‘Twas the Friday before Christmas…
…and people are still thinking about those last minute Christmas presents.
Do you have a family member or friend with a chronic illness? Are you still thinking about what to buy them for Christmas? If so, this post is to give you a few last minute ideas!
Chronic illnesses affect everyone differently and Christmas can be an extremely difficult time for those who are struggling, or feel like they don’t fit in to society’s idea of ‘normal’.
Of course, you can easily ask someone what they’d like as a gift but if you’re not going to…
1. Any sort of heat pack:
You can buy these at local drug stores, outdoor stores (sports direct, trespass…) and even the pound shops.
Many people with illnesses have to work, take care of children and more… heat packs that you can stick to clothes or skin are extremely useful and often help with pain.
I prefer thermacare but I also use other brands.
You can also buy wheat packs, microwaveable warmers and reusable warmers with gel.
(available on amazon, TKMAXX, eBay and many other places!)
2. Hot water bottle
I am completely reliant on my hot water bottles when I’m uncomfortable or in pain.
Mine is nothing fancy, just one I bought from Boots for about £5.
Primark sell cute fluffy ones, TK MAXX sell extra long ones, but you can buy them in most places.
3. Heated pad or blanket.
Another item I’m obsessed with. My mum bought me one as an early Christmas present and it saves me so much time as I don’t have to run back and forth to the kitchen, boiling the kettle, worrying about burns.
I have this one here.
Perfect for those who spend a lot of time resting or in bed, for people who don’t work or can’t go out often. Especially if they movies (duh!).
I have had many days this year where I wasn’t able to move, work or do anything other than lie in bed. Having Netflix AND amazon prime has been great in keeping my mind off feeling so negative.
5. A book or audio-book subscription.
I know many people refer to read when they’re unwell, unfortunately I am not one of those people, so this would be perfect.
6. Oversized sweater!
We just want to be comfortable. No crushing, underwire bras, no tight tshirts, no fancy dresses. At least not when we’re feeling rough.
A cute, baggy jumper could make a lovely gift, especially if it’s got a design on that relates to the person’s interests. (For me, it’d be a flower, hearts, coffee or something purple)
7. Bath bombs, bath soak, bath salts
If you know they have a bath, the chances are they’re in it a lot! So any bath-related gifts are perfect. I have a bath every day when I’m in pain or unwell, because it’s often the only way I can relieve some of the pain and help me relax.
- My favourite shops or bath products are
The body shop
- TKMAXX (loads of bath salts!)
- Plus any independent stores that sell them, because it’s so important to shop local!
8. A monthly subscription box
You can buy these as one off gifts, 3-months, 6-months etc depending on the company and they come in all different themes from tea to bath, coffee to mindfulness.
9. A plant!
If you know me, you’ll know I’m obsessed with all kinds of plants. I think plants and chronic illnesses often come together because it gives us something to care for, watch them grow and they brighten up the house.
Some plants that are really hard to kill, and super easy to look after are:
- Aloe Vera
- Snake plant / Sansevieria
- Spider plant
- Peace lily
10. And finally, your friendship.
This sounds really cheesy but it’s true.
If someone is struggling, especially with an illness, the kindest thing you can do is try and understand what they’re going through, offer to help them, support them.
You could give ‘IOU’ vouchers, write a letter or suggest websites or books that you think might be helpful.
Whatever you do, remember that Christmas is not actually about the presents so there’s no need to stress if you really can’t think of anything to buy.
But if you are buying presents for the big day, I hope this helps you a bit.