A 100th birthday is a celebratory achievement for not only the centenarian but also for their family, the multiple generations who love them.
Jump ahead to these sections:
- 100th Birthday Gift Ideas for a Parent or Grandparent
- 100th Birthday Gift Basket Ideas
- DIY or Personalized 100th Birthday Gift Ideas
- Last Minute 100th Birthday Gift Ideas
- Inexpensive or Cheap 100th Birthday Gift Ideas
A 100th birthday is a great time to pull out all the stops and give some special gifts. But you’ll want to make sure your gifts are appropriate for older people.
Here are some ideas to make your loved one’s 100th birthday even more special.
100th Birthday Gift Ideas for a Parent or Grandparent
Whether your parent or grandparent is turning 100, you can count on these gifts as great starting ideas. Make sure to personalize them to their tastes.
Cute and comfortable slippers
Keeping your feet comfortable is a pastime that defies age-groups. If you have a stylish 100-year-old relative, gift her some great new footwear. Focus on substance too. Find something with a soft lining, memory foam, and plenty of grip for the floor, like this pair of slippers from Amazon.
A pattern book or how-to books for hobbies
Does your loved one like crocheting, needlework, gardening, or another hobby? A new book of patterns or craft ideas can be a fun gift idea, especially if you agree to do a shopping trip together for materials. Or if you can use the project as a chance to spend time together.
Art that contains 100 items, like 100 pennies
If you want to create something beautiful for your parent or grandparent, consider a piece of art that incorporates 100 of something: 100 small photos, 100 pennies, 100 pieces of colored glass. Placing a fun design of these items in a shadow box or frame makes for a meaningful and pretty artwork.
Pampering skin care lotion
Keeping your skin soft and smelling nice is a great way to give a simple but useful gift to your loved one. Many 100-year-olds appreciate gifts that are consumable, like luxurious lotion, which they can throw away when they’re done with them.
Spa gift certificate
If your birthday celebrant loves a day of pampering, consider a spa gift certificate for a day of gentle face masks or relaxing massages together. They will love time with you, and the comfort their muscles and skin feel after they’re relaxed and rejuvenated.
A photo album or photo book with funny captions
Make your parent or grandparent laugh by putting together a book that offers pictures of those they love with funny captions that remind them of the good times.
A heated or weighted blanket
At 100 years old, a comfy nap might be just what the doctor ordered! Pick up an ultra-soft blanket or one with a gentle heating or weighted element that will help your centenarian journey to dreamland.
A series of nature documentaries
Recent documentaries like Planet Earth offer breathtaking landscapes to view and help re-instill a sense of wonder into people of all ages. A thoughtful gift for a hundred-year-old relative might be the boxed set of some of these amazing works of art.
A personalized family tree
Especially if your family is large, wall art of a family tree is both beautiful and functional for remembering everyone’s names.
100th Birthday Gift Basket Ideas
If you want to create a gift that has a few different aspects, consider putting together a gift basket for the 100-year-old birthday guest!
The 100-theme basket
It can be fun to make a silly basket that contains 100 of the same thing: 100 pennies or nickels, 100 peanuts, 100 hard candies, etc. This can be fun to put together with grandkids or great-grandkids who are just learning to count.
Cookies and flowers themed basket
There are companies out there that make cookies into a “bouquet.” This could make a great gift, but if you want, you could also opt to go the DIY route. Make your own by baking cookies with your family, wrapping them in cellophane, and affixing them to wooden dowels. It’d be even better with notes and cards tucked in amongst the cookies. Or you can add a small plant in the middle.
A spa day themed basket
Add bath salts, lotion, a soft loofah or washcloth, a gift certificate to a salon, or anything else you think would make for a day of pampering! You can also find a ready-made spa day gift basket of products with your relative's favorite scent online.
A fruit-themed basket
Great fruit that’s in season can be hard to find, so consider making a “farmer’s market finds” basket full of great jams, jellies, fruits, banana bread, or other items that would make for a healthy and tasty mix.
