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2017 Holiday gift guide for the senior who has everything

Senior Woman on Christmas


Cynthia Dermody - published on 12/14/17

10 affordable, practical gifts that still pack a lot of thought.

Whether it’s your mom, grandfather, co-worker or neighbor, our senior friends and relatives are often the hardest people to buy for. It’s a challenge to try to find a gift that’s original and yet modest enough to be affordable but still meaningful.

In this case, you just can’t go wrong with a simple, practical gift that a senior can actually use every day. We’ve included some helpful links to let you order (and receive) right away, but you can get these or versions of them almost anywhere, in a wide range of price points to fit your budget. Happy shopping!

1.   Mongrammed stationary and a book of stamps


Stationery is always a beautiful gift, but it’s that extra step of getting it personalized with their name that will make this gesture so special. Tiny Prints offers tons of choices for as little as .89 cents per card. Throw in a book of pretty stamps, like these Botanical Art Forever stamps, so your loved one can keep in touch with grandchildren and friends in a way that’s a lot more meaningful and lasting than an email.

2. Pretty picture frame

Picture Frames

A picture frame is hardly an original gift — but it’s always a thoughtful and needed one, especially if you wrap it up with a special photo already inside, whether it’s a forgotten family treasure from a box in the attic, or a new image straight from your phone’s camera roll. These rustic white and blue frames have a vintage flair that would look especially great with a black and white image.

3. Alarm clock that simulates the sun

Clock Product

Wintertime is full of gray, cold days that can depress even the happiest person. This brilliant alarm clock simulates the natural light of the sun to help your loved one wake more refreshed and energetic. And a bonus: it doubles as a bedside reading lamp.

4. Classic film collection

Classic Movies

“You just can’t find a good old movie anymore” is probably a familiar refrain from your friend, what with Netflix originals dominating the entertainment horizon. TMC has several classic film collections that you simply pop into the DVD and watch whenever you want — no complicated streaming instructions necessary.

5. A digital photo frame

Digital Picture Frame

This takes the picture frame idea to a high-tech level — but one that’s not too complicated for your non-techie friend or relative. That’s because it allows you to email photos directly to the frame. You set it up, and the receiver doesn’t have to do a thing except wait for the next lovely photo of the grandkids or last night’s sunset to appear!

6. A pretty sun catcher

Stained Glass

Because everyone could use a little bit of light and color every day.

7. An easy-to-install bird feeder

Bird feeder

There’s nothing more therapeutic than sitting at the kitchen table with a cup of tea watching the birds flutter by. But some bird feeders can be a pain to maintain. This simple, lightweight set-up attaches to the window with suction cups with minimal effort. The birds are so close they might not even need their glasses. 

8. A crossword puzzle book

Crossword Book

A fun and mind-sharpening gift to spend hours with by the fire … or a few minutes while waiting at the doctor’s office.

9. A cookbook for two


Retirees don’t always enjoy cooking, or know what to make every night, especially if it’s just them. But we want them to keep eating, and keep healthy. The Cooking for Two Cookbook by America’s Test Kitchen includes reengineered 650 classic recipes to serve just two (and if there’s only one at home … leftovers!). From beef stew to lasagna to fluffy yellow cake — there’s nothing too fancy, complicated, or trendy here, but with a scientific precision that always makes it come out great, whether you love to cook or not.

10. Cards

Playing Cards
Personalization Mall

You can pick these up anywhere, get them personalized for an added touch — but the point is not the gift but your time. Make a recurring date to get together for rummy or poker. Bring some cookies, make some hot chocolate or tea. Helping someone, especially a senior who may have lost their spouse or that lives far away from their family, feel less lonely throughout the year is the best Christmas gift you could ever give.


Read more:
12 Gift ideas for priests, nuns and religious

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