DON’T LET A DISABILITY DISABLE YOUR GIFT GIVING PLANS
© Imre Forgo | Dreamstime Stock Photos
As the holidays quickly approach, many of us feel a little stress about finding the right gifts, and getting them on time. But for many the gift giving is a truly daunting challenge. Traffic, crowds, and financial limitations are just the tip of the iceberg. Add to that the aching knees, hips, or back, and possibly a wheelchair to deal with. You may be completely housebound. Just because you have a disability does not mean you lose your desire to make others happy, especially the children in your life. Following these tips will make gift giving possible for you.
The earlier you start the better. This will allow you to make more but shorter trips that are not so taxing on your body. Just be careful not to overspend because you will be in stores more often. Stick to your list! Avoid malls and large parking lots that create a lot of walking. Stores with shopping carts give you something to lean on while you shop.
Ask family members what they would like. Chances are they may not just ask for a gift, but you can request a list of choices and explain that it makes it easier for you to plan your trips. Make sure they are very specific about sizes, colors, features, etc. Ask questions if the item is unclear to you.
For many, gift cards seem too impersonal but teenagers love them and you can access a great selection at grocery stores, pharmacies, and many discount stores, as well as online. You don’t have to worry about returns! Read the fine print (or get help) to make sure you don’t pay a fee and that the balance doesn’t decline over time if it isn’t used right away.
Don’t be shy about asking for help. Family and friends may be willing to pick up certain gifts for you. There may be a shopping service in your area or even volunteer shoppers through your senior center or church. I have helped a number of clients make online purchases for birthdays and holidays.
Online shopping is a great boon to the disabled. If you have not done this before, make sure you shop at stores you recognize. Uncheck the box on the order form that asks if you want to receive future email, or you will! Using a credit card online provides you with better protection than using a debit card, which connects directly to your bank account. Save your emailed receipt. Make sure the website address (URL) starts with https:// to indicate that it is a secure connection. You can often have items gift-wrapped and can even ship directly to the recipient if it is hard for you to retrieve and wrap gifts.
Perhaps there is someone in your life who could use a little help with their shopping. I love helping clients shop online, using my computer or theirs, because then they can be involved with the selection and see what they are ordering. I protect them from the unscrupulous and know how to take advantage of bargains.