Reading: Holiday Gift Guide 2023: Caring for Caregivers

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Holiday Gift Guide 2023: Caring for Caregivers

A lavender self-care gift box, a holiday dinner, and 6 more thoughtful gifts for those who care the most

By Casee Marie Clow

For many of us, caregiving often means survival mode. It’s a strange balance of feeling overwhelmed and grateful. (Yes, grateful.) Many caregivers are experiencing emotional (and sometimes physical) strain but also contentment for getting to spend time with the people they love. When someone you love is in survival mode, a scarf just doesn’t seem to fit the bill. Here’s a collection of thoughtful gifts for caregivers, curated for you by someone who has been there.

Positivity Shower Affirmations ($30, JAXKELLY)

One of my dearest friends gave me a Shower Affirmations set for my birthday and it remains one of my favorite gifts. Unexpected, creative, and truly helpful, these water-resistant affirmation cards can get wet and then stick to the wall of your shower. As caregivers, it’s not unusual for our shower time to be the only time in the day we get to stop and breathe, and these peaceful reminders make that time more meaningful. Each set also comes with a shower steamer for the added benefit of aromatherapy.

Vanilla Comoro – Decaf Black Tea (starting at $9, Harney & Sons)

Often we spend late nights catching up on work while our loved one is sleeping, and this tea from Harney & Sons is the perfect companion: decaffeinated, warm, and comforting. The tea is available in sachets (an upgrade from the standard tea bag) or loose leaf. Pair it with a fine mug for a gift that creates mindful moments of calm. I love these Aran knit stoneware mugs from Sheila Fox Pottery.

Steps of Faith by Kate Pelletier ($40) or Devotions by Mary Oliver ($16)

As a hospice caregiver, I spend time reading to my loved one to help calm his anxiety — and mine. For those who find solace in scripture, Steps of Faith: Bold Promises for a Year of Breakthrough by Kate Pelletier offers short, inspirational reflections on grace and hope. For a more secular experience, one cannot find a better resource than the late poet Mary Oliver, whose writings evoke the spirituality and endurance of nature. Devotions was her final collection and contains some of the most breathtaking poetry and prose of her career.

Root 66 6” Pothos Plant ($65, Farmgirl Flowers)

I’m an avid collector of plants, and I’ve found that my plants have brought me even more comfort since I became a caregiver. They can add brightness to difficult days, and tending to them is a reminder for me to also tend to myself. Pothos are friendly little guys who require minimal care and can do well in low-light conditions. Farmgirl Flowers is a woman-owned company that designs its products to safely ship from coast to coast so you can trust your selection to arrive in pristine condition. They also have a beautiful collection of holiday bouquets.

Holiday Dinner ($165, Honey Baked Ham Co.)

One of the most helpful gifts my family has received are these pre-cooked holiday meals from the Honey Baked Ham Company. Everything arrives frozen and can be popped right into the oven. Beyond creating a sense of ease during difficult seasons, these meals actually taste wonderful. You can’t go wrong with the Christmas Meal, which includes a 10 lb honey ham, potatoes au gratin, a green bean casserole, a side of cinnamon apples (my dad’s favorite), and a big, beautiful red velvet cake. For a smaller group there’s the Oven-Roasted Turkey Breast Meal, which includes a 2.5–3 lb turkey breast, a side of macaroni and cheese, Tuscan broccoli topped with parmesan, and their 9″ pecan pie. There’s no better gift for a caregiver than less time in the kitchen and more time with their loved one.

Less Stress Lavender Gift Box (starting at $70, Spoonful of Comfort)

Self-care can be a challenge for most of us to prioritize, and for caregivers it’s an almost certain struggle. Spoonful of Comfort, the experts in gourmet gift boxes, have an entire section of their website dedicated to gifts for caregivers, from soups and cookies to tea and wellness products. I love how their Less Stress Lavender gift box combines the healing properties of lavender with nourishing self-care practices. The simple act of applying the hand lotion is an act of self-soothing.

Layflat Photo Album ($165, Artifact Uprising)

For the gift-giver who is always snapping photos: put them to good use! While photos of their loved one may be bitter-sweet, a luxury photo album like this one from Artifact Uprising is a priceless tribute to a life well-lived. As a daughter caring for her ailing father, I relish every opportunity to glimpse both our family’s past and my father’s life before I came along. If you have the time and the resources to put a curated photo book together, you’ll be giving the gift of a lifetime.

CoveyClub Membership ($299 for a year)

Our very own CoveyClub membership is on this list, as it’s been an invaluable resource for me as a caregiver. In addition to a monthly Caregiving POD facilitated by psychotherapist, coach, and hospice volunteer Kathy Koenig, Covey also hosts supportive classes with guest speakers like Mim Senft of Motivity Care and legacy expert Merle Saferstein. Covey’s caregiving and grief support, which has been vitally important to me, is only one of the topics the membership covers — the rest is simply icing on the cake.

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