When you're preparing a gift basket for an elderly person, include items of an entertaining nature and others that are designed to help with his specific needs. Among the many gift choices are helpful gadgets, enjoyable pastimes and reminders from his earlier days that will generate many happy memories. If you aren't familiar with the diversions of his childhood and youth, do a little research to get it right. Whatever you choose to fill the basket with, take care to arrange everything nicely for an attractive presentation.
Your gift basket can be an actual basket made of woven wicker, straw or plastic or it can be a decorated container of any kind, even a papered-over, good-sized shoebox. Save the Sunday comics to wrap the box or use colored paper. Personalize it by drawing on it or having your kids do so.
Handy Gift Ideas
Some handy items that could make good gift basket fillers for an older person include:
-Bound notebook or journal and an attractive pen
-Mini-flashlight with a batter included
-Roasted nuts, unsalted
-Agatha Christie or Dick Francis mystery
-Crossword or Sudoku puzzles and pencils with eraser heads
-Small tube of a luxurious hand cream
Music and Movies
To figure out which music or movie gift will really hit the spot with an elderly person, think of the music and movies you especially like and when you came to like them. People are usually nostalgic about the music they danced to in their teens and 20s. So, if you're making a gift basket for someone presently in her 70s or 80s, she was most likely forming her musical preferences in the late 1940s, 1950s and early 1960s. There was so much good music and so many classic movies in that time span that you've got plenty to choose from. The classic TV shows of the time are also widely available now on DVD, though they're fewer in number than the music and movie choices.
Top music gift possibilities from an older person's early years start with Big Band era greats like Benny Goodman and Harry James, as well as the genius of Gershwin. For early R&B and doo-wop, look into The Ink Spots. Early rock, country and pop legends include Bill Haley and the Comets, Elvis Presley, the Platters, Chuck Berry, Sam Cooke, Buddy Holly, Carl Perkins, Brenda Lee, Rosemary Clooney and Connie Francis.
For movies of the era that will make a nostalgic splash with your gift recipient, choose just about any John Ford western or zany screwball comedy starring Katharine Hepburn and Carole Lombard. Hitchcock's films "Vertigo" and "Rear Window" are big hits from the 1950s, as is "South Pacific." For TV classics, a DVD set of the "I Love Lucy" show or "The Honeymooners" and even some episodes of Edward R. Murrow's news programs, "See It Now" and "Person to Person" are very likely to bring out the smiles in someone who watched them when they were brand new broadcasts.
The Finishing Touch
Wrap your basket with clear, colored cellophane -- called "transparent plastic wrap" in some stores -- to keep everything in place. Twist ties, besides not being attractive, can be difficult and frustrating for an elderly person to open. Pull the cellophane together with a bow made of ribbon, yarn or raffia.
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