This year’s gift giving is going to take a little more imagination.

We can all admit this holiday season will not be the same as in years past but you can still make it special for the older adults in your life. Now more than ever they need to feel appreciated.

So…we searched for some unique ideas that just may bring a little needed happiness into the lives of those you treasure.

LIGHT THE WAY

Light box therapy is used to treat SAD-seasonal affective disorder and sleep disturbances, but you do not need to have SAD to benefit from rays of light this holiday season. How light therapy works is still being studied but one theory is that it increases serotonin – the “happiness” brain chemical.  There can be side effects such as sunburn or headaches so please check with a doctor before purchasing a light box. The HappyLight from Verilux is just one of many light therapy devices available online.

ONCE UPON A TIME…

All older adults have a unique life story. Why not help capture those stories so they can be shared with generations to follow? There are books that allow you to interview your loved ones and write all the information down such as LifeBio.org or you can have a company gather the information over time and publish a book of their life story like Storyworth.com.

You can also use interactive books like Hallmark Recordable Storybooks to record your voice or your child’s voice for a sweet gift. Even your loved ones can record their voice in a story so it can be captured for a lifetime.

READY! SET! PEDAL!

You or your loved one may not be making it to the gym these days but that doesn’t mean they have to stop exercising. Especially now, exercise can help elevate mood, increase mental skills and keep the heart healthy. Under the desk ellipticals or mini exercise bikes may just be the ticket to keeping everyone motivated and in good shape this winter.

These small machines fit compactly under a desk, table or just in front of your favorite chair while you are watching TV. They can help burn calories, improve circulation and help maintain healthy joints. There is a wide price change to meet most budgets. Here we use Sunny Health & Fitness Mini Exerciser but there are many to choose from.

ESCAPE REALITY (For an Hour)

Escape rooms have popped up all over the country in the last few years. Basically a group gets together in a themed room and makes their way through a series of puzzles and riddles to solve the room’s dilemma and get out. Now with the pandemic, these businesses have had to get a little more creative and have devised virtual escape rooms online that anyone can stream on their phone, smart TV or laptop.

You can play with your family in your home or with friends and family around the world by each connecting to the game’s platform. Some have you watch an animated room, while other games actually have you watch and direct a room guide in a physical room. Trapped Puzzle Rooms or  The Escape Game Remote Adventures are just a few of the many to choose from. It is great for all ages. Also, gift certificates are available at all sites.

CRAFT CLASSES TO GO

Is someone you love missing their crafting class? Online classes that cover a myriad of artistic abilities and ideas are available for the craft queen or king in your life.  Classes are available as a video that they can just follow along and replay when needed.

Sites like Skillshare.com, Creativelive.com and Creativebug.com have a myriad of classes to choose from. Most have a free trial period and then charge a monthly subscription. There is also Cratejoy that is a monthly subscription to different crafts delivered right to a residence with all the materials needed to complete a fun project.

Whatever gifts you choose, they are sure to be well appreciated and a wonderful distraction in this very unusual year. Enjoy!