30 Christmas Present Ideas for a Chronically Ill friend

November 21, 2013

Last week's Thursday Health Thoughts post was about 17 ways you can help a chronically ill friend with chronic illness during the holidays. As I mentioned last week I want to share 30 Christmas Present ideas for a chronically ill friend. Some of these ideas you may have seen before in the 26 ways to help a Chronically Ill friend. Again, I am not an expert at all, but the things that I have listed below are things that friends have mentioned to me that have been wonderful or I have personally experienced that have truly touched my heart and my life. Be creative and trust me your kindness will touch the heart of your ill friend forever.

1. Offer monetary help if possible
Even with insurance those with Chronic Illness spend thousands and thousands of dollars trying to get healthy. Many people with Chronic Illness, like myself, have already gone through all available resources. I have been the recipient of monetary help and this week was offered a plane ticket to see a dear friends wedding. Without this type of help I could never have gone to the wedding or have received treatment in California. These types of gifts do not have to be large either. Someone gave me a five dollar gift card to Target that helped purchase necessities. Such a blessing! Gift cards to Target are priceless! This can help purchase medications, groceries, clothes, and the list goes on! Truly gift cards are wonderful if that is an option for you to give!

2. Purchase their favorite bath items. 
Many of us with Chronic illness use special bath products (including shampoo, conditioner, soap, lotion, perfume, deodorant, etc.) that are free from certain dyes, chemicals, or ingredients. Yes, these items are more expensive but are necessary. What a lovely gift this would be for someone! Don't know what they use? Ask them or a family member!

3. Pay their Cell Phone Bill for a month.
Most of us with chronic illness desperately need our cell phones and that yucky bill each month takes out a huge amount of money. 

4. Purchase a gift certificate to a special salon. 
As a lady who loved getting her nails done each month, having regular hair appointments, etc. this has been a HUGE change while I am ill. These were the first things to go so that items needed for treatment and paying medical bills, etc. comes first. But honestly (I will say it for your friends who don't feel like they can!) I am still a gal who loves being a lady and I miss "feeling" like that all the time and I have heard countless others say the same thing. 

5. Listen without offering advice (unless asked). 
When you offer unsolicited advice, it can come across as a lecture- even if that is not your intent. Someone once said: "Assume that we have heard all of the tips on living healthier and leave it at that." I couldn't have said it any better. 

6. Provide a special basket for a "night in". 
Why not gather a few items together to give to those who can't go out? Perhaps a snack, movie, etc. could provide a lovely gift!

7. Give a coupon book/ card that lists out something that you (and your family) will do once a month, once a week, etc. for a year. 
Need suggestions? Here are just a few things that immediately come to mind:
(a) Help with housework. 
(b) Help with yard work
(c) Drive your friend to a doctors appointment or treatment (and offer to stay with them). I heard of a friend whose best friend drives her to every single doctors appointment in one area of her physical needs. That allows her spouse and other family members to have a "day off" of one doctor. 
(d) Drive their children to school one day a week.
(e) Bring a meal twice a month.
(f) Pick up groceries once a week.
(g) Offer to go to Target, Walmart, etc. once a week or twice a month for them.
I could go on and on but y'all are creative! 

8. Buy nice pajamas
Those with Chronic Illness spend a lot of time in bed or in the hospital and nice pajamas are always a lovely gift.

9. Magazine subscriptions are a lovely gift! 
This again is a thing that gets cut when money is tight and is a lovely gift for a year!

10. Purchase a netflix or hulu account for a year for your friend. 

11. Buy a "prime" membership on amazon. 
For $99 you can provide your friend with countless free TV shows, movies, and even books to read! And guess what? If they purchase supplements or products on amazon they will be eligible on FREE 2-day shipping! Someone gave me this gift in July and it is truly priceless!

12. Create a relaxing atmosphere. 
Purchase music, i-tunes gift cards, etc. so that your friend can listen to relaxing & encouraging music. 

13. Ask them what the best books are on their illness and then read them. 
Tell them that you have spent the time doing this and believe me this is PRICELESS. You will be able to have an intelligent and compassionate conversation from that moment forward since you will be knowledgeable about their illness. (Side Note: Read what they suggest not what wikipedia says...)

