Many of our child’s caregivers become like family and sometimes we want to do something special for them. It can be difficult to come up with the right gift. Here are a few suggestions that may help. Let’s start with the most affordable and work our way up.
Having your child help to make a card, or decorate a frame can be done with items you find around the house. If you can get a photo of your child with the caregiver to put in the frame, even better.
There are tons of easy craft ideas on using footprints and/or handprints. Finding a cute idea to match the occasion and using your child’s feet or hands can make it a personal and sweet gift any caregiver is sure to love.
My daughter, Casey, saw a lot of doctors each year, and we wanted to do something small to say thanks for all that they did for us. Some people send their doctors’ holiday cards or New Year warm wishes. We wanted to stand out from the crowd so we picked a different holiday.
You can pick any holiday you like or any day that is special to you. I would pick a different recipe or treat and we would go around to each of the clinics dropping off treats. One year, we took them all bagels for breakfast, some years we baked cookies. If you have only a few places to go, take a sandwich tray. Clinics loved it when we would come in to deliver treats.
We would include a thank you note and a photo of Casey. Most years we would have photo cards made so I would not have to write each thank you note by hand. I must admit though, the hand-written cards are always much nicer to receive.
Casey had a lot of nurses and therapists. For Christmas, we kept it small and simple. I would get some of the small and affordable cookie tins and make a handful of holiday goodies to fill them. We would usually get a holiday photo card made with Casey’s picture and then give them all a small tin. It kept the holiday budget in check, but let them know we were thinking of them.
We would use Nurse’s Day, Teacher’s Day, or Therapist’s Day to do something a little more personal. We found fun socks were a great gift. Coffee mugs filled with candy, reusable water bottles, nice pens, or decorative and personalized clipboards were all great and affordable gifts. By doing it on their special day instead of a holiday, we didn’t have to stretch the budget extra thin since they were the only ones receiving gifts at that time.
There were a few extra special caregivers over the years. Life would happen, and sometimes something would lead to them no longer being with us. When we knew this was coming, we often wanted to do something a little nicer. Casey loved elephants so we would make them an elephant tote bag or something along those lines.
I came across a little story that I have always found to be perfect for those amazing caregivers. It’s called The Star Thrower and can be found on Casey’s Circle website. It talks about how someone’s actions can make a huge difference to someone else. For some of Casey’s nurses or therapists that we lost over the years, I would give them a copy of the story along with a pair of starfish earrings or a starfish necklace.
Most home health agencies have rules that the caregivers are not supposed to give gifts to the child or family. I never wanted to give a gift that would make them feel uncomfortable. I always tried to keep any gifts under $20. The gifts were my way of saying thank you for the amazing care they were giving my child, I never wanted the gifts to make anyone feel anything other than appreciated. Just taking a few minutes to write a quick note telling them how glad you are that they are in your life and how much you appreciate all they do for you and your child will let them know you care and make them feel appreciated.
I have a friend who is full of wisdom. He has autism, and I have learned important things from him. The lessons learned include slowing down to enjoy the details.
Raising a child with a mental illness is stressful. It takes an emotional toll on the entire family. Make sure you have a strong support network. It makes a huge difference.