Every year I ask my mother-in-law, Suz, for my annual favor – to crowdsource from her friends what Boomer moms really want for Christmas. When we first started this series I was shocked and enlightened at some of the answers (no more framed photos, yes to more experiences). Most Boomers are downsizing, have too much stuff and yet have finite dough (most are retired) so they are gratefully very specific about what to get and NOT to get them. Suz and her friends did it again which I can’t thank them enough. Ladies, I owe you a round of golf on me:) Take it away Suz!
Let me begin by thanking many friends who provided me with their best gift ideas and memories. All of us ladies over 70 agree that we don’t want cutesy vases or ceramic decorations as we are all trying to downsize and be rid of those things. Rather, we want experiences and new learning opportunities to keep that dementia devil at bay.
Here we go:
We all suffer from dry skin. We go through body lotions by the gallon. Sunscreen creams too. Just check to make sure they aren’t heavily scented or too thin. These three are highly rated!
Most of us dread wearing sandals and flip-flops in the summer as our feet have become shriveled and crusty. We love good home treatments like hydrating foot masks and callus removers.
One year my kids treated me to six months of pilates at my favorite studio. One of my all-time favorite gifts. If they don’t love or do pilates, find out what activity your mom or grandmother does like and treat them to it. It’s a guaranteed winner.
Pickleball is huge with our age group. I don’t play, but friends suggest paddles, balls, shoes & socks.
Bocce ball is all the rage too. If there is a club nearby that requires membership, that would be a good gift. But if they haven’t played before (or in a while) but you think they’d like it, consider grabbing them a set to play with.
Learning opportunities: In-person painting classes or even online virtual classes like a Foliage Fine Art Watercolor workshop looks like a good one.
Mahjong and bridge are very popular and lessons would be great.
I went kayaking for the first time in Whitefish, Montana with my best friend from college. Loved it and would love lessons. Paddleboarding lessons too! P.S. Check out Groupon for local options!
Lots of us golf and can always use balls, gloves, socks, golf lessons, and golf cart seat covers for winter when vinyl seats are cold.
Everyone loves cozy loungewear, PJs, nighties, or slippers. One friend loves slippers called Snoozies. They are washable which is always ideal.
We’re always in need of mani-pedis. Or a really nice spa day… Massages are also very welcome. Who doesn’t like a massage??
Love outings and would appreciate movie tickets, tickets for local theatre, lecture series, or concerts. Remember, experiences are the best.
So many of our friends are getting puppies or rescue dogs! I don’t get it, but any pet toys or gear would probably be a great gift.
One of my friends receives a bouquet of fresh flowers each month from her kids. Love that idea.
I had several suggestions from friends for capturing grandparents’ memories:
“My Life Story – So Far” from Uncommon Goods is great. I like it because it requires writing out answers to questions. Bob’s parents did something similar years ago and I like seeing the actual handwriting.
Storyworth is very popular too. Requires weekly email exchanges where questions are selected and all answers are compiled into a book at the end. A gift for them and you:)
A game called “Life Story Interview Kit” is a game in which children and grandchildren draw cards with questions for the grandparents. I love that this is interactive.
Digital picture frames are a hit with many friends. An easy way to experience your family and your adventures without the pictures taking over your home.
I love to garden and saw a cute gardening kit – INNO Stage makes a 10-piece gardening tools set with a storage bag and most importantly, a seat to save back strain.
A gift certificate to Green Acres or any local nursery would be loved by any gardener.
Membership in a wine club is a great gift for those who enjoy wine. These are great nationwide options but if they live by wine country, a local winery would be great too.
For rainy days and plane trips: Magazine subscriptions, adult coloring books, jigsaw puzzle books, and Sudoku books. Helps to have something fun to do and keep your mind working.
I still love paint-by-number kits, but not real complicated ones. There are so many great ones out there right now.
Another great idea that came up while having lunch with high school friends was one of them said her favorite gift was photo book called “What I Love About Grandma” (or Sue Sue, or Yaya, etc). Under the photos were captions from grands like “because she reads to me, because she hikes with me, bakes cookies, dances, etc.
For those who like perfume, that’s always a nice gift. Be sure to ask what’s a favorite. Personally, I love Grace by Philosophy.
Stylish jewelry is a great and thoughtful gift. My group and I like the layered chain look. It’s a big hit now.
One friend loved a gift of M&Ms with pictures of their grandkids on them. Great for someone with a sweet tooth.
Several friends said that one of their favorite gifts was a surprise weekend trip with just their adult children and no spouses. (No offense, Ems!) Other friends said they loved destination trips with their entire families. One was surprised in Hawaii when the whole clan showed up in shirts that matched her dress. Obviously, these are big gifts but so incredibly special if possible.
I love it when Brian and Emily fly the grandkids to our home for a week in the summer so Bobba and I can spoil them rotten. And last, but not least, we love handmade gifts and writings from our grandchildren. Also, for those of us who have grandchildren who live far away, a regularly scheduled, weekly FaceTime call would be great. It’s all about staying connected that means the most.
Thanks for reading and thank you to all my friends who gave their ideas. Hope this helps!