What can I buy for a man who says he has everything?

You’ve come to the right place, says our elder…

Dear EWC

With Christmas a month away, I have been struggling to find something that I could get my maternal grandfather. Last year, my sister and I got him a set of three handkerchiefs with his first initial on them, along with a key finder (if he misplaced them, someone in the house would just have to whistle and it would make a sound. But this year… I have no idea what to get him. And when I asked him what he wanted, he said that he doesn’t know, because he already has everything he needs or wants. But added that he just wants everyone in our family to have a good Christmas. Our family on my mom’s side is very big so he’ll be getting a lot of things but with a lot of gifts that he will share with my grandmother, so I want to get him something special.

Grandpa-Matt replies

As a grandfather (and a great grandfather for that matter), I can really relate with him when he says he has everything he needs and wants. When we reach a certain point in life, the accumulation of things, or stuff, is not as important as it has been when we were younger. What is important to us is the idea that we are honored, respected, loved and acknowledged as a valuable family member.

Some symbol of this might be very appropriate for your granddad. It might take the form of a donation to a charity of his liking. It may be a donation in his honor to a food bank. Actually any donation in his honor would signify that the Christmas spirit is alive in both you, the giver, and the honoree.

My family and friends know that this is my preference, and have donated to such groups as Meals on Wheels, Elder Wisdom Circle, Habitat for Humanity, etc. I receive a letter from the charity showing me who the gift was from in my honor. It makes me happy that I can share the spirit of the holiday with others in that way.

Some church groups also welcome such donations in honor of a loved one. None of these things require a large donation. It really doesn’t matter the amount, since they don’t mention the amount. 

Another idea, although more expensive, might be a photo from a professional photographer of him, or him and your grandma. In that case maybe you, your sister or some other family member might get together and jointly pay for this gift.

Since I don’t know him, I don’t know what he will consider special, but if I were in his shoes, I’d be delighted to receive a thoughtful gift from a loving granddaughter such as you.

Have a blessed holiday.

Letter #: 431813
Category: Family

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