A couple of weeks back, my mother told me we had been invited to a farewell birthday party being held for a child with cancer. My mother is a doctor and was good friends with the mother of the child in question. I thought to myself, what could I possibly bring to this poor child and how can any gift come close to making him happy when he knows that he is about to die? It is such a sad story, but consider the old saying… It’s the thought that counts.
The first thing to take into consideration is the type of cancer that the child has. If it is a debilitating condition which lowers muscle strength it would be a fairly bad idea to provide a hands on toy or puzzle, in this case something to pass the time with the maximum amount of time and ease would be more appropriate like a box set collection of cartoons or his favorite movie.
If the child has an illness where he can still use his hands then a hands on toy would be absolutely fine. In fact, you can pretty much get this child anything that all other children can have or may want as long as it makes him or her happy. A gift as simple as a bubble blower can put a smile on the face of pretty much any kid.
The second thing to consider depends on whether or not you know the child. I agree, it is fairly difficult to play it safe especially when you have never even met the person in the first place. But I tell you, generic gifts such as chocolate or foods containing nuts should always be avoided as an increase in blood sugar may interfere with chemotherapy and the healing process (depending on the situation).
A great gift that many kids always seem to like, from my experience, are coloring books. Not only do they help to distract the child from hardship by providing them with something to do, but it can also give them a much enjoyed sense of fulfillment. “Look what I did mommy!” says the little kid to his mother, proud of his artwork. You can see that this would not only bring joy to the face of the little boy or girl but would also bring a sense of happiness and pride to the parents… Much better than chocolate or one of those little toy cars which get two or three minutes of play and a lifetime of shelf-life.
Thirdly, the occasion must be taken into account. If the gift is very personal and would be better off opened in privacy then a more expensive gift like a PSP would be great. But if the present is opened in front of other little kids, this would cause a bit of envy for the others and a more suitable gift would be something practical and warm, like a small sweater, cool shoes, a jacket or even a puzzle. My friends, I am so sorry to hear that someone you know has befallen such a harsh and unfair fate, but I hope that my guidance has helped you and in turn given you inspiration to make a child smile.