Few things are as daunting as the task of picking out a birthday gift for an 80-year-old. After all, what do you get for someone who’s lived through I Love Lucy and The Big Bang theory, vinyl records and Spotify, Ford’s Model T and Tesla’s Model S? Some octogenarians may have downsized their lives and tangible gifts might just be an inconvenience. Others may perhaps hope for something sentimental that remind them of yesteryears. While every octogenarian is unique, with their own interests and hobbies, I’ve rounded up 35 gift ideas that just might bring a twinkle to their eye.
When selecting a gift, think practical, yet nostalgic. Many items from their youth have been reincarnated in more modern forms and can make for a nostalgic and enjoyable gift. Or perhaps the way to their heart is through the gift of time and companionship. Regardless, keep in mind that your thoughtfulness and well wishes are the greatest gifts of all.
Now, without further ado, here are 35 gift suggestions that range from the practical to the sentimental to the downright fun. Each one comes with a unique write-up and hopefully, a hint of inspiration for your octogenarian gift-giving challenge.
1. Audiobooks: For the bookworms whose eyesight might not be what it used to be, a membership to Audible could be a delightful surprise. Listen to the classics of their youth or delve into the bestsellers of today – audiobooks can be enjoyed anywhere, anytime.
2. Digital Photo Frame: These aren’t the clunky black-boxes of yesteryears. Modern digital photo frames are sleek, high-resolution and can store hundreds of photos that rotate endlessly. A wonderful gift to showcase family memories.
3. Personalized Calendars: For those who still appreciate hard-copy organization, a personalized calendar full of family photos can be a joyous way to keep track of the days and birthdays.
4. Classic Movies Collection: Collect some of their favorite old films – ones that they can watch over and over again. It may not be a Netflix subscription, but nostalgia sure has a charm of its own.
5. Nostalgic Music Compilation: Music can be a source of comfort and joy. Create a personal compilation of their favorite tunes, or find recordings of popular music from their youth.
6. Ancestry DNA Kit: Gift them the adventure of tracing their roots. They can discover their ethnic mix and potentially connect with relatives they didn’t even know they had!
7. Custom Star Map: Commemorate a special date (like their birthday) with a custom star map, which showcases the alignment of the stars on that specific day.
8. Plush Robe: A luxurious, plush robe can turn everyday living into a spa-like experience. Find one in their favorite color for added warmth and coziness.
9. Custom-made Jewelry: You could choose a pendant with their initials, or a ring featuring the birthstones of their grandchildren.
10. Gardening Toolset: For the green-thumbed, a lightweight, ergonomic and high-quality gardening toolset can bring immense joy.
11. Nostalgic Candy: Score major points sending them a box of nostalgic candy from their childhood years. Comfort food indeed!
12. Technology Classes: Gift them a series of technology classes tailored for seniors. It’s never too late to learn about the latest smartphones or how to use Skype!
13. Subscription to a Magazine: An engaging gift that keeps giving throughout the year.
14. A Luxurious Blanket: Comfort comes in the form of a plush, oversized blanket during those chilly nights.
15. Elevated Toilet Seat: Not glamorous, but combining comfort, safety, and usability, this practical gift is sure to be appreciated.
16. The New York Times Custom Birthday Book: A collection of newspaper pages from every year since their birth – like a personalized history book.
17. Memory Journal: A journal to help them jot down and cherish their life’s biggest moments and memories.
18. Personalized Puzzle: A custom puzzle featuring a family photo, bridging enjoyment and memories in one gift.
19. Walking Stick with Seat: For the active but easily tired, this practical gift allows them to rest anywhere, anytime.
20. Bird Feeder: Invite nature in! A bird feeder can be a delightful gift, offering hours of contemplative enjoyment.
21. A House Cleaning Service: A few sessions with a house cleaning service can provide a welcome break from daily chores.
22. Memory Foam Slippers: Plush, cozy, and comfortable – they’ll likely become a part of their daily attire!
23. Custom Engraved Watch: A watch engraved with a meaningful message can be a touching and functional gift.
24. Massaging Heated Wrap: For the octogenarian with aching joints, this could bring much-needed relief.
25. Personalized Storybook: A storybook centered around their life stories is sure to become a cherished family keepsake.
26. Pre-Made Meals Subscription: This can be a helpful, practical gift that ensures they have nutritious meals without the stress of grocery shopping and cooking.
27. Beautiful Plants: A blooming plant is not just beautiful to look at, it also purifies the air.
28. Heirloom Seeds: Help them start a heirloom plant or vegetable garden that can be a gift to future generations.
29. Classic Board Games Collection: Gift a collection of classic board games like Scrabble or Checkers that they can play with grandchildren.
30. Personalized Wine: A bottle of wine customized with their name – for wine, like them, only gets better with age!
31. Guided City Tour: A guided tour in their city can help them explore sights they have never seen or knew existed.
32. Seniors Exercise DVD: Keep them active and healthy!
33. Portable Garden Kneeler: This can aid in their gardening activities and double as a seat too!
34. Weighted Blanket: For the insomniac Stevie Nicks fans (remember her hit “Landslide?”), a weighted blanket may be just the trick to lull them into “\_\_dreams\_\_” (pun intended).
35. Hands-free Neck Light: For those who love reading in bed or crafting, this light provides focussed illumination without occupying their hands.
Remember, the best gifts are those that show love, care, and understanding. So, go bring joy to the octogenarian in your life with these unique gift ideas! Happy shopping.