For a birthday, your granddaughter may request another gothic doll (her 17th), or your daughter may ask for more jogging pants. But finding a gift that your daughter or granddaughter will treasure demands creativity and perception. You can surprise them with treasured keepsakes or gifts to improve their quality of life.
Writing about favorite memories and placing them in a container can surprise and delight younger generations, as the Legacy Project suggests. You might quote the funniest lines your daughter and granddaughter uttered as children or the teasing you received from your mother: "You apply nail polish the way some people paint a barn." If possible, include information about earlier generations, such as a grandmother's love of writing poetry. Placing the small memory notes in a clear jar can create an intriguing gift.
By searching through older family jewelry, mementos, toys or dolls from the past, you may find gifts with sentimental value or antique chic. Your granddaughter might enjoy a cloisonné butterfly necklace from your youth or your once treasured Raggedy Ann. Similarly, your daughter might cherish a string of pearls or an antique wedding ring. Both might enjoy a memento of your grandmother's travels, such as a glass ship filled with shells she found in California decades ago. Accompany each gift with an explanation of the memories that you associate with it.
Creating a Photo Album
By collecting photographs of all the women in your family, past and present, you can create a photo scrapbook or digital album -- perhaps as a Mother's Day gift. Creating this gift may require conducting interviews with family members. The book might begin with a basic family tree depicting three or four generations of mothers. Include a narrative with the scanned photographs.
Compiling a Cookbook
If the women in your family love traditional recipes, collect them to create a savory gift -- a family cookbook. If possible, scan handwritten recipes from your mother or grandmother to capture the style of previous generations and a time when women did most of the cooking. Ask your daughter and granddaughter about their favorite holiday or birthday menus and include these recipes as well. Binding and printing your recipes on heavy-weight glossy paper can add the finishing touch.
Quality of Life
Perhaps your daughter works 50 hours a week and your granddaughter struggles to balance soccer practice, Girl Scouts and nightly homework. After speaking with them about possible options, you may decide that a gift of services or entertainment will improve their quality of life. Perhaps your daughter would love a cleaning service or a month's worth of home-cooked meals. You might arrange a girls' night out at a professional ice show or musical, an experience that could bind all three generations.