Regardless of your cultural background or traditions, the holidays are a time when people traditionally exchange gifts. There is pressure to become the perfect gift giver, taking into consideration the recipient’s preferences and needs. Outside of the commercial aspect of gift giving is a wonderful opportunity to share a different kind of gift, especially when considering loved ones who may be cancer patients and caregivers.
Here are some suggested gifts from the heart for patients and caregivers:
- Give the gift of time. Share a cup of tea, watch a favorite movie or television show together.
- Offer to take them for a walk, or a drive to enjoy local scenery.
- Make your favorite recipe to share.
- Share one of your favorite books with them.
- Have a favorite picture or an inspirational quote framed
- Offer to accompany them to an appointment.
- Make a coupon book with invitations to do some fun things together.
- Show them that you see them. Bring a magazine related to one of their interests.
Share some time doing something they care about. Let them know they are more than a patient.
- Offer to help with taking their loved one to appointments.
- Bring them a homecooked meal that is easily frozen.
- Take them out for a brief excursion – a walk, a trip to a local coffee shop, a local holiday event.
- Make a coupon book with invitations of helpful things you can provide: a meal, helping with gardening, laundry, etc.
Listen. It is the best gift you can provide.
- Call regularly. Let them know they can always share their frustrations with you.
- Let them know you see them. Show an interest in sharing subjects other than caregiving.
Most importantly, let your loved ones know they are not alone.