Best gifts to give a heart patient

gingerbread-man-3000526_1280 copy

by Carolyn Thomas   ♥  @HeartSisters

I came across a helpful list of gift ideas for those living with arthritis, and this made me wonder if you might need some inspiration if you happen to be shopping for a special heart patient on your gift list – at Christmastime, or for any occasion.

Personally, I’m not hoping for more “stuff” this season (except maybe a a new electric heating pad from Santa), hint, hint. But I decided to turn to my always generous-of-spirit heart sisters to ask other heart disease folks:  “What’s on YOUR Christmas wish list this year?”  Here are some of their informed responses . . .

  • I’d love a gift certificate for a relaxing massage.
  • How about a brand new car with heated seats?!    🙂
  • A gift card to a local pharmacy and a monogrammed pillbox in a favourite colour.
  • The ever-popular nitro pill necklace – I always wanted to bedazzle one to make it pretty!
  • The Mediterranean Cookbook from Williams-Sonoma, or Bonnie Stern’s Heart-Smart Cooking, or (Carolyn’s pick!): Cheryl Strachan’s 30-Minute Heart Healthy Cookbook
  • A MedicAlert bracelet or necklace that you actually feel upbeat when wearing; gift certificates available, or (Carolyn’s pick): the colourful silicone wrist bands from RoadID – great for engraving name, heart condition, and In-Case-Of-Emergency phone numbers.
  • I always ask for workout clothes. I can do anything better if I have new clothes to do it in!  Also, new athletic shoes.
  • 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!!!)
  • 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!
  • Cooking classes – another great idea to help us make great heart-healthy food.
  • A zipper so they can stop cutting!!!  (an in-joke among repeat open heart surgery survivors in the “zipper club”)
  • 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.
  • How about a pretty red dress, or red blouse or red scarf to help me celebrate Heart Month in February?
  • A good quality blood pressure monitor for tracking blood pressure at home
  • I just found the dreamiest silky soft pashmina scarf: creamy white, light weight and feels so warm 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”.
  • A cleaning lady who cleans and helps with decorating (mine put the tree up for me) or some taxi vouchers
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • (Shameless promotion!) My book A Woman’s Guide to Living with Heart Disease reads like the Best Of compilation of some of my 900+ Heart Sisters articles here. It was published by Johns Hopkins University Press. You can ask for it at your local library or favourite bookshop, or order it online (paperback, hardcover or e-book) at Amazon, or order it directly from my publisher (use their code HTWN to save 20% off the list price of all JHUPress books).

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 readers and does NOT represent any commercial endorsement.

Q:  What’s your own favourite gift suggestion for heart patients?


12 thoughts on “Best gifts to give a heart patient

  1. Pingback: Healthy Heart
  2. Just found this website mainly cause never in a million years did I think I would have a heart attack as young as I am, so I never googled heart stuff..

    I thought about all this and wanted to add what’s been very heavy on my mind… first of all as a heart patient and just HUMAN I would love to know where to find some good people who really care. Seems in my life when I can no longer do everybody else’s 9,000 things, everybody LEFT me that I thought cared….and something that I really feel guilty about is my youngest daughter that I did EVERYTHING with before could use someone just to take her to the park or play football with… Chances of me getting any of this are slim to none but maybe someone that has great friends might would value this as a gift.


  3. And isn’t this perfect timing? I’d much prefer to shop for something that heart attack survivors themselves have put on Santa’s wish list! Thx alot for this Carolyn – love your very helpful site!


  4. Hello there, You’ve done an excellent job here. I will personally suggest to my friends. I’m confident they will benefit from this gift list.


  5. And not a moment too soon to get my hands on this useful list. Thanks so much – I love the idea that these suggestions came from real live heart patients themselves. I’ll be sharing this with our clinic staff.


  6. Thx for this very useful gift suggestion list – will post this in my office for our patients (and their family members!) to see.


  7. Hello and Happy Holidays, Carolyn! I just wanted to let you know that after I read this post recently, it really helped me in choosing some Xmas gifts for my sister, who at the age of 32 has suffered a Spontaneous Coronary Artery Dissection (SCAD) – which you wrote about recently too JUST IN TIME to pass the article around our whole family, perfect timing, THANK YOU!! Your Xmas gift suggestions were bang on – our family split the list so my sister ended up getting about half a dozen of your ideas and LOVED every single one.

    Thanks again – I hope you enjoyed a wonderful holiday season and maybe Santa brought a few of the great gifts on this list for you, too!


  8. I’ve added HEART SISTERS to my bookmarks.

    Good job getting this helpful list compiled for us; wishing you a great New Year!



  9. Very helpful ideas – not just for Christmas, but birthdays or ‘just because’ days.

    Thanks so much – your website is a goldmine of great ideas and so thought-provoking for those of us with a family history of heart disease.

    I’m going to subscribe to your new update postings. Well done – love your site!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Eddie B.


  10. I just wanted to let you know how helpful this article was in our family this past Christmas! Great ideas – all were a big hit!

    Thank you!


Your opinion matters. What do you think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s