Author Topic: Ideas for a creative gift for a 97-year-old?  (Read 2462 times)

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Starr

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Ideas for a creative gift for a 97-year-old?
« on: November 24, 2012, 12:16:23 AM »
Hello everyone!  I don't post here much, but I could use some of the Internet's collective wisdom for a project I'm taking on.

I have an elderly relative who is turning (I believe) 97 this December.  I was trying to think of a gift for her birthday, but she seems to have everything she needs, and she doesn't enjoy outings such as the movies or going out to eat at a restaurant.  I recently saw a series of DVDs at the store called something like "the decade you were born" - they have them for the 60s, 70s, 80s, and 90s, but of course, not for the 1910s!   :)  I assume the DVDs go through what was popular in that decade.

My great-aunt doesn't have a DVD player (or even a CD player - a non-cable TV is about as tech savvy as she gets), but I thought something along the same lines (remembering her childhood/youth) might be a fun gift.  Anyone have any fun ideas?  I thought about perhaps candy brands or snacks from the 1910s and 20s, but I would have to order them online, and it could be pricey.  She was born in 1915, I believe.

Thanks for the help!

cicero

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Re: Ideas for a creative gift for a 97-year-old?
« Reply #1 on: November 24, 2012, 03:38:49 AM »
Maybe a copy of a first page of a newspaper from that time? or a tote bag/coffee mug with "old" advertisements?

But does she really need a gift? if she has everything she needs and doesn't like going out, maybe just spend some time with her? in person or on the phone?

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mechtilde

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Re: Ideas for a creative gift for a 97-year-old?
« Reply #2 on: November 24, 2012, 03:55:44 AM »
Candies are a great idea- I've known them to be used in reminiscence boxes for organised by a local museum education service.

You may not have to order the candy online- I don't know how it is with you, but here in the UK we still eat a lot of candies which were around then- you'd be surprised how old jelly babies and liqorice allsorts are!

Could you go for generic rather than brands? Things like saltwater taffy?
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Brisvegasgal

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Re: Ideas for a creative gift for a 97-year-old?
« Reply #3 on: November 24, 2012, 05:53:19 AM »
Not really creative...but I always bought my granny toilet paper. The good stuff mind you and enough to last her a few months.  As a lady who remembered the Great Depression she really appreciated it.

faithlessone

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Re: Ideas for a creative gift for a 97-year-old?
« Reply #4 on: November 24, 2012, 07:09:21 AM »
To be honest, for someone that old, I wouldn't stick to just the decade she was born.

How about something / a few things for each decade she's been around - something from the 1910s, 20s, 30s, 40s etc... Celebrate the fact that she's lived through all this amazing history, and is still here! If it's possible, you could take it and spend the day with her, getting her to tell you all the stories that she remembers.

(I've done this with my own great-aunt, when she turned 95 last year, and it went down really well!)

Does that sound like something she might like?

MrsCrazyPete

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Re: Ideas for a creative gift for a 97-year-old?
« Reply #5 on: November 24, 2012, 07:23:20 AM »
What about a history of her family tree? Ancestry.com is very user-friendly, you could go there and look stuff up about all of her family. Then copy it out nicely on a large piece of card stock and have it framed.

Sell crazy somewhere else, we're all stocked up here.

bonyk

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Re: Ideas for a creative gift for a 97-year-old?
« Reply #6 on: November 24, 2012, 07:44:50 AM »
To be honest, for someone that old, I wouldn't stick to just the decade she was born.

How about something / a few things for each decade she's been around - something from the 1910s, 20s, 30s, 40s etc... Celebrate the fact that she's lived through all this amazing history, and is still here! If it's possible, you could take it and spend the day with her, getting her to tell you all the stories that she remembers.

(I've done this with my own great-aunt, when she turned 95 last year, and it went down really well!)

Does that sound like something she might like?

I like this!

