If you have an older friend or loved one who lives alone, they may often feel isolated. One thoughtful way to brighten their day is to create a holiday care package filled with items to help them pass the time during the winter months, provide comfort, or bring a smile to their face. Care packages are a meaningful gesture that says, “You are in my thoughts,” and can serve as a reminder of love and support.
One option is to select a specific theme, such as delicious foods or a movie night, or gather a collection of gifts you know they will adore. Given that space can often be limited at home, it’s wise to choose practical items that are compact enough to fit nicely. You can then arrange these items in a basket or container that they can repurpose for storage.
What Should You Include In Your Care Package?
When putting together care packages, it’s important to tailor them to the interests and preferences of your loved one. Consider what activities they enjoy, what they can do, their favorite treats, and their hobbies and interests while deciding what to include.
Here are some options to include in a holiday gift basket for older loved ones.
Everyone craves warmth and comfort. Add a scented candle, lip balm, cozy pillow, blanket, slippers, or robe to the care package. To amp up the coziness during colder months, include warm socks, a sweater, gloves, and a winter hat.
- Lap blanket or throw
- Fuzzy socks or slippers
- Journal and special pens
- Knitted scarf
- A playlist of favorite songs burned onto a CD
- Himalayan salt lamp
- Decorative plants or flowers
Consider adding entertainment-related gifts to steer your loved one’s attention towards fun. Activities include a subscription to a streaming service or gift cards to Amazon or Barnes & Noble for audiobooks, e-books, physical books, magazines, and more. Additionally, you can send activities like books, puzzles, games, adult coloring books, sketchpads, and pencils. These engaging activities will also help keep your loved one mentally sharp.
- Books or magazines
- A deck of cards
- One of their favorite games
- A Netflix or Amazon movie subscription
- Craft items (yarn, cross-stitch patterns, paints, sketching paper)
- Crossword and Sudoku puzzles
- Adult coloring books and colored pencils or markers
Personal Care Items
Does your loved one need some “me” time? Treat them to a bit of luxury with these personal care items:
- Fancy soap
- Body scrub
- Lip balm
Food or Special Treats
When putting together a care package for a loved one, nothing brings more comfort than their favorite foods. Fill it with cookies, snacks, teas, hot cocoa packets, or fruits to bring a smile to their face. For an extra special touch, offer to cook a home-cooked meal just for them. If they enjoy cooking, include a cookbook and apron in the care package. Remember to consider any dietary needs or restrictions they may have and choose snacks and treats that align with those guidelines.
- Specialty tea
- Homemade cookies or bread
- Favorite candy or snacks
- Freezer meals
- Fruit basket
- Gift cards to a favorite takeout restaurant
A Personal Touch
Scrapbooking supplies, photos, handwritten notes, gifts from grandchildren, digital photo frames, photo albums, and handmade items are often the most heartfelt gifts. When assembling a care package, including these items will bring joy and warmth to your loved one.
- Framed photograph of the two of you or a family photograph
- Something handmade
- “Coupons” for things you can do (housecleaning, making a meal, grocery shopping, walking the dog, etc.)
- Holiday cards drawn by your children or grandchildren
Ensuring that your friend or loved one has sufficient support to maintain independent living is the most impactful way to make a difference. During your visits, observe the condition of their home and their mobility. Show that you can provide the support they need if they ever need assistance.
Don’t hesitate to send a holiday care package! Even if it’s past the holidays, sharing your love through a random “thinking of you” gift is always worthwhile. We hope our care package ideas for older loved ones have inspired you to start!
The Maxim at Home team is here to help.
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