Health-Conscious Holiday Gift Ideas
The season of holiday gifts is upon us - and the pressure to think of an appropriate gift, shop, buy, spend can certainly be detrimental to your health. My Dutch teacher (yes, I am learning to speak Dutch) has planned a Netherlands-inspired "Pakjesavond" celebration for our class. It is the tradition in her beautiful little country to create a gift ("cadeautje") for a recipient that has some personal meaning, accompanied by a little poem that the gift-giver writes himself. The words and the present often describe something about the recipient from a wry or downright funny perspective. No holds barred! The poems are read aloud when family and friends gather --- sort of a holiday "roast."
What a great way to celebrate - with laughter all around. And as we all know, laughter is the best medicine. Short of adopting a whole new (Dutch) tradition, how can you work good health into your own gift-giving practice? As a healthcare worker you might suggest that your family's gifts take on a health-conscious theme. Stuck for ideas? Here are some to get you started, and most of them are have green benefits, too:
- Ice skates -- assuming global warming slows down a bit.
- Fruit of the month club membership -- something to look forward to every 30 days.
- Fine red wine -- for resveratrol heart benefits mixed in with deliciousness.
- Art museum pass -- a walk through Monets and Renoirs can calm your spirit.
- Set of art supplies -- creativity is empowering.
- Gift certificate to a fresh or organic food market -- everyone has to eat!
- Gift card to a local restaurant -- the cook in your house deserves a rest.
- Gift certificate to an exercise class -- personal recommendations: yoga, Zumba, tap dancing, hula dancing, ballroom dancing, figure skating, Tai Kwon Do.
- Wii Fit -- fun for young and old.
- A non-allergic, ultra-plush blanket -- luxurious, calming and warm.
- A pass to the Y -- need I say more?
- An instrument and a few music lessons -- a guitar, ukelele, harmonica, keyboard are all fairly portable and offer enjoyment for life.
- Karaoke machine -- just because it's so much fun to sing.
- A certificate for a massage -- nothing says love like healing touch.
- Comedy reruns ("I Love Lucy," "Carol Burnett Show," "Cheers," ‘Seinfeld," "Friends," "Everyone Loves Raymond,' "The Office," etc., depending on the age of your recipient) in a boxed set -- because you can never have enough laughter.
- Dark chocolate -- nutritionists say you should eat an ounce every day. Who are we to disagree?
- Indoor herb garden -- doesn't everyone love fresh basil?
- A get-away -- overnight in a hotel, even nearby, can feel like a glorious break.
- Glass food storage containers -- so long plastic.
- A pedometer -- some incentive for the new year.
- A gift certificate for free babysitting -- perfect for any mother with young children.
- A bottle of Vitamin D3 -- almost everyone could use some.
- A certificate for personal genome sequencing - someone may find a cousin they didn't know they had!
- Tuition for a Dutch class (or any other foreign language) - sure to keep brain plasticity in tip-top shape.
- Hugs - they're free and everyone loves them.