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Thread: Gift for 90 year old grandmother

  1. #1
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    Sep 2000
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    Question Gift for 90 year old grandmother

    DH's grandmother turned 90 this summer and recently moved in with my in-laws. My question is: What do you get for someone who has everything and really doesn't need any more "stuff" because she's not even living in her own house anymore??

    We were too late in thinking about a family photo when everyone was here for Thanksgiving. Who knows when everybody can get together again, especially in the next 3 weeks. (we're in 4 states)

    Any suggestions?? TIA
    "Life is a cookie."
    Alan Arkin, Grosse Pointe Blank

  2. #2
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    How about Harry and David goodies? They make a small basket with a couple of their famous pears, a couple apples, some cheese and candy. I think we are sending that to our grandparents this year--I already ordered my dad a big box of pears. Food is perfect for folks who don't need things; everyone has to eat.

    Alternatively, you could bake a box of pumpkin bread, holiday cookies or other treats.
    For you to be here now, trillions of drifting atoms had somehow to assemble in an intricate and intriguingly obliging manner to create you. It's an arrangement so specialized and particular that it has never been tried before and will only exist this once.

    --Bill Bryson, "A Short History of Nearly Everything"

  3. #3
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    Mar 2001
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    Orange County, CA,
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    Hi,

    Im in the same boat as you. My grandma just moved in to my parents house and has everything. Are you nearby to your "grandma in law'? Maybe you could make her a nice card and have it as a promise to make a special dinner and time together for the three of you? One thing my grandma misses is her friends in her old community. Is there a way to help her get out and make new friends?
    I guess what Im saying is perhaps the best gift would be time, with you and your DH, or helping her in her new environment.

  4. #4
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    I have a similar situation - my 84-year old grandmother is in a retirement apartment and in the past few weeks has been in very bad health (she is in the process of being put on a wait-list for a more intermediate level of care). Her memory is very poor, so it seems like every year I try to do something nice and she remembers for about 5 minutes. It's a bit frustrating, but I love her so I make something nice despite the fact that I know she'll forget!

    Anyway, what I'm doing this year is making up a calendar with family photos for each month, and all family's important dates on it. I'll use pictures of her and my grandfather (passed away), us as kids, a photo of her childhood home, current photos of me and DH, etc. I'll also include a basket with some of her favourite goodies (cookies, etc.) but she doesn't eat much so it will be small.

    The funny thing about this is, that I made similar calendars for her a few years ago, about two Christmases in a row. Instead of using them as calendars, she put them in plastic sleeves and carried them around to show her friends how smart I was!! So I haven't done it the past few years. Last time my mom was over to see her, she mentioned that one of her friends had such a calendar that a relative had made for her. My mom said "Jen used to make you those calendars for Christmas"...and her response was "Well, you know I don't remember anything from more than 8 minutes ago!". Anyway, mom suggested I make the calendar again since it seems like she likes them! It's a bit of work, but if you don't have the time/stuff to make them, there are places that will do it for you (although I think you'd have to mark in the important dates yourself).

  5. #5
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    My grandmother is 86. I've ordered her a coffee mug (she drinks it every morning) with our second child one it. I gave her one with our other DD on it a couple of years ago. She LOVES having coffee with her grandchild every morning. I actually ordered mine at Publix. Very convenient and ready in only 2 weeks. They do the calendars, ornaments, and other things too. Last year I gave a nice picture frame for wallet size photos so she can display pictures of great grand babies (she has 8!)

    Leigh
    "Mommy, Can we Please, Please, Please have spinach for dinner?" DD2(age 6)

  6. #6
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    How about gathering photos from family members and making a 12 month calendar. That way she would get family photos and not everyone has to be available at the same time! I think Wal Mart and Target photo centers make calendars or someone in the family might be able to do one on their computer.

    My 92 year old grandma loves when people bake her cookies. She also loves chocolate. A small box of chocolates could be much appreciated.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2000
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    I usually go with food gifts for our grandparents, although that can be hard sometimes because of dietary restrictions. A small box of fresh Florida oranges and grapefruits, or a gift box of apples and cider from our local orchard goes over well.

    If she enjoys reading, how about a large-print subscription to a magazine that she might enjoy? Those photo calendars are a great idea too!

  8. #8
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    My grandmother liked sweets (cookies, cakes) You could get her a basket with homemade cookies, a tea pot a nice cup and saucer for her teapot and a cover for the teapot to keep it warm. If she is not a tea lover but coffee you can get her coffee and add scones or cookies, breads.
    You could also give her the gift of time. If her health is good take her out for brunch or lunch. Take her to a movie or a play. Or just do something simple but special with her. Treat her to a day at the Beauty Parlor with you then celebrate having some coffee.
    Sometimes the simplest things are the most cheerish ones.

  9. #9
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    I love the idea of a calendar with family pictures on it! My Grandmother loved her pictures. We used to joke because her purse was heavy that it was mostly pictures of her grand and great grand children.

    My Mom is 82 and still lives in her own cluttered home and needs nothing but work on the house, which is another long, frustrating story. She really needs to consider assisted living but is too stubborn. She has confusion with what day it is, the time of day, etc. She also has been known to confuse birthdays and anniversaries and misplace phone numbers and addresses.

    This Christmas I got her a small dayrunner with a 3 year calendar and address book. I am going to put everyone's birthdays, addresses, etc. in it. I'm also going to buy her one of those clocks that includes the date, day of the week, time and temperature.

