Ideas for my Gma's 90th Birthday?

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heza

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So my grandmother is going to have her 90th birthday in January. My family is trying to come up with ideas to celebrate it, safely. In years past, if we couldn't see her and take her to dinner, we sent her a nice bouquet, but we feel like 90 deserves something a little more elaborate. She is in an assisted living facility where she can have two guests in her apartment but not entertain in the common areas. I'm having trouble coming up with feasible, socially distanced ideas (other than just a Zoom call). Can anybody help me brainstorm?
 

MaeZe

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A photo album with all the family and her, younger days, events not sure what you have available. If her vision is bad you might be able to enlarge the images.

I gave my son an album of his baby pictures as a wedding gift and it went over big. :D
 

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What are your local regulations on private fireworks? Something the whole facility could appreciate? Or, send in a catered dinner from some favourite or 'fancy' place? Does she have friends in the place that she could share it with?
Does your local TV station do birthday mentions for people in the higher numbers? For that matter, up here various levels of government will send congratulatory greetings, starting at age 75. (Has to be 100 years to rate one from the Queen.) I suppose this might depend on how your grandmother feels about politicians.
I'm sure people with actual families will be along shortly.
 

mccardey

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So sad, isn't it? I think this is one of the worst aspects of the Pandemic. I can't think of any celebration ideas, but a gift we gave my mother-in-law was a collection of all the hottest tunes from her 20s and 30s, a thing to play them on, and a very comfortable set of headphones, so she could play them without disturbing anyone. (My mother-in-law was quite shy). She loved it so much, that the home she was in made other copies for other guests and bought in sets of headphones.
 

heza

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A photo album with all the family and her, younger days, events not sure what you have available. If her vision is bad you might be able to enlarge the images.

I gave my son an album of his baby pictures as a wedding gift and it went over big.

Her vision is pretty good. I don't have access to the family photos at present, but if we end up doing Christmas, I might can get to them. She has all her old photos, so it wouldn't be a surprise or anything. I do have some old photos (not sure what all they're from) I could go through and see if they'd make a decent album.

What are your local regulations on private fireworks? Something the whole facility could appreciate? Or, send in a catered dinner from some favourite or 'fancy' place? Does she have friends in the place that she could share it with?
Does your local TV station do birthday mentions for people in the higher numbers? For that matter, up here various levels of government will send congratulatory greetings, starting at age 75. (Has to be 100 years to rate one from the Queen.) I suppose this might depend on how your grandmother feels about politicians.
I'm sure people with actual families will be along shortly.

Fireworks are illegal in the city.
Right now, they are not allowed to dine together, but we could have a special dinner delivered to just her.
The news would probably do a shout-out; my sister (local) would know more about that. I'll check with her.
My grandmother is in Texas, and apparently, Gov Abbott's campaign will send you a birthday message if you sign up on his website, so that's an idea. She'd probably like that.


So sad, isn't it? I think this is one of the worst aspects of the Pandemic. I can't think of any celebration ideas, but a gift we gave my mother-in-law was a collection of all the hottest tunes from her 20s and 30s, a thing to play them on, and a very comfortable set of headphones, so she could play them without disturbing anyone. (My mother-in-law was quite shy). She loved it so much, that the home she was in made other copies for other guests and bought in sets of headphones.

I can see about that... I might have to talk to my aunt to get an idea what she listened to. She's very religious, so I'm not sure if she listened to popular music or just gospel. She also really likes Christian and Sweet Romance, but she's been devouring them, so I don't have a good idea of what she's read and what she hasn't. And it is very sad for us to not be able to celebrate such a milestone the way she would most like. We can't all be together with her, but at least she's in good health (and we want to keep it that way). My stepmother isn't allowed to see her brother in ICU with Covid, right now, and he's fading pretty steadily.

Thanks for the ideas. I'll give them some more thought and run some of them by my sisters.
 

Maggie Maxwell

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Get every friend and family member to write her a letter about her: memories, emotions, pictures, anything. They can be sent over the post, or you can collect them all and send them in one big box, or put them in an album.
 

ULTRAGOTHA

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My Dad turned 80 today. My sister arranged for *everyone* to send him a card. Every friend, every relative, every spouse, every kid, every pet. We sent four. One of his friends sent him a card every day for two weeks with photos in them.
 

heza

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Get every friend and family member to write her a letter about her: memories, emotions, pictures, anything. They can be sent over the post, or you can collect them all and send them in one big box, or put them in an album.

My Dad turned 80 today. My sister arranged for *everyone* to send him a card. Every friend, every relative, every spouse, every kid, every pet. We sent four. One of his friends sent him a card every day for two weeks with photos in them.


Thanks for the added suggestions. Letters/cards from everyone sounds nice. I'd been contemplating last night the feasibility of doing a birthday Advent calendar type thing, where she could open a small gift every day for the month of January. I was wondering how I'd get that many meaningful but small gifts together so quickly, but it would be easier if I did half the days as small gifts and the other half of the days as lovely letters from all her favorite people. I'll add this idea to the list.
 

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I'm in the same boat for my mother's upcoming 100th birthday. She still lives at home (!), mostly alone (!!) and seems to be happy that way, but this is the first year that, due to COVID-19, she won't be able to go over to my sister's for Thanksgiving or Christmas. My sister is going to bring her dinner on those days and of course she'll have plenty of gifts, but it doesn't change the fact that she'll be alone.

I think it bothers her less than it bothers my siblings and me. She seems resigned, but still hoping that things will have changed by her birthday in early February, so that we can visit her and have a party. I'm still planning on asking my friends to inundate her with birthday cards.
 

frimble3

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What's the weather like where she is, especially in February? And, are you all within driving distance?
Any chance you could gather on her lawn/driveway, and she could sit by a window, or on a porch, while you sing happy birthday to her, and perhaps chat by phone? Not really 'the same' but least she could see your faces as you talk!
 
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mrsmig

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What's the weather like where she is, especially in February? And, are you all within driving distance?
Any chance you could gather on her lawn/driveway, and she could sit by a window, or on a porch, while you sing happy birthday to her, and perhaps chat by phone? Not really 'the same' but least she could see your faces as you talk!

She lives in Tennessee, where COVID-19 cases are rampant of late. The weather can be mild or it can be brutal in February - I've driven there for her birthday some years and been fine; other years I've had to dodge ice and snow. We siblings are scattered all over the country. The aforementioned sister lives in the same town, and my eldest brother stays with her part of the week (he works in Nashville but goes home to Memphis on the weekends), but the rest of us are at least several hundred miles.

The other hitch is that most of us are in our sixties, so unless things calm down considerably by early February, we probably shouldn't be traveling, either. :(
 

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My mom loves the LL Beans slippers we got her for Christmas last year; she says they're the best thing she ever put on her feet.

Also note: They have rubber soles and are slip resistant.

https://www.nytimes.com/wirecutter/reviews/best-slippers/

Other popular gifts have been L L Beans flannel sheets; they really truly are amazing. Mom's first pair is six years old and have had regular use; still fine.

Food from The Vermont Country Store?

Fruit of the month/Coffee/Tea/flowers of the month clubs?
 
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