Grandma has waited a long time to celebrate her 80th birthday. Make it extra special for her by giving her a gift that's thoughtful and unusual. By this age, she's celebrated enough Christmases and birthdays that it's unlikely she needs gifts such as clothing, picture frames or home accessories. Give Grandma the most precious gift of all for her 80th birthday: the gift of your thoughtfulness and time.
Gift of Time
Tell Grandma you've planned a special day in honour of her birthday and that you will pick her up in the morning. Begin the day by taking her to a nearby spa for a manicure or to a beauty salon for a wash and blow-dry. You two can then go enjoy a pleasant lunch at a quiet restaurant where you've made reservations. If she's still up to it, perhaps you can join her for an hour or two of shopping or a matinee.
Gift of Memories
Contact all Grandma's children and grandchildren. Have them e-mail digital photos and send snapshots of her -- the older the photos, the better. Newer digital photos will be easy to work with, but you must scan old photos and save them in portable document format (PDF). Once you've arranged the photos chronologically detailing Grandma's life, use your computer to compile a DVD. Most up-to-date computers have moviemaking programs that allow you to arrange photos, add captions and music easily.
Birthday Vacation Gift
If Grandma has always wished to visit a particular place, consider pooling resources with family members to arrange a vacation for Grandma and Grandpa. Or perhaps you can go with her. Alternatively, if Grandma would like to visit a family member who lives far away but she isn't able to drive there, consider taking a couple days to arrange a road trip so you can take her there as a birthday present.
Birthday Entertainment Gift
Treat Grandma to an opera or musical for her special day. Better yet, surprise her with a talent show at her birthday party. Tell each attending family that they have to come up with a skit or song for Grandma. They can lip-sync, play the piano or do a skit or a comedy routine. Grandma will be delighted that you put in so much effort on her behalf.