Huffpost Parents
The Blog

Featuring fresh takes and real-time analysis from HuffPost's signature lineup of contributors

Dana Holmes Headshot

80th Birthday Gifts That Won't Gather Dust

Posted: Updated:

By the time their 80th birthday rolls around, the only thing they want to be collecting is memories. It might feel like a sweet gesture to buy them a custom picture frame or a hand-painted ceramic vase, but they have a lifetime's worth of those things already. The last thing they need is more stuff collecting dust in their house. So, just what do you get for someone who's about to blow out 80 candles on their birthday cake? It's certainly a milestone, so I've done you a favor and come up with a list of ideas, below. Go return that vase and read up!

Leaving on a Jet Plane
For my grandmother's eightieth birthday, she took a trip with all of her daughters to Vegas. And you know what? It's probably one of her most memorable experiences to date. If there's a place the birthday girl or boy has always wanted to go but has yet to venture, whether it be the Grand Canyon, AC, or simply The Cloisters, there's no sooner time to check this one off their bucket list than now.

Getting Jiggy With It
Did you know the New York Times sells jigsaw puzzles featuring the paper's front page of any date from 1851 till now? Well, they do! And what would make a better birthday present than getting the octogenarian something to commemorate the day they were born? As the puzzle starts to come together, they can recall, or most likely learn for the first time, what went down in history that day besides their birth. And, it'll keep them busy for a while piecing it together.

Let's Celebrate
The go-to way to celebrate a big birthday, or any major milestone, is of course to throw a party. A few years back, we had a family reunion with a dress code of fancy clothes and wacky sunglasses. I don't think my family members have ever laughed harder! So, what am I suggesting? Don't just throw a party. Throw a rager! Make the kind of memories that leave them smiling when no one else is in the room.

Face to Face
Computers may not be the easiest things for more, ahem, mature people to navigate, but iPads are actually super user-friendly. And they're compatible with FaceTime, an app that allows the whole fam to keep in touch face to face without traveling. With just a simple tap and the magic of Wi-Fi, FaceTime allows you to make video calls from one device to another. And while you're at it, download the Kindle app and gift them some new reading material. If you go with another tablet, skype also offers a subscription service that lets the whole family get in on one video call at the same time, too.

What Time is it? It's Spa Time!
At eighty, they may not be the spring chicken they once were, but they still want to look and feel their best. So find their local spa and select a package for them that says, "indulge!" Will there ever be an age where a facial, mani/pedi, and massage stop feeling good? I didn't think so.

So, this birthday, rather than adorn their home with decorative tchotchkes, fill it with magical memories. And don't forget the card!

Dana Holmes is a lifestyle, gift and etiquette expert who acts as Editor in Chief of Gifts.com and the Gift Rap Blog. She has been working in trend forecasting and gift recommendations for the past decade. Dana loves making occasions special with her unique gift ideas, tips and touches. She has been interviewed by the New York Times, Associated Press, Fox & Friends, TODAY in NY and many more.