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Birthday Ideas for My Grandma Turning 100 Years Old

by Jae Kemp

When your grandmother reaches age 100, this remarkable milestone warrants a special celebration. To help the matriarch of your family ring in her centennial in style, surprise her with some extra special gifts that are likely to stir up some happy memories or create some brand new ones.

Reunions

Whether your relatives span the city or are sprinkled across the map, your grandma's 100th can be a perfect occasion to reunite everyone. If she rarely gets to see some family members due to mobility, financial or other limits, she'll delight in seeing lots of family members happily interacting together. For a special treat, make it a surprise reunion by telling her that you're just taking her to her favorite restaurant. Rather than instructing the whole family to leap out and shout "Surprise!" have them remain quietly seated while you, feigning surprise, point out a familiar face at a nearby table and then a couple more until she realizes the room is filled with those nearest and dearest to her. If getting the entire clan together isn't feasible, perhaps your grandma hasn't seen a brother or sister or other close family member in a long time. Arrange for a meeting and possibly give them the opportunity to spend a few days together.

Road Trip Home

In her 100 years, your grandmother has probably embarked on her fair share of journeys. If she now lives far from her home of origin, consider arranging a road trip or flight to her birthplace. If a road trip is feasible, plan stops along the way to spots of significance to her, such as the ski lodge where she used to work or the town where she met your grandfather. If physical travel is out of the question, try to bring her past home to her by putting together a video show using her old photos and preparing some of her favorite recipes.

A Dream Destination or a Home Makeover

An alternative to taking her on a literal trip down memory lane is to arrange a sojourn to a place that she's always dreamed of visiting. As long a she's able to get around without health risk -- and you check with her physician first -- plan the trip of a lifetime for her. Keep in mind that you'll either have to accompany her on the trip or be sure that another relative can go along. However, if your grandma can't travel, you can do something extra special for her right at home. For example, re-carpet and paint her bedroom -- and then install a big-screen TV. Or, make over another room so that it's bright and cheerful -- and then frame and hang photos on the walls that will bring back pleasant memories for her.

Life's a Stage

If you have an enthusiastic team of creative relatives and friends, stage memorable scenes from your grandmother's life. Rent a community hall or set up a makeshift stage in the backyard. Rehearse together until you're ready for the big show on her big day. Then pull open the curtains to reveal familiar actors portraying not only critical moments from your grandma's past, such as her marriage or the births of her children, but also important events in history. Incorporate video footage into the show to include the unveiling of inventions, historic news announcements, famous skits from popular entertainers and even archived commercials for products long off the market.

About the Author

Jae Kemp has been writing and editing professionally since 2010. In addition to reviewing novels, memoirs and psychology/self-help books for major review services, Kemp has served as a copywriter, commercial and creative editor, and staff article writer.

Photo Credits

  • Jenny Acheson/Stockbyte/Getty Images