Getting the perfect gift for someone you love, whose health is often dictated by their chronic illness, can be a head-scratcher. Should you get a practical gift? A helpful one? A fun one? Well, Spoonies (the term some people with chronic illnesses have adopted for themselves) are just like everyone else: They want to be appreciated and thought of as a human being, rather than their illness.
I would know. I’m a Spoonie myself, and I think these gifts will be a perfect treat for any Spoonie this holiday season.
An at-home spa kit
Who doesn’t love a good pamper? But for Spoonies who can’t go out to a spa or manicure, an at-home pamper kit can be a real treat. Fill these kits with bubble baths, face masks, and maybe a scented candle, all ready for them to enjoy. Do make sure the treats you pack won’t trigger any allergies for your friend. There’s a lot of ingredients in beauty products, and some can cause painful symptoms for people. For example, chemicals or scents can trigger rashes or, for some, migraines.
A super cozy blanket
Sometimes there’s nothing better than cuddling up on the couch with a warm cup of coca. Sometimes that may be all your friend can do for the day. If they don’t own a super cozy, for-lounging-only blanket, definitely put this on your list. A cute, cozy blanket can go a long way to adding extra comfort for days spent resting, or for brightening up hospital visits. The fluffier and softer the better!
A box set or entertainment subscription
Do they have a favorite show you know makes them laugh every time they watch it? Or a film you’re sure they’ll love? Finding entertainment that doesn’t involve expending a lot of energy is something a lot of Spoonies think about. Box sets for classic shows or a gifted subscription to Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon Prime would definitely be appreciated.
Pajamas, fluffy socks, or slippers
Photo credit: Nina Zeiler
Some days, Spoonies just need to stay home. Give them a gift that’ll make them as comfortable as royalty. These picks will add a lovely layer of coziness, from cute pajamas and fluffy socks to comfy slippers. You can’t go wrong by gifting one of these.
DIY vouchers for experiences — at home!
Instead of buying an “experience day” that most Spoonies might not physically be able to do, DIY a voucher that lets you bring an experience to them! Organize them a movie night in rather than going to the theater. Bring them a selection of cakes for an at-home tea party instead of going to a coffee shop. Just because they’re living with a chronic illness doesn’t mean there aren’t ways for them to enjoy hobbies and interests. Making it easier for them to enjoy the things they love will mean a great deal.
Photo credit: Nina Zeiler
Noise sensitivity can be an issue for many Spoonies. Noise-cancelling headphones can be incredibly helpful, both at home or for their commutes. These noise-cancelling picks will really send listeners into another dimension and let them forget the world as they relax to music, listen to audiobooks or podcasts, and watch their favorite films.
Books, e-reader, or audiobook subscription
For the bookworms out there, there’s always a new adventure to be had and never enough time or money to explore them all. If you’re unsure which book to get, there are also some fantastic book subscriptions. Choose from getting books delivered to their door every month, an e-reader subscription, or audiobook subscription. (This last one is also a great idea to pair with some noise-cancelling headphones!)
Slogans to wear
Nothing keeps a person comfy and cozy like a sweatshirt — especially one they’ll be happy to wear all day, every day. There are some great slogan sweatshirts to choose from, especially for Spoonies. From “Nap Queen” to “Chronically Fabulous,” get a unique gift that matches your friend’s fantastic personality.
Photo credit: Nina Zeiler
If you want their gift to be full of unexpected surprises, there are some fantastic Spoonie subscription boxes out there. In each care box — which is delivered once a month — they get a bounty of essentials, as well as some treats to brighten up their day. Perfect for making them smile for longer than just the holidays!
Special Spoonie jewelry
From necklaces to adorable awareness badges, Spoonie-themed gifts can add a great personal touch to your friend’s aesthetic and fashion sense. Whether they’re into pretty and sparkly or minimalistic and low-key jewelry, there are plenty of options for your Spoonie friend to wear loud and proud. Plus, they’re made by fellow Spoonies, just for Spoonies!
One thing to keep in mind around the holiday season is how stressful it can be for some people with health conditions. Although the holiday season is meant to be a time of celebration, the planning, pressure, and even the activities can often have an opposite, overwhelming effect on their energy level. Often what they need the most is support, understanding, and some TLC — although a gift wouldn’t hurt either.
Nina is a fitness and health blogger and full-time student living in London. Through many years of living with chronic fatigue and autoimmune issues, she’s become passionate about living a healthy lifestyle and helping others — no matter their health restrictions — to do the same. Now that her health is improving, she loves to be as active as she can, never taking her ability to exercise for granted. Her favorite activities are aerial sports, pole dance, climbing, and acrobatics. She also thoroughly enjoys creating healthy but delicious recipes to make sure she fuels her body well. Follow her on Instagram.