Alert
Close

Introducing AARP RealPad: The Wi-Fi Tablet That Makes It Easy to Share, Learn, Connect and Play. Learn more

Contests and
Sweeps

$10,000 Games Galore Sweepstakes

Sept. 3, 2014 - Oct. 14, 2014
Play AARP Games for a chance to win $10,000!
See official rules. 

Happiness
poll

most popular
articles

Viewed

Nothing has been viewed

With 50 in the Rearview Mirror

Wise Gifts

Our resident essayist offers thoughtful ideas for everyone on the list

For your best friend or sibling

  • Make a date for something important. Give a one-month gift membership at the small local gym, or calendar that postponed colonoscopy. Then take the day off and make a party of going together.
  • A first edition of a favorite classic book, if you can afford it, or, for less, a copy signed by the author (yes, we will) of a new one.
  • Fingerless gloves. It may seem like a contradiction of terms, but if your BFF or favorite brother has a smartphone attached to him like a third hand, being able to operate it and stay warm (although not while driving!) is a singular gift.
  • Wrap their Christmas presents for them. Clean their house. Help them tag the garage sale. Taking away a dreaded task can earn you a lifetime of good will.

For your spouse or love

  • The best piece of carry-on luggage you can afford. Don't panic. It may not be wickedly expensive. For example, Baggalini's rolling tote (designed by an airline flight attendant) easily accommodates a weekend's worth of clothing, a laptop, a toiletries case and a tuna-salad wrap and still rolls right down that aisle. Like the indispensable Baggalini purses, this also comes in about 10 groovy colors, and depending on which one you choose, costs from $100 to $200. Travelpro's Walkabout Lite-3 comes only in black but, on a scale of five stars, deserves 10. Every time that overhead bin clicks closed, your love will think of you. If you shop around online, you can get it for as little as $75.
  • A manicure and pedicure: For either gender. I've seen fishermen in Gloucester getting their tootsies tenderized. Once you've been there, you can't believe you didn't go before: $50.
  • Cooking lessons: Succulent sushi? Enticing enchiladas? Classes in virtually every kind of cookery are happening nearby. Send your sweetie and reap the benefits. Or take a cake-decorating class together and stun your family with your confections. At schools and restaurants, four to six sessions for $30 to $400 or more.
  • Just the two of you. Probably with your own computer, and certainly with Shutterfly, you can make a book, for as little as $13, of the great times of your life. Find a song and inscribe every photo page with a line: "I'll be seeing you/in all the old, familiar places."
  • Wrap their presents. Or clean their house. A friendship coupon for one dreaded and odious task will earn you a lifetime of good will.

Next: Gifts for that crabby neighbor, in-law or boss. >>

Topic Alerts

You can get weekly email alerts on the topics below. Just click “Follow.”

Manage Alerts

Processing

Please wait...

progress bar, please wait

Tell Us WhatYou Think

Please leave your comment below.


Discounts & Benefits

From companies that meet the high standards of service and quality set by AARP.

Cereal

Members can download and print coupons for cereals from Kellogg's®.

Grocery Coupon Center

Members can print savings coupons at the Grocery Coupon Center powered by Coupons.com.

membership schwanns discount

Members get double Schwan’s rewards on all online orders from Schwan's Home Service™.

Member Benefits

Join or renew today! Members receive exclusive member benefits & affect social change.