“When you buy from a small business, an actual person does a little happy dance”
I don’t know about you, but I love to support independent retailers and creators, rather than buy from large corporations. So I have created a Christmas gift guide featuring some talented creators and inspiring bloggers. You can buy amazing gifts and cards ideal for your spoonie friends, while supporting independent shops, and in some cases contributing to some very worthy charities too.
Most of the gift ideas come from UK sellers but I have included a few US-based small businesses for my followers from across the pond.
If you are looking for some inspiration, here are some ideas.
My Top Spoonie Christmas Gift Ideas
Before I start my specific gift recommendations I wanted to mention a website I have only recently discovered called Conscious Crafties. It’s a unique craft selling site, and I think it’s a brilliant idea. It’s a community of talented entrepreneurs living with chronic health conditions or disabilities. It’s like Etsy but for spoonies. Buy gorgeous handmade gifts from talented spoonies. Please browse the Conscious Crafties site for more inspiration.
1. Spoonie Survival Kits
First up, one of my favourites, Spoonie survival kits. Spoonie survival kits are little bags of happiness that contain a range of items that will hopefully help those with long-term conditions to smile, and remind them that they are not alone. There are different survival kits to suit different spoonie friends. What’s great about Spoonie survival kits is, a percentage of all sales goes to charity.
2. Weighted lap pad
Weighted products have a calming effect, and can improve concentration, attention and focus. Weighted lap pads work on a similar principle to weighted blankets but as they are a lot smaller, they are more portable and more affordable. They are particularly helpful for people with sensory processing disorder, attentional difficulties, and autism. The calming effect means they are also a good way to relieve anxiety. Adapted James sell a selection of weighted products, along with disability bears, fiddle puzzles, and magnetic and velcro closure clothing.
Comfortable and warm clothing is essential for anyone living with chronic illness, especially those who suffer chronic pain. Here are a few clothing gift ideas:
Achy Smile Shop sell a selection of awareness t-shirts and accessories including a great selection of hats and beanies.
Chronillicles sell a range of spoonie-related merch including a “Not all disabilities are visible” range of hoodies, t-shirts and sweatshirts.
Graphic Organic sell a selection sustainable clothing including sweatshirts and T-shirts.
Full of Grit & Grace sell a wide selection of gifts including T-shirts, sweatshirts and socks.
RememberME sell ME awareness t-shirts, sweatshirts and tote bags. All profits go to the charity ME Association
4. Hot water bottle cover
I don’t know a spoonie that does not own, and frequently use at least one hot water bottle. So why not buy your friend a beautiful hot water bottle cover.
The Crafty Piglet sell handmade crochet hot water bottle covers, or these adorable Aran knitted covers from CQ Creations UK would make an ideal gift. If you think your friend would prefer the softness of fleece, these covers from Damson Firefly are available in a number of colours.
I have discovered some very talented jewellery designers and makers amongst the spoonie community. Jewellery makes a great gift, and there are so many choices available, you are sure to find something suitable.
Morgan from Chronic Creations sells a beautiful range of jewellery and prints. She also donates a percentage of her art sales to the charity Ehlers Danlos Support UK.
Spoon Your Heart Out sell a selection of handmade jewellery. But the ones that particularly caught my eye feature tiny spoons.
hyprnrml design and make silver and clay jewellery, eco-friendly clothing and merch. A portion of every online sale is donated to selected charities focused on supporting women and research into Endometriosis, and mental health issues.
Sawdust & Glitter sell beautiful handmade jewellery with a great selection of bracelets, earrings and charms.
Fused with Love sell a selection of handmade jewellery, including chronic illness awareness bracelets and keychains. A portion of the proceeds is donated to the Ehlers-Danlos Society.
KT King sells a selection of beautiful handmade jewellery and gifts, specialising in crystals and beads.
6. Reusable heat pad
Reusable heat pads are great for relieving aches and pains, and another popular choice for spoonies. They are microwaveable and some are scented too. Here are a few beautiful handmade examples (see image) by The Mermaids Tail UK, Elm Tree Studio and Collectable Creation. They are available in Lavender or unscented, and would make an ideal gifs.
7. Ice pack cover
Ice packs are a spoonie staple, I use them everyday. This washable cloth handmade ice pack cover by Sweet Healings would make a beautiful gift.
Stationery always makes a great gift. I am using a very broad definition of stationery here, to include prints, cards, notebooks, postcards and calendars.
Graphic Organic sell a selection sustainable clothing and stationery including my favourite, the “Get Shit Done” notebook
Melissa from Mellow Doodles is an artist and illustrator. She sells encouraging, supportive and colourful illustration prints. She also offer custom illustrations.
