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?