HELP!!.. Cancer and holiday gift giving don’t exactly go together. What do I get? Tis” the season and you have a list of presents you need to buy for the special people in your life. If you’re anything like me, you get so much joy out of finding the perfect gift.This is typically not so easy and requires time thinking about and even searching for what each person would appreciate and enjoy. When that person is undergoing cancer treatment it can be even more daunting.
There aren’t any ads letting us know the best gift ideas for this situation. The goal is of course to find something that will make them happy, preferably something useful (the last thing you want to do is to give them a gift that does the opposite).
As a gift basket designer, people often reach out to me for advice.Here’s a list of things to avoid and ideas to consider.
Gift Ideas for Friends or Family with Cancer:
1. A gift certificate to a local cleaning service
People going though chemotherapy often have severe fatigue making even the simplest task difficult. Help cleaning the house, even just once can be a big help.
2 .A gift certificate to a local foot/body massage spa
Touch can be deeply healing, which is likely why most people enjoy massages. When cancer patients undergo treatment, everything seems to hurt. The gentle kneading and pressure from massage can have a profound effect in temporarily relieving these aches and pains.
3.Comfy Pajamas or Cozy Blanket
Unfortunately, chemo and radiation not only sap energy, it also reduces the heat in the body. So spending time on the couch or in bed is inevitable, making warm soft, pj’s or blankets ideal to for comfort and warmth.
Finding simple, enjoyable ways to get the mind off things can be super helpful. Adult coloring books has been a hot trend as it helps reduce stress, anxiety and provides a calming effect. We made it nice and easy but putting together the perfect DISTRACTivities™ gift set with an adult coloring book, colored pencils, pencil sharpener with eraser and a mini brain teaser puzzle for just $20.
5. A DVD or Gift Certificate to a streaming service
Laughter is the best medicine, making funny movies or even a comedy show a great way to get your mind off things.Definitely include a note with the subscription with a few suggestions of your favorites.
6. Coupons for everyday tasks
The best gifts are often the ones when you give of yourself. Create a few coupons on the computer for things you can do to make your friend or family members day a bit easier. Doing laundry or preparing a healthy home cooked meal can be especially good since it’s physically demanding and time consuming.
7. A specialized gift basket
There are many items that help ease the side effects of chemotherapy and/or radiation treatment. Many can be found at markets locally. A quick online search or conversation with someone who has gone through treatment can help you put together a personalized care package. Or Rock the Treatment™ can do it for you.We’ve done all the research and have put together various baskets that include the items most doctors recommend those who are undergoing treatment go out and buy. We offer different sizes to accommodate your needs as well.
Think About These Things Before Sending to Someone with cancer:
It may sound counterintuitive because fruit is healthy, sweet and provides great nutrients. But for someone undergoing cancer treatment it often has more of a negative effect than positive, since chemotherapy leaves many patients mouths sore. The acid from fruit can add to the discomfort and the smell can easily cause nausea, another known side effect.
2. Scented Candles, Soaps and Lotions
Yes, all of these items are very relaxing and tranquil. But for someone going through treatment the smells can be overwhelming and create headaches, throat irritation and nausea.
3. Supplements or Vitamins
We may think certain vitamins or supplements can help improve energy or boost immunity. But cancer patients need to be very careful about what they choose to put into their bodies. There can be interactions with their medications, adverse effects or allergic reactions. It’s best to leave this to their treatment team.
4. Anything sad
This is obvious, right? Maybe yes maybe no.We may think sending a subscription to a news magazine as perfectly innocuous, but it can be scary to someone who’s not sure what their future holds. Before purchasing something, try to imagine how it would make you feel if you were in the same circumstances.
The holiday season can be extraordinarily stressful. With the endless lists of things to do like shopping, wrapping, cleaning, cooking, baking, traveling, etc., it’s easy to lose perspective on what’s truly important. Spend more time with friends and family and less money on “stuff”. Care more about people then the material stuff. Pray for health and happiness instead of a new car or lasted electronic.
Wishing you many blessings, health and happiness.