Ho, ho, ho! My favorite time of year is just around the corner. Eggnog lattes, laughing children, the smell of cookies and evergreens everywhere. I have already started listening to Christmas music. I hope you have, as well!
If you’re like me, it’s about this time you begin, not panicking exactly, but low key worrying about what you’re going to get your loved ones. You want gifts both original and meaningful, that hopefully won’t completely break the bank or snatch funds from everyone else on your list. Well, look no further for the blindies in your life. Safe Space has you covered. I’ve put together a list of my top ten, tried and trusted, products. There’s something on this list for everyone and every age. You may even see something here for you. I am a big believer in self care, especially over the holidays. Treat yourself. You’ve worked hard this year, you deserve it!
Disclaimer, this post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a small gratuity if you use my link and buy something. So, if a gift idea strikes your fancy, you will be supporting Safe Space, as well as checking a special someone off your list, well ahead of schedule.
Top Ten Gift Ideas, in no particular order
- Braille Dinosaurs Before Dark. When I was a kid, my mom practically had to force braille books into my hands. I discovered audiobooks too early, and she was worried I’d be a terrible speller and fail at life. She was right about one of those predictions, I am notorious for my dreadful spelling mistakes. There was only one series I would read willingly, the Magic Treehouse books. These books are about a brother and sister who travel through time in a magic treehouse and solve mysteries together while learning about the past. There are always exactly ten chapters in each book, and the chapters are really short and manageable for a young, reluctant reader. I found them so addictive I would even read aloud to my little sisters sometimes, something I hated doing even more than reading braille. I wound up reading the series a second time in my pre-teen years because my youngest sister, seven years younger than me, begged me to read to her every chance she got. She was also addicted to the magic of these books. So, for all the children in your lives, ages six to eleven, book worms or not, this series is fun, educational (but don’t tell them that), and will get them reading! Link to the first book in the series, Dinosaurs Before Dark
- Braille Monopoly. I was never the champion of Monopoly I longed to be. I’m more of a Cities and Knights kind of gal. Still, there’s nothing I loved playing more on New Year’s Eve than Monopoly. Get the whole fam jam together and poor some eggnog. Just be sure not to spill any on the game (This has happened way too many times in the Faris house).
- Tactile chess. I cannot recommend this product enough. Chess boards feel like a blank piece of cardboard to a blind person, and the colored pieces are basically indistinguishable. A tactile chess board raises the white squares above the black and has a drilled hole in the centre of each square. Each tactile piece fits into these holes, making the chess game touchable for a blind person. We use our hands to see things, which is impossible on a regular chessboard where the slightest touch could shift pieces around. The white chess pieces have a tactile dot on their heads, and kings, queens, bishops and so on all feel distinctly different from one another. Tactile chess works flawlessly. Buy one this Christmas and sip hot chocolate by the fire while you play. Just be sure not to watch your blind friend’s fingers travel from piece to piece. Cough cough, younger sisters of mine. That’s cheating!
- Talking Colorino. I live for this product. I am not oblivious to style just because I can’t see it. It’s important that my outfits match and I at least look somewhat put together when I go out. Color identification is where the talking Colorino comes in. When you touch this little gadget’s sensor to any fabric, it announces that fabric’s color at the touch of a button. It’s a life saver when matching socks, let me tell you! It also has a light sensor that makes a noise like a metal detector when the light is on. You can use it to pinpoint the light source and to make sure all lights are off in your house.
- Talking watches. These products are very popular. I don’t wear a talking watch anymore, because I prefer to check the time on my phone, but they are still very useful for checking the time on the run. A similar product is the talking keychain clock, a smaller, more portable, and quieter version of the above.
- Dog bandanna, I believe in Santa Paws. This super soft bandana is light and durable. It ties around your dog’s neck and has a little bell at its triangular end. It says “I believe in Santa Paws” and is decorated with little paw prints and snowflakes. Last year, I put this bandana on my guide dog, Susie, and she wore it proudly throughout the entire holiday season. She even got snarky and insulted when I took it off the day after Christmas. She’s not crazy about being dressed up, but this bandana was so light weight she didn’t care one bit. You can also buy reindeer antlers for your guide dog, but Susie shook them off in under five seconds. You should get those only if your gorgeous pooch is patient with you. That being said, I know of at least one guide dog who wore them with pride. He was a very handsome reindeer.
- Dog Themed Cookie Cutters. While we’re on a guide dog/pet dog theme, let’s talk about Christmas cookies. Gingerbread is always a huge hit at our house, but whenever we went to make it, we had lost half our cookie cutters. Why not pick up a set of dog themed cookie cutters and amaze the kids with your forethought? Happy baking. Have a gingerbread bone for me!
- Braille version of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. What list of gift ideas is complete without a Harry Potter novel? This book came out over twenty years ago, but the story is timeless. I know this, because I was presenting on blindness to an elementary school the other week and I mentioned how my brother used to read Harry Potter to me. I got a spontaneous cheer simply at its mention. Happy reading by the Christmas tree.
- Soft Plush Twin Blanket, or Queen Fleece Blanket with Picture of Golden Retriever Puppies. I love soft things. I especially love soft, snuggly blankets. I think when you rely so much on feel to see the world, texture becomes that much more important. Both these blankets are wonderfully snuggly and perfect for movie night on the sofa. I am biased to the second one because of its pictures of dogs, but it is a little large, so I also linked my second favorite plush blanket.
- Magnifying Glass with LED Light. This is the only product on this list I have not personally used. I know quite a few people who find it helpful, though. It is practical, portable, and stylish. Have fun reading and writing those treasured, old fashioned Christmas cards.
I hope this list was helpful to you! If not, don’t stress! The perfect gift is out there. Feel free to comment if you have other ideas or would like more shopping suggestions. I thought of half a dozen more while I was proofreading this. 😉
Let me be the first to wish you all a happy holiday season! I am sending good cheer and Christmas spirit your way.
Be kind, and be aware.
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