Get your Pimm’s at the ready, as this Saturday (13 June) is the Queen’s official birthday, and while it’s not the actual day she was born (that’s the 21 April), this year marks her 94th birthday celebration.
While we won’t be sending the Queen a present (because what do you buy a monarch?) you may have a grandparent, great grandparent or another elderly relative’s birthday that you need to prepare for.
Shopping for someone over 90-years-old can be tricky, as you want to give them something they can enjoy even when they’re typically less mobile and sharp.
Their eyesight may not be as good, so keep that in mind when looking at smaller items such as books, and how heavy a gift could be, as this could be difficult to carry.
If you have a date approaching to celebrate, find some inspiration in our gifting guide.
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For a gift that keeps on giving, this Bloom and Wild three months of flowers (Bloom and Wild, £60) is a flower subscription that will see fresh blooms arrive at their doorstep monthly.
Arriving in a letterbox parcel that can be delivered even if no one is in, they’re easy to arrange in a vase and will last weeks, with flower food and step-by-step care instructions provided in each order.
Indoor foliage is ideal if the recipient may not get out the house very often (or at all during these times) and a house full of plants doesn’t only look good, it’s also been proven to provide a host of psychological benefits such as improved mood, reduced stress levels and longer attention span.
To keep it in the best condition possible, set it in a space that gets sun and shade, and don’t forget to trim it if it starts to become overgrown.
Make your gift personal with a piece of artwork to hang in their home, designed from family photos.
This Dorinda Art custom family portrait illustration (Etsy, £12.35), is a digital illustration that can feature up to 10 people, from friends, family, or even pets.
You can also get creative with a photo album, as a way of preserving memories that your elderly relative can share with younger generations in your family.
Apps like Colourize, which is free to download for iOS and Android, use artificial intelligence to allow you to add colour into photographs that were taken with a black and white camera in past decades.
It’s a thoughtful way to learn about your own family’s history and you can present them in a decorative album, such as this Begolden coloured leather photo album (Not on the High Street, £32). It’s soft to handle with no sharp edges, and you can also personalise with a name, date or occasion.
If you have more recent photos, perhaps from weddings or grandchildren being born, you can also create a photo album online by uploading pictures and designing the layout before it arrives fully made at your door. All you have to do is wrap it and add a card.
We like Papier’s “the minimalist” photo book (Papier, from £28), as it’s a softback and you can choose everything from the cover to captions.
It’s a simple design, hence the name, which will be easy for an elderly relative to browse through.
Food hampers are perfect at doing the hard work for you, especially if your culinary skills aren’t quite up to scratch.
If your recipient loves afternoon tea, bring the tradition to them while cafes and restaurants remain closed in lockdown. This Cutter and Squidge afternoon tea at home set (Cutter and Squidge, £29.90), has everything you need to treat them on a special occasion.
The set for two includes brownies, mini lemon cakes, buttery scones (these will need to be warmed up), clotted cream, fruit jam and loose leaf tea.
John Lewis and Partners also has a wide selection of sweet, savoury and alcoholic hampers to shop from.
Try the brand’s taste of Britain hamper (John Lewis & Partners, £40), which comes in a pretty willow basket containing all butter shortbread, milk chocolate, humbugs, strawberries and cream fudge, bakewell tart popcorn, strawberry jam and 10 English tea bags.
For a taste of nostalgia, this old favourites letterbox sweets gift box by Sweets in the Post (Not on The High Street, £12), is a selection of handmade sweets including sherbet lemons, mint humbugs, minty frosty bites and cinnamon balls.
Each box comes with a gift card and personalised message too.
For more birthday gift ideas, read our guide to celebrating milestones during lockdown here, and our round-up of the best letterbox flower services here