An activities-themed basket
If your 100-year-old is spending time with grandkids or great-grandkids, consider a basket of activities that they can do together. Anything from activity books to fill-in-the-blank stories to chalk or crayons can keep kids entertained and give them things to talk about with their grandparents.
DIY or Personalized 100th Birthday Gift Ideas
Making the 100th day even more special might take a little extra effort, but here are some ways to do it and show your love even more.
Subscription to e-learning lectures or classes at a local college
Hire a quartet to sing for the birthday person
If your 100-year-old honoree wouldn’t want any particular item, consider hiring a local quartet to serenade them. They can sing songs from their childhood or some beautiful harmonies on the “Happy Birthday” song.
If you know that your family member doesn’t need more items, consider giving them a birthday card with an itinerary for spending a day together. This could be anything from running errands to seeing a museum or just having tea at a local tea room. Or you can be more ambitious and help them accomplish an item on their bucket list!
A letter enclosed in the birthday card
Many senior citizens love to just hear about your life and feel cared for when you write to them.
A list of 100 interesting facts/places/memories
Want to come up with a challenge? Write 100 things you know about the birthday guest, or 100 places you associate with them, or 100 memories of them. You can compile these things in a message book like this one from Amazon. This list may become a cherished item for them, even if it takes some doing to get to 100!
Last Minute 100th Birthday Gift Ideas
On your way to the 100th birthday party without knowing exactly what they’d like? Here are some great options for you that will fit many 100-year-olds’ tastes.
Practically everyone gets cold sometimes, and a cozy new sweater is a perfect gift to keep any senior warm.
Set of cards/time to play cards together
If you pick up a deck of cards or a new kind of card game, make sure your card mentions that you are up for a game soon. Sometimes, time is the best gift you can give.
A classic gift, getting a beautiful bouquet on the way to a 100th birthday party is far better than showing up empty-handed. Make sure you know whether the person is prone to allergies related to flowers. If you aren’t, consider a small potted plant rather than a big bouquet of cut flowers, which may release a lot of pollen.
Swim cap or hobby-related gift
If you know that your relative does water aerobics or another activity, consider getting them an accessory, like a stylish swim cap.
Simple home decor, like a fun sign
If the apartment or home where your relative lives is a little bare, pick a sign that is personalized to them, either with a catchphrase or a family saying. It doesn’t have to be large to be meaningful: you could also opt for a small wall-hanging with an air plant in it, for example.
Inexpensive or Cheap 100th Birthday Gift Ideas
Need to keep your gift on a budget? No problem—remember your 100-year-old friends and relatives usually love your company over any gift!
Comfy neck pillow
Almost anyone could benefit from a comfy neck pillow, especially if you end up taking naps in chairs occasionally. If you know that your 100-year-old friend loves an armchair nap, pick up a memory-foam neck pillow with a soft fabric on it.
A great mystery or another book
If your family member or friend loves to read to be read to, pick out a book from their favorite genre and bring it over to share with them.
Local delicacies, like chocolate
If you want to bring something small and inexpensive, aim for a small serving of something nice from a local bakery to a great chocolatier. You can get a small sample of something decadent rather than bring a large sheet cake or another expensive food gift.
Sparkling juice for a toast
If you want to give a rousing speech in appreciation for your parent or grandparent, your gift can be to bring the sparkling grape or apple juice to lift a glass in their honor and speak about how much you care for them.
Picture frame with a group photo
A thoughtful small gift, especially if you don’t have a large budget, is to decorate a picture frame and give it to them with a great family photo in it. You can also get crafty and make an entire memory board.
Making a 100th Birthday Gift Count
Getting to spend time with a family member whose age has entered the triple digits is a true gift. They’ve got wisdom and have seen so much in their lives. Every moment with them is precious.
Make sure that, while most of us love opening a gift, you also focus on the needs and desires for community and companionship that your 100-year-old friend or relative needs.
Looking for more ideas? Read our guide on the best 100th birthday party cake and theme ideas.