Birthdays and other holidays present a challenge to family members of addicts. Gifts including cash, gift cards and returnable merchandise can all be turned into currency for drug purchases. While it is up to your addict to maintain his or her sobriety, you may be hesitant to add temptation through your choice of gifts. Here are several ideas that can provide enjoyment without risking relapse:
Two tickets to an event: Getting tickets to the zoo, an upcoming play, or a sporting event lets you and your loved one spend time together. Make sure one of the tickets is used by you, or another trusted person, because tickets can be sold.
Movie night: Fill a wicker basket with items for a fun evening. Include a favorite movie (with the plastic torn off to make it non-returnable), a package or two of microwave popcorn, some candy and a computer-generated movie ticket for two. He or she can invite a friend over for movie night or spend it “at the movies” with you.
Hobby Fun: If your loved one has a hobby, fill a basket with hobby paraphernalia. For example, the person might enjoy Scrap Booking. The basket can contain shape-making scissors, different photo borders, glitter, pens and other things used for crafts. To encourage a golf hobby, balls, a golf towel and some tees sprinkled into the basket with green plastic grass will be fun. A quilter might love a sewing basket filled with fabrics, threads and quilting patterns. Open each item before placing it in the basket to avoid their temptation to return it. Placing the items creatively in the basket makes it look decorative and your loved one never has to know why you did it this way. Use your imagination and put together a hobby basket that will delight and inspire.
Coupon Book: A homemade book of coupons can be a hit. Choose 5-10 things you are willing to do for the recovering addict, and put each one on a decorated, crafty coupon. Attach them all in a book and wrap it in a gift box. Babysitting, car washing, a homemade dinner and other ideas will work well. Put an expiration date on each coupon so the person has to use them within a certain period of time and bring joy to their life.