I said it last year and I'll say it again: I love the holidays. Pretty lights, balsam fir, Bing Crosby. I'm all over it. But even I'll admit: the gift thing can be stressful. Who to buy for? What to get? What to budget?
Sometimes a little guidance and some practical suggestions can be helpful. And since I love any gifts that support health, I've compiled a list of some of my favorite healthy gift ideas - and most of them are inexpensive.
If you know someone who is looking to improve their health and clean up their living, or if you'd like to encourage someone to do so, OR if you're a health-minded person looking for some gift ideas for yourself, here's your list! These are some of my favorites!
...first I'll say this: shop local and support small business. It just feels better to pick something up, hold it, think of the person you'll be giving it to, and dump your hard-earned money into your own community. I try to get the majority of my gifts this way, and suggest you do the same.
So, for my local friends, here a couple shops in Portsmouth:
For the ladies:
Jane Gee | 107 Congress Street
This is my favorite store in Portsmouth! The owners - Jane and her daughter Sophie - are delightful, knowledgable and hard working gals. They make a lot of their own products - skin care, lotions, soaps, candles, scents. They also carry other nontoxic brands and products. This is the mecca for deluxe nontoxic living. (If you've got a makeup lover you're looking to get off the department store sludge, this is the place to go!!) Gift certificates for facials, eyelash tinting or skin consultations would also make a phenomenal gift. If you are in Portsmouth, this shop is a must. You won't leave empty handed.
For the gents:
Papa Wolfe Supply | 801 Islington Street
One of my husband's faves. Lots of US (and even NH made) mean gear for men. Apparel, wallets, mugs, flasks, skateboards, cool stuff. One of the owners is also the founder of Mr. Fox Composting, so he's clearly doing good things all around. A company to support, for sure!
Sometimes you leave it to the last minute. So I've included some Amazon links in the event that you are reading this 3 days before Christmas and need to Prime it to you. (Note: the links included are affiliate links, which means I receive a - very small - commission if you purchase anything using the links. That is NOT why I'm recommending these products. I genuinely like, trust, have, or want all of these things. The links are an added bonus. A 'thanks for the tip' if you will.)
Healthy Holiday Gift Ideas
I've indicated the price range using the dolla dolla bill signs you see below:
Kitchen & Food
Zucchini noodles are all the rage, and this is the gadget you need to make them. I feel like this is one of those things you don't really want to buy for yourself, but once you get it, you're so glad you have it. That was my experience anyway. Someone gave it to me for Christmas about 8 years ago - I was amped! I've used it roughly 1 million times since then. I've also heard really good things about this one, but you do have to order direct from the website, and it's a bit more costly. May be a good idea as an upgrade for someone!
Another way to upgrade someone's healthy kitchen game is to get them a high quality blender. While I find that the Vitamix is by far the best (you can do SO many things in it!), it's also extremely expensive. Head's up: if you really, really want a Vitamix, you can look into getting a refurbished one through the company. Still expensive, but you'll save some money that way!
I've used the Nutri Ninja Pro at my sister-in-laws house and loved it. And it's much more affordable at around a hundred bucks.
Loose leaf tea $
Always makes a nice gift, and you can pick up bulk tea at local supplies. But unless you're sure that the gift receiver has a way to drink the tea, you might consider a Glass teapot & infuser or mesh tea ball to go along with the tea!
Cook Book $
For someone learning to cook or looking to get into more healthy, whole food eating (or just get out of a food rut), a cook book is a classic gift.
Here are some good whole food books - they are all vegetarian-friendly, except for the last (it's Paleo).
It's All Good, Gwyneth Paltrow
The UnDiet Cookbook, Megan Telpner
The Oh She Glows Cookbook, Angel Liddon
Everyday Detox, Megan Gilmore
Against All Grain: Meals Made Simple, Danielle Walker
If you know you someone that's looking to start up a fitness routine - or have mentioned trying out a different modality - in the new year, a gift certificate to a yoga/barre/pilates studio, Crossfit gym, or town pool could make for a much appreciated gift (and perhaps a necessary gentle nudge?). I would reserve this one for close friends or family. Here are a couple things to keep in mind:
A punch card makes more sense than a full month membership, unless you know for certain that the month will be used. If the recipient is just curious about checking out a new place, or new form of exercise, it's probably best to do it on their own terms (unless there's some type of crazy deal you want to take advantage of).
