Top Ten Gift Basket Ideas For Those Suffering With Chronic Illnesses!


Buying gifts for someone who is suffering with a chronic illness is never easy, especially when you are looking for the perfect, practical gift. Below is my top ten gift basket ideas for anyone suffering with a chronic illness. I will also give you tips on how to keep the costs of your baskets low and a special chocolate covered spoon recipe.

Gift Basket #1 – A Day At The Spa
Everyone can use a relaxing massage and some stress free down time. This basket is great for anyone struggling with achy joints and muscles. Be creative, and have fun with it!
You will need:
-Basket (most dollar or discount stores carry these very cheap, or even thrift and second hand stores carry baskets, so look around you’ll be surprised)
-Gift Card for a massage
-Eye mask (whether it’s just a scented one or a cold eye mask, these are wonderful)
-Hand Lotion
-Bath salts
-A pillar candle or some small tea light candles with a holder (these are always easily found at dollar stores or discount stores)
-Bubble bath
-1 Bottle of non-alcoholic champagne
-1 Champagne glass.
This is always an appreciated gift, and if you are looking to keep the cost as low as you can, omit the massage gift card.
Gift Basket #2 – Heat is a stiff muscle’s best friend!
As you know aching joints and muscles are always in desperate need of heat, for relief especially with the winter season coming.
you will need:
-Heating pad or Heat wrap
-Mittens or gloves
-Hot Chocolate or tea or coffee (depends on what they favor)
-Blanket (small fleece blankets are so inexpensive and can be found cheaply at Wal-Mart and such places, I even found one at our super market for $5, so keep an eye out) You can also make one easily, the instructions can be found here.
-Box of Chocolate.
Also if you didn’t want to buy a heating pad, as they may have one, or you may find it expensive, a nice pullover sweater would be warm and cozy too.
Gift Basket #3 – Dinner’s On Me!
One thing anyone who is sick would appreciate is a night of easy cooking. I like to place the items for this gift basket in a big pasta bowl. It makes it look more fun and in the end they can make the dish and serve it right there!
-Pasta package
-Jar of already cooked sauce
-Bread sticks
-Box of chocolate
-Crackers and jam
-tea (coffee or hot chocolate) depends which one they favor
-Chocolate covered spoon
This can be done in any ethnic meal, feel free to be creative instead of Italian and pasta, you can do a Chinese menu, or Indian, anything goes! The object is for it to be easy and helpful. Sometimes grocery shopping and
cooking isn’t easy and something easy to prepare like pasta and already cooked pasta sauce can really lend a helping hand.
Gift Basket #4 – Frozen Food and Grocery Mania!
For most who are ill, cooking and grocery shopping can be two of the most dreaded chores. A great gift idea is a box or plastic bin filled with either frozen food or grocery items or both. You can even get a few people in on
this to share the cost and do an even bigger shopping and cooking spree.
Here are some ideas.
– Frozen food such as:
– Lasagna
– Pasta sauce
– Pizza
– Soups
– Stews
– Cakes
– Pies
– Bead
-If you choose to add or just do a grocery shopping- here are some great items for a grocery list.
-Canned items such as soups and fruits
– Pies
– Cakes
– Boxed or frozen foods
– Cookies
– Water
Make sure to check all expiration dates if using perishables and if so try to purchase the items and assemble the box within a few days before the day you assemble it, to take to the person. Do use caution, make sure you
know of any food allergies and try to avoid buying meats, fish and milk products as these items can spoil very easily and you wouldn’t want to make them ill. I find non-perishables best, this way you can make the box ahead
and it can be stored. Also when cooking for someone who is ill, keep meat ingredients to a minimum, use fresh ingredients, and cook thoroughly. Best to stick to casseroles, pasta dishes, and soups. Do not use too many
spices and keep it simple as many chronic illnesses come with sensitive tummies.
Gift Basket # 5 Chocolate Diversion
Well who doesn’t like chocolate? As far as I’m concerned chocolate is the best medicine. We all could use a diversion from our illnesses and this is the perfect one.
You will need:
-Box of chocolate
-Chocolate cookies
-Mint sticks (chocolate)
-Hot chocolate
-3 chocolate spoons – dark, milk, white.
This basket is easy and very inexpensive. Most discount stores carry inexpensive chocolates, mugs etc.. If you know the person’s favorite chocolate bar include that and really anything chocolate works, so be creative.
Gift Basket #6 – A Few Of My Favorite Things.
Another great basket is a compilation of some of the person’s favorite things, here is an example. I did this for a friend of mine when she was diagnosed with cancer.
-Horse figurine
-Picture frame
This is a great basket because you can get personal by tailoring it to the person’s likes, it’s fun to put together and by visiting discount and dollar stores, it can be put together easily and on a budget.
Gift Basket 7 – This Sucks!!
The “This Sucks” Basket has become a favorite of anyone I know who has any chronic illness or disease. The most therapeutic thing to say is LUPUS SUCKS, or ARTHRITIS SUCKS etc…. This basket might get expensive but to keep the cost down instead of putting everything in there with the saying ____sucks just put two or three things and then use fillers like chocolate, candy, teddy bear etc…
Below I have listed all the items I’ve included when doing a This Sucks basket and with the store it’s actually a lot more economical then getting plain things and having the phrase printed.
