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I need ideas for a 50th anniversary gift for my parents...HELP!

notan4menotan4me Posts: 223Registered User Junior Member
edited June 2011 in Parent Cafe
My parents are celebrating their 50th anniversary next month and are throwing themselves a big bash! My dilemma is what to give them for a gift.
Some background:
My sister wanted to go in together and get them an "experience." Unfortunately, her family is rather well-to-do, and mine is rather not. (I've been out of work for 2 1/2 years.) So, on their own, her family is sending them in to NYC by car service, meeting them there for dinner, taking in a Broadway show, and putting them up overnight in a midtown hotel. If my sister and her family were not all meeting my parents and enjoying these activities with them, I might have been able to afford to split the cost of dinner and a show. However, I really don't have the funds for my family to participate, along with paying for my parents, too.
So now I need help figuring out what I can give them. My budget is around $200. I'd like to do something more personal than a gift card, and I really would prefer not to get them "stuff" for their home.

Any ideas???
Post edited by notan4me on
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Replies to: I need ideas for a 50th anniversary gift for my parents...HELP!

  • northeastmomnortheastmom Posts: 12,379Registered User Senior Member
    Do you live in or near NYC? Perhaps you could join them for brunch and pay for your side of the family and split the cost with your sister for your parents (discussing the situation in advance)?
  • Puzzled88Puzzled88 Posts: 1,103Registered User Senior Member
    Could you possibly pay to have a casual but professional photograph taken of your parents and both your and your sister's families? You could all wear jeans and then different colored shirts for each family (or all white shirts is good too). A framed photo would be a lovely gift.
  • NJresNJres Posts: 5,273Registered User Senior Member
    I think Puzzled88 is on the right track. I was thinking a large frame with multiple photographs in it, if you have access to old photographs of them and their kids (grandkids?).
  • IllyriaIllyria Posts: 166Registered User Junior Member
    Could you add a romantic experience just for the two of them during their stay in the city? A ride in a carriage through the park? A couples spa treatment?
  • SplashMomSplashMom Posts: 1,916Registered User Senior Member
    Puzzled88 wrote:
    Could you possibly pay to have a casual but professional photograph taken of your parents and both your and your sister's families? You could all wear jeans and then different colored shirts for each family (or all white shirts is good too). A framed photo would be a lovely gift.
    I think this is a fabulous idea and one they would, no doubt, appreciate. If they're like my parents, they don't want any more "stuff". A family picture is perfect.

    I really like Illyria's suggestion of the carriage ride in the park, too.

    My parents celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary three years ago and my siblings and I rented cottages at a state park and we all spent the weekend there. We put a book together for them that had pictures of them from the time they dated up to the present time. They loved it. We grilled out, played games, rented a pontoon, etc. We had a blast and it was something they really enjoyed ... spending time with all their children and our families.

    Happy 50th to your parents ... that's quite the accomplishment these days!
  • dragonmomdragonmom Posts: 4,353Registered User Senior Member
    We did the family photo thing for my parents 50th and it was just what my parents wanted. Go for the albums where everyone can give them photos -both of the weekend and of those who weren't there.
  • TerpDadTerpDad Posts: 390Registered User Junior Member
    We put together a slide presentation put to music. It consisted of photos throughout their years of them, family, friends. The fun part was matching the music from the different decade to the photos. It was a huge success at the anniversity party!
  • intparentintparent Posts: 13,828Registered User Senior Member
    For my parents' 40th, we threw a surprise party for them (I get that this part is taken care of :)). But one thing we did was contact everyone who was invited and ask if they had any photos of my parents from the "early years" they could share. We got some hilarious pics (my personal favorites were from the Roman style party where they wore togas -- it was pretty clear by the time the pictures were taken that they didn't have just grape juice in those goblets!). We didn't get enough for a slide show, but we bought one of those frames where you can put a lot of different smaller pictures in it, and put them in that as a gift.
  • teriwttteriwtt Posts: 9,885Super Moderator Senior Member
    Do you have a MacBook or access to an Apple computer?

    For H's 50th birthday a few months ago, I assembled a bunch of photos that we'd taken from our two-week Hawaii trip in December with our daughters and made an iBook out of it. It's kind of like a coffee table picture book. He loved it.

    For your parents, you could go through all the pictures you can locate of them together from their wedding on (or courtship if they have any photos from then), and make an iBook. You can really personalize it and make it very special... something your sister won't have any claim to!
  • zeebamomzeebamom Posts: 425Registered User Member
    For their parents' 50th, my husband and his sister took a bunch of the old family slides (there were thousands), converted them to photos, and put them in albums. Year, subject, event, and all people were included on tabs below/above each photo.

    My in-laws loved it. They are not computer-literate, so CDs and the like wouldn't work, and have enjoyed having the albums under their coffee table for visitors to look at. We were there at the weekend & my daughters had fun looking at pictures of their Dad through the years (and a few of me, too). My FIL says he takes them out on anniversaries and BDs to remember good times.
    A side benefit - identifying people in the photos is a great thing to do while parents still remember who everyone is.

    The in-laws didn't go out to dinner much, but had favorite places for lunches, so we also bought a 'bouquet' of gift cards to these places, enough to cover lunch for 2.
  • gouf78gouf78 Posts: 3,035Registered User Senior Member
    I made a photo/scrap book album of old family pix . I wrote to relatives and friends of my parents and also their immediate neighbors for them to send me pictures of themselves or them with my parents and to add their congratulations to the book. It was really fun getting letters and pix from all over to add to the album. It takes a bit of lead time (give everyone a set date to get back to you). Parents loved it and really cherished it.
  • MaterMiaMaterMia Posts: 1,073Registered User Senior Member
    Framed wedding pictures of them, and each of their kids. matching frames. 8 X 10 or 11 X 13.

    I made a recipe book - with all of the things my mom cooked when we were growing up. Gave them out to all of the family - my mom loved it.

    A snapfish book - easily made with photos from their 50 years. not too expensive, hard cover book you can make on line, there are other companies too. Easy to do, add captions, nice keepsake. Ask kids if they each want to order their own copy.

    have folks use their cell phones to send you congrats ... and edit together a video for them. Kind of like gouf78's idea, but more high tech, easy editting software out there - your kids can help you with this.

    one of those electronic photo frams - and and pics from the 50 years.
  • csfmapcsfmap Posts: 288Registered User Junior Member
    Along the same line as gouf78, for my mom's 75th birthday I found a "Remember When" scrapbook at Exposures. I sent out a page to all her friends and relatives and thanks to them it was a wonderful, cherished gift for her. My mom died several years ago and the book is now something I cherish - it has so many snippits of her life and how she touched others. Here's a link if it works... otherwise google "exposures remember when scrapbook".

    Remember When Photo Album - Classic Albums - Albums & Scrapbooks
  • notan4menotan4me Posts: 223Registered User Junior Member
    Thank you all for such inspired suggestions! You all have the most wonderful thoughts! I KNEW I came to the right place to solicit some fabulous ideas!!!
    We did a family portrait a few years ago, but it could work again.
    I love the ideas of "adding on" to their stay in NYC!
    Hmmm, I went from having no ideas to now having to decide between such great ones!
    Thank you all again!!!
  • Puzzled88Puzzled88 Posts: 1,103Registered User Senior Member
    If the family portrait you did a few years ago was formal and indoors, you could try one outdoors for a totally different feel and look. The one I was thinking of when I made the suggestion was taken on a dock and everybody was dressed in khakis and white polo shirts. It was a great picture and everyone looked tan, relaxed and happy.
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