Remember the holiday season when you were growing up? When you think back to the days when you were a kid – not too far back we hope – it's probably safe to say that you're fondest Christmas memories involve receiving gifts.
When we were children one of the joys of Christmas was to get as many gifts as possible, or to more specific the more toys the better. Thanks for the underwear and socks Mom, but you should have saved that money for toys.
We are no longer children. As adults who are charged with the task of buying gifts for people we love, there are several things that we need to pay attention to. We need to think of safety. We don't just buy trinkets that are fun, but we try and pick up items that address important needs. Sadly, we have become the ones buying underwear and socks for children who eagerly open their unwanted gifts, frown, and then thank us with forced smiles.
While we may not get thanked right away for the thoughtful gifts we buy today, chances are we will be thanked later. So Connect Hearing has collected some Christmas gift ideas that are not only fun, but will promote hearing health.
1. Toys: Nothing wrong with buying toys for the children in your life, but be aware that some gifts bring unwanted dangers. Last year, we produced a blog post warning parents about noisy toys.
The Sight & Hearing Association (SHA) said in the article that “exposure to noise levels above 85 dB for no more than eight hours is the federal threshold for hearing protection. SHA reminds consumers that hearing loss is cumulative and it typically does not happen from one event; it gradually happens over time and that is why it is important to protect hearing at a young age.”
Remember, before anything comes into your home don't just check the price – check to make sure that it won't damage your child's ears.
2. Earplugs: One of the best things you can carry in your pocket or purse are earplugs, because there are times when life just gets too loud. Many people underestimate how loud concerts, clubs and movies can be. In those cases, it doesn't hurt to have a handy pair of earplugs available.
3. Meditation: While this may sound like a rather strange item, purchasing gifts that promote quiet, reflective time isn't a bad idea. Not all music, for example, needs to be loud. There are many CD's you can purchase with quiet, relaxing soul-soothing music or sounds of nature. Meditation mats, scented candles or bath bombs are other gifts that promote peace and quiet. In a world where everything is moving 1000 miles an hour, it's never a bad idea to turn things off once in awhile.
4. Jazz, Blues Club, Piano Bar: On the topic of music, consider live music that won't rip your eardrums out of your head. A gift certificate to a jazz, blues or piano bar can provide a musical fix and the best part? You'll be able to hear the conversation of your loved one over the music. And if you choose to purchase a ticket to your favourite Thrash Metal band, be sure to include that pair of earplugs we mentioned in example two.
5. Restaurant: Speaking of gift certificates, one of the nicest gifts you can get for a person is a wonderful night out at a quiet restaurant. It's a chance to enjoy good food and great company. And the best part? You can enjoy great conversations because you can actually hear them. Planning a quiet night out is one of the best ways to give your ears a break.
Jon Waterhouse, Manager of Professional Practice for Connect Hearing Canada says the best thing you can do to protect your ears is make hearing a priority this holiday season.
“The best way to prevent hearing loss is to make the issue a part of your life and think about it. Think about it when you go shopping, when you watch television, when you listen to music and when you partake in activities like movies. Just be aware of the issue and you will make intelligent choices,” says Waterhouse. “Explain to your children why Santa is buying them quiet toys. Explain to them why they can't have their CD blasting too loud. Explain why meditation is so important to you, why being quiet is so important to you. This holiday season, give your children the gift of understanding when it comes to hearing health.”