Diabetes Holiday Gift Guide

Written by Julia Telfer, MPH

As you might have guessed, buying a gift for someone with diabetes doesn’t have to be different than buying a gift for someone without diabetes. There are, however, certain gifts someone with diabetes might appreciate more than others. It’s easy to get stuck, so let our list spark some creative gift ideas to add to your shopping list. We’ve got ideas for every budget and all personality types.  Some are silly, others are sentimental — each is a great gift in its own unique way!

1. FabFitFun or Birchbox

Give the gift of monthly deliveries of beauty, fashion, fitness, wellness, and home products. These boxes are customized based on your loved one’s profile and preferences, and each delivery includes a set amount of samples. Available in 3-, 6-, or 12-month options, with various price points and themes, you’ll have fun finding an option that fits.

Check out FabFitFun and Birchbox to start.

Price Range: $30-$200

2. Group Exercise Classes

Help make exercise fun this holiday season with a set of yoga or a high-energy dance classes like Zumba. You might even want to treat yourself to a class and join your friend for support. An average class costs around $5-$10, but buying sessions in bulk can help you save money.

For a more personalized workout, consider purchasing sessions with a trainer. Personal training sessions usually start around $50, but check with local gyms to find the best deal. Some gyms (such as Planet Fitness) will provide fitness assessments and program design for free if you have a membership.

Price Range: $5-$50

3. Stay-at-Home Fitness

As an alternative to group exercise or fitness clubs, you can stream workouts in the comfort and convenience of your own homes. Crunch Gym’s Crunch Live program promises to help you “get fit on the fly” by streaming over 75 online workouts that fit your level and schedule.

Price Range: Crunch Live has a free 10-day trial. A monthly membership is $9.99, but if you buy an entire year up front, you get 3 months free.

4. Books

A diabetes classic first published in 2004, Think Like a Pancreas by certified diabetes educator Gary Scheiner (DeCapo Lifelong, 2012) is an easy-to-understand and essential guide that anyone who takes insulin would appreciate. Another great gift idea to help people with the emotional side of living with diabetes is Dealing with Diabetes Burnout by Ginger Vieira (Demos Health, 2014).

Of course any fiction or non-fiction book can also make a special gift. If your friend has a favorite author, keep an eye out for a local event to get a signed copy (or leave a note of your own)!

Price Range: $10-$30

5. Food Delivery Subscription

A gift for the foodie in your life. Give a subscription to a food delivery service such as Blue Apron to break up meal monotony while showing proper portion sizes.

Price Range:

6. Music

The gift of music can be given within any budget, and it's an awesome tool for exercise and stress management—two activities that are critical for anyone living with diabetes.

Price Range:

7. Slippers and Socks

Foot care is important for people with diabetes. A comfortable pair of slippers with a hard sole and a closed toe helps prevent foot injuries in the home. Socks and comfortable shoes for daily life are also important. Dr. Comfort has stylish therapeutic shoe selections to keep your friends’ feet safe and comfortable. Try these on for size:

Price Range: $10 and up

8. Tools to Make Cooking Simple

Keeping things fun and simple in the kitchen makes healthy cooking that much easier. Try these popular gadgets for convenient food prep. An immersion blender is great for whipping up smoothies, dressings, soups, and more—and avoiding the tricky cleanup that comes with using a traditional blender. Or gift a slow cooker (Crockpot) so that they can load it up, turn it on, and come back a few hours later to a piping hot meal.

Price Range: $25 and up

9. Chemical-Free Pampering Supplies

There are a number of skin care companies that use natural ingredients to promote maximum benefits without irritation. Many of these companies focus on transparency, sustainability, and giving back to the community, so you can feel great about shopping for their products as gifts for your loved ones. Check out products from Balanced Guru, Suki, and 100% Pure to start—each is stocked with scrumptious lotions for the hands, feet, and body. These lotions can help prevent dry, uncomfortable skin, which is especially important for people with diabetes. A gift certificate for a massage or facial is another (more expensive) option.

