Meaningful Gifts for Seniors

Jen Bradbury
May 28 · 5 min read

Annotated Bible

Every year around this time, I struggle with what to give our graduating seniors.

Early on in my career, I’d actually spend weeks agonizing over this. Indecisiveness would paralyze me until eventually, I’d give up and order a cheesy graduation gift from Oriental Trading.

I never liked giving these gifts and to be honest, I don’t think the seniors liked receiving them. Though well-intentioned, ultimately, they were impersonal. I imagine after a short stint in a prominent place, they ended up forgotten in a junk drawer.

Knowing this, in the last few years, I’ve worked hard to give seniors gifts that are meaningful. Meaningful gifts are ones that are both rooted in faith and personalized. The best ones also involve others.

To that end, this year we gave our seniors a very traditional gift: A Bible.

What distinguished this Bible from others they’d received is that we personalized it.

To be clear, we didn’t emboss the senior’s name on the leather cover of the Bible.

Instead, we involved others in the personalization.

A few days before we gave the seniors their Bibles, I put them in our church’s main office. I then invited teens and adults from our congregation, our church’s staff, and our youth ministry’s adult leaders to stop by and write a message in each senior’s Bible.

Since I didn’t want these Bibles to feel like yearbooks, I specifically asked people not to write their messages in the front of the Bible.

Here’s what I asked people to do instead:

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