May 25, 2010

Help me figure out an anniversary gift

A good friend has invited my husband and I to her parent's 50th wedding anniversary.

This morning it occurred to me that I have absolutely no idea what to give them. I would like to stick to The Compact if possible, but that's difficult when you barely know someone.

I have met her mother several times, and her father once, very briefly. They are quite old and I don't know much about their interests, except that her mother likes to make apple streudel. They are German and moved here when they were newly married.

Another factor is that I know it's a difficult marriage, so I'm not inclined to give them an overly sentimental gift about how their love has stood the test of time.

For these reasons, it's harder than usual to give a handmade or experiential gift. I think I need something nice and generic. Although baked goods are a possibility, if it's something special.

Readers, I need your inspiration. You always give me great suggestions, and I know you'll come through. I'm really drawing a blank on this one.

What would you give an elderly couple you barely know? Please leave your ideas in the Comments section. And thank you in advance.

18 comments:

Becky said...

Ooof that's hard. How much do you want to spend? You could make them a lovely gift basket filled with all the food components needed to make apple streudel (Does that count as Compact-y? Is it too stereotypical and direct (or weird?!)??). Another idea would be a gift card to a restaurant for the two of them.

Emily, Bob and Etta said...

I agree with the gift card. Or find out if they have any special passions or interests and make a donation to a charity, scholarship fund, museum, etc. in their name. Sometimes older folks don't want more "stuff" to put out anyway...

Hiptobeme said...

Ornate photo frame, you could find an antique.

Laura said...

I also agree with the restaurant gift card.

The picture frame is a nice idea as well. Maybe your friend could supply you with a picture for it so it's a little more personal.

Or, if your friend could get you more than few photos and you're feeling crafty, perhaps you could create some sort of collage for them (recipe card for apple strudel, something representing what the husband likes to do, and so forth).

Scattered Gardener said...

What about a coffee table book - something like the BBC's Planet Earth, which my son was given for his 18th and is very special, with gorgeous photos of the world. (If they got it for themselves, they could always swap it for something to their own taste.

Betsy Talbot said...

Would it be too weird to just make an apple streudel and write in the card that you think of her when you see/make it because of how much she has shared that she loves it? We all like to know we are remembered for something, and it probably increases with age.

Not sure how formal this event will be and if a baked good would be out of place.

Leigh Anne said...

Hmmm...how about a homemade gift basket, with the ingredients one would use to make strudel? If you have a basket around, this is ideal, though I suppose you could also decorate a large enough cardboard box (not sure if you're artsy). Strudel recipes abound, but I suppose you'd want to check with your friend to see if there's anything special in the recipe...

Beth said...

What about apples? Simple, useful, compact friendly...

Anonymous said...

Considering that the 50th wedding anniversary is gold, could you do something with a gold theme, not real gold of course! perhaps a gift basket with the individual parts wrapped in gold paper, or something with gold in the name? I know that for my friend's 30th anniversary (Pearl) i gave her a bottle of Perle champagne. Not compacty really but also not clutter!
Please let us know what you decide on
Cheers
Judy

Tammy said...

We're in the same predicament! I was invited to my friend's dad's 85th birthday bash. He is visiting from England. I'm drawing a big blank on a gift that would be cool, appropriate and packable for his return trip home to England.
http://www.teachingfirst.net/Poems/Apples.htm#magic
Didn't know if this might spark your imagination

Magdalena said...

The traditional box of chocs or fancy cookies, maybe some fancy coffee or tea. Usually people over 70 do not need things, but they may appreciate something to help them entertain others. Food is a consumable, so Compact-y enough. It might be embarrassing if you spent too much on a gift card, or worse, not enough!

Angela said...

Thank you all SO MUCH!!!

Your ideas have given me great inspiration, and I will take a photo and do a post about the gift I decide on.

Anonymous said...

So far, I like all the other ideas. Here-s another...if you have a porch or deck - how about some pretty potted flowers that they can enjoy throughout the summer? If they live in assisted living, how about a summery wreath for the door?

Eleanor said...

IF they are on any sort of budget, a gift card for a necessary budget item, such as a nearby gas station, grocery store, or drugstore.

islandwoman said...

I would visit a good Second hand or Thrift store and get a great pie plate and/or some other suitable kitchen items, wrap them in recycled paper, use string/hemp twine to decorate + a home made card. Reuse, recycle!! Nothing new as per The Compact, yet it still fulfills a need - also spreads the word about reuse.

LindawithaG said...

Oh my gosh...I can't imagine giving someone who has lived so long a gift of a doo dad...I think that a charitable donation to something they cherish or enjoy would be perfect.

Marie-Josée said...

You mentioned they are German, and I know that German's enjoy rich, strong coffee. I would get them some really nice coffee and perhaps a collection of beautiful or original cups purchased at Goodwill.

Older ladies usually like cups. I know this is happening to me and I'm in my forties. My children have begun buying us souvenir cups when they travel and I just love them! I think of my children every time I pull one of those cups out of the cupboard.

Those Tricks said...

Buy a bunch of books at a thrift store - his and hers - and wrap creatively. Something the not-so-happy couple can do together, separately.
haha.