If going the punch card route, you do want to be sure there isn't a short expiration date. I've received yoga gift certificates in the past, only to have them expire before I could use up the class card. Such a bummer! Do ask about this when purchasing a GC.
3 Bridges Yoga (my home studio) class cards never expire. They can also be applied to all 3 studios - Portsmouth, Durham (NH) and York (ME).
Yoga Clothes $$-$$$
Yoga pants: the gift that keeps on giving...because they can be worn every single day, to every single type of event (I dare you to say otherwise). You could go the traditional Lulu route, or support a local Bikram teacher with her fun and funny yoga clothes. While Everywear Activewear is designed for hot yoga, you can wear the super-comfy pants, booty shorts and sports bras for all yoga, Crossfit, running, and lounging. (And tie-dye anything always gets my stamp of approval.) The Thug Yoga shirts will make you chuckle with sayings like "You're so lucky I went to yoga today" and "I got 99 problems but camel ain't one".
Yoga Mat $$$
If you know the person is into yoga, but perhaps hasn't upgraded to a quality mat, this would make a great gift. And hey - even if they've already got a yoga mat, us yogis can always use another (I keep one in my house, and often one at the studio)! Jade is my personal favorite mat to practice on - the company is environmentally conscious, the mats are made with natural rubber, and they come in lots of fun colors. Yoga mats also double as a play mat...just in case you weren't aware.
Great for seasoned yogis and beginners alike, yoga props are a great way to enhance your home practice experience.
Other fitness props
MUST HAVE for a runner, hiker, walker, biker, skier, surfer, Crossfitter, yogi, breather. Really any human will benefit from foam rolling.
This might seem weird, but it's the best way to stretch calves. The type of thing you don't know you need until you have it.
It can be challenging to get a loved one to change their diet. I know you mean well, trust me, I do! But people are attached to their food. We can all become a little defensive if we feel like our food choices are being scrutinized. So, if you're looking to help someone get healthy, you may have better luck starting with other areas of their life. Cleaning up the home is a fun place to start!
Candles are a classic gift. But are you or your loved ones still burning heavily scented parafin wax candles?Read this great post about why that's a big problem.
The best type of candles to purchase for your home are 100% beeswax candles. Not only are they free of any toxins, they also help to clean and purify the air in your home. Which is particularly important during the winter months, when we spend so much time indoors.
8 ounce glass candle by Bluecorn Naturals - comes in a nice box, too
Beeswax Votives - Cute candle holders are easy to find - drop one of these inside for a simple gift
Beeswax Pillar - perfect size for a small mason jar, making a rustic gift
Another way to purify your air is to use salt lamps, which make a cool and inexpensive gift.
Along the same lines of clean indoor air, houseplants make beautiful (and functional) gifts. Go for a low maintenance variety (aloe, jade, succulents and Christmas cactus are all safe bets), unless you know your gift receiver has got a green thumb!
You can skip candles altogether and go the diffuser route. Diffusers disperse essential oils into the air to freshen and improve the quality of the air. Many essential oils have anti-viral antibacterial properties, which help to kill bacteria and even mold, and reduce the amount of airborne chemicals (important for this time of year!). They also just smell really, really great. Diffusing oils can help improve emotions and mood. Want to learn more about them? Visit my friends over at Daring Spirits. They'll hook you up!
Essential Oils $-$$
Essential oils make great gifts and stocking stuffers.
Some of my favorite oils and blends for diffusing include lavender, Thieves, Citrus Fresh, Stress Away and grapefruit (most of these are included in the premium starter kit). Christmas Spirit is wonderful for this time of year, and R.C. is incredibly helpful for any type of congestion and cold.
Whether you're looking for a stocking stuffer or hostess gift, getting crafty in your kitchen is an inexpensive way to give a health-supporting gift.
Finally, a note on wrapping...
Reduce the waste of the holiday season.
Reuse boxes, bags and tissue paper, or skip it all together and get creative.
Wrap gifts in old paper bags from the grocery store - I use hemp rope and rubber stamps to make a rustic and festive gift wrap.
Enjoy the season!