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Elderly Fathers Don't Need More Stuff For Father's Day

Updated on August 11, 2013

A 2010 survey of adults 60 years and older agreed that they have "more things than they need". Fully 75 percent said that dealing with all their things made them somewhat or reluctant to think about moving.

In my experience in household downsizing I find that most people feel sentimental or attached to certain things in their household. They feel lightened by releasing the hundreds or even thousands of items in a household that have been collected over their lifetime. Although special occasions can offer the opportunity to give crystal, a matching pair of lamps, or a collection of stamps to family can be offered --- the embrace of what's offered may not always be assumed.

Gift Giving In A Different Way

But, on Father's Day (and Mother's Day) you can approach gift giving a different way. Write in your Father's Day card:

Dad, this year I am writing a check to your favorite charity because you have often said to me that you do not want me to give you one more thing. Plus, when you are ready I will unload anything you don't want anymore.

If you don't want to upset anyone in the family make suggestions of things you can take such as books in the basement, old videos, a chest full of blankets or stuff in attic or garage.

Another approach: Wrap an empty box with a note inside. The note will say, "Fill this box with things that you would like for me to have and when it is full give it to me. I will empty it and return it to you to fill again."

Taking things is act of kindness and generosity. I've always said my mother is the best at receiving gifts. I could give her a bag of manure and she would say, "Thank you soooo much! I can't wait to put this on my flowers tomorrow. I know it will produce the most beautiful peonies ever." I take my cue from her and recommend you do too. When you receive the box full from your Dad, say something like this or I have just the right place for this.

This is truly honoring Mom and Dad and isn't that what Father's Day is all about?

Take This Idea Into Other Holidays

As anniversaries pop up and the holidays roll around, take the opportunity to try this with your mom or dad this year. It can be a creative way to start the process of downsizing slowing. You never know, it might become a tradition from now on, one that you will want your children to repeat as you age.

© 2013 Kim Green


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