Christmas Gift for an Elderly Woman
December 10, 2017 6:21 AM   Subscribe

What do you get a 83 year old woman who watches Fox News all day? I am stumped. She wants for nothing, doesn't really need anything.
posted by zzazazz to Human Relations (29 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Is this a relative of yours? Family photo stuff is my go to in this situation -- a custom photobook, photo mug, a digital photo frame preloaded with your family photos, etc etc.
posted by telegraph at 6:25 AM on December 10, 2017 [5 favorites]

The fancy version of whatever she likes to eat or drink? Cookies, crackers, treats, honey, candied nuts.

A coffee table book?
posted by lafemma at 6:27 AM on December 10, 2017 [7 favorites]

Bottle of port or sherry if she drinks.
posted by zadcat at 6:30 AM on December 10, 2017 [4 favorites]

Flowers and/or edible arrangements. Something she can use up.
posted by RainyJay at 6:30 AM on December 10, 2017 [4 favorites]

Something consumable like really nice lotion or small and decorative like a pretty scarf.
posted by Candleman at 6:45 AM on December 10, 2017 [3 favorites]

If the weather is cold where she lives, a nice shawl might be enjoyed -- they make them with pockets, which can be very handy and is novel enough to make a good present.
posted by halation at 6:59 AM on December 10, 2017 [3 favorites]

A subscription to netflix?
posted by trig at 7:01 AM on December 10, 2017 [4 favorites]

Postage stamps.
posted by Carol Anne at 7:13 AM on December 10, 2017 [2 favorites]

Videos/movies she _hasn't_ seen yet. I like "The Good Place".
posted by amtho at 7:13 AM on December 10, 2017

posted by Stewriffic at 7:28 AM on December 10, 2017 [1 favorite]

A subscription to Reminisce Magazine. "Reminisce is North America’s top-selling nostalgia magazine, which takes readers on a sentimental ride back to the 40s, 50s, 60s, early 70s and beyond."
posted by gudrun at 7:43 AM on December 10, 2017 [7 favorites]

Some sort of a subscription for flower delivery once a month for a year, or so? Unless she has allergies, everyone likes flowers, and it would likely be a nice "surprise" every time they showed up.
posted by hasna at 7:45 AM on December 10, 2017 [3 favorites]

Wireless earphones for the tv. Useful if her hearing isn't perfect and saves others from having to listen to that drivel, I mean fox...
posted by Northbysomewhatcrazy at 7:50 AM on December 10, 2017 [2 favorites]

Things I have given older relatives:

A cute page-a-day calendar
A fancy dish soap set
Cute socks
Books I thought they'd enjoy
A cross-stitch of a family cabin we have memories of being together in
Ice cream toppings
Tree ornaments
Cool dish towels
posted by metasarah at 7:51 AM on December 10, 2017 [3 favorites]

Figi's catalog has a lot of gift-appropriate foods. Cheese, chocolate, cookies, cakes. Even diabetic sweets.
posted by fingersandtoes at 7:54 AM on December 10, 2017 [1 favorite]

Did you get Gram in the gift exchange? At 83, people often have too much stuff, so consumables are nice - fudge, perfume, tasty foods. A basket with nice cheeses, salami, mustard, crackers, etc., can be put together with a visit to a good deli. Unless you know she doesn't drink, add a bottle or 2 of wine. In her 80s, my Mom was delighted with a cd of music from her youth. For someone born in 1934, that would be early rock-n-roll, so a little Elvis Presley might be a hit. If you have family pictures, a photo frame well-loaded with photos.
posted by theora55 at 8:43 AM on December 10, 2017 [4 favorites]

Oh, coming back to add, crochet top Christmas towels. There are tons on etsy. Example.
posted by gudrun at 8:52 AM on December 10, 2017

Take her out to dinner? A shared experience would be nice.
posted by latkes at 9:07 AM on December 10, 2017 [9 favorites]

Spend time with her. Take her somewhere. Old people want to see the people they love (usually) more than anything. It's boring but it is the one thing they want. And the one thing lots of elderly are afraid to ask for.
posted by cairnoflore at 9:48 AM on December 10, 2017 [15 favorites]

Riffing on cairnoflore and latkes - experiential gifts. Movie tickets, museum/botanical garden/opera membership, gift certificate to a nice restaurant, concert or broadway show tickets. If you live in the same town, perhaps you can take her.
posted by bunderful at 10:08 AM on December 10, 2017 [1 favorite]

The safest gift I know of is really nice soap. My first choice would be handcrafted soap fragranced with essential oils. (There are a lot of great soaps made with fragrance other than essential oils, but there are a lot made with cheap-smelling fragrance oils, too.) Etsy or your local farmer's market are good sources. If neither of those work for you, Caswell-Massey, Crabtree & Evelyn, The Body Shop, and L'Occitane are good sources.

These particular Crabtree & Evelyn soaps are what got me to stop using regular grocery store soap, years ago. I got one in a hotel and it was just so much nicer than anything I'd used up to that point.

Disclaimer: I used to make and sell soap. I'm not selling my soap currently, though, and no longer have an Etsy page.
posted by MexicanYenta at 10:41 AM on December 10, 2017 [2 favorites]

Some music (when my Nana was alive, I aimed for albums that showed how young whippersnappers could still have classic style and traditional sensibilities — she wasn’t Fox-News-conservative but still somewhat conservative).

Echoing that consumables are the best for anyone who already has plenty of “stuff.” Chocolate, wine, tea, coffee, or cheese.

Nana also swore by Harry and David’s pears, for what it’s worth.
posted by armeowda at 12:48 PM on December 10, 2017 [2 favorites]

Sennheiser wireless headphones are wonderful gifts for anyone who is hard of hearing. It's a simple set-up and the headphones charge on the transmitter base. The headphones also make it possible for the hard of hearing and not hard of hearing to watch a television show together at a comfortable audio level for each person.

nthing time spent with her, either at home or out and about.
posted by jointhedance at 1:55 PM on December 10, 2017 [2 favorites]

My grandma has requested that everyone donate to Heifer International in her honor in lieu of a Christmas present, and write her a long, newsy letter about their lives. Is there a charity she supports you would feel comfortable donating to in her honor?
posted by ChuraChura at 6:40 PM on December 10, 2017 [1 favorite]

Amaryllis tend to be my gift for older relatives who want for nothing. I also often get my aunt & godmother fancy tea. This year it is a Turmeric Elderberry Ginger tea from a local company because my aunt's been talking about enjoying a tumeric ginger tea for her inflammation.
posted by carrioncomfort at 6:30 AM on December 11, 2017 [1 favorite]

A cosy blanket she could wrap herself with while watching TV? A bean bag cushion lap tray?
posted by longjump at 7:22 AM on December 11, 2017

Scrap book or new photo album along with pictures...I've realized my 86 year old widowed mother loves to go over photographs and reminisce over memories. She has been requesting copies of pictures we post of Facebook that she doesn't get to see and happily puts them in a photo album. She loves to show off these old and new pictures to friends and family plus it keeps her in the loop with our busy lives.
posted by IndigoOnTheGo at 8:45 AM on December 11, 2017

A blanket or robe is a great go-to for this age range, as they tend to be cold a lot of the time.
posted by DrAstroZoom at 8:49 AM on December 11, 2017 [1 favorite]

I purchased a subscription to Reminisce Magazine and she loves it, FYI.
posted by zzazazz at 11:35 AM on February 12, 2018 [2 favorites]

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