Thursday, September 29, 2016

Spinster Shopping: Empty Nester Care Package

Since yesterday's post was about the college girl, today is about her parents...or more likely...her mom. I have, of course, never been an empty netter (heaven help me if Miranda decides she wants to go to college), so most of this is just conjecture. However, I think a care package is always fun, so hopefully this would brighten a newly-freed mom's day.

So, let's get started!

1. A Cute Passport Cover:
          Now that this mom has a lot more free time, she might want to actually get to some of that traveling she's been meaning to do. Of course traveling is already lots of fun, but having a cute passport cover makes customs more bearable.

2. Tickets
          Pretty much any kind of tickets would do, I imagine. Maybe not speeding tickets. But you could give her a fandango gift card, a plane ticket, tickets to a play or concert or the ballet or the symphony. Whatever you think she'll like.

3. Cheese Straws:
          This may seem random, and I guess it is. My mom has less of a sweet tooth than I do, so salty things work better, I think. Cheese straws are basically like cookies made out of cheese. If you want the cookie shape, there are also cheese wafers (which I actually prefer.) You can buy them at the grocery store, but I highly recommend purchasing from a local maker, gourmet store, or farmer's market. I think these taste much better when made in small batches.

4. Flowers:
          A delivery of flowers (or an edible arrangement) is a wonderful way to congratulate an empty nester on a job well done. They survived eighteen years of child-rearing, and that's something to celebrate.

5. A Group Painting Class:
          There are a bunch of different places you can do these sorts of things. You know what I'm talking about - where a bunch of people (generally women) get together and all paint the same painting. It's really fun and relaxing. She may not like her painting in the end, but who cares? It's a good time.

6. Fun Sunglasses:
          I persuaded my mom to use Zenni Optical for the first time recently, and she bought a really cute pair of turquoise-framed glasses. If your empty-nester wears prescription glasses, Zenni is a great place to get them to gift, since you can get off for less than $50 most of the time.Too scared to pick frames for someone else? Zenni actually offers gift cards. Cool, huh?
           If you don't want to commit to prescription sunglasses, just a regular fun pair will do the trick! With all this traveling she'll be doing soon, she'll want to do it in style!

7. A Good Book:
          Think beach reads. This should be something so engrossing, she'll forget she ever had children in the first place.

8. City Guide:
          After all those years of carting children back and forth, here, there, and yon, a mom might not have explored her own city in a while. Enter a current city guide. There are lots of new restaurants, shops, and galleries to try, I'm sure. If she lives in a smaller town, be not afraid! Gifting a city guide to somewhere near or far may encourage her to do some of the traveling she's been meaning to do.

9. Lunch:
          I don't recommend you include a salad in a care package you're mailing, but if you live near a newly-minted empty-nester, you should definitely take them to lunch. Or make them lunch. You can celebrate and/or commiserate. I'm not going to prescribe your conversation - but lunch is always a good thing.

10. A New Lipstick:
          Have a favorite lipstick? Buy one for your friend! An updated makeup look can give someone a fresh start and help them look at their face in a new light.