It was 4:00 a.m. as I rolled out of bed and began preparing for the day. Today was a special day, so I needed to spend a little more time on my appearance. I carefully curled and sprayed my hair so it would stay beautiful all day. I dressed up in a modest but attractive skirt that fell to the middle of my calf. Just in case I needed to change, I threw a pair of black slacks in a bag to take with me. I really wanted today to be special, so I took my time with my make-up. Camera perfect. Today’s picture needed to be extra special.
I called out to my sons that it was time to get up an hour later.
They complained that the sun still wasn’t awake, so they shouldn’t be either. Brandon jumped out of bed as he remembered what today was. “Blake, Blake, wake up!! C’mon, hurry. We have to go. Today is our Christmas visit!” he shouted as he bounded out of his room. Blake slowly climbed out of bed. The conflict within him visible evident on his face. He wanted to see his Dad, but he didn’t want to go to prison. Yet, the excitement of the Christmas Visit won him over, and he hurriedly dressed. We dashed out to the car to start our Christmas adventure together as a family.
This was our December routine for 15 years.
We never missed our Christmas visit. Many things changed over the years, but not the process of going to see Ron for our last visit of December. We so looked forward to this visit, yet we so dreaded this visit. It was a harsh reminder that another year had passed, and Daddy was still in prison. It was also a tender, enjoyable time together as a family that we treasured. The hardest part of celebrating Christmas was that we did not have Ron home. I longed to have him involved in every detail of the holiday. Moreover, I missed shopping with him, wrapping gifts together, and sharing food and fun together. My heart ached. The second hardest part of the holidays was figuring out what to get Ron for Christmas.
Getting a gift for an inmate is hard.
The situation makes it a big challenge. You have the prison rules you must follow that are often complicated and always strict. There are more things they can NOT have than things they can have. I remember those days! So, I am sharing the 7 gift ideas that he will love in this blog.
Here are my 7 top picks for Christmas gifts for prisoners:
- Subscription to a favorite magazine. This gift lets them keep up with the outside world
- Books. You can sign up for a book club and have a new book sent every month, or just order one.
- New shoes. Boots are especially coveted if the prison allows them. Tennis shoes are always a great option, too.
- Headphones. Having the ability to tune out the world around them for a little bit is a wonderful gift.
- A TV. This isn’t frivolous. Having a TV of his own will help reduce tension and thus allow for some time to recover from the stress of prison life.
- Music. Most institutions allow the residents to purchase a device to play music on. The devices vary from prison to prison, so read the rules carefully before you order one.
- Food. Either send food following the prison rules or send money so you man can purchase food.
These gifts are guaranteed to bring a smile to his face, some joy into his life, and provide reminders that he has not been forgotten.
I am rooting for you!