-Teddy bear
*Or anything you can print the phrase ____Sucks (fill in their disease)
Like I said to keep cost down you can pick two or three of the above and add
fillers like
-box of chocolate
-Plain mug
-Plain teddy bear
-Crackers and jam
This gift basket will sure to put a smile on the recipients face. With Free Shipping at the store from now until the holidays- that is a great way to save cash, and not have to leave the house to shop!
Gift Basket # 8 – Extra Spoons
As we struggle with chronic illness day after day we are always in need of a few extra spoons, so another great and inexpensive gift idea is a spoon gift basket.
You will need:
-Wood spoon (or set of wooden spoons)
-Silver spoon (often discount or dollar stores may offer these either
separately or in small packs)
-Plastic spoons (different colors are fun)
-3 Chocolate spoons dark, milk, and white
Got spoons mug, shirt, or other gift item.
*If you are crafty take the wooden spoon and you can write or paint the words “Extra Big Spoon” on it. You can find wood paints and markers as well as sealers at any art supply store. This is a fun basket and always
Gift Basket #9 – A Night To Relax
After a rough day, whether at work or dealing with the family, it is so nice to be able to pull up a comfy chair and relax. Those suffering with a chronic illness can understand that after a day filled with pain, doctor visits, and tests all we need is a nice relaxing evening, so this is one of my favorite baskets.
You will need:
-Hot chocolate (tea or coffee) depending on which they like best
-Microwave popcorn
-Teddy Bear
Many think because a DVD is added to this basket that it’s going to cost a lot but in reality if you visit most discount stores, like Wal-Mart or Kmart, they have a selection of DVDs which are very inexpensive. Also most video stores offer Previously Viewed movies for discounted prices and they are just as great, just make sure to watch it once to ensure it’s working well or you will have to return it. There are a lot of old movies and old TV shows like I Love Lucy that are being sold individually like 6 shows per DVD, for next to nothing so keep an eye out.
Basket #10 – Bedridden Buddy!
Many of us who struggle with painful chronic illnesses can relate to being stuck in bed and being bored out of our minds! I love this basket.
You will need:
-Game Book (like crossword puzzles etc…)
-Note Book or journal
-Teddy Bear
-Box of Cookies
-Hand Lotion
-Tea or coffee or hot Chocolate
-Chocolate dipped spoon.
This is a very easy basket to put together, be creative and use things that you know the person would like. It is also easy to keep the cost low by visiting discount or dollar stores for the items. This is a fun basket so have fun with it!
Tips for keeping the cost low.
-Visit discount or dollar stores! Most of the items in all the baskets can be bought at low prices at any discounted store. Those are my favorite places to shop, as you can always be sure to find some great things. Even try flea markets. I’ve found some amazing things at thrift stores and flea markets!
-Start early! Baskets, with the exception of the frozen food one and the dinner one, can be stored months ahead. Next time you are out and see something on sale, and it would be perfect in whichever basket, pick it up. I keep a list of all the different baskets I do and a list of those that I plan on giving baskets to throughout the year. I often start for Christmas in the summer so that I know for example that my friend will get the spa basket and another the Chocolate diversion, that way as I’m shopping if I see something I pick it up and store it in my basket bin. By spreading the costs over a few months you make it even more affordable then buying everything all at once.
-Get one or two bins that you can keep in the closet and these can be for your basket items that way everything is organized and stored for when you need it.
-Find your baskets at discount, dollar stores, and thrift stores even second hand stores or flea markets have great baskets too. I have even found some beautiful baskets at garage sales, so keep a keen eye out. But never feel as though you need to use a basket -I have found some really nice colored boxes at dollar stores and those work well too!
-Save tissue papers or raffia from gifts given to you to use as fillers for the bottom of the basket, this helps to take up some room so that you don’t need to fill the basket with too much.
-The cellophane, raffia or ribbon can be bought at most dollar and discount stores!
Chocolate Dipped Spoons Recipe
8 Squares of bitter sweet, Semi sweet or white chocolate or all three.
Or 12oz of chocolate chips.
Melt each different flavor Chocolate Squares Separately.
Melt chocolate in a double boiler, stirring until smooth (do not add any liquids). Lay the waxed paper on the counter. For chocolate spoons, dip the head of each spoon into the melted chocolate; quickly remove it, flip it over, and place it cup side down on the waxed paper Let sit until chocolate hardens, about 1 hour. For 2 toned spoons, re-dip in alternated chocolate, or drizzle with alternate chocolate. Place in airtight container between sheets of waxed paper; store in cool place up
These Gift Baskets are great for anyone struggling with chronic illnesses, often times we wonder what would put a smile on someones face who is suffering with an illness and these baskets are not only practical but personal and fun as well. I encourage you to be as creative as possible and have as much fun as you can putting these together!
Some helpful resources:
By: Stefanie Leale ©

