Thursday, November 20, 2008

Santa's Little Elf

I know it isn't Thanksgiving yet but I have already been helping Santa this year. I just bought my hubby, Al, tickets to an NBA game, the New Orleans Hornets vs the Boston Celtics. I am so pumped about this because I know he will be excited and delighted on Christmas Morning.
We tried to get tickets for the Hornets vs Celtics last year but we waited too late. We even went into New Orleans on the day of the game and tried to buy scalper tickets but no luck.
I could care less about basketball but he loves it and his favorite team, having grown up in New England during the Larry Bird years, is of course the Celtics. He does cheer for the Hornets since we transplanted to Louisiana.
I also do all the Christmas shopping for my Mother who has Alzheimer's. It is easy to take care of her grandchildren . Money is always a favorite for them. Right color and right size! LOL
The difficult ones to buy for are her brother, sister-in-laws and brother-in-laws all of whom are in their 80's and 90's. In past years I have sent flowers or gift cards for favorite restaurants. I am hesitant to send actual food or treats since some of them have restrictions on what they can eat.
I received a catalogue from Yankee Candle that has some very nice gift baskets with candles ,diffusers, ornaments, etc. I am considering those but am not sure that having burning candles is a good idea for elderly folks.
All of these relatives are fairly well off so I don't want to send something cheap or even necessarily useful. All but one of them lives in their own home. The one who is not in her own home is still active and lives in a senior community not a nursing home. One has lost much of their sight. 2 are in pretty bad health with major problems but still have a zest for life.
If any of you have ideas I am all ears.


Sydney said...

I love to think of just the right gift for people, Lynn. My mother has alzheimers, and my Dad was in an assisted living home for a few years with a caregiver we hired for him because he wasn't really able to be in assisted living (but we didn't want the nursing home)... So I have needed to buy for this age group for years. It depends widely on how active or up to date they are or how mentally there they are but here are some suggestions that might cover all of that...

I got those incredibly fuzzy cute socks (chenille like) for the gals or slippers and found white or black kind of tightly knit socks for the guys -- good for circulation probs, sore tootsies or diabetics. This is a geriatric sounding gift, but hey, it's what's going on at that age, lol.

If they have a CD player (I bought my dad one of those boom boxes with a CD player in it) there are great things on CD like "Great Speeches of the 20th Century" (check it out on Barnes and Noble/Amazon) or Lake WoeBegone or tapes from the old radio shows that they might love to hear again. Or songs from WWII or Big Bands

It's expensive, but there are great massagers for legs and feet at the Relax the Back store and Brookstone.

They also have massagers for every other body part, and relax the back or the back store has great Tempurpedic pillows and wedges etc.. for really making sleep comfortable.

Lovely book ideas for the ladies --Kitchen Table Wisdom or My Grandfather's Table, Marlo Thomas's book The Right Words at The Right Time. For men or women --The Five People You Meet In Heaven.

Is anyone active AND hip enough to use a NetFlicks subscription? If not, then how about a subscription to anything from Readers Digest to Scientific American to the Daily Word or something like that. Too bad Life Magazine is no longer. Maybe People comes closest?

If any of them still cook -- or bake cookies - how about getting them a new cookie sheet or two with those $19 Silpat liners?

Fab dominoes set? New bridge double deck 'o cards with a beautiful decoration on it? a tool for some hobby they have (ie: Men - wood working tool? Ladies who knit, some fab, unusual yarn).

Not all older folks are used to this, but a Gift certificate for a theraputic massage (even if the local person comes to their house?). A manicure for the ladies or if the men were from that era, an old fashioned barbershop shave (that would take a little research on your part in their area).

If they do know how to work a DVD at home, there ar wonderful Boxed sets of old movies by director or actor. One all round crowd pleaser can be the singles or 4 DVD boxed set of "That's Entertainment".

Lastly, it never hurts to make up a photo album or a DVD of old photos, and you can make the same for each sibling. It's always nice if you can seek old ones they haven't seen in years, of them in their prime, or the best times of their lives.

I hope you aren't sorry you asked. I could come up with dozens more!

PS: I was in Boston in Bird's heyday and LOVED the CELTICS!!! Did a few commercials with them, and it was the only time I was super into a sport.

Sydney said...

I think Dr. Scholls made the tight socks and they came in several lengths...

lynn1 said...

Thanks Sydney! You really gave me several great ideas.
Some of your suggestions were so perfect for my elderly Aunts and Uncles that I wonder if you know them! LOL

Sydney said...

lol -- another thing I thought of last night--bird feeders... or a six month supply of bird seed which can be quite expensive for older folks but the return is great. Not only can it give them something to do -- filling feeders, and give a little exercise, the joy of watching them come and visit can fill many an idle hour.

Laurie said...

Sydney, you are brilliant!

When my grandma was alive I would give her a box of all occasion cards that I had picked out (knowing her taste) and add stamps and stickers and a nice pen. She loved those and asked for them each year after I started. She enjoyed writing notes in cards to all her family and the friends who were left.

meb said...

Sydney... you are incredible. Those are some of the best ideas. I think I'll print this and give it to my daughter and grandkids. I could use some of these things myself.

Lynn1... I'm almost the age of your relatives, and I have no ideas whatsoever. Sydney took them all. Smile

my wv is mydrat...and that's the truth!

Sydney said...

LOL Meb--

I'm glad these were of help to you Lynn1. Makes me smile and feel warm all over.

And Laurie, that is a great great idea, and I may steal that!