25 Christmas gift ideas for people with chronic illness

It’s almost Christmas and I just love it. Especially the Christmas shop. The music, the decorations, the dressed-up staff, the food stalls and the crowds. The atmosphere is alive. It is very draining though. The pressure of what to buy, what colour, what size, the cost, rushing out of the cold, wet weather into boiling hot stores. It’s exhausting! It’s made even tougher when you want to buy for a loved one with special needs. So, I thought I’d offer some help. Here’s my suggestions for keeping the mood lifted for an easier, more inclusive Christmastime:

1.Art and Crafts – Help kick start creativity and maybe a new hobby. Most types of crafts have a starter kit, and it makes a lovely gift to speed up those long wintry days.

Glass painting, Sketching, Decoupage, Needlework and Adult Colouring are some of my faves.
Top tips: Think about their current interests, the ease to stop and start the project and something within the person’s capabilities.

2. Cake mix – Buy or make one. Take out the hard work and place ingredients into bags then a jar or tin. Add in some easy-to-follow instructions and a pretty tag, and voila! They get to do the fun baking bit, while you rack up points for putting in extra effort.

3. Slippers – A popular gift. Go for the warmest, and ones with a back are safer. An arch support can help prevent getting flat feet too.

4. Socks – I was always going to mention socks, ha! A thick thermal pair is best, of course any novelty you like. Some socks are electrical heat up too, bonus!

5. Blanket, Slanket, Snuggie or Snuggle – Whatever you want to call them, any of these are super cosy. Maybe a personalised or themed one. Look up windproof/waterproof for wheelchair users.

6. Heated body warmers – Heat the person not the house this winter. They suit a range of budgets.

7. Clothes – A new top, shirt or jumper. Can’t decide? Buy a voucher, just make sure it can be used online too.

I recently bought myself these PU leather trousers (much warmer than jeans). My yellow faux suede bag adds a pop of colour for any occasion.
Top tip: Returning items could be difficult. Ask the person for exact sizes, colours etc.

8. Hair and Make-up – Time for an on trend treat. Think the latest camo foundation or edgy mascara. Maybe some hair wax, dry shampoo or some sparkly hair jewellery. Pair it with a magazine so they can try out some new techniques.

9. Pamper kit – Manicure, pedicure, face/eye masks, beard oil. Tender loving care benefits us all. If they cannot do it themselves, maybe you could offer to help them.

10. Aromatherapy – Scents can lift our moods and help us relax. Reed diffusers are safer than candles. Try body balms or roller-ball oils too.

11. Flowers or a plant – The perfect excuse to visit someone to brighten their day. If they can’t tend to them even a fake plant can give boost their mood, check out my other blog: Be nurtured by nature: outdoors or indoors.

12. Magazines – Short articles in magazines are softer on the eyes than books. How about a 2023 Annual? From comic books and children’s classics to sports and tongue-in-cheek politics.

13. Puzzle books or adult colouring.

Puzzles are great for brain training. Adult colouring can aid relaxation and mindfulness. Magazines can be easier to read than books. How about an audio book if they struggle to read?

14. Card/board games – Keeping away from energy zapping screens, a quick game is fun with friends and family.

15. Jigsaws – Always popular at Christmas, they’re easily covered over and tackled whenever we feel we can.

16. A Journal – Writing about your day is very therapeutic. Add in a special pen and it makes a cute little gift.

17. Coasters – Something new for the home can be fun and perfect if you’re on a budget.

I love these comical coasters; they help keep things cheerful.

18. Wall art – We all get tired of looking at the same things. A new painting, canvas print or positive life quote could just perk up the room.

19. Posh drinks – Can’t tolerate alcohol? try grown-up cordial e.g. Elderflower or warming Ginger, luxury hot chocolate, flavoured teas or speciality coffee. You could even add a side of marshmallows, biscuits or mints too.

20. A meal out or an afternoon tea voucher – Pick a quieter time so it’s not sensory overload.

21. Theatre voucher – It’s a great excuse for being dressed up and all can be booked online. Shows have an interval for a toilet break. There’s usually disabled parking plus accessible facilities and seating too…perfect!

22. Subscription – Magazine, On-line Gaming, TV, Food, Drink, Audio Books or any other personal interest or hobby related. Google ‘gift subscription’ for inspiration.

23. Personalised gift – a cushion, wall print, t-shirt, slippers. You name it and it can be personalised. It makes for a more meaningful touch.

24. Hamper – Can’t make up your mind? You can make up your own selection. Spend as little or as much as you like and pop in a decorative box or rattan basket. Job done!

Struggling with the cost of living? How about….

25. Writing them a letter – Everyone enjoys receiving post, right? It’s more meaningful than a quick message on WhatsApp and they can savour the letters to re-read.

Well, I hope I’ve given you some ideas to think about and made life a little easier for you. Let me know in the comments : )

Happy shopping.

Jacqui x

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