1. A surprise paid-for, all-inclusive weekend away at a hotel to a place of their liking for a Christmas bash.
2. Gifts that they would appreciate given the economic crisis and the likely state of their portfolio including, but not limited to, a spa day, a nice dinner out/night on the town, several nice bottles of wine (with which to drink away their sorrows), a vacation (if you're paid like that), something for their house that they may be putting off due to financial hardship, an IOU for when you can afford things again, a deposit into their IRA.
3. Digital photo frames with already downloaded photos of their grandchildren or children.
4. A letter telling them all the things you are grateful for.
5. Aromatherapy massages, slippers, comfort items.
6. This answer suffices for all categories. My family - near and extended are forgoing buying anyone gifts (except for young children) this year. Part of what we usually spend will be saved for what seems to be a future rainy economic day. The remainder will be going to charities such as Hunters for the Hungry to process venison for food banks, donations of food, and some gifts for children without any Christmas.
8. I am giving restaurant gift cards to parents this year. They love it because they don't like to spend too much eating out, and it stimulates the economy because the tips go right to the servers who are very likely to spend the money locally.
10. Tickets to a play, music, spoken word event with you (they love their children and time spent with them).
11. A Kindle. You can add books, audio books, newspaper subscriptions etc. You can also increase the font size for those aging eyes.
12. Make a beautiful "coupon" book which is redeemable for a variety of options to choose from, for each month of the coming year, such as your offer to clean the gutters in September, take them out to dinner in February, etc. Put the coupon book in a nice big box, wrap and give!
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