The Holidays are coming and the Black Friday deals have already begun and for me that means it’s time to get my Christmas Shopping sorted! So whether you’re a spoonie writing your wishlist or looking for a great gift for a chronically ill loved one, this is the guide for you!
If you are someone who doesn’t have a disability and/or chronic illness and are looking for gifts for someone who does please click here for some tips on things to look out for and some of the best and worst holiday gifts according to spoonies themselves.
When I asked my instagram followers for the top holiday gift they’d like to receive the top categories were; Temperature Control Products; Comfort items such as Pillows, Blanket & PJs etc; Distraction items such as craft supplies and entertainment; and Mobility Aids, Management Tools & Household Help so I have arranged most of this guide under those headings. What’s on your Holiday wishlist? Let me know in the comments! Without further ado let’s jump right into the gift guide!
(Disclaimer: Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I may earn a commission if you click and make a purchase.)
Temperature Control Products
Most of my spoonie friends absolutely LOVE heat products whether it’s heat pads and hot water bottles for soothing specific aches and pains or warm blankets for general warmth. In fact when I asked my instagram followers a whopping 87% said they’d love a heat product as a gift! However, I know some spoonies, myself included, who cannot tolerate heat much at all so here’s my run down of the best heating and cooling gifts out there no matter which way you prefer.
This is the perfect gift for anyone who struggles with temperature control. If you’re that friend or family member that’s known for always being cold or you struggle with overheating, often inexplicably, this one is for you! The new Embr Wave is a light and sleek looking wristband which is an easy and super subtle way to help manage your thermal wellness. With the press of a button or tap of the app the Wave delivers a warming or cooling sensation to your skin activating a natural scientific response in your body to help manage your perceived temperature. I’ve been finding it really useful in getting a better night’s sleep and managing my heat intolerance caused by POTS. It’s also great on chilly days when I need some extra warmth without an extra layer. I really love the app where you can set different programmes, such as All Night Cool or Fireplace and intensities to suit your needs. It also has dedicated settings for hot flashes and Embr has recently completed a study with Johnson & Johnson Innovation and the Wave wristband is now clinically-proven to better control hot flashes! The stainless steel Milanese loop wristband with its adjustable magnetic closure feels very elegant and luxurious and the sleek black or on-trend rose gold colour choices means it doesn’t feel like another ugly, bulky medical device making it a great gift. I also love how discreet it is, to outsiders it looks like it could be a smartwatch, meaning it comes without the questions or stares of wearing wearable fans or a wearable hot water bottle in public. As I’ve spoken about a lot in the past, management options, especially for temperature control, can be very trial and error from person to person so I love that the Wave comes with a 30 day home trial so you can make sure it works for you, they’ve also extended this over the holiday period meaning any Wave purchased between Nov 15 and end of year can be returned up until 1/31/22 so the recipient can still take advantage of the full trial whether you like to get your shopping sorted early or you’re a last minute shopper. It is one of the more pricey items on this list but their Black Friday sale will offer $50 worth of free accessories with every purchase of the Wave 2 starting on Nov 24 meaning you get more for your money. To give the gift of thermal wellness this year you can click here to buy and find out more.
I got my heat holders Snuggle up luxury fleece blanket earlier this month and I don’t think I’ve been more than 6 ft away from it since it arrived. In fact I’m snuggled under it writing this! It’s the warmest, softest, nicest blanket I’ve ever had, I think I need to order a couple more! It’s a large blanket at 180cm x 200cm so you can really wrap yourself up in it. It’s been developed specifically to retain heat and has an official tog rating of 1.7! My pet hedgehog Honey also loves curling up with me in it. Heat Holders also have a great range of other great stocking filler type gifts from really high quality and warm sleep socks to hats, gloves and neck warmers but I think my favourite product of all has to be their tights! I love wearing dresses in the winter but normal tights mean my legs get cold and itchy and my knees get painful but their tights have been a game changer, they’re warm, soft and super comfortable too! They also currently have 15% off everything for Black Friday with code: BlackFriday15
The YuYu Bottle is a wearable long hot water bottle which is perfect for hands free pain relief. They come with beautiful covers in a range of styles and colours from fluffy zebra print to Japanese cotton, Belgian linen to luxurious cashmere. They also have a range of new covers so you can pop your YuYu in the freezer and use it as cold therapy too. These are super high quality and long lasting. They can be a little heavy but when tied round your body the weight distributes nice and evenly so it’s not as big of a problem. Before we turned our heating on I slept with both of mine, one for the pain and another to keep warm haha.
