I came across a helpful list of Christmas gift ideas for those living with arthritis, and this made me wonder if you might need some inspiration about what to get that special heart patient on your gift list – at Christmastime or for any occasion.
Personally, I’m hoping Santa stuffs a new electric heating pad into my stocking, hint, hint. But I decided to turn to my always generous-of-spirit heart sisters and ask these heart disease survivors: “What’s on your Christmas wish list this year?” Here are 20 of their informed responses . . .
- 1. I’d love a gift certificate for a relaxing massage.
- 2. How about a brand new car with heated seats?! :-)
- 3. A gift card to a local pharmacy and a monogrammed pillbox in a favourite colour.
- 4. The ever-popular nitro necklace - I always wanted to bedazzle one to make it pretty!
- 5. The Mediterranean Cookbook from Williams-Sonoma or Bonnie Stern’s Heart-Smart Cooking for heart healthy food.
- 6. A pretty, gorgeous, charming MedicAlert bracelet or necklace that you actually feel upbeat when wearing (gift certificates available). Ed note: I also like the colourful silicone wrist bands from RoadID - great for engraving name, heart condition, and In-Case-Of-Emergency phone numbers.
- 7. I always ask for workout clothes. I can do anything better if I have new clothes to do it in! Also, new athletic shoes.
- 8. I’d give anything for a Wii Fit – any wealthy donors out there?
- 9. I have actually asked my folks to help me pay for my cardiac rehabilitation; this is a real need for me right now, so I’m asking that any money for Christmas gifts go to my rehab fund instead. (Years ago I never would have asked for something like this!!!)
- 10. Some blank notecards with a heart motif so I can send out thank you notes for all the nice gifts I’ll be getting after Santa sees this wish list. * See #13!
- 11. A food processor – to help prepare all those heart-healthy meals!
- 12. Cooking classes – another great idea to help us make great heart-healthy food.
- 13. Anything from the WomenHeart Store at the National Coalition for Women With Heart Disease - like Red Dress note cards (and proceeds help to support WomenHeart advocacy and education programs)
- 14. A zipper so they can stop cutting!!! (an in-joke among repeat open heart surgery survivors)
- 15. Post-it notes so I can write down ideas, tasks & messages and leave them around the house for when my mind evicts them, so I can figure out where I’m supposed to be or what I’m supposed to be doing.
- 16. How about a pretty red dress, or red blouse or red scarf to celebrate living and thriving with heart disease?
- 17. I just found the dreamiest silky soft pashmina scarf: creamy white, light weight and feels so warm, feminine and cozy. too. Pashminas can be dressed up or down, worn loosely or folded in half before draping. As a heart girl with cold weather angina, I love lightly covering my chest with the protection of a scarf “that doesn’t make me look sick”.
- 18. A cleaning lady who cleans and helps with decorating (mine put the tree up for me) or a few hours with “Driving Miss Daisy”, a chauffeur service for those who don’t drive.
- 19. Lunch out with all the family during the holiday so no one has to cook or clean, just enjoy our time together before they have to go back to their corners of the world, and a new family photo.
- 20. What I would like this Christmas is time with my family, a hug and kiss from each of them. To me these things are priceless and don’t cost a thing. Health and happiness have no price tag. Take time to tell your family and friends that you love them. Maybe peace on earth would be a good thing too.
♥ UPDATE: Add these two wonderful books to this wish list:
- Heart Attack & Soul, written by Alaska cardiac psychologist and heart attack survivor Dr. Stephen Parker
- Dr. Wayne Sotile’s indispensable book for heart patients, Thriving With Heart Disease
And for a lovely holiday break for yourself, here’s one of my (non-commercial) favourites: a surprise flash mob chorus of Handel’s Messiah performed for Christmas shoppers in the Welland Seaway Mall food court (near my own hometown of St. Catharines, Ontario).
Looking for a low-stress heart-healthy Christmas brunch recipe to make for the heart patient in your life? Try my favourite Blueberry Almond French Toast recipe that you whip together the night before!
If you or somebody you know has been diagnosed with heart disease, visit the WomenHeart online support community:
Please note: this list of gift ideas is based on voluntary contributions from several survivors and does NOT represent any commercial endorsement on my part.
Q: What’s your own favourite gift suggestion for heart patients?