The other day on BBC Radio news, I heard a piece about small pleasures -- that these are the only ones that last, that can be counted on. This is so true for those of us who live, almost entirely, in our own houses.
If you are struggling to decide what to give someone who is ill this holiday season, this idea would be a good guiding principle. First, of course -- ask. We each have different preferences and needs, so the best pointers will come from the recipient her/himself. My ideas will not suit everyone; they come from my own inclinations.
I am, by temperament, a person who values small luxuries. Others may not be so frivolous, nor able to afford -- even as gifts -- unnecessary indulgences. So, ask. Perhaps your friend would most appreciate a gift certificate from the grocery store, or a payment on an energy bill. At the end of this post, I'll direct you to some other lists that are, perhaps, more practical.
These are a few of the things that make my life easier, more pleasant, and more fun:
Sensa pens: These aren't cheap ($30 and up) but they are oh so lovely. Beautifully balanced, and soft to sore hands. I have both the rollerball and the fountain pen. For anyone who writes often, and finds it tiring, these are a very special pleasure.
Dagoba Organic Authentic Hot Chocolate: Most certainly a luxury (and currently out of stock, I see) this is nothing like the powder one mixes with hot water. In fact, after tasting this, I've been unable to enjoy the supermarket kind. It's glorious, and comforting. It must be made with milk, which can be difficult for those unable to stand at the stove for a few minutes, in which case one also needs:
Electric hot chocolate maker: Mr. Coffee Cocomation is the one I have, and I'm linking to WalMart, yes -- because, it costs half as much here as elsewhere. This is the only thing I've ever purchased from WalMart. I wish they had a one-cup one, but I've never seen one. When I can afford the cocoa, I use this almost daily in the winter; for some reason, cocoa helps me sleep. I know it's not supposed to work that way.
Moist heating pad [warning - pop-up]: Mine was purchased over ten years ago, at a local medical supplies company. It stays on as long as you are awake enough to hold the switch on, and then turns off as your hand relaxes. I find it very helpful for easing pain and inviting sleep.
Steering wheel cover: Though I don't drive often, I do sometimes. My car doesn't have air conditioning, and this summer was so hot that I couldn't touch the steering wheel when I got in the car, so finally purchased one of these. It was not expensive -- under $10, as I recall. Nothing fancy, just some kind of cushy fabric. But what I did not expect was how comfortable it is -- it makes the steering wheel bigger, easier to hold, and soft. It has made driving easier, even in the cold. If the recipient has difficulty with their hands, they will need help stretching this onto the wheel.
A comfortable dog leash: My poor dogs haven't had many walks lately, but when they did, this was the discovery that made it more comfortable for me. You wouldn't think it would make much difference, one retractable leash from another, but it did.
Here are some more ideas:
- Top Ten Holiday Gift Ideas For People With Arthritis
- Top Ten Gift Ideas for Someone Who is Sick
- Better Get-Well Gifts
And of course, there are always the best gifts: your company, your thoughts, your assistance.
May this season bring you giving and receiving in the best of spirits!