Holiday Gift Ideas for a Friend with Cancer
Updated: Nov 26, 2021
Spread holiday cheer with the right gift for a friend at any stage of their cancer journey.
The holidays are almost here, which means family, friends and finding the perfect gifts for the ones we love.
If you have a friend with cancer, here are a few gift ideas to spread the holiday cheer.
These ideas are from the HumanKind Box co-founders' experience with gifting to our friends facing cancer. We have no affiliation to any outside recommendations included in this article.
For a friend just diagnosed:
Help navigate an uncertain moment with gifts to distract a worried mind.
A simple list of recommended books and TV shows can go a long way. Tuck that into a gift bag with a 3D puzzle, our anxie-tea mug, and a positive message like this ornament from Etsy noting that "Life can be tough my friend, but my darling, so are you."
For a friend living with cancer:
Sometimes cancer means accepting the hand you're dealt, but that doesn't mean giving up the fight. Helping a friend feel calm and cared for can mean a fun gift like this "Let That Shit Go" mug from Etsy, or our HKB Happy Place Box. For the stoic ones, a gift of Guatemalan Worry Dolls like these from Ten Thousand Villages, to absorb the feels could be a quiet outlet.
For a friend with cancer and kids at home:
Create a "busy box" for their kids as a secret weapon when they really need a break. Fill it with play-doh, coloring books and markers, scratch-off art, mini figurines and some fun packaged snacks that will keep, like Annie's Gummy Bunnies. For the exhausted parent at the end of a long weekend, or for the kids who need a distraction during appointments - anyone battling cancer with little ones at home will appreciate this gift.
For a friend reflecting on their life:
There's nothing more uplifting than a photobook. You can create beautiful memories of happy times, memorable moments or just every day life as a keepsake. Sites like Shutterfly make it easy.
Not their style? Try a "My Life" journal with writing prompts, like this one from Uncommon Goods: This cloth-bound "story of my life" memory journal book has prompts for memories, stories, and wisdom.
For a friend putting their affairs in order:
We have heard so many people living with cancer recommend this book "$hit You'll Need When I'm Gone," from Amazon. An End of Life Planning Journal that simplifies the information down to facts, not feelings. A little too personal? Try this uplifting journal from Knock Knock What I Love About You to remind them of how much they matter.
For a friend who lost her hair to cancer:
Feeling "normal" or beautiful while bald, can be a challenge for some going through or living with cancer treatment. Putting together a beauty kit, can be just the thing. Build a kit with fancy lotions or skincare, like Thrive Causemetics' sets, plus an eyebrow pencil like Covergirl Easy Breezy Brow or tattoos like these from Brows by Bossy to make a great gift; throw in our favorite "go-to" headscarf for an extra touch. Want something pre-packed, check out HKB's beauty box or cancer chic kit.
If they have kids at home, we love the book Nowhere Hair written by a cancer survivor, Sue Glader, available on Amazon.
For a friend who lost her breasts, ovaries, uterus, lymphnodes, or more, to cancer:
Help her see what you see by celebrating her strength and courage through cancer. Remind her that you're by her side with a gift like this leather bracelet stating Nobody Fights Alone from Etsy.
Or, for a silly friend, try this plushie uterus from Uncommon Goods to hug on post-op (lots of body part options!).
However you choose to celebrate your friend, they will appreciate it. A text, a note, a hug or a gift will mean the world to them. Happy holidays from HumanKind Box!