The ads may suggest that Valentine’s Day is all about couples, but it doesn’t have to be. Valentine’s Day can be about showing love to the family members in our life who mean the most to us. For grandparents, especially those who have lost a spouse, a Valentine’s Day gift may well mean more than it would to any spouse or romantic partner.
This Valentine’s Day, brighten your grandparents’ lives with a thoughtful gift that shows you’re thinking of them. If you’re not sure what gift to go with, here are a few ideas you can use.
1. Photo Book
Photographs are one of the nicest things you can give a loved one, because they serve as a constant reminder of the place you have in each other’s lives. You can either put together a book of photographs the old-fashioned way, or load up some of the digital photos you have to a photo book. Either way, the gift will be something your grandparent can return to again and again to see happy glimpses of their time with loved ones.
2. Homemade Cookies
Sweets on Valentine’s Day are a yummy tradition. If your grandparent lives in assisted living, then bringing in cookies will make you (and them, by extension) a hit with the whole facility. If they’re living in their home, you can show up with a recipe and make the cookies together. Remember to keep in mind any dietary restrictions and food preferences they have. If they need to keep their sugar intake to a minimum, here are some recipes to consider.
3. Dinner and a Movie
The tried and true dinner-and-a-movie idea doesn’t just have to be for dates. Seniors will often be happy for an excuse to get out of the house and do something social, especially if it means spending time with their grandkid. Figure out if something good’s playing and make a reservation at their favorite restaurant.
4. Photos in a Decorated Frame
A photo book gives them something nice to flip through when they feel the urge, but a photo in a frame allows them to see an image of their grandkid (and show you off to friends) all the time. If you decorate the frame, the extra personal touch will make it that much more special to them.
5. Letter Book
Handwritten letters may seem old fashioned these days, but there’s still nothing quite like a page full of words written by someone you love. This letter book can be passed back and forth between you and your grandparent for as long as it takes to fill all the pages. It will inspire you both to write each other more regularly, and collect all the letters into one convenient place for when either of you wants to review them.
6. Homemade Flowers
Flowers and Valentine’s Day go hand in hand, but flowers always cost more on the day itself and will inevitably wilt in a few days’ time anyways. Handmade flowers, on the other hand, are affordable, more personal, and last for as long as your grandparent wants to keep them around.
7. Crafts Day
Setting up a time to come over and do crafts with your grandparent combines the best of both worlds from a gift-giving perspective: they get to spend time with you, and they get a memento (or a few) left over at the end of the day.
There’s a common theme in choosing the best gifts for a grandparent: money matters less than time. Most grandparents will be happy if you buy them something expensive or fancy, but thrilled to receive something that shows you’ve been thinking of them and want to spend time with them. That’s the real sign of love.