Days set aside to honor fathers and mothers don’t come around often enough, but when they do you want to go all out. Still, it isn’t easy coming up with the “perfect” gift for someone who professes to have everything they need. They don’t have everything they need, but for some reason it is like pulling teeth to figure that out. I can tell you that the “perfect” gift is not in the mall and does not involve flowers. Everyone has needs, material or otherwise, so put your thinking caps on. Don’t make them fake enthusiastic thanks for pajamas and silky robes that never get worn. You can do better than that.
Let your parents know how much you love them by giving gifts that show how much you care. Health is important. Membership at a health club, for example, may be all it will take to give them a little nudge in the right direction. Start out by making a call to their health insurance company. Many of them have special offers for seniors. Round out the picture by filling a gym bag with comfortable clothing and motivational leaflets about why exercise matters.
What about groceries? A gift basket filled with food items may not seem very glamorous to you, but would be much appreciated by someone on a fixed income. Groceries are expensive these days. I’m not talking about wine clubs and fruit baskets delivered once a month but about day to day food items. Specialty breads and cereals, coffee or tea, meats and vegetable are important to their health and well being. This doesn’t mean that a box of chocolates or gourmet cookies can’t be slipped in with the perishables. Select food items that are low in sodium and added sugars but still tasty and nutritious. Use your imagination and puts together baskets of snack items, breakfast foods, tinned fish and meats, vegetables and favorite dessert items. Research Meals on Wheels or other home meal delivery programs and have dinner delivered at least once a week. Don’t forget a basket of treats for family pets either. One could go bankrupt buying pet food these days.
Practical gifts for the home are welcome do. Weather proofing the house, buying wood for wood burning stoves or fireplaces, or paying to have them checked and cleaned by a professional. Snow and ice can be hazardous for older home owners. Hire someone to shovel drives and walkways or gift with a lightweight snow blower. Guys love snow and leaf blowers.
Clothing they probably have, but go through drawers and closets once in awhile to make sure that they are filled with warm socks and under garments. Even items of a personal nature have become quite costly so don’t let them feel that they have to make-do.
Budget stretchers are equally important. They may tell you that they are doing fine, but consider paying for their prescription medications. Pay for their heating bills or gift with cab vouchers or bus service coupons? Don’t be searching the mall for gift boxes of perfumes and sweaters that will never be worn when there are so many other ways to say “I love you.”