Re old people - I've got a rather challenging grandmother to buy for - 95, mentally there but lacks stamina / concentration, diabetic, unsteady on her feet, has everything, can't use technology to save her life (even tuning a radio is beyond her...). It's a bit of a challenge.
A few things that have gone down well in the last few years include
- coffee table books related to their interests (e.g. favourite wildlife) or even something like Humans of New York Stories if they're more of a people person
- experiences - my grandmother got to feed the lemurs at the local zoo for her 95th birthday. The zoo was very happy to accommodate her, the lemurs enjoyed climbing over her and her mobility scooter(!), and she enjoyed herself! Other things like boat trips have also gone down well.
Other things I've been thinking of include
- Not on the High Street has some good personalised gifts, ranging from a drawing of their house (or a special one from the past) personalised house portrait print by letterfest | notonthehighstreet.com
to stylised versions of the family tree on a cushion etc. etc.
- membership to an appropriate local attraction
- electronic photo album - they're a bit old hat to most people now, but still a source of wonder and amazement to older people!
- one of those boiling water taps, if lifting the kettle is starting to become a bit of a strain (though they do usually need plumbing in, so you'd have to account for that)
On the other topic - when I was small I always used to think that Danish Blue Cheese was actually called Dangerous Blue Cheese. The name stuck