    Vanessa's idea of the hair dresser's is a great idea too. Many ladies in that age group still have their weekly shampoo/set. My Mom goes every Wednesday. Last year, I bought her a manicure and pedicure at her hair salon. She wasn't receptive to getting a pedicure so she was able to get 2 manicures instead.
    Life is all about a$$; you're either covering it, laughing it off, kicking it, kissing it, busting it, trying to get a piece of it, behaving like one, or you live with one.

    Maxine

  10. #10
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    I'm in the same boat as the rest of you. My grandmother is 88 and has quite a few dietary restrictions and I am always thinking of things that won't clutter her home. Although this year she asked my sister and I for a foot massager! Last year I ordered a lovely Christmas arrangement, which she loved, one year she wanted a small pearl earrings. Books are also an option, since she loves to read. I think she'll read the book, then give away to her local library.
    Chris

  11. #11
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    Rochester, NY
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    One of the gifts my grandfather really enjoyed was CD's of the old music & programs he used to listen to on the radio. I bought them through the catalog you get from PBS but I think they are available at the Museum company stores, too.

    If you can't get everyone together for a family photo, could you do a collage and then frame it? Everyone could send you a snapshot and you could cut them out and group them together. That would be really nice coming from you, an in-law.

    When my mom turned 60 I made a book of 60 memories. My dad and brother helped, as well as DH, SIL and my kids. She really liked it. I just copied all the "memories" into a blank book.

    I also think a nice polar fleece throw is a great gift, especially for someone who isn't really active.

  12. #12
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    Mar 2001
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    IL
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    My first thought was scrapbook of photos, or a calendar.

    However, a nice pin or scarf is something I know my grandmothers liked. One grandmother passed away this past May, and my other turned 90 this past summer too, and is in a nursing home now too, after living with my parents for many years.

  13. #13
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    Aug 2001
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    Los Angeles, CA
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    My grandmother passed away this year, so this will be our first Christmas without her. Last year I got her some perfumed lotions and creams. Her skin frequently got dry and she wasn't able to wear most perfumes because even the lightly fragranced ones were too strong for her. The fragranced lotions and creams left her with just a hint of a "pretty" smell and her skin was much softer and moister. She loved them!

    Good luck with your shopping.

    Lorie

  14. #14
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    Thank you all soooooo much! I took some of these ideas to DH and we called around to his brothers & sisters and decided that we would compile a scrapbook of Christmas memories. We're going to get pictures of her daughter (my MIL), her 5 grandkids, and the 9 great-grandkids from Christmas past. She has always had a refrigerator full of pictures. Since she doesn't have her own fridge now, this will be a wonderful, lasting memory for her- something she can look at over and over.

    The food gifts were my first thought, but her health isn't 100% so we didn't want to get her anything she couldn't (or shouldn't) eat. Besides, my in-laws are pretty well stocked in the food department, so I don't think they'd need any more.
    "Life is a cookie."
    Alan Arkin, Grosse Pointe Blank

  15. #15
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    Dec 2001
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    Central Massachusetts
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    90's Christmas

    Hi! My Gram was in a nursing home only for the last three months of her life, so we were very fortunate- however, she lost her memory to Alzheimers long before that. One thing she did remember was the things she used to do as a girl, such as needlepoint and cross-stitch. For the last few Christmas's, I have made my Gram and my DH's Gram both a cross-stitched framed piece that might have some meaning for them. I think they both appreciated the "hand-made" qualities, although they variously identified the maker as "my great grand-neice" (vs. grand-daughter) and "that girl Dickie married" (which would be my Mother-in-Law) *BG*
    JoAtHome
    "How many places are there without there is something in the way between them, if you go?"...
    "We are what we walk between."
    -David Wallace Foster

  16. #16
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    andrea, it sounds like you've already made up your mind, but i just wanted to put in my $.02! my grandma is 89 this year. one thing DH and I have been doing for various holidays (mother's day, bday, holidays, etc.) lately is buying her a gift certificate to a restaurant. then, we take her out for the evening with it. it's nice because she doesn't get out too often, and then she doesn't have to cook!

    this year, i'm also going to make her a batch of tiramisu, since she LOVES sweets and tiramisu is one of her favorites.

    and whoever mentioned harry & davids, can i be your grandma?!?!

    marisa

  17. #17
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    Dec 2000
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    Andrea-
    Maybe you could include some sugar-free candies with your gift. My 83 yr old grandad loves sweets, but can't have them anymore. He misses his sweets a lot, and rather than having him sneak something full of sugar from the kitchen (don't know if your grandma does this or not), or send him candies that he shouldn't eat but does anyway, we got him some sugar free hard candies that taste very much like the real thing. Even my mom's mom likes the kind that we get, and she has to be careful about what artificial sweeteners she eats. I know you've made up your mind, but maybe that will give someone else a gift idea.

    Jen
    "It covers your bread like a stinkyfishy tarp
    I know it isn't butter
    But I can't believe it's carp!"

    Kenny Blankenship and Vic Romano, Most Extreme Elimination Challenge

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
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    Renton, WA
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    I got my 86 year old Grandma the perfect gift this year. I made it! I made everyone Fleece Body Warmers this year, but if you don't have time to make one, you can buy one from the people who I stole the idea from! I made 30 of those puppies this year, and have packaged 21 as gifts this week!

    www.flaxseedbodywarmers.com

    Grandma has arthritis, and also always seems to be cold! She can nuke this in the microwave for 3 minutes and wrap it around her ankle or her neck and stay toasty warm for up to an hour. All of mine are made of fleece, but the above site also sells them in a nice cotton velour. Of course, mine are fleece because they're snugglier! Just an idea! If she has access to a microwave, I think it's a great gift for an older person, male or female! And yes...I have extras!
    ~ "The right shoe can change your life...."- Cinderella ~

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