Good Christmas Gifts for Friends with Cancer
Looking for good Christmas gifts for a friend fighting cancer? Here's an article with some great shopping tips, including what not to buy...
Gift shopping can be tricky at the best of times ... but what do you do when shopping for someone who is in the fight of their life with cancer? The 10 shopping tips below provide some suggestions of do's and don'ts...
Gifts4Good gratefully acknowledges one of our causes, CanAssist, for sharing an article by American cancer research and treatment centre 'City of Hope' that provided the original source material for this blog.
Your friend by now probably has all the fuzzy slippers and books about healthy eating that she needs. But how do you know what is the right thing to buy and what isn't suitable as a Christmas gift for someone with cancer?
What to Buy for a Friend with Cancer
Buying a gift card is the easy way out. Instead, with a bit of thought based on one of these ideas, you can buy your friend a special and more personal Christmas gift.
Tip#1 - Keep It Light
Cancer is a serious journey and laughs can make a real difference along the way. So the first suggestion is to think of what has made you smile together in the past, and buy a silly gift or novelty gift to lift your friends spirits. A Gifts4Good retailer with a great range of fun novelty items is Yellow Octopus.
Tip#2 - DIY or Ready-Made Coupons
No matter whether your friend is at home or in hospital, and regardless of the prognosis, everyone with cancer values both your help and memories of great times spent with friends. Creating a book a homemade coupons just for him or her can be a great do-it-yourself Christmas gift. Get some pretty paper or index cards and write up some redeemable coupons - such as an afternoon together watching movies, an offer of your help entertaining the kids for a morning, a pamper session with friends, a coupon to take a yoga class together or help around the home to help your friend save her energy.
Tip#3 - Distractions
Sometimes being ill with a disease like cancer can give you too much time to think. Particularly if you're stuck in a hospital bed. So think about whether there is something you know your friend would really enjoy as a way to keep his or her mind busy ... like movie or magazine subscriptions, puzzles and books, art and craft kits, or board games you can play together. Some Gifts4Good retailers to look at are: iSubscribe, Book Depository or Booktopia, Photobook Worldwide and oo.com.au.
Tip#4 - Food
Good Christmas gifts for friends with cancer can include food. Treat them to something special like a gourmet food or basket, but ask first! With cancer treatment, your friend's tastebuds and needs have probably changed. It's different for everyone, so you need to check whether he or she is sensitive to particular sweet or sour tastes, or whether your friend doesn't have much of an appetite at all due to feeling nauseous.
Tip#5 - Something Special
When your focus is on getting through the day or living in the moment, luxury isn't something you go looking for. Therefore, your friend will probably appreciate something special that he or she wouldn't usually buy for themselves- like an upmarket scarf, or home décor item, a piece of jewellery or a beautiful framed photo of you together. Some boutique jewellery retailers on Gifts4Good that are worth a look include: Najo, Coco Kitten and Bijoux.
Made from hand-poured resin, this papaya orange necklace is reminiscent of colourful bird feathers. Neck drop: 21cm
Ruby Olive offers free gift wrapping on all purchases.
What to avoid when buying Christmas cancer gifts?
Tip#6 - Avoid Perfume
Treatments like chemotherapy and radiation can heighten the sense of smell, so perfumes and scents can be difficult to tolerate. So even if your friend is usually a perfume lover, better to pass on gifts with heavy fragrances.
Tip#7 - Cosmetics are a no-no
Cosmetics fall into the tricky gift category and are best avoided. Firstly, there can be some chemical sensitivities. And secondly, you may unintentionally be sending a message that you think your friend isn't looking her best. She may be feeling sensitive about her appearance, looking pale or tired and may not perceive make-up or other cosmetics as a positive or supportive gift.
Tip#8 - Stay away from flowers and plants
Buying flowers is a traditional gift for someone who is ill. But for someone with cancer, it's important to avoid living plants that may carry spores or otherwise trigger an allergy. There are other options which capture the spirit of a spirit of a bunch of flowers but won't compromise your friend's immune system. If they are still eating sweets (check as per tip 4 above), then an arrangement of chocolate flowers from Edible Blooms or Tastebuds may be ideal.
Tip#9 - Cute and Cuddly Dust Traps
Again, soft toys and stuffed animals are gifts we traditionally think of for someone in hospital. But while they might be snuggly and soft, anything that can trap dust and other substances can be harmful depending on your friend's level of health. Probably best avoided.
Tip#10 - Awareness Ribbons can be Touchy
If you know your friend well, you'll know whether he or she will appreciate something like this. While there are some beautiful cancer jewellery items featuring a ribbon, your friend may not view a symbol of awareness a thoughtful gift. To some patients, they don't want to commemorate a cancer diagnosis or have a constant reminder at hand. Our tip is that this kind of gift is best kept for when your friend is ready to celebrate survival.
We hope you've found these shopping tips for a friend with cancer helpful.
One last suggestion for making their festive season more enjoyable ... your friend is sure to appreciate the gift of time. Help them get their own holiday shopping done by taking their Christmas shopping list along with your own. You'll save them the time and energy and its another way to let your friend know that you care this Christmas.