up a world beyond our reach – we can learn, we can enjoy escapism, fantasy, nostalgia, and just the enriching quality of connecting with an author.
Amazon’s audiobook platform Audible has a comprehensive range of audiobooks on subscription or single purchase, or you can set your loved one up with the National Library Board’s Overdrive app for free listens.
Reading takes a certain kind of effort and requires some dexterity and visual acuity that aren’t always easy – simply having enough time to sit and read isn’t always possible for all of us.
A lot of people find audiobooks more accessible, and particularly enjoy the flexibility of being able to enjoy a book while pottering around the home or engaged in other activities.
With a subscription to an audiobook provider, your loved one can choose a new book every month, and relish the relaxation, education, excitement or any other of the benefits of a good book.
Hygge – Bedding, throws, and cushions
It’s the Scandinavian sensation that’s sweeping the world! Hygge is the concept of comfort, of being cosy and comfortable. It’s no surprise that the concept of being snug as a philosophy for life comes from some of the coldest countries in the world, but in sunnier climates, we can still take a leaf out of their book.
Creating contentment through comfortable spaces for our elderly loved ones is a lovely idea. A gift of a rich fabric throw or some soft cushions can help create a sense of wellbeing.
A luxurious gift set of new bedding is always welcome at Christmas, and with a thread count and design to suit every taste and budget, deluxe bed linen sets are widely available. Kapas is just one of the vendors offering special bedding sets for Christmas.
Freshly baked goodies
The smell of freshly baked breads and pastries can’t be beaten, so a gift of a delicious basket of oven-fresh treats is bound to go down well. Konditori’s baked goodies are delivered freshly baked and absolutely delicious.
For a personalised touch, you can add a handwritten note with festive greetings as well.
What’s more exciting than a hamper? You can get them ready-made to suit almost any taste and budget, and with a range of choices for different dietary requirements and age groups. Simply Hamper ’s Christmas range includes wine, chocolate, biscuits, and even fresh cut flowers with speedy delivery.
Alternatively, you can buy a wicker basket, some fancy tissue paper and cellophane and create your own, with a hand-picked selection of treats.
The good thing about making a hamper yourself is getting to choose the items you think the recipient of the gift will like best.
It also means you can avoid some of the generic items that are commonly found in shop-bought hampers – some people are better off avoiding alcohol, or may have specific dietary requirements.
Interest in self-care has taken the gift industry to new heights when it comes to scented gifts.
Beyond the standard boxed bubble bath and shower gel gift sets, you can now find the most fabulous treats for pampering your loved ones. Find out whether they prefer baths, showers, and whether they need any support with personal care to guide your choices.
Perfumes, sprays, talcs and scented candles are always welcome for those who find bathing a more practical than enjoyable activity!
A Handmade Heroes build-your-own gift set can be tailored to suit any taste, and you’ll know you’re supporting an ethical, sustainable business.
Hampers and luxury subscription boxes are wonderful, but you can’t beat a practical gift; a few homemade meals made with love and boxed up in individual portions so that they can warm up a nice dinner for themselves can be a lovely gift.
Sometimes as we get older, especially with some of the health conditions that become more common as we age, we can suffer from fatigue and simply not have the energy or inclination to really look after ourselves.
Giving our elderly friends and family a gift of a nourishing home-cooked meal that they can easily heat up and eat is good for their physical and mental health.
Giving a gift of professionally prepared meals at home is another great practical way to help your older relatives stay happy and healthy, and Nutrition Kitchen offer a fantastic meal delivery service, with food created and prepared by top chefs for your loved ones.
A Christmas tipple
The occasional cocktail, glass of wine or spirit can be a relaxing treat, and a nice bottle of your loved one’s tipple of choice can be a great gift.
The paraphernalia that accompany some drinks can also be very beautiful, so a bar set, ice bucket or set of lovely glasses alongside their favourite boozy drink is a good addition to a responsible gift.
Subscription boxes can provide your loved one with a regular bottle of something special, delivered to their home every month and with a wide range of packages to choose from. The Wala Club’s sake and wine subscription might be just what you’re looking for.
Remember, alcohol can cause serious problems for some people and can interact with some medications, so be sure that it’s right for the person you’re buying the gift for.
Anything… that’s made with love.
The price of Christmas can soar, especially for larger families, and there can be a lot of pressure to spend extravagantly especially during the holiday season.
If you’re trying to keep the costs manageable this Christmas, hand-made cards and crafty gifts are always welcome. If you have a young family, getting children involved in making presents or baking a cake for a grandparent is a lovely way to bond and forge closer connections.
You can show your loved ones that their family cares about them, while teaching younger members of the family the importance of kindness and thinking of others.
Giving gifts and showing love to our loved ones during this yuletide season is a way of keeping the spirit of Christmas alive. Aside from the material things that we could give our loved ones, we can also show our love to them by providing the best care possible.
This article was first published in Homage.