When my six year old came home with a request for Christmas gifts for the old folk of the community near her school, I reckoned it would be nice to give something a bit more thoughtful than a pair of socks or hankies. Together we managed to come up with inexpensive ideas for four grannies and one grandpa for a total of only 171 ZAR (excluding wrapping paper, crafting and found objects). And they’re also suitable for any other time of the year.
- Beautifully-wrapped soap such as Nesti Dante placed into a gift box (it helps if you’re a bit of a box hoarder/recycler) – no need to even wrap!
- Inexpensive tin (try PEP or Crazy Store) containing mini biscuits (Pick n Pay has the cutest mini marie, eet sum mor and tennis biscuits meant for kids’ lunchboxes).
- Paperback from a secondhand bookstore by a good author in a good condition and suitable for an older person. I chose Maeve Binchy. I made a sunglasses bookmark out of felt but you could make a more traditional one from craft paper or a piece of scrap fabric.
- Shop-bought facecloth embellished with crocheted edge. Add a mini soap and place into a recycled gift box.
- Shop-bought mary-jane cotton slipper socks (optional – embellish with gingham rose and felt leaves). Place into recycled gift box.
Buy Santas or any other mini Christmas chocolates and add one to each of your gifts. If you’re fortunate to have a small, artistic child around, get them to make and illustrate cards from coloured craft paper with ‘Merry Christmas Granny/Grandpa’ in their own handwriting (and if they make a mistake, get them to cover it with pictures from Christmas wrapping paper offcuts). Attach the cards to the gifts to act as a tag.
It seems a shame that the neglected are often only remembered during the festive season but hopefully these simple gifts will make someone smile for more than one day. And you will have taught your child to think of people other than their immediate family. Happy wrapping!