10 Easy Gifts to Give

By Deborah Jeanne Sergeant

Do you have a lot of grandkids on your gift list? It can be hard to keep track of their sizes, interests and favorite things, especially if you do not get to see them often.

What they liked last year may be old hat this year. Instead of guessing (or forking over cash), try these ideas for making gift giving easier this season.

Try one of the suggestions provided by three Rochester-area professionals:

1 — “Give the whole family a pack of tickets to go to a museum or zoo. Or a family pack of tickets to a Red Wings game or Amerks game. What about one of those make-your-own ceramics places? They will get to do something new and fun. They’ll always remember this. Give experiences rather than more Legos to clean up from the floor.

2 — “Make up certificates to bake cookies with Grandma or go to the movies with Grandpa. They really like spending time with you.

3 — Consider passes for the family for an ice-skating rink, like the city of Rochester’s rink.

4 — “I get things like build-your-own volcano kits for my nephews because they love doing things like this and it gets the whole family involved. There are so many new board games geared towards all ages, too.

5 — “Give seed starting kits for springtime or Chia Pet type of kits. It’s fun growing things. Many of these can be grown indoors.”

6 — “If you have a lot of grandkids, you don’t have to give them gifts. They can come and visit to spend time with you. They enjoy this, so think of something they can do with you. There is so much you can teach them. Make some plans to do something special.

7 — “Give a gift card for a treat from a local family-owned business like a bakery or restaurant for a night out for the whole family. Going out to dinner is getting so expensive these days. Or maybe a favorite pizza place.”

8 — “Something I’ve done is I’ve made a recipe box filled with recipe cards in my handwriting for all of their favorite dishes I make. Every year, I write out a few more recipes. You could also have someone transcribe it if writing is too difficult for you.

9 — “You could do the same thing with photos: make a photo book. What I see is things that are unique and personal to the relationship. You can do this online or put printed photos in a photo album.

10 — “I have heard about a self-guided biography. One of them is “The Book of Myself” (available on Amazon). They prompt questions and you answer them. At the end, you get a book and you can get copies made to give to the family.

Tips from 1 to 5 suggested by Triciajean Jones, director of Ontario County Office for the Aging; 6 and 7 by Debra Kostiw, certified master dementia strategist, Alzheimer’s and dementia educator based in Henrietta and author of “Forget Me Not: The #1 Alzheimer’s and Dementia Guide for Professional and Family Caregivers;” 8 through 10 by Lauren Goetz, owner of Everyday Hands, an errand and personal services provider in Rochester.