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Silver Foxes Den: Top 10 gifts for seniors

My Dad, 80, thinks that I am a powerful Christmas fairy who can secure the Vince Lombardi trophy for the Pittsburgh Steelers.

I know this because we had the following exchange.

“Hey, Dad,” I said, “What do you want for Christmas?”

“Same as every year, honey, just your love and the Steelers winning the Superbowl,” he responded.

Not wanting to waste my prodigious powers on football, I decided to take the question to my people in the dining room.

“What would you like someone to give you for Christmas?” was my query.

“Nothing,” “a good man,” “ Go away,” “I have everything I need except for a cap on my tooth and a million dollars,” were some answers.

I revised my question to “Someone will give you a present you have to keep. You can’t throw it away, you can’t regift it and you can’t bring it to the Free Shelf. It stays with you for all eternity.”

Life is all about asking the right questions. Here are the helpful answers.

1. Gift certificates: the United Way Dining Gift Certificates, certificates to City Market, to a coffee shop, to his or her beauty or barbershop, to the movie theatre, to his or her favorite restaurant. Stamps are good, too. One sweet lady, however, doesn’t like gift certificates because they cause her stress with their expiration dates and finite amounts.

2. Homemade cookies: This answer from several people surprised me, so I asked why. The answer was because they don’t cook anymore and no one gives them cookies because of their medical conditions.

“What if the cookies make you sick?,” I asked one diabetic person.

“Sometimes life isn’t worth living without homemade cookies,” he replied.

3. Weekly letters: Receiving a weekly letter for a year from a grandchild was the best present, one grandmother recalled.

4. Framed family photographs: These are loved without fail. I asked if anyone ever received one they didn’t like. The answer was always “never,” accompanied with a withering look.

5. Subscriptions: Not just to favorite magazines, but to fruit of the month clubs or flower ones, too. Or make your own, like cookie of the month, socks of the month or pancake topping of the month, and mail it every month.

6. Yak Traxs or the like: These are like snow tire chains for one’s boots. Falling and breaking a hip is a valid fear of my people. These inventions mitigate the fear and increase safety on ice. The price is around $20, depending on the model, and several stores in town carry them. I’ve heard raving testimonials about them in line at the salad bar.

7. Donations to a charity in his or her name: For instance, one could make a $50 donation to the Senior Center in the name of their loved one and I would make a lovely certificate saying that exactly. The loved one would then get the certificate, and the Senior Center would get the $50.

8. Consumables: Things that are used up, like fruit, cheeses, meat, dog food (for their pets), coffee, etc.

9. Events: Take them to dinner and a Pagosa Springs High School basketball game. Both the girls and boys teams are league champions and there is popcorn for sale outside of the gym. Or take them to concerts or to local venues for local music.

10. Attention: This is the No. 1 thing most desired. Our people want to spend more time with those they love. On the phone, in person, in writing, in e-mails. What about a commitment to a daily e-mail? Just a thought.

My Dad is going to enjoy a combination of delights for his Christmas gift, including my love. (I can’t write what his presents are because he reads this.) The Pittsburgh Steelers will just have to win without me.

Thank you

Thank you, Nancy Savage, for your amazingly generous donation. We appreciate it and your volunteering.

Thank you, Sarah Kinkead, for volunteering in the kitchen and helping our sweet cooks.

United Way

Once again the United Way of Southwest Colorado is offering $25 Dining Certificates. They work like this. Purchase a Dining Certificate from our office. Take it to a participating business. The participating business gives $5 to the United Way to fund programs in Pagosa Springs, including ours. Why not eat out and have $5 donated at the same time?

Participating businesses are the Alley House Grille, Bacci Italian Restaurant, Bear Creek Saloon and Grill, Boss Hogg’s Restaurant and Saloon, Buffalo Inn Restaurant and Bar, Cafe Colorado, Chimney Rock Restaurant and Tavern, D.J.’s Italian Grill, Dogwood Cafe, ElkHorn Cafe, Farrago Market Cafe, Higher Grounds Coffee Company, JJ’s Riverwalk Restaurant and Pub, Kip’s Grill and Cantina, Nello’s Bistro, Ole Miner’s Steakhouse, Pablo’s Diner, Pagosa Baking Company, Pagosa Brewing Company, Plaza Grille, Ramon’s Mexican Restaurant, Shang Hai Chinese Restaurant, The Rose Restaurant, Victoria’s Cafe, Saloon and Grill.

These certificates make great holiday gifts! Stop by our office and purchase some. Questions? Call me, Jodi, at 264-2167.

Weekly activities

Friday, Dec. 17 — Geezers 9 a.m.; Stitchin’ in the Kitchen 10 a.m.; Gym Walk 12:30 p.m.; ASI Christmas party 11 a.m., Bring a $10 gift, get a gift.

Monday, Dec. 20 — Gym Walk 12:30 p.m.; Canasta 1 p.m.; Cinnamon Ornaments with Jodi (signups required).

Tuesday, Dec. 21 — Gym Walk 12:30 p.m.; Meditation for Healing 1 p.m.

Wednesday, Dec. 22 — Doris Prior and Heidi Tanner, duet on piano and violin 12:45 p.m.

Thursday, Dec. 23 — Closed

Friday, Dec. 24 — Closed

This week’s Menu

Suggested donation for older adults age 60-plus is $3, kids 12 and under and guests $6. Our meal program is partially funded through the Older Americans Act, United Way, and Archuleta County, Town of Pagosa Springs and other contributions and grants. These funds help support the cost of the meal which is approximately $9.75. Please note our menu is subject to change. The salad bar opens at 11:30 a.m. with lunch served from noon to 12:30 p.m.

Friday, Dec. 17 — New England clam chowder, crackers, vegetable medley, cottage cheese, pineapple salad, tangerine, whole wheat roll.

Monday, Dec. 20 — Chicken fajita on whole grain tortilla, tomato and lettuce garnish, cilantro rice, tossed salad, grapes, banana.

Tuesday, Dec. 21 — Beef stew, orange cranberry mold, fresh apple slices, whole wheat biscuit, orange Jell-O salad.

Wednesday, Dec. 22 — Roast turkey with gravy, baked sweet potato, green beans, cranberry sauce, sliced strawberries and topping on angel food cake.

Thursday, Dec. 23 — Closed.

Friday, Dec. 24 — Closed.