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Holiday Gift Ideas for Your Friends and Loved Ones with MS

By Gay Falkowski

Choosing a perfect holiday gift for your friend or loved one with multiple sclerosis can be easy — if they’ve given you a list of ideas. If they haven’t, don’t worry; we’ve got you covered with some great ideas your friends and loved ones are sure to appreciate. Because MS is different for everyone, think about the ways MS has affected their lives so you can select a gift that’s appropriate.

Prepay for a Service or DIY

When fatigue takes over, chores can pile up quickly. Gifts of service make life easier. Prepay for any of the following services, or, if you’re on a tight budget, offer to do it yourself:
  • A few hours of babysitting
  • Lawn mowing and trimming
  • Housecleaning
  • Car cleaning and detailing
  • Meal prep and freezing
  • Shoveling snow
  • De-cluttering and organizing kitchen, garage, or the entire home

Give an Experience

A fun experience provides an emotional boost, something anyone would enjoy. Consider the following ideas; but because MS is so unpredictable avoid events tied to a particular date.
  • Hot-air balloon ride
  • Cooking class
  • Staycation in your area (be their tour guide as you check out museums, restaurants, and attractions)
  • Tickets to a play of their choice 
  • Photography or art class
  • Boat or sailing ride
  • Tickets to a local museum
  • Wine tasting

Sign up for subscriptions and memberships

Choices are plentiful in this category but the following are popular picks:
  • A magazine subscription (a third-party site or Amazon usually costs less)
  • Subscription boxes (visit www.mysubscriptionaddiction.com) can be found for just about any interest or budget
  • Three months, six months, or a year of movies from a streaming service such as Netflix or Hulu
  • An AAA membership to help with auto issues and provide special discounts
  • Yearly membership to a favorite museum
  • Yearly membership to a wholesale shopping club

Focus on Home Comfort

Being comfortable at home is essential when living with a chronic illness. The environment should offer physical comfort as well as soothing sights and sounds.
  • Their favorite photos framed by you
  • Weighted blanket to help with nighttime restlessness and insomnia
  • Nice pair of pajamas that don’t look like sleepwear so you can wear them all day for naps and unexpected guests
  • Neck wraps for cooling with or without aromatherapy
  • E-reader such as a Kindle for easier reading
  • Audio books
  • Playlist of favorite songs
  • Laptop holder for in-bed convenience
  • Sound machine that creates white noise or comforting sounds to help with sleep
  • Small refrigerator to place in the bedroom or by the recliner
  • Decorative and fun nightlights 

Pamper to Please

Pampering is a great stress buster. Gifts in this category are always a hit. Day spas usually run specials around the holidays.
  • Massage (try to find a masseuse familiar with MS)
  • Reflexology session (manipulates foot pressure points to address health issues)
  • Haircut and style
  • Manicure and pedicure

Give the Gift of Shopping

Some people don’t give gift cards because they may seem impersonal, but many recipients enjoy receiving gift cards. They prefer shopping for items they really want or need. One way to make a gift card more personal is to give a gift card from the recipient’s favorite store, restaurant, or online shop. For the person with outstanding bills, a gift card from a credit card company can be used to pay bills.