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Do you have a recently divorced person on your holiday gift list? They may be the easiest person to buy for!

When one household is split in two, most couples find themselves dividing their possessions. Many items need to be replaced. Where once there were two adults to divide the chores and maintenance of the home, now one person shoulders all the responsibilities of each home. Each parent is a single parent; children are now schlepping back and forth. Juggling all the roles, managing all the chores AND trying to take care of everyone’s needs can feel daunting.  Furthermore, finances are tight and time is short. So if you have a friend who has recently gone through a divorce, the choice of holiday gifts are really endless.

When shopping for your newly single friend, consider the kind of gift they would most appreciate. Something practical? Something to build their self esteem? Something to make them laugh? The newly single person could definitely use all three. Here are some tried and true choices.

In the Practical Gifts department – When shopping for the newly divorced, consider what deficits were created in the distribution of goods.  Traditionally, men usually take the tools, lawn and snow equipment and big TV. Women keep most of the furniture, sheets, towels and kitchen equipment. This creates an endless list of gift opportunities in all price ranges. If you are unsure as to whether she needs a screw driver or a snow shovel, a gift card to Home Depot or Lowe’s will be among her favorite gifts. The newly divorced woman makes fast friends with the big box hardware stores. Also, anything car related-a gift certificate for a car detailing or an oil change is always appreciated.  Consider a book on car maintenance or a GPS. A gift certificate for snow plowing or lawn care will relieve her of one more chore. How about a gift certificate for a visit with a financial planner? For men, many of the above suggestions apply. Also, consider kitchen gadgets, cook books, sheets, towels- all are practical and will be appreciated. Don’t forget a good can opener or coffee maker. Not sure exactly what he needs? How about a gift card to Bed, Bath and Beyond or for an automotive service? A gift certificate for housecleaning will be a winner!

Self-Esteem Building Gifts are gifts focused on relaxation, health, self indulgence and pampering – the broken hearted or disillusioned need a boost to their self-esteem (and who doesn’t?). For women, gifts certificates to spas, hairdressers, a yoga class, the gym, for sexy lingerie, monogrammed anything (with her new initials) or a pedicure. In short, these are gifts to make help her feel beautiful and special yet they are often indulgences not included in her new budget. To enhance those special gifts, promise to watch the kids, so she doesn’t have to pay a baby sitter. For men, try some of the same-a gift certificate to a spa, for a “salon haircut”, or a gift certificate to a big box tech store. How about a gift card for cooking lessons, cable service or Netflix? Tickets to a ball game for the two of you are a great diversion and also give the gift of your time.

Gag Gifts are funny, vengeful and often very clever little doodads but these can be a slippery slope-one person’s gag gift can appear mean and vengeful to another. Know the recipient well enough to make sure they are at a place where they appreciate the humor. For example, some love the idea of a divorce party; others think it is simply awful and would rather lie in bed for days with a box of donuts. For more on gifts to that can bring a smile Check out Attorney Chip Mues list of fun gifts.  

In the Unusual Yet Much Appreciated category- Why not get a group of close friends to chip in and pay off some of your friend’s unpaid attorney’s fees?

Finally, give the gift of time. Many worry they will lose their friendships as a result of the change in their marital status. Don’t exclude your divorced buddies from holiday events even if these were traditionally couples events. If they choose not to attend, that’s fine, but when you continue to invite your newly single friends, you diminish the sting of isolation they may feel especially around the holidays. The greatest gift of all is letting them know you are there for them and they are still an important part of your life.

 

Many of you who read this blog are divorced. I would encourage you to share the best gift you received (or wished you had) to acknowledge your new single status. Sharing your experience and creative ideas may just make someone else’s holiday a little brighter. Furthermore, if you are now in the process of going through a divorce, here’s a good place to post your wish list!

 

**Next week- Gift ideas for the child whose parents have recently divorced.

 

 

 

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11 Comments

  1. Patti on the 27. Nov, 2011 remarked #

    A boa babe’s New Year Eve in New York City! It was fabulous to get away to somewhere new and exciting.

    • admin on the 27. Nov, 2011 remarked #

      Great idea! If you can’t get to The Big Apple, you can certainly create a Boa Babe New Year’s Eve locally at someone’s house-Boas, noise makers, good music, chocolate, champagne and of course, good friends and you will have a night to remember! Thanks for sharing!

  2. CJ Golden on the 28. Nov, 2011 remarked #

    On the “gift of your time” theme; how about a coupon book for several different slots of time. For instance a coupon for a shopping trip, one for help cleaning closets, one for a girls’ night out, one for babysitting so your friend can go somewhere for r&r, and don’t forget to put in that coupon book many that can be redeemed for a hug!

    • admin on the 28. Nov, 2011 remarked #

      What a fun idea! In these times when so many people are struggling to make ends meet, this is a gift that costs nothing but has immeasureable worth.

  3. Wendy on the 28. Nov, 2011 remarked #

    I got my friend a voodoo doll keychain. (named Revenge) It came with a positive affirmation about living well. I also made her an upbeat cd with songs that spoke to key poignant episodes in her divorce journey and her evolution We then went on vacation together. We had a “letting go” celebration of sorts complete with the cd. Her voodoo doll now hangs on her review mirror to remind her to stop looking back and to instead look forward to her future. And her cd is in the car’s cd player.

    • admin on the 29. Nov, 2011 remarked #

      Another great idea! You combined a healing ritual, humor and the gift of your time.

  4. Financial advisor on the 29. Nov, 2011 remarked #

    Magnificent! (As usual. 😛 )

  5. Neil on the 05. Dec, 2011 remarked #

    Thanks for sharing, it truly is a really informative publish and very helpful. Kudos for you and keep up the good blogging perform.

  6. Chip Mues on the 06. Dec, 2011 remarked #

    Thanks for the link back to my post on the Ohio Family Law Blog about gifts for the newly divorced! I had fun writing that “tongue-in-cheek” list…Quite a few of the gifts on my list were suggested by my Dayton area divorce clients. Love your gift ideas and your terrific style of writing.

  7. fm on the 07. Dec, 2011 remarked #

    Very awesome blog !! I like your style too!! it’s very unique & refreshing…

  8. Isabel on the 21. Dec, 2011 remarked #

    Love what you are doing with the blog!

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