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Meaningful holiday gifts for the cancer patients on your list

December 15, 2015 | by CTCA

Gifts
A great way to approach buying gifts for someone with cancer is to look at the typical presents people give, and try to find alternative opportunities. For example, many people get candy or sweets as gifts, but for a loved one in treatment, it might be better to buy them lunch or dinner gift cards, or even send them a home-cooked meal.

Even with the best intentions in mind, selecting a gift for a loved one with cancer is a sensitive matter. When deciding what to buy for friends and loved ones who are undergoing cancer treatment, it’s important not only to consider their treatment plan, but also to find ways to help motivate them and lift their spirits for the months to come.

A great way to approach buying gifts for someone with cancer is to look at the typical presents people give, and try to find alternative opportunities. For example, many people get candy or sweets as gifts, but for a loved one in treatment, it might be better to buy them lunch or dinner gift cards, or even send them a home-cooked meal. Instead of tangible gifts, someone with cancer may enjoy lessons in music, cooking or art. This not only offers them an opportunity to learn, but it can also be soothing and help take their mind off cancer. Gifts that provide an excursion or getaway are other helpful ways to support both the patient and their family. These trips can motivate them to get out of their ordinary surroundings, help increase positivity and lift their spirits.

For more ideas, our mind-body team made a list, and checked it twice, on some inspiring gift options for cancer patients:

Tickets to a movie or a theater: Whether it’s a funny movie or even a comedy club, people battling cancer need to laugh and just forget about cancer for a while.

 

Gift certificates for a massage: This can offer soothing comfort for tense muscles, and even the basic feeling of touch can be healing. Better yet, make it a gift certificate for two and let your loved one make a date of it.

 

A blank journal: Experts have long made the connection between creative expression and health. Emotional or expressive writing can help aid the healing process and give patients a judgment-free outlet to record their thoughts and experiences along the journey.

 

Aromatherapy: Aromatherapy can offer patients a natural way to cope with stress, pain, depression and other side effects of treatment. Scented candles, massage oils and body creams (especially lavender-scented) may provide much-needed relaxation and improve patients’ quality of life.

 

Yoga DVDs: The benefits of yoga in its many forms may help cancer patients relax and find soothing relief from stress. Some cancer patients may not be able to make it to a yoga studio, so yoga DVDs may give them the opportunity to practice the exercises from the comfort of home. All cancer patients should seek approval from their doctor before practicing yoga.


For the millions of Americans diagnosed with cancer each year, there are millions of families and loved ones who are trying to find ways to comfort them around the holidays. So put some extra thought into your gift list this year, and bring some extra cheer to the cancer patients close to you.