Grandmothers get younger with every generation. I have friends who jumped that line way back at the 40-year-old mark (and others in their 60s who are still trying to keep up with their first set of children, but that’s another story).
Because so many moms are busy raising their own young, grandma can often get overlooked on Mother’s Day. Some feel fortunate if they get a phone call or grocery-store greeting card. Is that anyway to treat our venerated elders? As a non-venerated elder, I have to say “Heck no!”
While it’s true 70 is the new 60, for the purposes of this article I’m going to assume we’re talking about the mothers and grandmothers of Baby Boomers. Here are a few ideas I came up with to help make the day special for grandma.
1. House Cleaning Party
Grandmothers with physical limitations might greatly appreciate a thorough housecleaning. You needn’t tackle this venture on your own, however. Put together a posse of those who willing to help out, equip them with the proper tools, and have at it. After all, misery loves company.
2. Old Fashioned Tea Party
Brits from the Victorian era had it right; A tea party is just the thing to cure what ails you. Besides, it makes everyone feel so ladylike that the conversational tone might just get lifted up a peg or two. Get creative with lacy invitations, ladyfingers and cucumber sandwiches.
Ditch the coffee mugs, however, in favor of some fine china. If you don’t have your own, check Google for a list of places that provide rentals or hit the dollar store for inexpensive teacups.
3. Shopping Spree
Giving money to your mother can feel so tacky, which is where gift cards come into play. Ask friends and family to toss a bit of cash into the pot, then pick up a Macy’s gift card — or another favorite retailer — at a discount from sites like GiftCardGranny. You can save up to 10-percent off the face value and get more bang for everybody’s buck. Then take her out for some good old fashioned retail therapy. My grandmother would have particularly loved this one as she was a hound for new makeup.
4. Record Her Memories
This is a present that will keep on giving for generations to come. Make a recording of Grandma detailing the family history and reminiscing about times past. Check out this article from CascadePatch for some guidelines, but remember one of the most important things is to just share the experience.
5. Organize a Party for Her Friends
Who says Mother’s Day has to be spent just with family. Perhaps Grandma would appreciate someone organizing her friends for a gals’ get-together…or perhaps just a gathering of family from all generations.
6. Technology Lessons
If your family is far flung, give Grandma a lesson or two in using Skype and other technology that will keep her up to date on everyone’s lives. Of course, not all seniors have difficulties in this area but, at the very least, she may appreciate a good computer debugging.
Kate Forgach is a Baby Boomer consumer specialist for Kinoli Inc. She has written about senior issues for 11 years as a Cooperative Extension specialist and for a wide variety of newspapers and magazines. She has been featured in USA Today, Detroit News, New Orleans Times-Picayune, New Yorker magazine, “ABC World News,” NBC’s “TODAY” show and many other media outlets.