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Six Thoughtful Gifts for a Caregiver

A family caregiver is a very special person who deserves a very special gift this holiday season. Nothing is more thoughtful than knowing what someone really loves and turning it into a gift that’s a perfect fit. But creativity takes time and energy, and few of us have either in abundance, so we’ve come up with six thoughtful ways to give a unique gift where the family caregiver will be truly touched.

1. Time

This is the one thing that is in short supply for every caregiver. It would be nice if you could magically add a 25th hour their day, but that’s not an option. There are, however, ways to subtract the number of hours they devote to being the caregiver.

  • Restaurant Delivery: A meal from a favorite restaurant can be easily enjoyed at home now that most restaurants have added or expanded delivery service while their dine-in hours are restricted due to the Covid-19 pandemic. You can arrange to have a meal delivered once a week. It could be something as simple as pizza or Chinese food, or it could be from a restaurant of their choice.
  • Home Maintenance: If the caregiver is not living with your elderly loved one, that means they’re holding down two households. If they live in a cold climate, you could contract with a company that provides snow removal or just hire a neighbor looking to make some pocket money. If they’re in a warm climate, there could be a lawn or weeding that could use some attention. Removing the burden of cleaning and dusting would also make the caregiver’s life easier. The same goes for laundry, grocery shopping, cooking, and any number of other errands that are part of everyday life. You can even gift-wrap this by getting a pretty gift box and filling it with handrwitten coupons good for two hours of cleaning and dusting, for example, and they’ll redeem them as needed. This works especially well if there isn’t a chore that needs to be done on a regular basis.

2. Custom Gift Baskets

There’s something for everyone in this category, and a gift basket with a theme is even better. You can order online or even assemble one yourself. If yours is homemade, it doesn’t have to be an actual basket. A gift bag and pretty tissue works just as well.

  • Books: Are they a book lover? How about three or four of the latest titles. Many people have a “Wish List” on Amazon that is accessible to anyone. If they have one, you’ll know exactly what they like.
  • Local Delights: You may be able to order a basket from their hometown that’s full of local food and other merchandise. A quick search online will let you know your options.
  • Are they a collector? Figurines, baseball cards, t-shirts, paperweights, mugs—if it exists, there are folks collecting it. You could mix it up with gift basket of holiday treats along with an item or two for their collection.
  • Bath: Luxury soap, bubble bath, and shower gel are a great gift collection for anyone who likes to take a long, relaxing bath. Or you could give them a couple of scrumptiously soft bath towels or a plush bath mat.

If you’re assembling your own basket or gift bag, individually wrap each item. A gift that takes five minutes to open will be just that much more fun than a gift that’s unwrapped in five seconds. The possibilities are endless here, but give some thought to what the caregiver enjoys.

3. Gourmet Treats: Think of a favorite food or treat and present them with the deluxe version. Fancy cheeses, nuts, crackers, fruit—any food can be kicked up a notch. Even ice cream!

4. Cookies and Candy: You can also give a gift of personalized cookies. Many bakeries will make cookies to order based on a theme. If they love baseball, they’ll love decorated cookies in the shape of balls and bats. This category is another area where the possibilities are endless.

Candy stores will offer confections in a variety of themes. A chocolate car, animal, or emoji can be a fun way to satisfy their sweet tooth. And novelty candy isn’t limited to chocolate. Browse the merchandise to see everything available—who doesn’t love to roam around a candy store? While you’re there, treat yourself as well.

If you love to bake and your cakes and cookies are always a hit, there’s no need to reinvent the wheel. There are certain baked goods and candy that only come out this time of year, and if you traditionally make something during the holidays, the caregiver may be looking forward to that particular treat, and you don’t want to disappoint.

5. Magazines Subscriptions: A favorite magazine enjoyed all year long is a very thoughtful gesture for someone who is a sports buff, a news junkie, or loves crafts or decorates with a passion or gardens or cooks. There is something for everyone. Go online and you’re likely to find a title that they don’t even know about. If they end up loving the magazine, you can renew the subscription every year. They’ll always receive something you know they’ll like.

6. Streaming Services: Binge-watching a great series is the perfect way for many a caregiver to relax and unwind. If they have a favorite service like Netflix or Hulu, you can give them a gift card to cover their renewal. But because there are so many streaming services, it’s the rare person who has all of them. If the caregiver already subscribes to one or two, find out which ones they don’t have and subscribe them for a year.

No matter the gift, putting some thought into what they’d truly like is a guaranteed way to show your appreciation for all they do. If you’ll be giving it to them in person, don’t forget to include a great big verbal “Thank You”! And if it’s delivered, make sure the words “Thank You!” are on the card in extra large letters.

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