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Holiday gifts for parents who just downsized accent

December 13, 2023 | By

Downsizing can allow older adults to enjoy a fresh start and a simplified lifestyle focused on enriching experiences, financial freedom, and community engagement. If your parent or loved one recently moved to a smaller home or is in the process of downsizing, knowing what to gift them this holiday season can be a challenge. It can also be a great opportunity to make their new residence feel like home. Consider these suggestions for thoughtful holiday gifts for seniors!

Practical Gifts 

Practical gifts enhance a person’s living experience by making daily tasks more convenient and enjoyable. These suggestions may not be the first things that come to mind when you’re aiming for something thoughtful, but they show you care about giving something that will be used and enjoyed—not just another item to take up space. Consider these practical gift ideas for your parent:

  • Space-saving solutions: When you’re working with less space, organizational solutions and compact items are especially valuable. Consider getting storage racks, containers for organization or collapsible mixing bowls and measuring cups for easy storage.
  • Compact, multifunctional furniture: Your parents may appreciate replacing bulky furniture with more compact and multifunctional pieces, such as wall-mounted desks, storage ottomans, or futons for guests.
  • Convenient kitchen appliances: Find out if your parent could use a new blender, coffee maker, slow cooker, electric kettle, or another kitchen item that saves time and is easy to use.
  • Home maintenance tools: If your parents still do their own home maintenance,  consider getting them tools to make their job easier, such as a cordless vacuum, a compact tool kit, or gardening tools.
  • Smart home devices: Introduce more convenience and advanced features to your parents’ new home with voice-activated virtual assistants, smart thermostats, home security systems, or smart lighting.
  • Luxurious yet practical self-care items: Find ways to bring a sense of luxury to your parents’ home. For example, you can gift them with a high-quality set of sheets, bath salts, or an electric massager.

Sentimental Gifts  

For many people, the most meaningful presents you can give are the ones tailor-made for them. Some sentimental holiday gifts for seniors include:

  • Photo gifts: Share special memories, such as photo albums, scrapbooks, or digital picture frames (consider a frame that multiple family members can send photos to via a smartphone app).
  • Digitized home videos: Convert videos so your parents can let go of the physical tapes they’re storing and enjoy easier access to so many special memories.
  • Personalized keepsakes: Consider engraved jewelry, laser-etched cutting boards or glassware, custom-printed mugs, family recipe books, or keepsake boxes.
  • Handmade crafts: This could be a cross-stitched pillow, knitted scarf, or painted pottery. See if you can involve the grandkids, and be sure to stick to items you know your parents will appreciate and use.

Experiential Gifts 

When a gift recipient would prefer not to bring more things into their home, a great alternative is an experiential gift. These gifts can help your parents go outside and enjoy new experiences they may otherwise not plan or help them enjoy a fun night in their new home. Consider these experiential holiday gifts for seniors:

    • Subscription services: Give a gift that keeps on giving with a subscription service, such as media streaming or monthly shipments of new delicacies to try (choose from wines, coffee blends, international snacks, and more).
    • Tickets or an annual membership to a local attraction: Encourage your parents to enjoy time in their community by looking for a place they may enjoy visiting—a museum, botanical garden, zoo, or theater company, for example—and getting them tickets.
    • Gift certificates: Gift certificates can be a great option for parents who don’t want “things” for Christmas. Get a gift card to a favorite store or restaurant or a popular restaurant near their new home that they haven’t tried.
  • Wellness and relaxation experiences: Encourage your parents to practice self-care and invest in their well-being with spa treatments, yoga sessions, or a membership to their local wellness facility.
  • Educational experiences: Learning new things is a great way to keep life fun and fresh. Look into courses or workshops geared toward your parents’ passions and interests (consider both in-person and virtual experiences).

Happy Holidays in a Happy New Home

Choosing gifts for aging parents can be a challenge. However, by prioritizing convenience, sentiment, and experiences, you can give a gift they’re sure to love—and make their time of transition into a new space smoother and more enjoyable.

Want to learn more about making this new chapter the best yet? Check out our online guide, Living Your Best Life After 55!


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