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What to get for the Grandpa that has Everything?

At 88 years of age, my father-in-law has everything that he needs or wants. He is healthy, active and lives 3,000 miles away from us. With each celebration comes the question as to what to get for him. While he will always say ‘nothing’, it becomes a challenge to see what we can do that might surprise him.


His birthday this year brought about the same hurtle. We try to make the trip to visit him as much as possible, but, timing can always be a bit tricky. Since we live in Florida and he resides in California, we knew that he would never make the trip here, so we decided to collect a bit of Florida and send it to him, with a Digital Frame.


The first thing that we did was to go to our local beach, famed for the beautiful baby powder white sand. We collected sand and sea shells as well as some shark’s teeth. We placed those in a sealed plastic container to emulate the beach environment.  Next, we took a trip around our town and, using our digital camera, snapped some of the highlights of the area: the beach (of course), but also the island shops, the local animal sanctuary, the tropical birds in the estuaries, the raccoons in our back yard and the ocean sunsets.


What started out as just a gift for my father-in-law, ended up as a family project, each one of us giving our input for the favorite ‘spot’ to take a picture. By the end of our photo-shoot, we had way more than we needed, so we sat down and voted on what to include for the Digital Frame. We narrowed everything down so that the pictures told a ‘story’. With images of our son surfing and even added a few from when he was still a little boy.


By the end of our family journey, we finally had everything we wanted to include and loaded it on a USB, sending the entire package to him.  My husband’s brother told us that when my father-in-law sat down and viewed everything, it was the first time in years that he saw tears in his eyes. This was, by far, the best ever, as both a gift and a way to bring us all together.