  • This website was… how do you say it? Relevant!! Finally I have found something which helped me. Appreciate it!

  • These are some great ideas! I heartily second the arts & crafts basket idea. I crochet a lot, and since leaving the work force my yarn “budget” is pretty much $0. So for me, a yarn gift certificate (there are lots of online retailers, plus the big box craft stores & local specialty shops) would be an ideal gift. It also tucks nicely into a Chocolate Lover’s basket. 😉


  • All ten of these gift baskets are great ideas, especially for chocoholics of course. There’s one other I’d like to add — and that would be the art or craft basket. If you know the person with chronic illness likes to draw or paint, art supplies are always welcome even if they’re redundant.
    Some inexpensive but wonderful items are:
    Oil Pastels. For artist grade at a low price, I would recommend a set of Erengi Art Aspirer from ASW or Jerry’s Artarama, or the Cretacolor Aqua Stic sets. For cheaper, Pentel may be the best of the super cheap ones.
    Blick Studio Artist colored pencils, very inexpensive artist grade sets, also Derwent Coloursoft and Prismacolor are cheap brands of good colored pencils. Watercolor pencils are even better and more versatile.
    Add a Princeton Value Pack of golden taklon watercolor brushes with watercolors or watercolor pencils or the Aqua Stic — super cheap online and great quality.
    Winsor & Newton Cotman Sketchers Box — 12 good student pans and a pocket brush in a tiny pack for about $13 at Blick.
    Adult coloring books — the good ones with dinosaurs, shells, birds, nature themes with lots of detail in the line drawings. You can sometimes get these from museums. Good with dry mediums for the unskilled artist who is bored stiff, and teaches many skills if you work your way through all of it — also you can theme to the person’s interests with anything from birds to steam engines.
    The best present I ever got when I was sick was a post surgical pack of 24 Mont Marte oil pastels from an Australian friend. They had lovely colors and I use them to this day, remember my friend fondly. Mont Marte ones are Australian but very cheap if you are Down Under. Mont Marte anything is very inexpensive Down Under and unavailable anywhere else.
    Portfolio watersoluble oil pastels aren’t lightfast but are very soft and easy to use with big sticks that may be easier on stiff hands. 24 colors for under $9 at Blick.
    A set of pens like Staedtler Triplus colored pens or other fine point colored pens like Pitt Artist Pens.
    ProArt wire bound hardback sketchbooks start at $2.97 for the 4 x 6″ ones and the letter size one is under $10 — and it is spectacular. Great paper and no need for a drawing board. I go through these all the time.
    Last and definitely not Strathmore ATC card blanks. Or get one sheet of good 140lb watercolor paper (about $3 or $4) and cut it into 2 1/2″ x 3 1/2″ pieces. Get a pack of soft sleeves and top loaders from a trading card store online or off (usually a dollar and change for 100 soft sleeves, around that range for 25 top loaders) and put together with pens or colored pencils — that gift will let the sick person have something to gift and trade with others and can be the start of a whole new hobby!
    It’s easier to draw small than large, so the ATC blanks would be a good choice for anyone bedridden.