After my grandmother turned 80, finding her the perfect gift has become even more of a challenge. On her 80th birthday, the family threw her a huge surprise party. The surprise was almost ruined, however, since my grandmother didn’t want to dress up when going out. My sister and cousin had to make use of their dramatic acting chops in order to convince her to wear makeup and a pretty dress because of a so-called family portrait for her birthday. Needless to say, they succeeded with flying colors. The trouble now is how to make each succeeding birthday more memorable. If you ever encountered a problem like this with your grandparents, don’t worry, we’re in the same boat. Here are some ideas that I’ve tried and tested, which I’m sure will make your grandparents very happy too.


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One of the things that grandparents like most is reminiscing about the past. This is why I think a scrapbook would make a great present since it allows them to look back at their lives. Scrapbooks also allow you to explore your creativity in arts and crafts, adding a deeply personal touch to your present. You can also ask other family members to chip in whatever help they can so that it can truly be a family project. Collect pictures, stories and other memorabilia from aunts, uncles, cousins and even from your grandparents’ close friends. You can also design the scrapbook in such a way that it resembles a storybook of sorts, which would make it easier for your grandmother or grandfather to recall that certain memory or experience connected with the image or thing.


Making a scrapbook is a great idea but if you’re pressed for time, the next best thing you can do is to make a video. A video is still similar to a scrapbook, albeit in a digital form and you can still include pictures that show precious memories of your grandparents. If your grandparent has been around for more than 8 decades, one of the challenges you will encounter is digging through the attic for old pictures and scanning them. Sorting through all the images you will gather will also take time so when you ask other family members to submit pictures, tell them to send their most memorable memory with your grandmother or grandfather. It’s easier to control the number of photos this way. Remember to research your grandparents’ favorite song so you can use it as the background music for your video as it takes him or her back to memory lane.

Family Video Conference

It is a sad fact that families are often too busy to make time for each other, especially those who live in different states. After celebrating my grandmother’s 80th birthday together, the family went on their separate ways and the communication during the next birthday celebrations were done online. Keeping in touch is a great thing especially during special occasions when you can’t be together with family. What extended family members can do is to gather in one place. This would be ideal for those who live in the same state or nearby states. Once they are gathered, they can make use of a video conference system like Polycom, which would allow them to convey their birthday greetings personally to your grandparents. The wonderful thing about communication apps is that they allow family to communicate in a way that will make them feel as if they are in one room together and not a hundred miles away.

Based in San Diego California, Tiffany Matthews is a professional writer with over 5 years of writing experience. She also blogs about travel, fashion, and anything under the sun at, a group blog that she shares with her good friends. In her free time, she likes to travel, read books, and watch movies. You can find her on Twitter as @TiffyCat87.