As it is now December and officially time to start our Advent calendars, I think it's time for the dreaded C word. No, novt cortisone; Chrismtas! 'Tis the season for festivities and fun! I can't think of any time of year I love more, except perhaps the summer when I can actually move. Anyway, people are beginning to come up with present ideas for their friends and families. I can completely sympathise if you are struggling because there are quite a few people on my list giving me a run for my money (you know who you are). I am a firm believer in the thought being what counts the most- I'd rather recieve nothing but told how much they thought of me than something that was obviously bought in haste without a thought to who I am. That said, I think it's sometimes hard to come up gift ideas for those of us with chronic illnesses. Since most people aren't millionaires, my wish of a hot tub won't be on my list, but there are small things that are very appreciated.
1. Gloves, Scarfs and Hats. Many of us have a hard time keeping warm, and the thought to help us keep warm is greatly appreciated. Fingerless gloves and mittens are great as well, especially when they have flaps to cover the fingers when not in use. Buy one or two sizes larger if you are buying for someone who uses wrist braces. Hand knitted items are great presents, as one knows you stopped and took the time to really think about them. Keep the person's style sense in mind: My auntie once bought me a hat. I don't even wear hats and it wasn't one of which was even remotely my style. I knew she only bought it because it was my cousin's style, who got the same hat.
2. Heated Socks and Slippers. Along the same lines as the above ideas, these are good for relaxing and helping one's achy feet and ankles. Often these socks and slippers have small pockets to hold a heat pack, which is often microwaveable. Bonus points if you can find the animal shapped kind.
3. Books. I may be a little biased on this one because I'm a big reader, but I believe books are some of the best gifts you can give. What's better than giving the gift of adventure, learning and imagination? Of course, this isn't appropraite for everyone since some don't read too often and might not appreciate the gift. But to the right person, it can be a wonderful gift. Now, this can be a tricky gift too as not only can it be hard to pick a title, you also have to take one's hands into consideration. I recommend asking one if they use an electronic tablet to read or if they prefer paper books. Gift cards for the tablets are perfect, as are book gift cards. I prefer real books. If you're stuck on trying to find a good book- particularly for a young person-, I recommend The Fault in Our Stars by John Green (A teenage romance, with a medical twist), The Book Theif by Markus Zusak (A World War II fiction), and Divergent by Veronica Roth (Dystopian Chicago, from the point of view of a teenage girl).
4. Restaurant Giftcards. Believe me when I say they're extremely appreciated. Just make sure it's arestaurant that can cater to any dietary restrictions, if that may be an issue. If the person happens to be in a huge flare over Christmas, I recommend Giftcards for places that deliever. It can be a huge relief to not have to worry about cooking, especially if the person has a family.
5. Coupon Book. I don't mean literal shop coupons. I mean write down some things you could possibly do for the person on a little certificate, so they can use throughout the year. Not anything extraordinary, just little things. To drive them to an appointment, to cook dinner and little things like that. Don't write down anything you can't keep your word on. These are very helpful, especially during flares.
These are just a few ideas, and I'm sure there are plenty more you can think of! Just remember to really think of the person. It's honestly the thought that counts. I'd rather a thoughtful card than a football any day.