Although I’m not a fan of the extreme consumerism that often accompanies the holiday season, I am a big believer in gift-giving. Choosing a gift for someone allows me to ponder that person’s unique spirit and thoughtfully select something that suits them personally.
But even though I love gift-giving, I still encounter the same hurdles as many others. What do I give to the person who wants nothing? What do I get for someone who seems to have everything?
Many of us have a lot of health-conscious people in our lives, so I decided to put together a list of my favorite wellness gifts for 2020. I hope it will make shopping this year at least a little easier for you.
For Your Favorite Kitchenista
I love gifting great olive oil and balsamic vinegar. I have fallen in love with Kosterina, a company that produces fabulous extra virgin olive oil from Greece. Loaded in healthy polyphenols, there are 12 pounds of unripe green olives in every 500mL bottle! The Heirloom Kitchen and Kosterina Tasting Set is fabulous, with extra virgin olive oil, garlic olive oil, and their luscious fig balsamic vinegar, along with a beautiful cookbook of heritage recipes.
For Your Essential Workers
As a physician, I know the toll that caring for others can take on one’s health. During this pandemic, it is more crucial than ever that essential workers stay healthy. I like to give my frontline friends a jar of this garlic honey, which supports immune health and is so incredibly delicious!
- 1 small mason jar, thoroughly cleaned with boiling water
- 12 garlic cloves, peeled and gently mashed (not minced) with the flat side of a knife
- 1 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
- Raw, local honey, enough to cover the garlic
Place peeled, gently mashed garlic into a clean mason jar, add apple cider vinegar and cover completely with honey. Leave at least an inch of space at the top of the jar. Put the lid on and let sit at room temperature for three days, turning the jar upside down 1-2 times per day to keep garlic covered. After three days, remove the lid, stir well, and allow any gas to escape. Let sit for 3 more days and then remove garlic. Put strained honey in a clean decorative jar with a lovely label. I love to drizzle over bread or carrots – or just take a spoonful before dinner…delicious! Use within 4-6 weeks.
If you’re not feeling up to making this recipe, consider giving some of these fantastic immune-supporting Manuka Honey Drops. I’ve long been a fan of Manuka honey and have both the Ginger/Echinacea and the Lemon/ Bee Propolis drops in my kitchen cabinet and backpack! They make great gifts for the entire family.
Vitamins and herbs that can help us feel our best during winter also make an excellent gift for your loved ones. MegaFood’s Immune Defense with vitamin C, zinc, elderberry, echinacea, and andrographis is a must-have, and have you tried their Elderberry gummies?
For Your Light Lovers
I burn candles almost every day…on my desk when I’m working, in the evening for dinner or during a movie, and on my bedside table when I journal. While I am a fan of a glowing flame, I’m not a fan of strong synthetic fragrances and very much prefer soy over paraffin. I love the Jasmine Rose candle from Botanical Garden (the herbs sprinkled in the candle look so lovely), any of the Anjou candle sets (the tins are gorgeous), or my husband Jim’s favorite, Lemongrass and Wild Basil Urban Concept’s soy candle (exquisite aroma and packaging).
For Your Fitness Enthusiast
For many, being health-conscious means exercising routinely. Whether the person on your list is a dedicated gym-goer or an outdoor adventurer, Wildcrafter’s Inner Warrior botanical coffee blend can provide energy and stamina to help them power through. Pair the coffee with a reusable water bottle, a foam roller for faster recovery, or a package of their favorite post-workout snacks for a gift that is fun and functional.
For Your Marathon Runners
For the person in your life who considers 10 miles to be a short jog, consider giving a gift that helps with post-run recovery. I formulated Rightful for Pain & Recovery Relief Cream with clinical-strength herbs to soothe away soreness, tension, and discomfort all over the body. And, although it is widely used by physical therapists, chiropractors, massage therapists, and athletic trainers to keep their patients and athletes in top condition, this cream is perfect for anyone on your list who deals with sore muscles or stiff joints. (Basically everybody!)
For Those Who Value Experiences Over Things
Sometimes being health-conscious means understanding that stuff doesn’t equal happiness. If someone you care about isn’t into material gifts, consider giving the gift of experience instead. Last year, I gave my husband Jim a trip to the Kenai Peninsula in Alaska to photograph brown bears during the salmon run. I gave my daughter the gift of a massage at a local spa.
It can be anything. A museum membership, a gift card for a favorite fitness class, or maybe an invitation to join you on a post-pandemic excursion. And why not include a beautiful journal for them to cherish their experiences in writing? I love receiving and giving journals. From the sustainable wood journal, Plant Good Thoughts, to the elegant Tree of Life and the inspirational Good Days Start with Gratitude – the perfect journal for that special someone in your life is a click away.
Don’t Forget You
The best gift you can give your loved ones is taking care of yourself so that you’ll be around for the many celebrations to come. As you put together your holiday to-do list, remember to take time for yourself. If this year has been difficult for you, as it has been for many of us, perhaps give yourself Living Beautifully: with Uncertainty and Change, a powerfully healing book by one of my favorite authors, Pema Chodron. It is a life-changing, spirit-nourishing read.
Take a moment to pause and reflect on the wonder that is your life! Practicing gratitude — a deliberate choice to reflect on what you’re thankful for — is a gift that never stops giving.