Friday, November 10, 2017

Great Gift Ideas for Empty Nesters

I listed these gifts ideas back in May (Y'all can read that post HERE) as good ideas for Empty Nest moms for Mother's Day but the more I think about it, the more I think these gift ideas need to be revisited for the holiday season. AND, I've thought of a couple more ideas!

Everyone with children in their lives understands the cherished memories treasures created by little hands bring. My Christmas tree holds many ornaments lovingly made by each of the lovelies. I remember who made each one and I am transported back to the days of raising my four daughters as I take each ornament out to place it on the tree each year and I will continue to cherish these special treasures forever.

There are several family members who are quite good at gift-giving. You can tell they took the time to think of each recipient while choosing the gifts. However, there is such a thing as overkill when giving gifts which happens when someone gets on a roll with certain gifts and continually gives them year after year. It's great when you're a kid who has grown up and needs Christmas musicals and ornaments for your very own house when you grow up but when you become an empty nester, you're simply left with hundreds of dust catchers. Not to mention a lack of appreciation for the same themed gift every year for 30 years. You end up with too much of a good thing.

When you are buying for empty nesters or older parents who have long retired and maybe downsized their homes, the usual gifts do not seem quite right so I've tried to think more of useful gifts. Gifts that won't clutter up their homes. Gifts that are meaningful and fun.

Gift Ideas for Empty Nesters and/or Aging Parents:
  1. Digital Scrapbooks. These things are not only fun to make, people love to get them as gifts. We've been known to give the parents and grandparents digital books of special family events and they cherish these books. I make one for myself every single time. 😀 
  2. Gift cards. Say what you will, most people appreciate a gift card. They don't have to come from a big department store. Finding a quaint little out of the way shop is nice. There are several places downtown Charleston like this. I've even given grocery store gift cards that were met with huge appreciation from those on limited incomes. I've also given gift cards to online shops that were well received. 
  3. Tickets to a show/performance. My dad and step-mother LOVE this. We usually include a gift certificate for dinner at a restaurant close to the venue. Deanie and DrummerBoy have recently started giving me tickets and I LOVE it, too! I've seen Garrison Keillor and John Prine so far. 
  4. Outdoor plants. This is especially nice for someone who loves plants or someone who has just bought a house. Along the same line, how about a gift certificate for a landscape maintenance crew to come mow and weed?
  5. Books for their Kindle or other digital readers. We gave my mother a Kindle a couple years ago for Mother's Day and we are always getting her new books. She LOVES it!
  6. Framed pictures. I'm talking about the WiFi digital frames. You can take a picture and send it to the frame immediately allowing the recipient to see the pictures. This is perfect for grandparents and great-grandparents as well as other family members who live far away from their loved ones as it enables them to 'watch' their little loves grow. 
  7. A bottle of wine or three or their favorite tea/coffee and some adorable coasters (wink, wink). You could do a themed dinner basket with the wine/coffee/tea. Just don't forget the adorable coasters!  😉
  8. Make their favorite dessert and take it in a unique dish they can keep. Yes, please! 
  9. Make a donation in their name to their favorite charity. Deanie and DrummerBoy donate to the ASPCA in my name and I love it! 
  10. Complete a chore or project they can no longer do for themselves. Does a room need painting? What about all the dust that gathers under furniture? There are so many chores and projects that we can no longer safely do for ourselves when we hit certain ages. This is a lovely gift (though we should probably be doing it more than once a year for our older relatives.) You could even just go pick up the person you're gifting and take them out to lunch, shopping, sight-seeing... Sometimes just taking the time to spend some time means more than anything. 
  11. If they still have home movies on VHS or even older tapes, have them transferred to digital! Hint, hint girls. Seriously, I am in the process of checking out these services. 
  12. Storage containers. If the empty nester or aging parent on your list is working on organizing or downsizing, consider helping with the gift of storage containers. This saves them from having to go out to buy them, helps with their limited budget if they have one, and lets them know you support their efforts. You could even hire an organizer to come help them out. Again- hint, hint.
  13. Slippers with lights on the front or other seemingly silly gifts. I know, it sounds ridiculous but one year my dad hit the crap-o-la out of his toe in the middle of the night so I bought him a pair of lighted slippers. He LOVED them. Who knew? There are many products out there like these slippers that older parents will appreciate. For example, nonslip bath mats, wireless headset system or other television listening devices, those shopping carts with a seat, the lights for the toilet (YES they do make these), those handybars, etc.
  14. Give them a month's worth of prepared meals. If they live close enough, you can gift them with meals you have prepared yourself to put in the freezer. All they have to do is take it out and heat it up. OR prepay for one of the healthy food delivery services for them. I don't know about Y'all but nights I don't have to cook are good nights. 
  15. Games. If your family is like mine Y'all LOVE playing games when everyone gets together. We keep all our fun games here and when everyone comes home we have at least one game night depending on how long they are staying. Someone is always bringing in the lastest fun game so our collection has gotten rather large. This is not a problem because we enjoy them so much and get a lot of use out of them. 
Ok, I'm stopping there but I'd love to know your ideas! 

Please visit my Etsy shop, CoasterDoodles

and feel free to FAVORITE the shop
or buy something! 😁💓

Indoor wreaths have arrived at CoasterDoodles!
with more to come soon!
And, YES! We still have our wonderful coasters!


  1. All of them are fantastic ideas. I am so glad you thought them up and published them. I am going to print it off so I can remember it. Thanks Pam

    1. Thank you, Kim! I had a lot of them in that post from May but thought of a few more. Thank goodness my girls read my blog. LOL Have a great weekend!

  2. A thorough and absolutely spot-on list!!

    1. Thank you, Terri! Maybe we'll all get something from the list this year. :)

  3. Replies
    1. Thanks! Hopefully, we'll all get some of these this year. LOL

  4. Lighted slippers?! Who knew they even excisted! haha But you have some really good ideas there. Will have to send my kids to reading on here. :)

    1. Yes! I couldn't believe it but when I saw them I had to get them for Dad. He really loves them and hasn't hit his toe since. LOL

  5. Great list and thanks for sharing at #overthemoon link party. Tickets to movies or shows are a great idea aren't they?

    1. Thank you! Yes, they are. I've enjoyed mine so much and my dad and step-mom love theirs, too.


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