Post # 1
Ugh, this is the biggest bummer of a post but I’m honestly lost. My father is very ill and while we don’t know how long he has, this is probably his last Christmas. He is in a wheelchair, homebound, and spends a lot of time sleeping or watching TV. He has no hobbies to speak of (he used to love golf and cards but illness + depression has really worn him down), so buying gifts for him is extremely difficult. He watches football on TV and sometimes the history channel. I have come to terms (as much as I can) with the fact that he is dying. I am now trying to focus on making Christmas nice, but I don’t want to give him things that make him feel bad because he can’t use them or he thinks are useless. All I’ve found so far is a huge book on James Bond and some PJs. I can’t exactly give him a grandchild by December 25th, so does anyone have any ideas? I really appreciate any help.
Post # 3
Give him a basket with delicious food and, if he’s allowed to have it with his illness, nice wine or liquor.
Post # 4
I agree with redheadem. I think food is a good idea.
Post # 5
I think the pj’s thing is really nice. And maybe other comfort items…slippers, socks, a scarf etc. I’m thinking about my grandparents when they were dying and these were things that they enjoyed. Also treats, my grandparents loved chocolates.
Another idea might be a photoalbum. Just putting together some pictures that you can go through together.
Post # 6
What about buying him a scrapbook or something like that and getting him to make his present so that it can be given to his future grandchildren. Like words of wisdom, funny family stories, memories etc etc. I am sure he would appreciate that more than any trinket you could buy and you could do it together and thus spend some more time with your dad.
Post # 7
If he is able, find an activity you could do to spend time with him, I think he would appreciate that more than THINGS. Or something like going over for dinner every coupe weeks if you live close enough.
Post # 8
I would like something that reminds me of my family. Maybe a home movie or a photobook….
Post # 9
How about giving him some goodies that he likes? Hot chocolate, teas, a nice comfy pair of slippers?
I know this may not be terribly comfortable to hear either, but I’d rather let it out so you can consider it, than not say it at all and you have regrets later, BUT: many people often grieve, and wonder “did they really know how much I loved them? If only they knew…” that sort of thing. Why not decorate a nice box or jar, add nicely decorated bits of paper, and write a reason why you love your father, or why you appreciate your father on each one. That way, he’ll know how well loved he is and he can refer to it any time he pleases. Maybe you can offer to come watch football with him, or other some such activity? It doesn’t have to be a physical gift you give, really.
Good luck to you both. Enjoy your Christmas together.
Post # 10
I got this for my Dad after he got sick : http://www.amazon.com/The-Story-Lifetime-Keepsake-Personal/dp/0970062680/ref=pd_sim_b_5
Your Dad can have someone help him fill it out, or if he’s up to it…he can fill it out himself. It’s a great thing for you to remember him by once he’s gone and it’s a great activity for him to participate in at this hard time.
Post # 11
@icetea: I was thinking of the same type of stuff. If you want to go bigger, maybe a pillow topper for a bed if the mattress is old. A nice pillow or some sheets that feel really nice.
Post # 12
When my father was terminally ill with cancer I bought him the snuggliest wooliiest jumper I could find to keep him warm. When someone is terminally ill, body heat can be an issue so the jumper was my way of hugging him when I wasn’t there.
Post # 13
I’d also like to add the one thing I wish I’d done with my dad in his final days was ask all the questions that didn’t matter then but matter now. Like what tips would he give me for when I have my own kids? Things like that. Maybe you and him could fill a notebook together with these questions and answers?
Post # 14
Experiences would the be best gift at this point, IMO. I know you said he’s in a wheelchair, so perhaps try to find a wheelchair friendly fancy restaurant and take him out on a date, just you and him. Ask him questions, seek more information about his childhood and past experiences, tell him you love him, etc. I am sorry about your father. 🙁
Post # 15
These are really great suggestions, thank you!
Post # 16
@anahappilyeverafter: I like the advice idea.
Also, if he hasn’t already documented his life story, now might be a really cool time. You could get him a voice recorder so he can share his stories at his leisure. You can transcribe it for the family (added bonus that you have his voice too!). I dunno, maybe I am actually thinking about what I would want instead of my ill folks…