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Thoughtful Christmas gifts for elderly relatives

Finding the right Christmas gifts can sometimes be difficult. We look at thoughtful options for a variety of budgets.

November 16, 2022

Elderly christmas gifts

Choosing meaningful gifts for older relatives can sometimes feel a bit of a challenge, with everyone having their own likes, dislikes and interests. However, a thoughtful Christmas gift lets them know that you’re thinking of them and can perhaps treat them to something that they’ll love but wouldn’t get for themselves.

If you’re looking for Christmas gifts for elderly parents, grandparents, or another older loved one, we’d like to help you come up with the perfect ideas.

In this article, we share some Christmas gift ideas for elderly relatives, including many different presents to suit various budgets. We’ve included presents that are super useful and practical, nostalgic gifts, things to help promote wellbeing, mind stimulation and even technology that can help with the quality of life in older years, like personal alarms.


Edible Christmas gifts for the elderly

While it might not be the most imaginative Christmas gift for older relatives, giving them something to eat and/or drink that you know they’ll enjoy can still be a lovely present. It doesn’t have to be high-value products. In fact, putting together your own hamper for them means that you can include things that you know they like, making it a really thoughtful present, especially if you include things that you know they don’t treat themselves to very often.

Some popular inexpensive gifts for senior citizens in this category could include:

  • Cheese and crackers or savoury biscuits
  • A specific brand of chocolates or sweet treats that you know they like
  • Fruit tea selection
  • Marmalade, jams, and chutneys
  • Home-baked or shop-bought biscuits or cakes
  • A bottle of their favourite tipple

Wrapping items individually for the hamper can make it feel even more special, for an affordable way to give a specially tailored gift to an older loved one.

Elderly lady unwrapping Christmas present


Themed DIY Christmas hampers for older people

Giving a hamper as a Christmas gift to an elderly relative doesn’t need to involve food or drink. Any treats, little luxuries, and thoughtful presents can go into a hamper you put together.  From a pair of warm socks or slippers, along with other valuable everyday winter items, to a themed collection of small gifts related to a hobby or interest. These could include:

  • Seeds, bulbs and other gardening supplies if your loved one has green fingers
  • Crafting supplies if they have a relevant hobby, such as cross stitching, crocheting, knitting, scrapbooking or felting
  • Baking supplies, such as cookie cutters, silicone accessories and decorations if they love to bake
  • Spices or dressings and a new cookbook if they like to experiment in the kitchen
  • Puzzle books or brain teasers if they like this kind of challenge


Photo gifts for older relatives

It used to be the case that a framed family picture was the only way to share faces and memories with a gift, but that’s no longer the case. Photo gifts can still be traditional, but these days you can also get digital photos made into a wide range of different items, from jigsaw puzzles and mugs to cushion covers and calendars.

If your older loved one enjoys photos of the family or pets around the home, this can be a great gift. You can even get traditional photos digitised and made into these items too, which could be a great way to bring older images up to the present day.


Experience gifts for the elderly

Quality time spent doing something enjoyable with family or friends is a wonderful gift to give an older relative. Some people tend to think of taking their loved one to extreme sports or once-in-a-lifetime experiences. However, your elderly loved one might really love something like an afternoon tea with friends in a posh restaurant, tickets to a fun sporting event or show, or just a nice meal out with family where none of them is responsible for cooking or washing up.

You know your older relative best, so you’ll best know what kind of activity they’d really enjoy that they probably wouldn’t necessarily organise for themselves.


Gadget gifts for elderly relatives

Lots of people think that older relatives and gadgets might not be the perfect match, but there are lots of different devices and technology that’s straightforward to use and can have a positive impact on an elderly person’s quality of life.

Elderly selfie

Take a look at our tips for smart tech that’s ideally suited for older people, and see whether your elderly relative might like devices such as:

  • Smartphones, especially those with interfaces designed specifically for seniors, with large and simple icons and buttons so they can stay connected with loved ones more easily
  • Voice assistants that can play music, change radio stations and read audiobooks out loud. They can also remind someone to take medication at a specific time, make a voice call to someone they know, answer questions and do a range of another hands-free (and eyes-free) activities. This could be really beneficial to someone with limited mobility or experiencing some vision loss
  • Video doorbells, which can be really useful for an older person who might feel vulnerable answering the door to someone they don’t know
  • Smart home heating, lighting and plugs, so that they can do things like turning off all the lights at night, turning the heating off when no one is home and turning it on just before they return, and make sure that devices and appliances are not switched on when they don’t need to be. This can help save on energy costs


Charity gifts for older people

If you want to buy your older loved one a Christmas gift, but they don’t want or need anything for themselves, they might appreciate you making a donation or gift to a charity that is close to their heart in their name this Christmas.

Many people take great pleasure in helping others and knowing that someone else is able to have something they need because of a charitable gift.

You will probably know if there is a particular cause or group of people that your elderly relative likes to support, but some common choices often include:

  • A local hospital or hospice
  • A local charity that works with people in certain challenging circumstances, such as experiencing homelessness or domestic abuse
  • An international charity that enables you to buy a more tangible ‘gift’, such as buying a family a specific item, from school supplies to mosquito nets
  • Sponsoring an animal, either at a zoo, through a wildlife organisation or an animal charity


Subscription or membership gifts for older people

Subscriptions are gifts that keep on giving, with regular deliveries of something that your older relatives enjoys. This could be anything from flowers or luxury food items, to crafts, books and magazines or even things like Netflix or Disney+. Whatever your elderly loved one’s hobbies or interests, there is probably a subscription that would suit them.

Memberships can also be a lovely idea, especially if your older relative is very active and likes to be out and about, visiting places of interest or enjoys nature. Popular memberships that might suit an elderly relative (many of which are discounted for pensioners) include:


Practical gifts for the elderly

Sometimes older relatives might prefer something that is really practical as a Christmas gift, especially during the current cost-of-living crisis. There are many options, which could include things like:

  • Warm clothing or accessories
  • An electric blanket or heated throw blanket, to help them stay warm at home this winter (much cheaper to run than heating systems or portable heaters)
  • Lights that detect motion, so they can move around the home more safely in the dark without needing to switch lights on or off
  • A monitored personal alarm system, so they (and you) know that help is always available if they have a fall, accident, or feel unwell. They come with a variety of different features to suit any kind of lifestyle. Browse all of our personal alarms to find the one that’s right for your older loved one, including personal alarm watches.

Any gifts for lonely elderly loved ones let them know that they are in your thoughts and that you value your relationship with them, regardless of what you spend on the present. It could make all the difference if your older relative is finding things tough this winter, and whether you are able to spend lots of time together or not at this time of year, knowing that someone cares is always important.

Take a look at our Resources and Advice section for more information on how you can support your older relative at Christmas and all year round.

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Ways to support independent living

Independent living products brochure

Learn how personal alarms and home monitoring solutions can keep you or your loved ones safe and independent at home.

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