Looking for Christmas gifts for those special people in your life? Or are you someone who lives with chronic pain and have no idea what to tell family and friends when they ask you what you would like for Christmas? Here are the top 11 ideas that we came up with for those “I want” or “I need” items:
- Heated car seat covers – In the winter months, people with pain have another added challenge: getting in and out of a freezing cold car. These seat covers will help ease the shock and get muscles thawed faster than the car can warm up. They have been a lifesaver here! Beware of the cheaper options that don’t fully cover the seat (they get twisted around which creates another irritation for those of us with chronic pain!).
- FIR heating pad – FIR heating pads (Far Infrared) are said to use far infrared rays to penetrated deep into muscles, tissues, and organs. A pain camper friend of ours swears by them. We like them too. Unlike the electric versions, they do not emit an electromagnetic field (EMF), which some people with chronic pain are very sensitive to.
- Gift cards – Any type of gift cards for massage, hair, spa, and alternative treatments are wonderful ideas! Pain Camper Jessie wrote us and said “Pain is worse when you [feel] ugly! :)”
- Microwaveable wraps – A lot of the heat wraps out there come scented. This can be a problem for people with chronic pain, especially those of us with Multiple Chemical Sensitivities. We found this unscented wrap option from NuggleBuddy. Or here is a scarf/hand warmer option which is perfect for people who always have cold hands!
- Pillow – If you’re going to try the “I’m getting you a new $50 pillow for Christmas!” route, please check with your beloved pain camper first. There are several options out there and they are all different when it comes to shapes, sizes, firmness, and materials. This is Jen’s favorite pillow.
- Slippers – Some people love to wear slippers or booties in the house. We say the more supportive, the better! So, other great options are furry-lined shoes like Birkenstock, Crocs, or Skecher.
- Beverage containers – We drink a lot of water and herbal tea around here. Jen has Thoracic Outlet Syndrome and that means she is often dropping things. That means we need things that have handles and are leak proof! This cool Thermos travel mug has a handle and a built in tea hook! Or check out this inexpensive BPA free water bottle. For protein shakes, the good ol’ BlenderBottle is the best!
- Essential oils – Essential oils are a bit tricky, because many of them are contraindicated for people with certain medical conditions, on medications, or are in a particular age group (i.e. babies, kids, elderly). This is the ONLY brand that you should purchase off of Amazon as it is direct from the seller, and essential oils are notorious for being adulterated. Everyone wants a “starter kit”. This kit is organic, affordable, and also 5 basic oils that can be used for a variety of things. Giving a diffuser along with the essential oils would be a stellar way to support their pain and stress management! Don’t forget to add this easy read on essential oils, safety guidelines, and some ideas for recipes.
- Meditation & Relaxation CDs – There are so many options out there for this category (even free apps for your phone!). There is Christian meditation to Jon Kabat-Zinn’s Mindfulness Meditation for Pain Relief. This instrumental music with Native American flute is always relaxing. And then there are the CDs that bring you close to nature.
- Financial help – People with chronic pain are not usually padded with extra money. Helping out financially, whether it is directly or anonymously, can be a great way to support someone with chronic pain through the Christmas. This can include: assistance with paying bills (medical, mortgage, phone), gift cards to the grocery store, babysitting, and car repairs. Or how about paying for someone to come in and clean the house once a month?
- Acts of service – Along the same lines as providing financial support gives, acts of service are always appreciated and cost you nothing but time and love. Acts of service could include helping out with: preparing meals, running errands, babysitting, cleaning, laundry, shoveling, lawn mowing, organizing, and car maintenance. Prayer, tea time and a friendly hug can also count!
Pain Camp is a safe place to share your thoughts, experience, strength and hope. Were these ideas helpful for you? What others do you have to share?