It seems that the older we get, the harder it is to choose gifts for us. Perhaps it’s because by the time we reach our golden years, we’ve managed to accumulate a lot of “stuff.” Sometimes, we even have duplicates and triplicates of that “stuff.” And that leaves our family and friends baffled about what to gift us with during the holiday season. We either get things we already have or things that we don’t really want or need. And so we either stuff them in a closet because we don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings, or we head to the store to return them.

If your family and friends ask you for a holiday wish list, here are a few unique ideas:

  • Preserve your life story: There are many beautiful journals that can be used to preserve your life story for your loved ones. This one from StoryWorth ( sends you a question every week for a year and you respond by writing an anecdote from your life. At the end of the year, all of your responses are bound in a lovely keepsake journal. Other journals already include prompts that ask you questions to inspire your inner storyteller, like this personalized leather-bound one from Personal Creations ( You can also do a Google search of “Life Story Journal,” and choose a journal that is perfectly suited to how you’d like to organize it.
  • Find out about your ancestry: Have you always wanted to build a family tree? A membership to a genealogy company can help you find out about your family roots from generations past. And it can yield valuable information that you can share with your children and grandchildren. To see how they work, check out,,,,, etc.
  • Monthly subscription services: Wouldn’t it be nice to receive a monthly gift all year round of something you really enjoy? These days there are subscription services for just about any interest you may have: wine, flowers, candy, foods, gardening kits, etc.
  • Pampering services: Memberships to spas that offer massages, facials or beauty treatments are probably not something you would buy for yourself, but it’s something that you can enjoy all year long.
  • Personalized puzzles: A puzzle made from a cherished family photo can provide hours of relaxing amusement and can then be glued together and framed once it’s finished. If you really like putting puzzles together, consider putting an adjustable puzzle table like this one ( on your wish list; it will allow you to work on your puzzles without straining your neck and back.
  • The gift of sound: A soundbar is an electronic speaker device that plugs into most TVs and amplifies the sound for those who are hearing impaired. Another option is sound-amplifying headphones, which allow you to hear the television better while others can listen at regular volume.
  • A weighted blanket: Research has shown that weighted blankets can help reduce anxiety and improve sleep. For older adults, the general rule of thumb is for weighted blankets to be 10% of your body weight plus one or two pounds. For a guide to choosing the ideal weight for you, visit
  • Home cleaning service: Ask for the gift of a home cleaning service, then sit back and relax while someone else does the cleaning and other household chores.
  • Gift certificates: While some people find them to be impersonal, they are a great way of allowing you to choose something for yourself. You can then go to your favorite retail store and pick something awesome for yourself, or have a meal at your favorite restaurant without having to open your wallet.
  • Gifts in honor of: If you really have everything you need, why not ask your loved ones to turn your holiday gift into a gift to others. There are countless charities, and almost every one of them offers the ability to make a donation in someone’s honor. If you have a favorite charity, this is your chance to help even more. And if you don’t have a favorite charity, just think about the issues you’re most passionate about and find a charity that focuses on one of those issues. Then ask your loved ones to make a donation in your honor.

These are just a few ideas, but hopefully they have inspired you to think of some others!