With parents hitting their 6th decade, it’s hard to surprise mom or dad with something they didn’t expect, or don’t already have. When buying for that age bracket, especially for someone you’ve bought for so many times previously, the challenge is appreciably tough.
The simplest to give is your time. Be around, be present, and turn off your cellphone. Not joking.
If you can’t (or don’t want to) spend time, there are options for a price as well. As the cliche goes, experiences are better than things – key when shopping for the person who has it all. I don’t know that I fully agree, hence my personal belief in stretching the definition of an experience. However, there are options.
Maybe a culinary class?
For my brother’s birthday I bought him a class at the new Epicurean Hotel in Hyde Park. Beer Pairing 101. Put on by a Sam Adams rep, he tasted 6 beers and foods to match with six or seven others, who were mostly from the food and beverage industry.
He said he loved the beers and food, and enjoyed the intimate setting – and this coming from an admitted small-talk phobe.
Outside of the edible and experiential, you might also consider upgrading an item he or she already has. A new color, a higher quality. Stick to non-sentimental items, like a Royal Purple Kindle Paperwhite Cover.
If you use it everyday, why not get a little kick out of touching it, holding it, or smelling it?
From another angle, help your giftee look and feel more polished in daily life. A little flourish that will get noticed…
I received a certificate for a custom self-ink stamp for Christmas, and a few days later, was return-addressing every piece of mail I could send with my new signature. No more monotonous scribbling of my return address on the top of envelopes (the least fun part of sending snail mail).
Which leads me to my last thought: time is more valuable than a big price tag, and effort counts. Pick out a timely, appropriate, or hilarious card that will brighten your recipient’s day. Write something genuine inside of it, and send away, doing your small part to keep the USPS afloat.
People probably think I send cards to boost some imaginary brownie points score. In reality, I just love the process. Love the cards, love writing, and love using my limited means and control to send some small gesture of love and appreciation. If I could buy everyone expensive leather goods, you know I would!
You see? There’s no need to get nervous about shopping for the tough recipient. Dig deep, and go with something simple and special.