In life’s tougher moments, it’s always best to start – or end – with a joke; retirement doesn’t have to be an exception. It can be hard to say goodbye, especially to someone who has provided years of great service, but an appropriate gag gift can help ease the transition and leave them laughing.
Like any gift, you have to be attentive to the retiree’s personality. Do they offend easily? Are they a team player? Will they appreciate a good joke? If the answer to the first question was yes, it may be a good idea to reconsider the kind of gift you want to give them; go with something a little more sincere. If they’re easygoing and love to laugh, your options will be more extensive.
As usual, the best place to start is with what you know. If there are any specialty or novelty gift stores in your area, go there first – party stores are also a good place to look. Spencer Gifts has stores throughout Canada and the United States and is probably one of the better places to visit before you resort to an online search; they carry a variety of old-age and retirement-themed gifts: drinkware, novelty gifts and old-age “accessories”. If anything goes with your retiree, they’ll get a kick out of these products.
Who wouldn’t want to leave their job with an “Officially Retired from All the Bullsh**” drinking cup?
Spencer’s has the same products in-store, and more, available for sale online; if you don’t see something you like, check the website. Everything is available to be ordered and shipped to your – or even their – address.
While you are online, it wouldn’t hurt to do a Google search. “Retirement gag gifts” heeds a variety of results. You can opt to do-it-yourself using Pinterest ideas for homemade gifts, browse through printables for hats, mugs and t-shirts, or even check out specifically themed websites like RetirementGiftCompany.com.
Once you have an idea of what there is to offer to the easygoing retiree, it’s time to start preparations for the perfect gag gift. Sites like Café Press, Zazzle and Etsy offer personalized novelty accessories and apparel for both him and her.
For those who aren’t picky, Zazzle offers t-shirts with generalized statements like: “I’m Re-Tired… So I’m Taking a Nap,” or “The Only Boss I Have Now is the Wife.”
The more adventurous might appreciate a personalized gift. You can’t go wrong with a funny custom wine glass or mug to show your appreciation for a parting co-worker; Café Press offers mugs with attitude – suggesting new “full-time jobs” like knitting and golfing.
If you, your co-workers, or even the retiree are more on the creative side, a DIY gag gift may be the perfect choice. Homemade-Gifts-Made-Easy.com has a list of 10 of the Funniest Retirement Gag Gifts. The Old Codger Merit Award or a Retirement Activity Decision Cube may be just what they need to motivate themselves for their new life.
However, if you’re looking for a really great no-holds-barred gag gift, OverTheHill.com is worth a good, long browse. Advertised as “Fun Gifts for Old Friends”, some of their products are available for sale at Spencers; but their website offers much more.
Aside from the general old-timer birthday products that could double as retirement gifts, they have a complete section devoted to those moving into their golden years. Retirement party cups and balloons are among the themed products, along with a retirement hat or tiara for the lucky recipient.
Their Retirement Survival Kit guarantees to “help any retiree get in the mood for a life of vacation”. It includes a Hawaiian shirt drink koozie, a paddleball, and decorative buttons – to name a few; everything they need to start a life of leisure after years in the work force. For a double whammy it can be paired with the Anti-Aging Survival Kit, which includes everything one might need for “a fresh new start”.
Of course, there are more gender-specific gag gifts for the retiree as well.
Retirement Gag Gifts for Women
While a good majority of the general products cater to the men, she might enjoy the Survival Necklace – with anti-age and anti-arthritis cream charms, and a pill box – a bouquet of black roses for the retirement party, or a Hot Flash Fan for those stifling days at the beach.
Retirement Gag Gifts for Men
There are even racier, more adult-themed gifts for the “Dirty Old Man” or the “Filthy Broad” that only a personal assistant might get away with.
Whatever gift you decide to give, the important thing is to show your former co-worker how much you appreciate what they have done for you and your company, and prepare them for the good times that are ahead of them beyond the workplace.