Luci

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Re: Ideas for a creative gift for a 97-year-old?
« Reply #7 on: November 24, 2012, 08:56:57 AM »
What about a history of her family tree? Ancestry.com is very user-friendly, you could go there and look stuff up about all of her family. Then copy it out nicely on a large piece of card stock and have it framed.

If you use that site, or any online genealogy site, be sure to doublecheck ALL 'facts'. My family's page is rife with misinformation, and even though I have documentation, I can't correct it. They tell me I can, but I can't.

(My great-grandmother's middle name is wrong, and her daughter's date of death is 22 years earlier than it happened. At least the date and place of birth are correct.)

rose red

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Re: Ideas for a creative gift for a 97-year-old?
« Reply #8 on: November 24, 2012, 10:12:06 AM »
To be honest, for someone that old, I wouldn't stick to just the decade she was born.

How about something / a few things for each decade she's been around - something from the 1910s, 20s, 30s, 40s etc... Celebrate the fact that she's lived through all this amazing history, and is still here! If it's possible, you could take it and spend the day with her, getting her to tell you all the stories that she remembers.

(I've done this with my own great-aunt, when she turned 95 last year, and it went down really well!)

Does that sound like something she might like?

I like this!

Me too.   She probably won't even remember the 1910's, but she most likely remember her childhood, her teens, 20's, 30's, etc. 

It's fun to read about the year you were born, but I know I don't feel nostalgic for the early 70's because even though I was here, I don't remember those years.

jpcher

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Re: Ideas for a creative gift for a 97-year-old?
« Reply #9 on: November 24, 2012, 02:05:07 PM »
This is a far reach, but if she has great/grandchildren, possibly get them all together to reenact the story of her life highlighting certain events (her 16th bday, when she got married, her first child, etc.) along with news around the world that was happening during these times of her life.



I think I'm remembering a Bill Cosby episode where the family got together and did something like this for the grandparents anniversary.

Outdoor Girl

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Re: Ideas for a creative gift for a 97-year-old?
« Reply #10 on: November 24, 2012, 02:08:49 PM »
How about getting one of those electronic picture frames?  Then get pictures of things from the various decades to do your own little slide show.  You could also include as many family photos as you can get your hands one.  But in this case, I'd start with the most recent and work your way back.
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happygrrl

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Re: Ideas for a creative gift for a 97-year-old?
« Reply #11 on: November 24, 2012, 02:54:52 PM »
I love the electronic pic fram idea!

The New York Times used to have reproductions of its paper that you could buy for a certain date. If you could fine out her exact birthday, that might be an idea. (Although, I don't know the cost)
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Starr

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Re: Ideas for a creative gift for a 97-year-old?
« Reply #12 on: November 24, 2012, 03:39:18 PM »
Thanks for all the ideas!  The suggestion of buying quality toilet paper made me laugh, but it makes so much sense.  A little luxury in life!  :)  I don't know if I would give it for her birthday, but I might bring her some Charmin the next time we drop off her monthly medication!

I do know that I shouldn't feel compelled to buy her "things," but I want to make her birthday special.  We already visit with her often, and plan to do so for her birthday, but it's not really "special" since we visit often.  She also doesn't have any children - just some more distant relatives left, most of whom live out of town.  She's actually both my great-great-aunt and a distant cousin - she and her cousin (my great-grandmother) married brothers!

To be honest, I'm not sure she would understand how to use an electronic picture frame.  We bought one for my great-grandmother a few years ago and she didn't really get the purpose - she would only plug it in for a few minutes every few months!  I made her a calendar with pictures for Christmas as a sort of "low-tech" alternative along the same lines.

I think the suggestion of putting together a few things from the 10s, 20s, 30s, etc. might be the way to go.  I had no idea so many candies and drinks from the 20s and 30s are still popular today.  Maybe a gift of some snack foods and candies from that time would be a good idea after all.  She lives in an apartment in a senior living community and likes to keep snack-y food on hand.