Christmas gift ideas

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Do you have a friend or family member with a chronic illness and you’d like to get them a Christmas gift that will really be of use to them?

Here’s a few ideas…..

Pyjamas. We do tend to wear them a bit more often than other people, so pretty/cute/fun pyjamas are useful. Have a sneaky look at the style they normally wear so that you know which they feel most comfortable in (comfort is essential with these).

Books/films. On days when we’re stuck on the settee we all have things we prefer to do, if you know someone who like films or books these are worth thinking about as gifts. I absolutely love books but read so many that people would be hard pressed to know what I’ve already read, to be honest I have a hard time remembering myself, so a gift voucher for somewhere like Amazon is a good choice if you’re unsure of which book or film they’d like. Plus you can e-mail the voucher so a great last minute Christmas gift if you need one.

Adult colouring books and colouring pencils. If you know someone that loves to colour more books are always great gifts. Also if they like crosswords/sudoku etc they're also always welcome to while away hours when we're not up to moving about much.

V shaped pillow. I rave about these all the time. I have one in my bedroom as I like to read in bed and another on the settee as I can never seem to sit comfortably and they really help that.

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A fluffy throw. We nap a lot so a fluffy throw is a welcome gift for us to use when we have a snooze on the sofa.

Microwaveable wheat bags. I have a couple of these, you pop them into the microwave to heat up and we can use them on aching joints/backs/necks. They come in shapes like teddies/cat/dogs etc so you can get one of those if you know they have a particular animal they love and so it’s a bit more fun and personal.

Sleep mask. Again if you know they like to nap with a mask on they’re a good little (fairly cheap) stocking filler gift.

Slow cooker. I’ve just invested in a slow cooker and wish I’d have done it sooner. Basically it’s throw everything in and just let it cook so little effort. I make sure I do big portions so I have extra for my freezer for the days I can’t be bothered to cook at all so now I always have an easy nutritious meal ready.

Hand blender stick. A bit like with the slow cooker this is a ‘practical but useful gift’. I’ve nearly worn mine out. They’re good for making a quick nutritious smoothie if you don’t feel up to cooking breakfast, also a cook few bits of veg in a pan with some stock, blend and you have a fast soup. You could add a book on smoothies or soups to give the recipient some ideas.

Beanbag lap tray. Handy for eating off and even crafting/colouring etc, especially when bed bound.

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Phone holder. If you know someone that has problems with their wrist joints holding something as small as a phone can be painful, so a ‘gooseneck’ phone holder/mount is convenient, they clip onto a headboard or table.

New mug. There are so many mugs that will raise a smile: 110% tired, World’s most tired etc etc or if there’s something they collect or love (for me that’s any mug with foxes, pheasants, bees or badgers!) add to their collection. Who doesn’t like a new mug and if you want to get creative add some bars of chocolate/nice quality hot chocolate (& marshmallows!) or coffee, biscuits etc.

Amazon Echo dot. For those with a bigger budget this is great as it’s voice controlled so you can do all sorts including play music, listen to audio books or set reminders (fantastic for our brain fog moments) and you don’t have to get up to make it work.

Homemade gifts

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I like to make up gift baskets with things that I know people will find useful and entertaining. You can be as imaginative as you like with the contents and how you present it. Here’s a few ideas for gift baskets, you can obviously adapt them to the person you want to give it to.

Basket ideas:

You can cover a box in pretty Christmas paper or pick up baskets very cheaply in charity shops, pop on a bow, some tissue paper, then add things you know we’d love.

Here’s a few ideas……

  • Extra spoons: This is my take on a ‘promise coupon’, a way of gifting ‘help’.

    Get some cheap wooden spoons (around 40p each in a shop like Wilko etc). On each one write something you can do for the recipient. So, for example you could have: mow grass, clean gutters, 3 hours babysitting, 1 hours dog walking, manicure, clean car, 1 hours ironing. Each spoon is for one thing that you would do for them at a time that suits you both. It costs you nothing but time but would be of great value to them. Tie a Christmas bow on each spoon and present in a box or even in a nice vase and you’re done.

  • Local produce: I have a local farm shop nearby and often make up baskets with produce that the shop make themselves or stock from other local producers: apples/cheese/sausages/apple & pear crisps, Kent crisps, chutneys, jam, marmalade, biscuits, apple/pear juice, wine etc. They even have things like body creams using lanolin from local sheep wool for a more unusual gift. It’s nice to theme a box on a region, in my case things from Kent.

  • Spa day: Candle, face mask, eye mask, bath oil, nail varnish, hand/body cream, body brush, individual bottle of prosecco or non alcoholic wine, chocolate truffles. If you want to make this a larger present you could add a towelling robe and slippers.

  • Night on the sofa: DVD, popcorn (you can also buy plastic popcorn boxes like this in many shops now or online), packet of nachos, chocolate, pick ‘n mix selection, fluffy socks/slippers, fluffy throw, hot chocolate/marshmallows.

  • Hobbies: This one depends on what exactly their hobby is as to what you’ll put in, but for example if they bake you could put cookie cutter, packs of coloured icing sugar, sprinkles etc.

Finally. Donate to the Lupus Trust in the recipient’s name and let them know you've done that. We’re looking for a cure for lupus so what better gift to give? Click here for donation information.

Angie Davidson