It is that gift-giving time of year again. Whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukah, or Kwanzaa, I'm sure you have already hit the shops or have your gift list ready to go. For some, it’s a wonderful chance to bring joy and happiness by finding that perfect gift. For others, just trying to find the time to get all the gifts you need can be a stressful process.
This time of year is also filled with candy, home-baked goodies, pies, and pastries. It is the most challenging time of year for those who are trying to lower their cholesterol, control diabetes, or lose some weight. I'm sure you all know people who are in this situation. Giving them more candy and treats somehow feels counterproductive.
Why not give some healthy gifts this year? Those friends and family members working towards specific health goals will appreciate the gesture.
Healthy gifts can include tangible items such as food baskets, exercise equipment, or books that are fun to give and receive, but we can also give intangible gifts that are just as special. The trick is to think outside the box. Here are some ideas to get you started:
- Layer the ingredients for a lentil or bean soup decoratively in a large mason jar. Attach the soup recipe to some ribbon and tie it around the lid. You can also throw in some beautiful pottery bowls to make a wonderful gift.
- Put together a basket with a healthy cookbook and some of the ingredients for a recipe in it. Mark the recipe with a bookmark so the recipient can find it easily.
- Give a gift basket of healthy dried fruit and nuts. You can put them together yourself or order from companies like The Fruit Company or Harry & David.
- We all need to relax. Create a home spa basket with essential oils, bath salts, massage oil, body lotions, and a pumice stone.
- Purchase a day at the spa for your loved ones.
- Send someone a subscription to a health magazine (Amazon.com offers a ton of them at a discount.)
- Fill small mason jars with your own salsa or chutney, and include a few recipes in which to use them.
- Give the gift of time. How many working moms out there could use this? Give a homemade gift certificate to take the kids for a weekend day to give mom a day to herself.
- Make a gift certificate for an outing with a friend. This could be a day of shopping, lunch, or the movies.
- Offer to take on a month’s worth of housecleaning. Who wouldn't want this gift?