Ask Someone Else's Mom by Susan Writer

What to Buy for the Hard to Buy For?

DEAR SOMEONE ELSE’S MOM: Every year my mother puts pressure on me to buy something for my great-grandma. At 92 she is still in pretty good shape, but I never have any idea what to get her for her birthday. She has everything she needs and as far as I know, never asks for anything in particular.

What do you get the older person who has everything? --- STUMPED SHOPPER

DEAR STUMPED SHOPPER: Don’t feel bad. I know many much younger people who are hard to shop for.

In this case, rather than buying her something, if your great-grandmother is able to get out and about, consider taking her somewhere that would be a treat for her. Gift her with a nicely presented IOU for a meal at a favorite restaurant, a movie, a sight-seeing ride, a day chauffeuring her around on errands. If she isn’t able or inclined to leave home, give her the promise —and keep it — of doing something for her or with her at her place such as helping with housekeeping chores that are no longer easy for her, playing a few rounds of her favorite card game, organizing old photos.

It’s the gift of time that’s often the most difficult to give, and also the most treasured.

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