Holiday presents

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Re: Holiday presents

Post by Gerilyn » Thu Oct 04, 2012 3:30 pm

I did the same as one poster and bought my daughter her contact lenses she needed. She had been without them for months and I knew it was something she couldn't sell. I also buy toiletry items. Socks, gloves, scarves. Some goodie treats I know she likes that have no value to anyone else. I put a handmade gift certificate in for a haircut and I take her there and pay for it. She really did like that gift.

If you want to put gas in their car you can make arrangements for them to drive to the station with you and you can fill it, especially if they use the car for work or meetings and not just to hang out with friends and go on drug runs!!

I also get books that have no value to anyone, like crossword, word search and daughter likes those a lot and takes one with her all the time when she waits at appts.

Yes, we have to think of "special" gifts for our ALO's!!

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Re: Holiday presents

Post by pabrown » Thu Oct 04, 2012 8:16 pm

My son showed up at my house one winter night with flip-flops on,
so for Christmas I bought a pair of sneakers (Not expensive ones).
I usually give tee shirts, socks and boxers. Last year I gave him a gift
card for a hair cut at one of the "cheaper" walk-in places. I always give
him a bag of tolietries, esp a toothbrush and toothpaste!

today I choose to live with gratitude for the LOVE that fills my heart,
the PEACE that rests within my spirit,
and the voice of HOPE that says...all things are possible.

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Re: Holiday presents

Post by Findinghope » Fri Oct 05, 2012 9:04 am

I have ran this question over and over in my head. I think a gift basket with shampoo, conditioner, combs, brushes ,tooth paste, toothbrush,and socks, and gloves are a god idea this year for my AD.. Also someone mentioned long underwear.
You can't think your way into a new way of living . . . you have to live your way into a new way of thinking.

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Re: Holiday presents

Post by Rachlovesdogs » Fri Oct 05, 2012 6:42 pm

My holiday concerns are will my husband and I spend it with our family? We have hosted in the past but not in the past two years. Going somewhere allows freedom for just me to go... Also to be able to leave whenever. I am sad that I can't trust my husband will be sober cause darn I'm a good host!

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Re: Holiday presents

Post by jeanette » Sat Oct 06, 2012 9:37 am

Rach -

I understand completely -

We do note host at our house anymore - I refuse - my husband no longer has addiction issues, but he now has mental health issues including severe depression, sometimes psychosis, and sleep problems -

I can't trust him to be awake, helpful, etc. - so we do not host, unless he initiates and it is his friends
heck - I have even quit trying to plan to do anything with him - all items are last minute

For family we will go to someone else's house - easier anyway since they all have the kids

I have long ago stopped apologizing for his absence - my family knows of the issues and I will many times simply say he isn't feeling well - they understnad.
Thoughts and Prayers, Peace and Love

I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them FEEL. - Maya Angelou

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Re: Holiday presents

Post by judyg » Sat Oct 06, 2012 12:51 pm

I allowed my children to expect the moon at Christmas. I'm ashamed of how overboard I have gone. . cars, boats, oh my goodness so many computers and electronics. Most all of what I bought my sons was lost--or more accurately given-- to addiction. My younger son is making another run at recovery and we were talking about Christmas last night. I told him I figured his Christmas would be another 6 months of car insurance, fully expecting lots of whining from him in return. Instead he said. . sounds like a great idea to me and if I could get a pair of tennis shoes too I would really appreciate it. When we know better we do better.



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Re: Holiday presents

Post by Lauraleeg » Wed Nov 23, 2016 7:38 pm

Dwell in Possibility.

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Re: Holiday presents

Post by mkcf » Tue Nov 29, 2016 12:17 pm

Last year, at this time, my family was deep in the throes of dealing with 2 AS's. They were at odds with each other, I was at odds with them, my husband and I were blindsided by the realization that they were addicted, our daughter didn't spend Thanksgiving with us because her brothers were addicted and we weren't insisting on rehab...yet. It was the ultimate in family dysfunction. The pain that we all felt was so crippling. Thank God for my sister who came to me and guided me through the holiday. She came to my house to help me decorate because I just couldn't do it. It was incredibly overwhelming. Buying gifts last year just did not happen. I could not pretend to care about buying "things". that's all they were. I could not bring myself to go out and spend money on stuff. So I sat down on Christmas Eve and wrote a letter to each of my loved ones. I wrote to my husband, my sons and my daughter and explained how the spirit of giving was within me, but it was coming in a different form this year. I told them that, for the coming year, I was going to give them the best person I could be. I decided to work on myself and become healthier. I decided to know my own worth and learned how to stand up for myself, rather than continue being a doormat for my family. I'm not sure how healthy they all are, but I know that in the past year, I have accomplished many goals I set for myself. I think this year, I will give a few gloves and hats, etc, but I am definitely going to write more letters to my family, to recap what has been accomplished and to set new goals. There is always something new to learn. That's a gift I will give myself. And a stronger wife and mother will be a gift for them as well.
Enjoy the holiday spirit

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Re: Holiday presents

Post by Patricia » Tue Nov 29, 2016 5:56 pm

I just starting reading these posts today. So many good ideas here. I want to say "I am thinking of you. I love you," but I don't want my gifts to go to drugs. I have had such a hard time with this for my AD.

Thanks for all the good ideas. I still have hope. She is young. Things could change. But in the meantime, I can send something that won't contribute to funding the wrong things.