14. Introduce a hobby or supplement their existing hobby. 
Does your friend do a hobby that helps them pass the time or that they enjoy? Purchase items that they have been wanting or give them a gift card to their favorite specialty craft store. Do they not have a hobby but have been talking about starting one? Buy the intro book, the intro supplies, and give them the gift of creativity! Or try sudoko, word searches, etc!

15. Give the gift or reading. 
Is there something that your friend loves to read? Buy them the books. Does your friend have an illness that makes reading hard? Give them books on tape! Don't know what to give them? Purchase a gift card to a bookstore or a kindle gift card. Maybe even purchase a kindle... 

16. Soft, Snugly, and Comfy blankets. 
I love feeling comfy- especially on days where the pain is intense and I feel so miserable. I love the gift of soft blankets, comfy sheets, and sweet throws. Most recently I was the recipient of a beautiful prayer quilt. Every time that I look at it and use it I am reminded that there are SO many people praying for me. 

17. Research and Purchase a Gadget that can help them with a disability. 
You have heard me say this before but money is tight and lots of times gadgets are not purchased. Don't know what is needed? Ask them or their family members! 

18.  Gift Baskets. 
This article: 10 top gift basket ideas for those suffering with Chronic Illness has wonderful ideas. Don't know what to get? Consider purchasing a Well Basket.

19. Journals. 
While not everyone is a writer, some of us go through journals yearly monthly weekly. *smiles* OOh... and pretty pens... hahaha that last one is just for me!

20. Gas Gift Cards. 
I can't even begin to express how much money I spend in gas money each week driving to all of my local doctors appointments and this doesn't even begin to account for the ones that are not local. Gas gift cards are a wonderful gift. 

21. Purchase supplements, oils, etc. 
Is your friend using alternative supplements? These are often expensive and this would be a wonderful gift. Disclaimer: only purchase what your friend is currently using. This is not the time to give advice on what you believe would be the cure!

22. Donate to an organization that supports research for their disease. 

23. Mind the car. 
Along with #20 - a car gets lots of use. Take the car for a "spa day" and get the oil changed, washed, filled up with gas, and tuned up. This would be an AMAZING gift! Better yet, have someone do an entire tune up!

24. Hold a benefit concert, run, walk, etc. for them. 

25. Bath Spa- Hot tub
Yes, hot tubs are expensive but Amazon sells the Conair Thermal Bath Spa Mat for a very reasonable price. This would be such a lovely gift! Along with this idea: special heating pads, massage heating pads, etc. 

26. Winter items. 
Do y'all live in an area where winter rears its ugly head? Consider purchasing a can of spray defroster so that they do not have to scrape their car! (And maybe gloves, warm scarves, etc.!)

27. Tickets to live performances for a year. 
Does your friend love musicals or comedies or acting?Consider purchasing four or five tickets for them and a friend/spouse to go to these events every couple of months. 

28. Homemade Inspirational Artwork. 
Create artwork that can be displayed- especially for those who are bedridden. 

29. Be Present. 
I have said this before, but the best gift that you can give is yourself.

30. Remember the caregiver(s). 
I have often said this but me being ill is often harder on my family then myself. To see people that are constantly hurting and suffering and not be able to do anything about it is excruciating. Reach out to the caregivers and you will touch the heart of the person who is ill too. 

As I said last week, realize that your friend or family member with chronic illness is the best gift this season. Their illness is forcing them to set limitations but the gift to you is remembering what is truly important in the holiday season. Celebrate PEOPLE. Not things or activities. At the end of the day people are the most important thing not whether or not you were able to buy every single gift in the world. 

What are some of your Christmas gift ideas for those in your life who are ill? Please share with us in the comments below!


  1. These are wonderful!! I especially love the one about remembering the caregivers, journals, and providing a special "night in" basket!

  2. My roller derby team captain has cancer and we have done some of these for her. A few of her best friends organized a softball tournament for her and derby helped. Another friend held a pure romance party and attendees bought her personal care products for a pamper basket, etc.