Health Giving Christmas Gifts
Wondering what Christmas gift to get a friend or family member who has Diabetes? Thinking of buying a book about diabetes or biscuits or sweets you have seen in the supermarket labelled ‘diabetic’ food? Or maybe you are thinking of ignoring it and buying them a huge box of chocolates because they told you they were eating less or have given up sweets, so surely they should have a treat at Christmas?
I think giving books about diabetes or food labelled as ‘diabetic’ food is a no-no and a bit judgemental. There are many ways of managing Diabetes and it is up to the person themselves, with the guidance of their doctor to decide what is best for them. If someone has told you that they have to restrict the amount of sweet food that they eat, it is best to stick to non-foodie gifts. This shows that you listened to their health concerns and don’t want to make things difficult for them.
Note: Different people manage their condition in different ways; some people eliminate all sugar, some eat sugary treats occasionally and others have whatever treats they want and balance them out with exercise and/or medication. It is up to the person themselves and their Doctor.
Please do not give a different gift to a child because he or she has Diabetes. That is the worst gift mistake ever and can affect a child long after Christmas is over. Ask their parent for advise if you are unsure.
Christmas is a time to enjoy a little distraction, not a time to be reminded of our health issues,
but it’s important not to make them worse
You can give a health enhancing gift without being judgmental. Some ideas……
- Trendy reusable water bottles make an ideal gift. Most of us could do with a spare!
- Good quality aromatherapy products make a lovely gift. There are lovely diffusers and burners in the shops now, as well as aromatherapy oils that can benefit health as well as smelling lovely. A diffuser has to be plugged in and it spritzes the scent around the room. A burner uses a tea light to heat a little water and the oil which then evaporates into the room. If you are unsure what to buy ask in the store or stick to old reliables like lavender or lemon. Frankincense oil is very festive at this time of year.
- A sports store voucher can be used towards a pair of shoes suitable for the activity they like (walking, tennis, soccer), a rain jacket, or good quality accessories that will keep them warm and dry in Winter. The voucher can also be used for casual clothing.
- A voucher from a SPA or beauty salon with a good reputation is always welcome.
- A voucher for a nice restaurant that serves healthy but lovely food. Some of my friends and I don’t buy gifts for each other, but go out for a nice meal instead. More Eco friendly and we get to spend time together in a relaxed atmosphere.
- Vouchers – store, book shop, cinema, activity center or garden center.
- Cosmetics, but only if you know what the person uses and likes. We don’t want any dodgy skin products thank you! Our skin needs TLC.
- It is important for people with diabetes to wear gloves that don’t restrict circulation, so when choosing gloves go for the loser (but still nice) ones.
- Socks as a stocking filler? Go for ones with smooth seams and no lumpy threads from the decoration. There is no need to buy special socks, unless the recipient has been told to wear them by their Doctor. Cheap socks with rough insides are not good for anybody’s feet but particularly for someone with Diabetes. A small irritation can lead to more serious foot issues, which can be very serious. That’s not the lasting reminder you want from your Christmas gift.
- Cookery books, not specific to any illness, unless asked for. There are lots of great ones that have healthy recipes.
‘Lose yourself in a good book‘
- If the recipient likes reading, books (not health related) are a very welcome gift. E.g. travel guides or travel books with pictures of beautiful places around the world or nearer home, gardening, photography, craft or whatever the person is interested in, especially if it is a new interest of theirs. Not forgetting fiction and non fiction books.
- Toys and games, particularly ones that involve moving around (keeps those blood sugars at bay!).
- Jewellery, but not diabetes ID jewellery unless it is requested.
- Plants, if the recipient likes gardening. Herbs in a nice pot make a great house gift.
- There are lots of tech leisure and fitness gadgets to choose from, like Fitbit watches that track steps, heart rate, pulse etc. Check with the recipient that they would appreciate one of these before buying. Noise cancelling headphones also make a good gift. A gift voucher for a store that stock these would be a great gift and relives you of the job of choosing the right one.
- Keen cooks usually like kitchen gifts. Best to check this out first.
Food labelled as ‘diabetic food’ is rubbish. It usually tastes horrible and contains lots of unhealthy ingredients. Take out sugar and add other ingredients that are bad for us? No thanks! We are much better off with regular good quality food.
It’s time to get that Christmas list written!