Retirement is exciting, but it's also daunting. On one hand, you get to stop working and spend the rest of your life relaxing, having fun, and spending time with family. At the same time, it can be nerve-wracking to suddenly leave work behind and start a brand-new chapter in your life. To help your colleague transition into this tough, but enlightening period of their life, here are some gift ideas for celebrating retiring colleagues. When you're sending them off, make sure you show them how much you appreciate the time you've spent working together and wish them well on their retirement journey.
The Classic Gift
The classic gift for colleagues approaching retirement is a watch, necklace, plaque, or other object that's inscribed with their years of service and the company's name. A gold, inscribed pocket watch is the most well-known. It stands for quality craftsmanship and is an actual and metaphorical reminder of the passage of time. Unfortunately, it's also expensive. Other gifts might be more practical, and, despite being classic, seem like a more modern choice. A necklace can be worn, and a retirement plaque is both nice to look at and easy to display.
Playing on the Pocket Watch
If you like the symbolism of a pocket watch but would prefer something that's more practical, there are plenty of other objects that play on the concept of time. To celebrate your colleague’s retirement, consider giving them:
A New Cell Phone
Nowadays, watches aren't as common. Most people use their phones as their go-to clock. As a bonus, a new phone will keep your colleague connected to social media sites and give them a brand-new way to call and text their former coworkers.
A Novelty Clock
There's more than one type of clock. Why not choose something fun? You can get your colleague a wristwatch, cuckoo clock, or even a chalkboard clock, so they can decorate it to their heart's content.
A Personalized Gift
Thanks to the internet and high-tech, modern machinery, you can customize just about anything. Personalization lets you include a special, heart-felt message to the retiree, either though words or images. It's a great way to make your gift seem more thoughtful. It's true that you can customize just about everything, but for your retiring colleague, try these ideas:
Photo or Memory Books
You can create custom books on sites like Shutterfly and Ofoto that include pictures of your colleague’s working years.
Put a group photo of everyone in the office on a coffee cup, playing cards, a t-shirt, mouse pad, or tote bag, so your colleague can be reminded of their former coworkers whenever they use it.
Who doesn't love a good, delicious glass of champagne? If your colleague prefers a different type of alcohol, get them the respective type of glass. Or, if they don't drink, get them a coffee or travel mug instead.
A Memoir of Their Job
Another unique gift idea for celebrating retiring colleagues is a memoir of their job. Your colleague might be leaving the workplace, but their memories of what they've been doing for the past few decades are unlikely to fade. A lot of people love their job and take great pride in what they do for a living. Giving your retiring colleague a touching memoir of their job is a great way to remind them of all the great, memorable years they've spent working. Some fun, simple ideas include:
- A framed map of a salesperson's territory
- A wrench for a plumber
- A framed axe or the nozzle of a firehose for a firefighter
- A throw pillow made from their favorite tie or uniform
- A pen or keyboard for a writer
- A collage of past artwork for a designer
Something for a New or Existing Hobby
Once your colleague retires, they'll have a whole lot of time on their hands. What better way to spend it then doing something they love? Picking out a gift that correlates with a colleague's existing hobbies or encourages them to try a new one is a fantastic idea. It gives your colleague something to do in their leisure time—and leisure time is what retirement is all about, right? Check out these gift ideas for some fun, popular pastimes:
- A new set of golf clubs
- A specialized fishing pole
- A writing journal
- A Kindle or bookstore gift certificate
- A 1000-piece puzzle set
A Family Gift Basket
Retirement is the perfect time to spend time with family, including children, grandchildren, or even great-grandchildren. If your retiring colleague has younger grandchildren to spoil, consider helping them out with a family-themed gift basket. You can stuff it full of all kinds of fun games, activities, and special surprises, like:
You can get the classics, like Uno, Apples to Apples, Dominos, and other fan favorites, or add new, interesting games into the mix.
There are books that offer hundreds, if not thousands of fun activities for children and their grandparents to do together. You can send your colleague and their grandchildren on a fun, exciting adventure, all by giving them a simple gift.
Tickets or Gift Cards
Including tickets to an upcoming event is a great way to give your colleague and their family something to do. If you want to give them a bit more freedom, pre-loaded gift cards will let them shop at their favorite stores, visit their favorite restaurants, and more.
A Gag Gift
Laughter is the best gift of all, as they say. If your colleague is of the humorous type, why not tickle their funny bone with a wacky, well-meaning gift that pokes fun at their age? Not everyone takes well to this kind of joke, so make sure you know your colleague's sense of humor beforehand. These simple, yet hilarious gag gifts are sure to get a chuckle from the right type of person:
- Magnifying glasses
- A designer walking cane
- Pepto Bismol
- An empty piggy bank
- A Life Alert device
At Crystal Central, we're dedicated to helping you find the right gift, no matter the occasion. Our personalized plaques and awards make the perfect present for retirees, graduates, military members, pastors, and more. Come browse through our wide selection of crystal gifts today!