Christmas is most truly Christmas when we celebrate it by giving the light of love to those who need it most
– Ruth Carter Stapleton
Well, the Christmas season is nearly upon us and now is the time to start buying gifts for all your loved ones. Of course, gifts can be bought and given at Christmas or birthdays – gifts are really lovely gestures for when a loved one or good friend is struggling due to personal circumstances. One example, of course being when suffering a chronic illness. When living with a chronic illness, we often experience both good and bad times due to our chronic illnesses, and when experiencing lows, I know due to personal experience that receiving a card or small present can bring a little sunshine to dark days as well as the pleasure in knowing that someone has thought of us, despite the overwhelming feelings of loneliness and isolation that can accompany life with a long-term health condition (especially one which results in the majority of days being spent in the house).
As it is the time of giving and thinking of others, I thought I would share some gifts that I have come across that someone going through a difficult time might appreciate, or is ideal for someone living with a chronic illness like myself! And perhaps think about those who are experiencing difficult times presently and maybe think about sending them a card and a little something to remind them that they are not alone and that you are thinking of them. It doesn’t even have to break the bank either – you could even try making a card instead of buying one, and if creative even make a present!
A friend of mine was going through a difficult time recently, and as funds were tight, I made her a little gift instead. I took an old jar and cleaned it up, and thanks to my computer I printed lots of different positive and inspirational quotes I loved then cut them out and rolled each separate quote up, tied a ribbon around them and placed them in the jar. I even attached a homemade label and called it a ‘Positivity Jar’ and wrote to take one out of the jar whenever feeling sad and low. It was such a simple idea but my friend really loved and appreciated the thought, and even has it sitting on her dressing table and uses it whenever her bad days present themselves. Other homemade presents might also include making a special playlist downloaded to a CD full of uplifting and positive songs to cheer them up during the bad days. And if you are stuck for ideas there always lots of inspiration on Pinterest.
But here are some other lovely gift ideas for fellow spoonies…
Positive and Uplifting Gift Ideas
It is common amongst the spoonie community to share through social media, positive and inspiring quotes – little mantras that help us stay positive and happy despite all of the limitations and constraints that our conditions places upon our lives. It is these little mantras that help us and others who are going through a difficult time so what better present than one which provides positivity and inspiration to serve as encouragement to continue and persevere when the going gets tough.
My favourite online store for such inspiring and positive gifts has to be the Itty Bitty Book Company. They are a small ethical and super friendly business based in Belfast, Ireland and offer a wide range of inspirational and positive gifts from cute badges to their gorgeous ‘Itty Bitty’ Books. In the books range are 3 different books offering inspiring quotes for Motivation, Positivity or Strength and in my opinion it is these Itty Bitty Book of Positivity and the Itty Bitty Book of Strength are ideal gifts for someone struggling with chronic illness or generally are experiencing a difficult time in their life. I have all 3 of their gorgeous and handmade books and as they are small they are ideal to carry in your bag, and to read the lovely quotes and mantras when life gets tough wherever you are.
One of their beautiful prints would also be an ideal gift for any spoonie, and there are a number of different quotes on offer and if one of them has a favourite quote of theirs, even better. They can easily be framed and placed in clear view of a bed or sofa; wherever they spend the majority of their time because of chronic illness, for example. Or perhaps one of their cute little badges that can brighten dark winter coats or woolly hats, and are ideal gifts for a low-budget. And they even offer inspiring greeting cards too which are blank so ideal when wanting to write a personal message inside.
To see the full range of products on offer, or to buy something for a friend (or yourself) you can check out their Etsy store here
From personal experience, I know that receiving gifts that have a useful purpose (such as a hot water bottle for example because of problems with feeling cold) can mean so much as it shows that someone as it not only shows that someone has thought of you, but also that they really care and therefore want to give you something that will make you feel better. This can include a little comfort box filled with goodies such as a favourite type of tea, thick socks, body products and some sweets or chocolate. For ready-made boxes that you can send with a variety of products that you can personalise for the person you are buying for, then I can recommend the ethical company Healing Boxes that make and send Healing Boxes especially for those experiencing chronic illness, or just experiencing difficulties in their life. Lovely gifts on offer and a great way to show someone that you care.
I can also recommend The Pillow Fort shop for fun and useful gifts for someone living with a chronic illness. Examples of products on offer include cosy socks (for those with poor circulation and as a result suffer from cold feet perhaps), pill boxes (useful item that is a must for any spoonie as it helps to remember if you have taken medication or not!), cosy and cuddly soft toys that can be heated in the microwave (fun alternative to a hot water bottle as it is more comforting and just fun!). And there are plenty more ideas and inspiration for useful gifts for the spoonie in your life!
Sometimes if we are able to or the person is very close to us we like to give them a very special gift, which is especially true at Christmas for example. One special gift for example is jewellery and I have come across some lovely pieces online. Examples include some jewellery even inspired by the positive and uplifting quotes that we love, I even own a pair of earrings, which are in the shape of rain drops and a matching necklace in the design of a cloud with a rain drop attached and with these pieces of jewellery came a card with my favourite quote “Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass but learning to dance in the rain.” I even have this card in my purse to remind myself that if I am experiencing debilitating symptoms when I am out that things will get better. There are plenty of other pieces inspired by uplifting quotes on offer here.
Whenever we put a piece of jewellery on or look down and see it on display it can be a lovely reminder to remain hopeful during difficult times. The online store Not on the High Street has a beautiful swallow necklace (bracelet and earrings are also available) for example which symbolises freedom and hope for example. Another online retailer Lily Charmed even offers various items of jewellery than can even be personalised with a message of your choice on the card inside of the box. I particularly love their spoon necklace which every spoonie will be able to relate to and love. The snowflake may also be a nice charm to give as a reminder that the receiver is beautiful, special and unique as chronic illness can be difficult to live with, as well as often making you feel extremely different from your peers.
Other ideas for gifts which could be useful for someone living with a chronic illness might include:
- Stationary – great idea for those who love writing and even if they don’t it might encourage them to start doing so as it can be very cathartic
- Pyjamas – a must-have for any spoonie as we often crave comfort when we are feeling bad and pyjamas are the best type of clothing to offer this (that and perhaps onesies!)
- Adult Colouring-in books – apparently these are very therapeutic for those experiencing depression and can perhaps offer similar benefits for those with chronic pain, as it could be a form of distraction
- Gift card for iTunes or Google Play – these are especially great for those who love TV programmes or films as they can buy something to film to purchase to keep them company when stuck at home for example
- Book – ideal for book lovers like myself! Perhaps give them a book that they wouldn’t normally read
- LED string lights – I love these as it gives any room a magical look and will help cheer a person who may be stuck in bed due to illness
So those are some of my top tips for lovely gifts for someone experiencing difficulties as a result of a chronic illness for example.
So perhaps think of those experiencing a difficult time this Christmas that will put a smile on their face and yours and let us all sprinkle a little magic this Christmas (and throughout the year!).
I have recently started a board on my Pinterest page called ‘Spoonie Gift Ideas‘ which has more ideas on special and thoughtful gifts for anyone going through difficult times because of a chronic illness. Of course, if you have any other suggestions on what to pin then please feel free to get in touch on the blog or my pages on social media.
Let me know of any good deeds that you have done recently or throughout this holiday season and if you have bought something special for any other spoonies this Christmas.