This is for all my friends who, like me, prefer the cool to the heat. Releaf packs are a super soft and flexible ice pack which come in loads of different colours and patterns. They are made using a completely vegan, locally sourced, all natural dried bean filler and 100% cotton. Mine is unscented but if you do prefer you can have lavender or mint organic dried herbs added for gentle fragrance. Because of their materials they don’t get wet due to condensation like other ice packs and still stay cold for hours. The only thing I struggle with is the weight (3.6lbs) but they do also have a ‘releaf buddy’ size which is a little smaller and lighter. You can currently use the code Holiday10 for 10% off!
Now Stoov is not a brand which I have tried myself but I have heard they are great. For my heat loving friends they do a range of electric pillows, seat cushions, cushion covers, hot water bottles and heated blankets. They’re USB chargeable so can be plugged in to the car or power bank for heating on the go and without the need for kettles or microwaves! Definitely one to check out.
Comfort & Distraction Items
Living with chronic pain is extremely uncomfortable and means we spend a lot of our time in bed or on the sofa so things to make life more comfortable are a dream!
My Kally Sleep Body Pillow has totally revolutionised my sleep since I got it in August. The body pillow supports your shoulders, hips and knees perfectly and is just the right size so you can share a bed and not bother your partner. It’s also super soft and It’s easy to wash & change the covers. They also come in a range of different colours to match your decor, there’s even a sherpa fleece range!
I also love Kally Sleep’s candles, especially the sandalwood, and their anti-snore pillow has also been a lifesaver for me since I bought one for Ian, if your partner or a family member snores I highly recommend getting them one as a holiday gift. They have loads of great things so head to their website linked in my bio to check out their whole range and you can use Kally Sleep Discount code CJ15 for 15% off!
I live in PJs and loungewear for the vast majority of the week. Many of my PJs are full of holes because I wear them so much and am always pleased when someone gets me a new set. Whenever I’m looking for a new set I look for something they will last and I also have quite strict rules for my PJs should look like (no buttons, elasticated ankles etc). Many people can also have sensory issues with clothes so this one is definitely best to ask about if you are getting them as a gift. That being said I just got a beautiful Zebra set for my birthday from Chelsea Peers NYC which are absolutely perfect for me and I highly recommend (they have 25% off for Black Friday!)! Next & M&S are some more of my go-tos for PJs because they’re super comfy and long lasting.
Home Entertainment Vouchers
When you live with chronic pain and/or chronic fatigue distractions can be your best friend and I couldn’t tell you how much time a week I spend on my Netflix, Disney Plus and Amazon Prime accounts watching shows and movies old and new so treating someone to all or part of that subscription goes a long way, especially when there are so many streaming services out there nowadays. Some people can struggle with TV and although I love physical books I struggle with them because I can’t hold them and or concentrate on the page in front of me but audiobooks have been my savior and I love them to help me sleep or to have on in the background whilst I rest so an Audible subscription could also be a great gift.
Activity Books/Craft Supplies
Again we love distractions and when we have the energy for something physical simple crafts and activities are always a winner. Again if you are getting this as a gift it’s something to ask about first as I can struggle with my hands so if you wanted to give me a colouring book or paint by numbers, for example, it would be great to also get an aid which would make holding a small pen or brush more comfortable to go with it.
