Tuesday, November 7, 2017



Not only is it having chronic pain that makes buying gifts for Christmas extremely difficult, but for many, having so many people to buy for adds to that difficulty, and can make it very stressful! Being the youngest of a large family, married, with two married kids, a grandson, grand doggy, a plethora of nieces and nephews, great nieces and great nephews, a favorite dear aunt and uncle, as well as many friends and other loved ones I’d love to buy for, there just is no way I could physically or financially handle that! Fortunately, Christmas is not about having things all wrapped up nicely in a bow for us! The true meaning of Christmas is in the gift of a baby that came to bring salvation to a lost world! A gift of grace and a future without all this horrid stuff life here drowns us in! 
Many of us take this time of year to celebrate His birth and give gifts to show our love to others. This can become overwhelming to many! And very challenging for those of us with chronic pain!  Let’s take a look at some ideas that might make all this practicable for those of us with chronic pain. 
First we will look at the gifting element and then in my next blog, we will look at the shopping piece of it all!
Below are alternatives that can be taken into consideration with all this gifting that may be overwhelming for you. Take a look over the ideas to help reduce the number of people you buy for, fun ways to integrate gifting at family get-togethers, condense the variety of gifts you need to purchase, as well as alternatives to traditional gift ideas.

  • Have a “white elephant gift exchange” - Not only is this great fun, it helps cut down on gift buying as well as the type of gifts. Everyone brings a wrapped, used or inexpensive gift and places them in a pile. You each take turns picking one out.  The first person takes a gift and unwraps it. Then the second person chooses a gift from the pile, unwraps it, and then
  • Image result for WHITE ELEPHANT GIFT FREE IMAGEdecides if they want to keep it or exchange it for the first person’s gift.  The third person picks a gift, unwraps it and then decides to keep it or exchange it for one of the other gifts by the others that already opened theirs. And so on, until everyone has a chance to pick a gift, decide if they want to keep it or exchange it with someone else in the group.  Then the first person can pick a gift from anyone in the group, if they want to do so, or keep the one they have! Many great laughs arise from the silliness of the gifts often purchased at rummage sales or have had found been found around someone’s house, coveted nice gifts, goofy gifts and even prank gifts. Some fun gifts have even made repeated appearances from year to year!

  • Make a gift list – check it twice to make sure you need to buy for all on it. Ask yourself why you are buying for these people.
    Image result for GIFT CARDS FREE IMAGE
  • Buy gift cards - this can cut down on having to go out shopping so much!  Many feel they are impersonal, however most people LOVE receiving them. I do! I love a free meal out to eat! Free movie! Free mini shopping trip to a book store or my favorite clothing store! Free massage, haircut, gas card, bookstore card, zoo memberships or any others! It is so much easier and requires no gift wrap. Unless you choose to “bling” them up with ribbons and bows! You can even provide baked goodies along with them if you feel up to it! Sometimes it is fun to wrap them up inside a box! If you are able to do that, or have someone help you!
  • legitimate. Image result for CHRISTMAS DRAW NAMES FREE IMAGEEveryone can decide an affordable price limit. This drastically helps to decrease how many we buy for and is less expensive, as well as less work buying for one instead of everyone.
  • Cut down on people you buy for - Do you need to buy for so many people? Perhaps just cut back to buying for your immediate family and maybe just a couple special friends, instead of so many people? Think about where to cut down. It will save time, money and energy!
  • Drawing names - put everyone’s name on a piece of paper, each person can add some ideas of things they like, put the names into a bowl and everyone picks out a name to buy for.
  • Go with a gift theme - this definitely makes for ease of picking items out.  I’ve done a dinner and a movie theme with a pizza gift card and a DVD that has just come out!  You could even buy pj’s, slippers, robes and blankets for fun.  Other ideas are super hero boxers for the guys and a piece of jewelry for the girls is always pretty.
  • Family gifts - instead of buying for everyone in the family, buy a gift for the whole family. Movie night gift baskets are fun! Game night gift baskets, Pizza night baskets with pizza pan, pizza cutter and nonperishable pizza ingredients can start a fun night tradition for a family. Filling a picnic baskets with various meats, cheeses and wine if always a great gift! There are so many varieties you can put together! Every family can get the same thing! Other items many like are a waffle iron, Panini maker or bread maker! This makes for ease of getting in and getting out of the stores.
  • Games for everyone - everyone loves games! You can all sit around and play games the rest of the day! Maybe a game night will ensue! Great fun and loads of laughter!
  • Homemade Gift certificates - if money is a real problem you can give a gift certificate for something you can do or give. Babysitting for a night for the grandkids, teaching a grandkid, niece or daughter a favorite craft such as knitting, crocheting or any other. Perhaps a much needed item for the elderly ones in your life, such as a dinner out, movie out as you can tolerate.
  • Donate - some feel gifts are just not what is needed in a very materialistic world and have changed to donating to a worthy cause that one’s family has agreed on. Everyone pools their money and gives it to a charity. Be sure you check out the place you give to be sure it is .Image result for CHRISTMAS DONATIONS FREE IMAGE
  • Volunteer - There are many things people volunteer for! Sign up for calling a home bound person from church, or in your neighborhood! Call an elderly relative or an elderly neighbor, a young mom that may need encouragement. Get a list of sick people from your church and send note cards if you are able. So many people out there need to be thought of and given words of encouragement!
These suggestions are for all of us to give consideration to in order to reduce the quantity of gifts you need to obtain, decrease the total of people to buy for, as well as condense the variety of gifts to pick from. It all leads to less work and give you less chance to be knocked over with a pain flare. All the activity adds up! Be good to you, even when trying to be good to others! In the next post, we look at alternatives to the normal hustle and bustle of a 5k shopping extravaganza around the stores and the mall that can do in anybody, but is exceptionally horrendous for those of us with chronic pain!


Here are more articles on Christmas that you may be interested in:

Cooking with Chronic Pain During the Holidays

Breakfast Dishes


Cooking with Mom, Christmas and Chronic Pain

Christmas Entertaining and Social Events

Making and Baking Christmas Goodies

Preparing for the Holidays with Chronic Pain EBooks

Hope- Part of Our New "Normal"

Low Fuss Decorating for Those with Chronic Pain

Easy Meal Ideas for Simple Entertaining for Those with Chronic Pain

Shopping Alternatives For Those of Us With Chronic Pain



  1. Thank you for this list. I enjoy reading your blog on all the ways to help us with chronic pain. Keep up the good work!


    1. Lisa, Thank you for checking out my blog article! I am glad you enjoyed reading all the ideas for ways to help those of us with chronic pain! My goal, when I started this blog, was to help just one person if I could! Now its to help just one more! We are all on this journey together and need to help each other out as able! Blessings to you!


As always, please feel free to leave a comment, ask questions, or give suggestions!