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 had given up sweets, so surely they should have a treat at Christmas?
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. I think giving books about diabetes or food labelled as ‘diabetic’ food is a no-no and a bit judgemental. 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 and let them decide when they have treats. This shows that you listened to their health concerns and don’t want to make things difficult for them.
Treats are fine, but if the house is full of sweet goodies after Christmas it makes it hard to get back on track.
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 judgemental. If you give someone a voucher for a sports store they can put it 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. If they prefer they can use the voucher to buy casual clothing. This is a potentially health benefiting gift without being judgy. On the other hand if someone receives a book about all the complications that can occur if they don’t exercise this comes across as judging their lifestyle or bullying them into doing what the giver thinks they should be doing. This gives the feeling that the recipients life is all about their condition and not about them as a person.
- A voucher from a SPA or beauty salon with a good reputation. We don’t want any dodgy manicures or skin products thank you! Our skin needs TLC.
- A voucher for a nice restaurant that serves healthy but lovely food.
- Vouchers – store, book shop, cinema, activity center or garden center.
- Cosmetics if you know what the person uses and likes.
- 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 problematic for someone who has Diabetes. 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.
- Books (not health related). Books are a great distraction, which is what we need. ‘Lose yourself in a good book’.
- 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 gift.
- There are lots of tecn leisure and fitness gadgets to choose from. Noise cancelling headphones make a good gift.
- 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!