Mobility Aids & Household Help
If you know me you know how much I love my Neowalks walking stick collection. This time last year I had 4 but I now have 10 in my collection and another on my christmas list haha! They come in a whole range of beautiful colours with bubbles, glitter and light up options too. They also come with a variety of handles to suit your needs; if you are hypermobile like me I highly recommend the question mark or snoopy handle for maximum comfort. The sticks are made to order and aren’t height adjustable so you will need to get a measurement so it’s best to ask or to measure a mobility aid they already have. If you or your loved one already has a neowalks stick they also sell a whole range of fun, colourful and often sparkly wrist straps which make great stocking fillers! This year you can also get gift cards so the recipient can choose their own stick and really make it their own! They currently have 15% off for Black Friday using code BLACKFRIDAY15 or Free worldwide shipping and 15% off orders over £140 using code BF140FREESHIP until midnight on Monday 29th.
Silver ring splints are another type of beautiful mobility aid that can definitely be a gift. When I worked at a cinema and took tickets I had lots of compliments from customers on my interesting and stylish rings and they had no idea about the support those rings were giving my finger joints. Zomile is the best in the business and has detailed measuring guides to help find the perfect ring size and makes rings for every different joint including thumbs. Needing exact measurements does mean this gift probably can’t be a surprise but you can get jazzy with them and choose from silver, gold plate or gold and add extra gem stones, texture and cute embellishments to add an element of surprise. Another beautiful but also practical gift!
I know lots of people like to give more fun gifts at Christmas but I will never turn away a practical present. These things can be expensive and can add up so I always love getting helpful, useful and practical things to help manage my gifts. Who wouldn’t want a gift that gives them more energy and reduces their pain even if it might be seen as boring. I got a shower stool for my 21st birthday and it was the best present I ever got. Not the plastic and metal that makes the chair but the gift of being able to shower independently.
I have lots of different guides and survival kits which include all the things I find useful to manage my EDS & POTS which you can find below and I’m updating them all the time. Most of the items are helpful for all sorts of pain and fatigue so will also help people with a wide range of conditions.
‘Get Out of Guilt’ Vouchers
You might think I’m talking about gift vouchers from shops and although these can make great gifts this kind of voucher will cost you very little but will make a huge difference to a spoonie. As someone with a chronic illness I often feel guilty about asking for help or not being able to do certain things but I often need help. I would love for a friend or family member to give me some hand written vouchers as kind of ‘get out of guilt’ cards. For example a booklet including things like ‘I’ll come over and do your washing up’ ‘a load of laundry on me’ ‘I will cook us a meal’ would mean so much and is much more useful to me than flowers or chocolates.Obviously the ongoing pandemic may still restrict this at the moment but definitely one to use if you can or keep in the back of your mind for future reference. Another thing I often struggle with is cooking when my pain and fatigue flares up so a voucher for just eat, deliveroo or uber eats (depending on your area) would be a great gift so I don’t have to feel bad for spending out on a takeaway when I don’t have the energy to cook.
Ffora create stylish attachments and accessories for wheelchairs. I’m obsessed with their bags which clip onto the footplate of your wheelchair giving you easy access to your things without having to have a handbag on your lap or reach for something in a backpack behind you. They have cupholders too! Unfortunately they aren’t suitable for some wheelchair’s, like my rollz, because they only have round attachments, but if they did work it would definitely be on my lust list. They currently have 30% off sitewide with code YAY30 until Cyber Monday.
Is another product I haven’t tried but as I’m using my wheelchair more and more it’s definitely on my list! They sell a range of wheelchair covers and other accessories for all ages. Their fleece-lined wheelchair cosy’s look amazing because they keep your legs and lap warm but are also waterproof on the outside so your legs and lap and stay dry in the rain. They currently have 25% off with code BLACKFRIDAY25
Support Spoonie Small Business
Living with a disability or chronic illness can be difficult, and can be even more difficult when you’re a small business owner too. So shop small and shop disabled this festive season with my disabled owned small business directory so you can give them support and find products or services you love! You can find all sorts in this list from Clothing (including my merch store), Jewellery & Accessories to Stylish Mobility Aids to Gifts, Artwork & Services.
Thank you so much for checking out my Chronic Illness Holiday Gift Guide! I’d love to know if you’re going to be adding any of these things to your list or thinking of getting them for a friend! What else is on your wish list, I’d love to know in the comments! Happy Holidays!