Today’s senior citizen is a tough bird to buy a Christmas. Take my buddy, J.C. Spitznagel. Like many seniors, over the (many) years he’s acquired pretty much all he ever wanted.
He’s got the full complement of household appliances, a home entertainment center that has everything but the Rockettes – live. And more books, magazines, and CDs than he could possibly read or listen to if he lives to 200.
Let me add that J.C. has no hobbies. No interests outside of vegging out with his six clickers in front of Baywatch reruns. He has had no known ambition for at least nine years.
What do you get a guy like that?
My Red Christmas Coat Remembered
The nightly TV news is a good place to start looking. If you didn’t know, we seniors are about the only ones who care about news anymore. So most every commercial is aimed at the needs of old farts like J.C.
Tooth glue is popular here. Arthritis painkillers. Adult diapers pitched by ’50s movie stars we used to adore.
The newshour is a Christmas gift bonanza for fossils like us.
Viagra’s big. This up and coming drug has commercials showing handsome older couples giddy with glee about their newfound key to heavy breathing.
Fact is, you can get an authentic picture of what ails older America just by watching commercials on the evening news. There’s Rogaine for the follically challenged. Prozac for our glum chums. You name it, Pharma’s got an expensive pill for it.
Suddenly Trivia: What are the Bottom 10 least popular Christmas Gifts (besides fruitcakes)?
Christmas Fruitcake: A Missing Time Piece
Christmas Gift Ideas for Seniors
If your senior’s life is so complete that s/he has all the above, consider these fine gifts:
- Heavy-duty moisturizer for seniors with tough, industrial-strength wrinkles.
- Waistband stretchers for that duffer couch potato in your life, the one who eats Cheese Fritos all day but refuses to acknowledge his ever-spreading middle.
- Soft, extra-wide, double-deep seat cushions. They bring heads of shrinking oldsters back up above the edge of the dinner table.
- Ear-hair tweezers and nose-hair pluckers are always popular this time of year.
- Other hot sellers with the fogy set are hair thickener cream rinse, age-spot cover, and under-eye cream. (Preparation X also does wonders for under-eye fatigue, though traditional types may feel awkward rubbing hemorrhoid medicine on their faces.)
- If all else fails, there’s always that gift that keeps on giving: A pet. Not a kitty or puppy, mind you, but something more fitting, like a faithful old dog or a crotchety and selfish cat. You know the saying about owners and pets looking alike. Try to match the pet with the personality: A St. Bernard for that insufferable aunt who lost herself so long ago; perhaps a Chihuahua for her poor, henpecked husband.
- Large-print books are hot this year. I hear Harlequin Romances has a great assortment, and what could be better than a holiday package combining torrid trysts with Preparation X and a bottle of Viagra?
Last, and maybe best, consider giving “The Clapper.” You know, the device that, at the clap of your hands, tells you where lost things are.
Like those reading glasses we’re always losing on the tops of our heads. Pencils behind our ears. Our car keys, or our car, or anything that tends mysteriously to move from where it is put.
This year, I see they’re selling “The Clapper II.” Not sure, but I hope it finds thing before we know they are lost.
Above all this holiday season, don’t forget to give as much love and charity and tolerance and compassion as you can muster. They’re timely 365 days a year.
Suddenly Trivia: Top 10 least popular Christmas Gifts (besides a fruitcake)?
10. Andre the Giant Champagne,
9. Hickory Farms Smoked Gristle Assortment,
8. Phil Donahue’s “A Boy’s First Dress,”
7. A box of Palm Beach Chads,
6. The Rev. Ted Haggard/Mark Foley Pop-up Book,
5. Angry-Live-Bird-in-a-Bag from Hartz Mountain,
4. Used Donald Rumsfeld Smile Kit,
3. The Living Weasel Wallet,
2. Al Sharpton’s Hair-Styling Spackle,
1. Isotoner Diapers.