It’s the holiday season again!
With Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, St. Nicholas Tag, Saturnalia, Winter Solstice, and Pancha Ganapati all coming up in December, it’s around the time that people start buying gifts for their family and friends. I may not strongly endorse the rampant commercialism of the holidays (quality time beats gifts everyday), but many people find joy in gift giving. Keeping that in mind, some folks struggle to find the right gifts for their loved ones with disabilities. People want to give each other useful gifts–things that will be appreciated. As your resident spoonie (a person with disabilities), I am here to help you find the perfect, practical gift which the receiver will love. I hope it helps you with your shopping.
Heating pad: This item will help your spoonie ease the aches and pains of daily life. It will be especially helpful for those hypersensitive to temperature changes.
Crockpot: Crockpots are a miracle for chronically ill folks! They allow us to cook with minimal effort in order to preserve energy.
Pajamas: Comfy pajamas are a fantastic gift for moments of high fatigue and/or pain.
Silky or soft sheets: For someone who spends a large portion of time in bed, nice sheets can be a luxury that helps make bedridden days more tolerable.
An Audible gift card: The spoonie bookworm doesn’t always have enough energy to hold a book or use their tired eyes. Getting them an Audible gift card allows them to enjoy books without expending more spoons.
A journal: Folks going through mental illness and therapy will often be asked to keep track of thoughts, medication usage, and many other things. Gifting a nice journal helps your spoonie with their journey. It also combats brain fog which is a common occurrence among the disabled community.
Wall art: Being chronically ill means spending a lot of time in your house. Wall art helps prevent people from losing their mind staring at blank walls. (It gives you an excuse to support a small business owning artist.)
Noise canceling headphones: When overstimulated, spoonies tend to lose energy rapidly. This gift can assist in replenishing spoons and prevent further pain/exhaustion.
A light therapy lamp: For those with Seasonal Affective Disorder and people who can’t get outside nearly enough (common in folks with disabilities), light therapy lamps and boxes supplement vitamin D in place of the sun. This is important for boosting mood and fighting mental illnesses.
Scented candles: Scented candles can be extremely calming, a nice gift for people struggling through disabilities. (Some chronic illnesses cause an olfactory sensitivity, so only give this if you know they aren’t scent sensitive.)
Coloring books and markers: This is a fantastic gift for spoonies because they can be used sitting, laying down, at the table, or in bed. Coloring books travel well and can be relaxing/mindless.
Leg warmers, arm warmers, fuzzy socks, hats, and gloves: Many folks with chronic illnesses suffer from temperature dysregulation. Warm accessories can be helpful for people with disabilities, especially those living in cold weather environments.
A non-spill water bottle or travel mug: When on-the-go, this gift can save money, decrease necessary social interaction, and won’t cause issues for those with decreased dexterity/balance.
2D glasses: Photo-sensitivities prevent people from watching movies in the theatre due to the increasing popularity of 3D films. 2D glasses, products that convert the films back to the traditional format, allows spoonies with this symptom to still socialize at the movies without agitating their disability.
Himalayan salt lamps: Himalayan salt lamps purify and ionize the air, decreasing respiratory struggles and allergies. (Beware though, there are fakes on the market. Verify authenticity before purchasing.)
Stylish pill boxes: As sufferers of chronic illness/es, we have to carry medications with us, and it often makes us self-conscious. Gifting a stylish pill box can help us function without the extra embarrassment of fumbling through multiple pill bottles.
Mostly, just try to be considerate of your spoonie loved one this season. Temperature changes, social engagements, and normal holiday-induced stress all can affect people with chronic illnesses more than it would people that are neurotypical and able-bodied. Taking extra time to check in on your chronically ill loved ones reminds them that they are loved and supported. We appreciate that you think about our unique needs.
Like and share this post to assist others attempting to brainstorm ideas. If you have any other suggestions for practical holiday gifts you’d want as a spoonie or that your spoonie loved one has enjoyed in the past, feel free to share your ideas down below.