Regardless of which holidays you celebrate, that time is upon us once again. While many lament the 180-degree turn from gratitude for what you have to spending hundreds of dollars for you and others, the holiday season is one of the best times to get great gifts for the people you love.
If you have some people in recovery on your list, you may be wondering what exactly is appropriate these days – a fair question.
Here are a few answers:
- Funny sober items: There are t-shirts, mugs, tote bags, and more that are decorated with funny and/or true sayings that are all too relevant in recovery. If you see something that particularly resonates with your loved one or suits their sense of humor in recovery, pick it up!
TIP: Make sure the joke is appropriate to your relationship.
- Something unique: There is no shortage of incredible artists making everything from keychains to necklaces to artwork with a focus on sobriety. From the funny to the serious, there are a ton of unique options to choose from. Many have the option of personalization of materials, sizes, and colors to create an item that is perfect for your loved one.
TIP: If you are a skilled leather crafter, welder, sculptor, or chef, make them something unique.
- A month of classes: Has your loved one in recovery expressed an interest in taking ballroom dancing? Learning how to make clay and use a kiln? Learning how to sew, garden, or cook Danish food? You can give them the gift of new horizons in life when you give them some class sessions to learn something new.
TIP: Buy yourself some classes, too, and take them together.
- Books: Have you ever read a book that had a lasting impact on your life? Have you heard great things about a sobriety memoir or another addiction treatment or recovery book that you think your loved one may benefit from reading? A great go-to gift for anyone in recovery is the latest, greatest book in recovery, or your standby favorite that has seen you through ups and downs in life.
TIP: Read the book yourself before you give it to them if you have not already.
- Something they need: Are they struggling with paying the electric bill? Did they lose a favorite hoodie or travel mug at a meeting? Pay attention to the things they are talking about and choose a gift to meet that need.
TIP: If you are paying a bill for them, write a check directly to the company.
- A gratitude journal: A big part of being successful in recovery is continually pausing and taking note of all the amazing things that are happening in life. It can be easy, especially for people in recovery, to spend a great deal of time focusing on what’s wrong, and while that can be a good place to start in order to identify the need for positive change, it is just as important to spend time enjoying all that has been achieved in recovery.
TIP: Get them started by writing a page about how grateful you are for them.
- Childcare or eldercare help: If your loved one has dependent children or older parents living with them, they may be struggling with getting to mental health treatment appointments or managing meetings and other recovery-related commitments. Help out by offering to provide childcare so they can attend a meeting regularly.
TIP: You can offer to meet them at the meeting and watch their child while they are there if you want to ensure that your childcare services are being used appropriately.
- Coffee: If funds are low, take your friend or family member out for a cup of coffee sometime during the holidays. Find out if there are gift cards available at their favorite coffee shop so they can have a cup on you after their next meeting, too.
TIP: Large sums of cash or gift cards are not recommended for someone in early recovery. A $5 coffee gift card will give them a nice treat without endangering their sobriety.
- Your time and attention: Relationships that existed during active addiction will require repair during recovery. Your attention and time spent on them is a huge gift and will further improve your relationship as well as boost your loved one’s ability to stay strong in recovery.
TIP: Call once a week just to check in.
- Anything: The fact that you are showing up for your loved one and want to remember them during the holidays with a gift means a huge amount in itself. Many people in recovery struggle with self-confidence and may have a hard time with depression and loneliness during the holiday season. Your gift, no matter how small, can bring a ray of light into their day and let them know you care about them.
What are you getting the person in your life who is in recovery?