Ideas for birthday gifts for an older woman

happy woman in birthday cap image by Alexey Klementiev from

When you have to buy a birthday gift for an older woman, there's no need to hit the panic button. Sure, many older women already have everything; or when they need something, they just go out and buy it for themselves.

Even if she says she loves it, you know that the gift for which you combed every mall boutique and online store elicited a frown before she pasted on that endearing smile you've come to recognise as meaning, "Why'd you buy me this thing?" With a little more thinking, you can come up with a birthday gift idea that will please that special older woman in your life.

Free or Inexpensive

The older woman has long got over trying to impress people. She's filled her home with things she desires, or got rid of most items she now considers clutter. She no longer connects costly gifts to her self-esteem. In other words, she is just the right recipient for the gift that speaks from the heart and not necessarily from the pocketbook.

For this older woman, fill a basket with sharpened pencils or a classy pen, a notebook or supply of writing paper and envelopes. If your budget allows, add a book of stamps and festive bow or flower. She'll think of you every time she dashes off a note.

For this older woman, it's the thought more so than the money. Personalise your gift to her. Write a touching card. Tell her you are going to help with a special hobby or task that is dear to her heart. Buy her flower seeds you know she will enjoy planting. Help plant them. Pick out a movie you know she will love. Make a party out of the event. Add reservations to that special restaurant.

Gift of Time

Gifts of time truly prove timeless. Whether she's a lady on the go or a stay-at-home gal, she will appreciate your giving of your time in a thoughtful way. Write a charming note and offer to pick up her dry cleaning, run errands or organise a closet or pantry for her. Write her a certificate for an afternoon of housekeeping services. Do the work for her. Better yet, make that "with" her and make a party out of it, complete with streamers and party noise makers. Have a ball cleaning her house or apartment and catch up on all the gossip at the same time. Download music for her, especially if she's not as tech-savvy as you. Update her address book. Take her to lunch. When you give of your time, you'll end up being on the receiving end of the gift.


An older woman may put off buying things she deems a little extravagant. Spoil her on her birthday. Surprise her with a day at the spa, luxurious slippers and robe, expensive lotions and soaps or a bright umbrella with designs. Deck her out in decorator reading glasses and send her off to the local bookstore with a gift card in each hand. Browsing the shelves in anticipation of finding the right book is a treat in itself, especially when she knows you've already paid for the book.

Personal Memoir Kit

Let her know how much she means to you by writing her a story. Tell her how much your relationship has meant over the years,and how much she means to her family and friends. Encourage her to write her stories as well. Give her a memoir writing software package, such as Silverstories, that guides her as she writes her memories. In giving this gift, you are allowing her to give herself one as well.