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An elegant, dignified and beautiful lady of 60 years of age, modestly remarked at her birthday party, “No matter how old I may look, I still feel as though I were 18 inside. My feelings haven't changed, I just don't have the same amount of energy to do all I did when I was 18.”

Many young people fail to realize that just because a person lives enough years to gain a few gray hairs and a couple (!) of wrinkles doesn't mean they're not young at heart. If you're planning a birthday celebration for your soon-to-be 60 year old Mom, keep this little story in mind.

Inside her heart and mind, she too, is still an 18 year old, with all the enthusiasm for life and living you yourself enjoy. So when thinking of 60th birthday gifts, think of the activities you enjoy and gifts you'd like to receive. Forget the old-lady outfits and stodgy items you may think befits a woman of her age!

She too has hobbies and interests and activities, which may not be age-related. Golfing, swimming, hiking, bicycling, cooking and gardening may be interests you have in common. For 60th birthday gifts, don't insult your birthday guy or gal with a cane! If your Mom loves to garden, but suffers a little arthritis, small rectangular stools with a padded seat offer relief for the knees while picking weeds. This is a thoughtful gift that keeps her going at her love of gardening.

Maybe your Dad is turning 60, a lifelong fisherman who, in his younger years, roughed it on the hard ground by the lakeside. His 60th birthday gifts might include one of those collapsible butterfly chairs of netted nylon, with a space for a cold beer right in the chair, or a cooler on rollers to easily tow lunch, sodas and bait.

Does your Aunt enjoy cross-country skiing? This is an arduous sport indeed, so if she's still going, encourage her to continue with 60th birthday gifts that make the trek a little easier. There are special sunglasses to ease the glare of the sun on snow. Get her a pair of snowshoes! Most people who ski cross-country carry a pair to use when they encounter spots they can't negotiate by skis.

Now what about a 60th birthday gift for a librarian? Ha! This requires a bit of imagination to come up with an idea that's ageless yet not dating. Librarians are custodians of information, and it's likely this person is well educated. Do they love books above all? Locate a book dealer who deals in rare books and first editions. See if you can find a first edition of Steinbeck's Cannery Row.

Whatever you do, remember that reaching the age of 60 is a two-edged sword in most cases. For well received 60th birthday gifts, present your glass full, not half-empty.

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