After a lengthy nursing career, your relative, friend or colleague will be looking forward to retirement. Over the course of her career, she will have accumulated many knick-knacks and household items. You'll want to give her a special gift that has meaning and value and will not be relegated to a drawer or closet.
Ease Into Retirement
The last few weeks before retirement can be very stressful. Why not provide your favourite nurse with a 12-day send-off? Using the 12 Days of Christmas as a guide, give a her different gift each day. You could send a designer cupcake on Day 1, a pair of colourful socks or mittens on Day 2, three chocolate truffles on Day 4 and so on. On Day 12, you could have a dozen red roses delivered to her nursing station. Each gift can be accompanied by a note containing a quotation from one of her favourite poets or authors. To create a bit of drama, keep your identity secret until Day 12.
The hospital social committee probably will present her with a plaque, medal or trophy that acknowledges her commitment and many years of service. Friends and family members can create more personalised memories of her career. A few weeks before the retirement party, ask family, friends and colleagues to submit a poem, story or drawing that honours the retiree. Use a scrapbook or album to feature all these submissions. If you have more lead time and access to a camcorder, interview her friends, colleagues and former patients and create a home video.
Support Hobbies and Interests
A nursing career is a very structured and demanding one. A new retiree will be looking forward to a more leisurely life with periods of unstructured time. If she has a hobby or special interest, create a gift basket that contains items that support this pastime. If she is a gardener, for instance, fill an attractive watering can or large basket with kneeling pads, a gardener's apron and gloves, seeds and hand tools. Gourmet cooks will welcome the latest kitchen gadgets, books, aprons, earthenware platters, bowls and any other items that will improve and enhance their culinary creations.
Give New Experiences
Because their career and family obligations left little, if any, time for outside hobbies and interests, some newly retired nurses may not have definite plans for retirement. Why not give her a few suggestions? Present her with gift tokens for yoga and exercise studios, craft or photography lessons, bridge or language classes or a hot air balloon ride. After retirement she will also have time for leisurely lunches--unheard of during her nursing days--so give her gift tokens to her favourite restaurants.
After a lengthy career of caring and comforting others, the newly retired nurse could use a bit of pampering. If you are crafty and have a few months lead time, create a scarf, sweater, quilt or afghan in her favourite colours. Give her a gift token for a manicure or pedicure, massage, reflexology, Reiki session or day at her favourite spa. Alternatively, you could ask friends and colleagues to contribute to a weekend getaway at a nearby resort.
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