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AARP Expert

#5 - Caregiver Holiday Survival Tip: Approach Gift-Giving More Efficiently

Gift-giving is a part of many traditions, but it can be costly and time-consuming - and difficult when caregiving, especially during a pandemic. That's why my 5th holiday tip for caregivers this year is:


Approach gift-giving more efficiently


This year more of us have grown accustomed to shopping online, using curbside pick up or having groceries delivered. For caregivers, this can actually make life easier! As much as we may enjoy the annual shopping trips, when caregiving there just may not be time or energy for it. Try to embrace the positives of online shopping, or ask someone else to do it for you. 


  • Gift wrapping - Many online stores will also gift-wrap so your presents are delivered to loved ones already wrapped (and many also offer the option of including a gift receipt). If you order presents to be delivered to your home and want to deliver them, you might ask a friend or relative to do the wrapping for you.
  • Gift cards - You can always fall back on gift cards, too. In fact, many people prefer receiving gift cards they can then use to do online shopping for things they want/need. 
  • Technology - I have a feeling that tech gifts will be big this year. If you have a loved one who is isolated, get them an easy to use tablet or smartphone or smart speaker with a screen to enable them to communicate with you more easily!
  • The gift of connection - Many of our loved ones are isolated due to the pandemic and mental health is suffering. Consider gifts that create meaningful connections and shared experiences. For example, give the gift of your time and attention by scheduling regular video chats, phone calls or safe visits (perhaps outdoor or window visits). Write a meaningful letter that can be re-read and enjoyed throughout the year. Send a greeting card every few days. Schedule a friendly phone call from a volunteer (AARP offers free AARP Friendly Voices calls from trained volunteers), and line up family and friends to supplement your interactions.   
  • Budget - Family caregivers are often financially stressed, so it might be necessary to lower your gift-giving budget this year and scale back the number of presents. If your family is large, draw names and exchange with just one person. You could also have a regifting exchange, sharing items you already have at home. You could order a photo gift online — like a photo mug, pillow or calendar — which is easiest to do online anyway! 

As always, focus on what is most meaningful and will create memories, and remember that the gift of love is really what it's all about! 


Take care,

Amy Goyer, AARP Family & Caregiving Expert

Author, Juggling Life, Work and Caregiving


P.S. - below are links to my others Holiday Tips!


#10 - Caregiver Holiday Survival Tip: Ask for and Accept Help

#9 - Caregiver Holiday Survival Tip: Connect with Other Caregivers

#8 - Caregiver Holiday Survival Tip: Keep Up with Self-Care

#7 - Caregiver Holiday Survival Tip: Mind Your Holiday Mindset

#6 - Caregiver Holiday Survival Tip: Anticipate Holiday Hot Buttons

#4 - Caregiver Holiday Survival Tip: Adjust Holiday Meal Plans

#3 - Caregiver Holiday Survival Tip: Start NEW Traditions!

#2 - Caregiver Holiday Survival Tip: Simplify your Holiday Activities

#1 - Caregiver Holiday Survival Tip: Focus on What is Most Meaningful

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