The Gifts of Divorce – Holiday Shopping Ideas, Too!

It’s the thick of the holiday shopping season, a time when most of us are hitting up sale after sale in order to cross a few more names off this year’s gift buying list. However, when it comes to buying a gift for a friend or loved one going through the heartache of divorce, finding the perfect present may be a bit more difficult than picking out a new sweater or buying the latest tech gadget. Individuals going through a separation, or who are recently divorced, may not feel like celebrating the holiday season. Others do, but are still reeling from feelings ranging from bitterness to relief.

As well know, it’s better to give than to receive. So what to get for your recently divorced pal? Keep these ideas in mind the next time you head out to the mall.

Self-Help Books: For a sibling or close friend in need of a self-esteem boost, spend some time browsing the bookstore for good self-help titles on a relevant topic such as coping with the emotional fallout of divorce, starting over single, or co-parenting after a divorce. To make it more personal, write your loved one a supportive note or find an uplifting poem and insert in the book before wrapping (a personal inscription is also nice). This also helps to clarify the spirit in which you are giving the gift.

Humorous Divorce-Themed Items: If your friend’s reaction to their marriage ending can best be summed up as relief, the perfect gift might be a t-shirt emblazoned with some kind of cheeky take on divorce (see these example of funny divorce t-shirt sayings on Huffington Post). Coffee mugs, bumper stickers, and pins are other alternatives. Yes, they are good for a giggle, if the gift recipient is in the frame of mind to have a laugh over their circumstances, otherwise skip this idea.

Salon Gift Certificate: Your pal — guy or gal — may feel like a new person after a visit to the salon for a trim, facial, or massage. Because life can be hectic when you are going through a divorce, when you buy the gift certificate, make sure it can be used anytime up to a year.

Gift Cards With A Twist:Restaurant gift cards, movie tickets, tickets to a hockey game, and concert tickets all make great gifts, but for divorced friends, these types of presents could stir feelings of loneliness or isolation if they don’t have someone to go with — so make sure you make it clear up front that you are their plus one! Attach an explanation to the ticket or gift card stating they you will accompany them to the meal, movie, game, or whatever you have planned.

Homemade Coupon Book: If your loved one is suddenly responsible for household repairs, caring for kids, remembering to change the oil on the car, and keeping up with the laundry, chances are he or she could use a little help. Have some skills that can be of assistance? Put together a divorce coupon book with coupons redeemable for such services as an evening of free babysitting, one free oil change, three hours worth of house cleaning, etc. You get the idea! It may seem like a frugal gift on your part, but to your pal, getting some help may be priceless. See these DIY coupon book instructions for how to put one together.

Toys for the Kids: Your recently divorced friend may not want to admit that money is tight this year, but divorce for many families can take a financial toll, leaving Santa’s sleigh a lot lighter. For ideas of what the kids might like, ask your friend if they have a wish list on or wrote a letter to Santa that you could take a peak at. Or do your work on the sly. Any toy store worth its salt can give you a run down of this year’s most-wanted gifts for girls and boys of all ages. Load up and get ready to spread some cheer!