I grew up in a family that loved to celebrate the holidays in a big way. We would always have a big family party with all of my aunts and uncles and cousins. We would play a lot of games, sing a lot of songs, and eat a lot of food.

Presents were a big deal at my house too, but my parents wouldn’t spend a fortune. It seems like we would wake up every Christmas morning with presents piled high on each of our places on the couch, but the presents were mostly things that we needed anyway. Sometimes we would wake up and find bicycles or video game systems, but undoubtedly, we would also get bottles of shampoo and conditioner, razors, socks, toothbrushes, a few items of clothing and of course an orange at the bottom of our stocking. Our friends would give us funny looks sometimes when they’d see our pile of loot and find a tube of toothpaste or a bath towel, but that was what we were used to, and we loved it!

Now that I’m the mom planning gifts for my family, I carry on some of the same traditions. My kids always get a new toothbrush, a box of band aids and a few other things that they need, along with a few fun toys or electronics. It’s especially fun to get some type 1 diabetes-related items for Kaitlyn.

Here is my holiday shopping list with a kid with diabetes in mind:

  1. Pump Packs. The pump Kaitlyn has comes with a little clip to hook it to a belt or waistline, but we find it so much more comfortable and convenient to put her pump in a little pack that clips around her waist like a belt. She has pump packs with all different colors and designs, and she loves to coordinate her pack with what she’s wearing that day.
  2. Medical ID Bracelet. Especially useful for a day at an amusement park, school field trip or any time she might be away from mom or dad, a medical ID bracelet is a great added safety measure. A couple of Christmases ago, I ordered a couple of personalized bracelet plaques and made my own beaded bracelets to go with them, and they ended up being one of Kaitlyn’s favorite presents.
  3. Sugar-Free/Low-Carb Treats. Candy canes and chocolate oranges aside, try throwing a few packets of Crystal Light® or assorted nuts into the stocking.
  4. Travel-Size Sharps Container. They’re small enough to squeeze into a stocking, but really useful as well. You can find them in the pharmacy aisle.
  5. Cozy Pajamas. Nothing eases the discomforts of diabetes like a new cozy pair of pajamas. All of my kids get PJs every Christmas, but it was a special thing for me to shop for Kaitlyn’s Christmas jammies when she was diagnosed at the beginning of December a few years ago.


Disclaimer: The experiences and suggestions recounted in these articles are not intended as medical advice, and they are not necessarily the “typical” experiences of families with a child who has type 1 diabetes. These situations are unique to the families depicted. Families should check with their healthcare professionals regarding the treatment of type 1 diabetes and the frequency of blood glucose monitoring. Jen and Kim are real moms of kids with type 1 diabetes and have been compensated for their contributions to this site.

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Related topics:
Christmas Memories
A Diabetes Christmas
How We’re Simplifying the Holidays

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