The ‘Joy in the Seasons’ 2020 calendar features stunning photos taken by Emma (Not Just Tired blog) around the beautiful area of Saddleworth – showing nature at it’s finest. Profits donated to the charity Invest in ME Research.
The Blurt Foundation sell a selection of mood-lifting gifts including, card packs, postcards and A4 prints featuring encouraging messages and self-care ideas.
9. Original artwork
Nothing makes someone feel more special than receiving an original piece of art. These stunning, colourful pieces are created by Katie at The Dizzy Blonde Studio. Her online shop is filled with abstract wall art, created in her little home studio. She works with alcohol inks which produces an effect similar to stained glass art. These unique handmade paintings would make an ideal gift.
10. Unique & personalised gifts
These gifts are as unique and quirky as your friends. To be honest I couldn’t fit these sellers into any other categories, but their products are too good not to feature in my list.
Trinkets & Tiaras sell handmade jewellery and a selection of unusual gifts including teapot birdhouses, and personalised dog lead holders.
The Reluctant Spoonie offers an adorable selection of crochet gifts with a percentage sales going towards a chronic illness charity.
Daisy Chain Makes sell a selection of unique colourful crochet creations including a new festive range.
Unique Handmade Gifts from Squirrel Woods specialise in chalk painted and decoupage gifts including candle jars and wooden trinket boxes, along with pebble pictures. Profits go to Invest in M.E. Research
11. Stocking fillers
Here are a few small gift ideas which would make great stocking fillers:
Full of Grit & Grace sell a wide selection of gifts including mugs, stickers and tote bags.
Jess Sharp offers a range of gift ideas, but its her selection of unique pin badges that really caught my attention.
Stickman Communications sell personal awareness cards, badges and wristbands for a wide range of disability needs.
Doodlepeople make badges, patches, art and accessories with feminist, body positive, LGBTQIA+, mental health and chronic/invisible illness themes. Profits from certain badges go to the charities they are representing.
Perfectly Imperfect sell a selection of pin badges, tote bags and t-shirts.
12. Or why not buy your friend a book?
Books make great presents too, and the chronic illness community is full of talented writers. Here are just a few of them. Many of those listed here first appeared in my Top Ten favourite health-related books. Please head over and read my reviews of the books featured.
- A Girl Behind Dark Glasses – by Jessica Taylor-Bearman
- Dear Chronic Illness – compiled by Pippa Stacey (charity book)
- The Self-care Project – by Jayne Hardy (The Blurt Foundation)
- I really didn’t think this through – by Beth Evans (Beth Draws Things)
- The Boy in a Billion – by Callie Blackwell & Karen Hockney
- Beyond Embarrassment – by JoAnne Lake
- Brighter Day Mental Health booklet – by Lauren Ephithite
- Little Eden – by KT King
US-based Spoonie Sellers
As promised, here are a few great gift options for those of you living in the US.
Chronic Illness Chronic Gratitude: 365 day symptom tracker. This is an interesting gift idea for your spoonie friend – a symptom tracker. Within the tracker there is a monthly graph where you can document daily pain, weekly areas where you can document what’s been going on by body system, and also at the end of each week an area for gratitude work and journaling.
Life’s a Polyp sell clothing, accessories, jewellery, stickers, magnets and pet products. Including a wide selection of pyjamas – a spoonies favourite. All proceeds are donated to National Organization for Rare Disorders Familial Adenomatous Polyposis.
The Unchargeables sell a selection of clothing, accessories and apparel
Pink Fortitude specialise in Gratitude journals and advent calendar printables
Trend-able.com off a great selection of T-shirts. (US and Canada)
Posh Notions sell inspiring Positivity T-shirts
Honey Bear Knits offer an adorable collection of handmade crochet items
The Harmony Collection sell a selection of all natural sprays, soaps and lotions, using essential oils and herbs
And here are a few book gift ideas from US authors
- Dream Accomplished: A Story of Cancer, A Mother’s Love & Taylor Swift – by Elizabeth Gross. ALL sales donated to illness charity of buyers choosing.
- Higher Maintenance – by Marianne Granger. 50% of the proceeds from the sales of this book go to support ME Action
- The Pretty One – by Keah Brown. On Life, Pop Culture, Disability, and Other Reasons to Fall in Love with Me
- Thriving in the Workplace with Autoimmune Disease: Know Your Rights, Resolve Conflict, and Reduce Stress – by Holly Bertone
- Foggy Frog and the Pain Gang Picture Book – by Megan Schartner
- When Bodies Break: How we survive and thrive with illness and disability – by Cameron B. Auxer, M.A.
I hope this gift guide has been helpful. I’m always looking for new independent sellers to support, so please add your recommendations in the comments.
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