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10 Perfect Christmas Presents for a Chronically Ill Loved One

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Christmas has always been a very exciting time for me. This year when I was asked by my friends and family what I wanted for Christmas, it made it really sink in just how different my life is with chronic illness. The things I would normally ask for seem pointless and unfitting now which has been my inspiration for this post! I’ve spent the last few weeks thinking of the perfect present ideas for others with chronic illnesses.

1. Massage Vouchers

This is probably my ideal gift! As someone who lives with daily back and neck pain, a massage for me is a great temporary relief from this. It’s hard to treat yourself to a massage when you don’t work and you have more important things to spend your money on like food and bills. That’s why a voucher is perfect, there is no guilt or feeling like you could have spent the money on something more responsible.

2. Books

You can never have too many books in my opinion, so books are always a fantastic gift. If you or your chronically ill friend are not big readers, there are plenty of book options that don’t require a lot of effort on the reader’s behalf. Those books filled with affirmations are great; you can turn to any page and read something inspirational when you need it. There are also recipe books specifically for easy meals which are perfect for the unwell cook. Books that come with audio are also great because a lot of the chronically ill struggle with concentration and other cognitive problems so listening to a book is probably easier than reading. Sometimes reading along with the audio is also helpful.

3. DVDs

I’ve binge-watched more TV series than I care to admit during my time being chronically ill. I am constantly on the lookout for something new to watch. Whether it’s a movie or a series, DVDs are great gifts for the chronically ill. There are so many days where watching TV is the only thing we can manage, so having some good stuff to watch is always handy.

4. Subscriptions

Whether it be for a magazine or a streaming service like Netflix, subscriptions are such a good present! There are also a bunch of subscription services specifically designed to meet the needs of chronically ill patients! Here are a few I found:

Subscriptions are perfect because they require little to no effort for the receiver, it’s not like a voucher that they never get around to using – it’s something that is delivered to them!

5. Heat Packs/Hot Water Bottles

In my experience, you can never have too many of these bad boys. Sometimes I honestly could use about five at once and I only have one so I’m forced to choose which pain area is the worst. You can even get specific shaped ones for certain areas like neck hot water bottles! While this seems like such a boring gift, you can make it more exciting with some cute covers for them. If you know someone who struggles with regular pain, you can’t go wrong with this. It’s something that is definitely going to be practical and appreciated.

6. Pajamas

As someone who isn’t working, I wear pajamas more than anything else. As well as being comfortable, they also help with my pain. There’s nothing worse than wearing tight clothes when you are in pain. A pair of cute and comfortable PJs, summer or winter, is a great gift for someone with a chronic illness.

7. A Lunch Date

When you don’t leave the house much, sometimes an excuse to wear something other than my pajamas is what I need. Make sure you let us pick the day and time as we all have certain times of day that are easier than others. Sometimes it’s really nice to sit somewhere other than your home for an hour or so and eat something delicious. If leaving the house isn’t really an option, bring the lunch date to them! Cook something and bring it over, to save us feeling pressured to help cook/clean. Wine is definitely always welcome too.

8. Self-Care Package

If you know anything about chronic illness (or mental illness) you’ll know how important self-care is. The chronic illness subscription boxes I suggested are filled with great self-care items you can use for inspiration to put together your own self-care hamper! You can make this gift as cheap or as expensive as you’d like. Get creative, you can throw in any of the gifts I’ve recommended in this list or find others. Self-care items can be beauty/hygiene products, relaxation tools (oils, candles, CDs, massage devices), consumables, stationery or anything else. A quick Google/Pinterest of “self-care items” will give you hundreds of ideas.

9. Beauty Voucher

Chances are it’s been a very long time since we’ve pampered ourselves. Having our hair or nails done may seem like a pointless endeavor considering how little we leave the house, but god it is a fantastic pick-me-up. No one likes to look sick, and when we look half human we always feel better. Even just a wash and blow-dry voucher for a hair salon would be incredible. For people who have chronic pain, washing hair is a difficult and painful task so having someone to do it for you is always nice.

10. Your Company

At the end of the day, your friendship is what we want most. Come over and spend time with us, even help us out with the chores we find most difficult. This may make us slightly uncomfortable but at the end of the day, we will appreciate it so much. One of our biggest insecurities is feeling like a burden on our friends and family so spending time with us reminds us we are loved. Your company is the best present you could give us.

So whether you have a friend who is chronically ill or are chronically ill yourself, I hope this post gave you some giftspiration! Comment below and let me know what your favorite illness-inspired present is.

This post originally appeared on Finding Rainbows in the Dark.

Photo via Martin Barraud on Getty Images

Originally published: December 1, 2017
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