It’s the holiday season; a time to give thanks and reflect back over the year. But let’s be honest, we all know that instead of evaluating ourselves, our goals, and giving thanks, this season often equates to frantically shopping for gifts!
There certainly isn’t anything wrong with this and most people enjoy these holiday traditions. However, if this year you want to focus on gift-giving in a new light and take a more cost-effective approach, then this article is for you. What I’m suggesting is trying a new practice of gift-giving – one that encourages you to be mindful of yourself, the people you are giving gifts to, and the impact you have on others and the environment!
Intrigued? Well read on!
This year while brainstorming gift ideas, try thinking about it in three unique categories: experiences, perishables, and health and fitness related items.
Often times when people think of gifts, they immediately associate the idea with material objects! However, have you ever thought that maybe some gifts aren’t things, but can be experiences? In fact, I’d argue that often times the gift of an experience can be better and more memorable than “things!” Still have trouble coming up with ideas? Why not go ice-skating with your niece(s)? How about a CrossFit class with your sibling? Perhaps making a home-cooked meal for your family – a cheaper, healthier, and more personal alternative to going out for dinner!
One of my favorite, and most memorable, holiday gifts was a trial yoga class given to me by my mother-in-law. I was so pleased because I really didn’t want more “stuff” and this gift was an activity that promoted being fit, involved the family, and encouraged me to try something new and step out of my traditional exercise habits – all characteristics that really align with my personality. I also think it’s such an unforgettable memory because I realized that my mother-in-law critically thought about who I was and what my interests were!
I cringe at the thought of how much landfill space is occupied by wrapping paper, discarded gifts, and packaging so the gift of experience may even be helping the environment too! Plus, another added bonus is you have the opportunity to patronize local businesses!
Looking for something that will make someone happy, save them money, and won’t go out of style or come out with a new model? How about giving the gift of food! The options are really endless and can be very thoughtful and healthy. Do you have an aunt or uncle that loves tea or coffee? Get them the fancy stuff this year – you’d be amazed how such a little gift can make someone so happy. Homemade foods also are a creative way to give perishables. Homemade granola allows you to provide a healthy, tasty gift without loading it with sugars and additives. One of my favorite food gift ideas is almonds. I like to buy plain almonds in bulk and roast or flavor them myself. This way, you save money because you’re buying in bulk and doing the labor yourself, and you have control of the flavor and ingredients! Whether you’re making or buying food as a gift, the recipient gets to enjoy a delicious treat while having one less gift that they need to fit into their home. I personally love receiving food as a gift; in fact, I hope for chicken breasts and protein powder every year!
Healthy/Fit Lifestyle items:
Are you still keen on giving a gift to unwrap? Then consider a health and fitness related gift! Perhaps a new shaker, rice cooker, blender, water filter, steamer, or induction burner would do the trick! Maybe your niece or nephew is looking for some new dumbbells, a yoga mat, pull-up bar, bicycle, ab-roller, or resistance bands. Perhaps lifting straps or workout gloves? Do they enjoy baking? Would they like silicon baking pans to make healthy homemade donuts or muffins? How about a waffle maker? Still stumped? Possibly a cookbook, subscription to a fitness magazine, or an exercise/bodybuilding book would suite them better.
A word of caution! If you’re buying a gift for someone that is self-conscience about their health, weight, or physical fitness, be mindful and respectful of that. Don’t buy someone that is deeply insecure about their weight a weight loss book for dummies! You can still give gifts that are health and fitness related to people sensitive to the subject, but be tactful and strategic with your gift!
This holiday season, take the opportunity to reflect on the person you are giving a gift to! You can use this as a chance to show your friends and family a side of you they may not have known, introduce them to a new world, or surprise them with a genuinely thoughtful gift. So this year, if you’re stuck coming up with gift ideas, want to try something new, or just don’t want to buy and give a gift because that’s what you do, then give this approach a try! You might surprise yourself and the person you’re giving a gift to with how creative you can be!
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