Price Range: $8 and up

10. Appointment with a Registered Dietitian

Eating well with diabetes can be challenging and frustrating. Take the guesswork out of meal planning by setting up a meeting with a Registered Dietitian or Personal Chef who is sensitive to the dietary needs of someone with diabetes. Take it a step further and set up a cooking class to give some hands on experience.

Price Range: $60-$150 per session

11. High Style Handbags for People with Diabetes

For the person in your life who has everything—including lots of diabetes supplies to carry around. From stylish cases for insulin to sharps containers and everything in between, browse these websites for the perfect diabetes-friendly gifts for the men, women, and children in your life. The best part? These companies and products were created by people living with diabetes.

Price Range: $24.99 and up

12. Homemade Gifts

Nothing shows you care quite like a thoughtful, handmade gift. For a budget-friendly yet meaningful gift, consider the following:

Not too crafty yourself? Order up adorable handmade diabetes cartoons and illustrations from Haidee S. Merritt’s Bird Wing Press Etsy store. Prices start at $12.

Price Range: You can't put a price on love.

13.  Journals

Picking the right notebook and pen can help inspire a person with diabetes to keep track of their blood sugar readings, food intake, and exercise. Head to Staples for a wide selection — try the Eccolo Limited Collection for a classic look at a variety of prices.

Price Range: $10-$40

14. Fitness Trackers

Living an active lifestyle is key to managing diabetes. Finding your fitness motivation is made easier with trackers that cheer you on and let you know how much progress you’re making every day. Fitbit trackers count steps and calories burned, monitor your heart rate and sleep patterns, and sync it all to your smartphone (the more expensive models include more features).

Price Range: $59.95-$129.95

15.  Diabetes Awareness Jewelry/ Medical Alert

If you’re thinking about giving jewelry, why not consider a piece with an extra special message? Pick a cause that speaks to you and a portion of the cost will go to a supporting charity when you shop at bravelets.com.

Price Range: $35.00 and up

Medical alert jewelry can be practical and chic. Even Tiffany’s has a high-end engravable bracelet option, although the stainless steel version from Lauren's Hope may be more in your price range. For other, more affordable choices, try MedicAlert Foundation. There are bracelets, necklaces, and accessories for men, women, and children in a variety of styles and materials.

Price Range: $19.99-$3,600

16.  Jerry the Bear

Jerry the Bear helps kids learn about diabetes basics and care. Kids can snuggle and play with Jerry, monitor his blood sugar, give him insulin, and much more. Whether they have diabetes themselves or live in a house with a sibling or parent who does, Jerry the Bear is a playful gift that also helps them learn and cope with diabetes.

Price: $149.99

17.  Workout Gear

A few sets of comfortable and stylish workout clothes can help someone feel great and get excited about fitness. Old Navy has fun active wear for all ages and styles — and frequent sales! Get a complete outfit from Old Navy or Fabletics for just $25.

Price Range: $8 and up

18.  Tea

If someone you know is trying to cut down on sugar-sweetened beverages or diet sodas, consider the gift of a tea set. Items you might want to include are: a tea kettle, tea cup(s), a variety of loose tea leaves and/or tea bags, a steeper, and a personalized box to hold the set. Check out Teavana’s online store for both inspiration and products for purchase.

Price Range: $5 and up

19. Art Class or Paint Night

The ‘paint night’ craze is sweeping the nation and pairing instructional art with friends, music, and the occasional cocktail. Painting With a Twist has studios in over 30 states (there are other franchises, too—a simple Google search will help find a location near you).

Price Range: $35-$55 per person

20.  Money Where Their Heart Is

Donate money to a meaningful charity in your friend’s name. Include a small gift (perhaps something from this list) or a thoughtful card to let them know how much they mean to you. Need diabetes charity ideas? Try these:

You can also search online or in your local community for organizations that you would like to support—this list is just the tip of the iceberg.

Price Range: You decide!

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Gifts that Diabetics Will Appreciate