Are you wondering what to get the older people in your life for Christmas?

Let seniors themselves tell you. In a national survey, seniors were asked to rank their favorite gift choices, plus, what gifts they hoped they would not receive.

Seniors’ top 10 gift requests:

1. Large-print calendar with family members’ birthdays, anniversaries and other significant occasions written on the corresponding date.

2. Gift certificates to a grocery store or pharmacy — 84% chose this gift.

3. Gift certificates to their favorite restaurant or café — a close third with 82%.

4. An easy-to-use mobile phone. Some just wanted a cordless phone, especially helpful if they still have a land-line connection.

5. A box of assorted greeting cards, for every occasion and lots of stamps — 79% requested this.

6. An enlargement of a favorite family photograph would please 76% of seniors. Add matting and a nice frame that suits their décor.

7. A new recliner or easy chair was the choice of 75%.

8. A new heating pad would please 74%.

9. Slippers would warm the feet of 72% of elders.

10. A large-numbered remote-control would be appreciated by 70%.

If you don’t see something they’d want from this list, Santa, be sure you don’t choose a gift from the list below. These are the gifts that seniors identified as most unpopular. There may be a few surprises, and if your older loved one specifically asked for any of these, by all means gift them.

Seniors’ most unpopular gifts:

Chocolate covered cherries
A dress tie
Replacing a missing piece of china or silverware
An appraisal of their antiques or collectibles
A basket of treats
Toys for their pet
“Personal service” coupons from the grandkids. These are not popular because the kids rarely follow-up or come by to do the chores.
Fire extinguisher or smoke alarms
Long-handled shoehorn

Options for globetrotters:

A device charger, also called a power bank, external charger or external battery pack, is an essential for travelers.
One of the new light-weight and slim but indestructible cell phone case protectors from Pelican or OtterBox is another important travel item.
A snazzy new backpack is a must for hands-free maneuvering through airports or a walk in the park.
Do they need to replace that battered old luggage? There are numerous lightweight options with wheels. Let them choose it because needs to fit the person and the type of traveling they enjoy.

Gardening gifts:

Gardening continues to be America’s most popular hobby.
Gift certificates to their favorite nursery, botanical garden or gardening supply store.
For something new in their garden come spring (and throughout the growing season), check gardening catalogues for plant-of-the-month or flower-bulb-of-the-season options.
Ergonomic garden tools will help those with arthritic hands continue to care for their garden.
Lumber and soil for a raised bed will help gardeners who can no longer bend down. Throw in the labor to build it and be sure it’s narrow enough to reach the middle from both sides. Add a board on the edges that’s wide enough to sit on.

The best gift of all:

This author, who is enjoying life past age 60, offers her personal gift suggestion: the pleasure of your company. Having worked with older Americans for 45 years, without fail I can assure you that we cherish the company of family and friends most of all.

Take the time to visit, call, invite them out to lunch, take a trip together (or maybe just the grandkids), or go to the movies, a park or museum, a seasonal festival or even a theme park. Please, we have enough “stuff.” In terms of enjoyment, things provide little pleasure compared to the joy and reassurance that being with loved ones can bring.

Happy holidays!

Photo by: monkeybusinessimages