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Re: Holiday presents

Post by Melissa » Tue Nov 29, 2016 6:35 pm

This was my reply from 12/2/2010:

Tricia--I share your plight.
Our AS traded his food stamp card for drugs.
So, I kinda figure, gift cards are out.
Currently he is living in a half way house--but who knows where he will be Christmas Day.
The half way house manager is handling any cash AS may have. He should not have even a dollar bill in his pocket.
Basically, he has nothing to his name other than a sack of clothes and a pack of cigarettes.
I am thinking of putting together a gift basket with things I know he enjoys like cheese/sausage/ cookies.
Maybe I'll throw in a package of boxers and a bag of socks.
He likes to read--hopefully someone is enjoying the wide assortment of books he has received and lost.
I'm a sucker for giving books--so he'll have a book in the basket,
along with a toothbrush! & I like the idea of shampoo etc.
Like many others here, gifts from previous years have been lost, stolen, traded or pawned.
I suggested in an on-line meeting that the only thing that wouldn't be traded for drugs is fruit cake--unless
it is soaked in brandy!
UPDATE 11/29/2016:
As some of you might know, our son died of a heroin overdose on 1/29/16.
This year, we are going to honor our son's memory by providing Christmas dinner for the residents of the local sober living house where our son resided at the time of his death.
He always like to share home baked goodies with his housemates. I like to bake--so this will give me sad but great pleasure bake for a house of hungry men. You know, I just might throw in a carton of cigarettes too.

(((hugs))) and never miss the opportunity to let your loved one know he/she is loved. No strings. No conditions.
On the path to discover the peace of God, which transends all understanding.

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Re: Holiday presents

Post by Winny » Wed Nov 30, 2016 7:53 pm

Hi Melissa, I'm so sorry for your loss. What a wonderful way to honour your son's memory. And you are right, love with no strings or conditions. Hugs to you tonight.
Live for today, hope for tomorrow

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Re: Holiday presents

Post by hopefulNE » Sun Dec 04, 2016 11:57 am

I have learned over the years of my ALOs active addiction not to give any gifts of any monetary value. Otherwise they would end up in the pawn shop or traded for drugs. I stick to this still, although my daughter is in recovery JFT...makes the holiday shopping more affordable! Things I will give her include notebooks, pens, calendars, inspiring literature including recovery lit and Bible, slippers, warm socks, gloves, scarf...nothing pawnable or of any material value, but of emotional value to us both.
Her grandparents used to like to give cash for the holidays...I had to tell them, no,no,no please get a small gift card ($15 or less) to a coffee or sandwich shop, and she will really appreciate that so much more (and she does...lead us not into temptation).
On the holidays I have learned to focus more on the traditions, like baking cookies and trimming the tree, sharing meals with family, and less on the gifts.
TY DianeB for bumping this annual topic.
"Keep Calm and Carry On" - British Ministry of Information, WWII

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Re: Holiday presents

Post by DianeB » Tue Dec 06, 2016 5:49 pm

This made me remember the one Christmas I gave my son a GPS for his
car and a Playstation for his kids, along with many games. Also gift
cards for dinners, movies, gas, etc.

All of it, every last thing, was sold for drugs. What a lesson I learned.
Hundreds of dollars burned.

Even now, years into recovery, I am careful about giving money or
electronics. Mostly hand made stuff and clothes. I give to the kids
directly to make sure it goes to them. I put together baskets of
goodies. A spa basket. A spice basket. A movie night basket.
One year it was homemade canned spaghetti sauce and
all the fixings for an Italian dinner. Another year it was homemade
barbeque sauce and everything for a barbeque meal. Recipes included.
I knit them socks, scarves, mitts and gloves. Not much of value to sell!

Once burned, twice shy!

with Love


“It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change.” - Charles Darwin

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Re: Holiday presents

Post by endoftheroad » Fri Dec 09, 2016 3:08 am

I have a different ilk here, meaning how do we treat our other kids at Christmas! It took me a while to learn "normal".

When my Addicted son was gone, and I mean really gone, we had no where to send anything ;) Often we would remark that we had a lot more cash :shock:
So, at Christmas one year, we were about to send a bundle of Christmas presents to our younger daughter. She said, No guys I have everything I need, you give me so much. I said, Look we have to have someone to shower with gifts!

I understood a year later how profound my codependency was and began to give sparingly and wisely to the other adult children.

Now, I have grandchildren, but I am learning to make gifts is a process of less is more.....
This is the easier softer way.....

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Re: Holiday presents

Post by DonnaMc » Wed Dec 14, 2016 5:06 pm

This is a great topic. I also try to give things that I know he needs, but will not really be worth anything to anyone else. He has recently gotten his own apartment through VA/HUD and so he needs things like toilet paper and cleaning supplies. Things he needs to live, but he cannot get via food stamps. I just send them through Amazon. I also will probably get him a gift card for Supercuts as haircuts are something he would see as a need and value for himself. It's also not likely a dealer or "friend" would want to trade drugs or alcohol for something like that. Maybe some small individually packaged snacks that I know he will enjoy.

I have had to ask some of my family members who wanted to give him money not to do so. They do not yet want to admit to themselves the depth of his issues but they are respectful about asking me what I think is best. In this case, I suggested the same types of items I was giving. There is no such thing as too much toilet paper! It's may not be something you think of as a present but, it's not something you want to run out of either!
In the depths of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer - Albert Camus

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