Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Retirement Gift Ideas?

My apologies to Susan from Illinois, who hoped all of you might give her inexpensive retirement gift suggestions. It's taken me so long to post her request, she's probably retired herself by now : )

Q: I thought that maybe you and your readers could give me some good, low-cost ideas for some events coming up. First of all, we have a dear friend who has been a school teacher and principal for about 30 years... My dad is also retiring this spring, and I would like to have ideas on something special we could do for him. We also have some special friends from church who are going to be moving across the country in another month. I would love to hear any ideas you might have, and I think the readers of your site often have great ideas to share, too!

A: I shared some ideas earlier with Susan via email, but I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.


Shannon said...

What I've done before is collect pictures of their years of service (or in the case of a move, maybe just of the people that they're leaving behind) and make a collage. You can usually find large frames and mats on the secondhand market and have everyone sign the mat with a gold or silver pen (or sharpie makes great colors!). It does take a little time to gather all the pictures, but people always seem to love it.

Anonymous said...

Since I sew & quilt, I tend to make memory quilts for occasions like you mentioned.
If people do sew, they can assist by adding a square you send them.......or they can just add their name & a thought, with fabric paints. Sewn together, they make great keepsakes.

Anonymous said...

Think about the person you are gifting, and that will give you ideas of what type of gift. Is your friend sentimental? Is your dad a minimalist or does he like lots of things around him to remind him of happy memories and accomplishments?

Like Shannon's idea, I like to gather photos and notes for someone that is very sentimental and has lots of loved ones. I like to send out a note to everyone including blank paper asking them to either fill it with photos and memories or to send photos/memories to me. For my grandparent's 50th anniversary, we gathered photos from years back, and made a scrapbook including a page dedicated to their parents and grandparents and pages with pictures of them and their dearest friends. It is cherished.

For someone who would prefer a practical gift, prepare a gift basket with things most useful and a gift card to something like a bookstore, day at the spa, annual pass to the zoo or tickets to a play. Someone who really doesn't like clutter but who doesn't cook might enjoy a delicious baked cake or a freezer full of meals and treats.