The holidays, as fun as they are, can take a toll on our health. (The ultimate inspiration for those New Year’s resolutions, we suppose…) Beyond the party fare, even the gifts themselves (Aunt Marge’s fruitcake, the office’s enormous popcorn tins, your mother’s traditional box of Fannie May chocolates, etc.) can send our best Primal selves looking for cover (or our best intentions into a tailspin). And, on the giving end of things, we may find ourselves so taken by our Primal successes this year that we’d like to share gifts that encourage the same healthy lifestyle in others. Though this time of year holds different traditions (and compromises) for each of us, we thought we’d share some MDA-inspired gift ideas that put the health in our Happy and Healthy Holiday wishes to you, our good readers.
1. Book(s) from Mark’s Reading List
2. CSA Produce/Meat Share
Practical, healthy, delicious, continual throughout the year/season…how can it get any better? If a full year gives you sticker shock, many farms offer “mini-shares” around this time of year (usually a month’s worth) that offers the best of their winter bounty or an early spring share recipients can look forward to. Other CSA options? Look for one-time gift packs of great produce, grass-fed steaks, fresh herbs, specialty teas and coffees, or other healthy (and tempting) fare.
3. Primal Equipment
Infinite choices here like medicine balls, Vibram FiveFingers, etc. For the budget conscious, consider making your own gear like kettlebells, sandbags and slosh tubes. You never know: you may create a Primal convert!
4. Spa Day/Massage Gift Certificate
Who doesn’t love a good massage and a warm sauna come the cold of January? It’s the ultimate gift of luxury and health. And don’t underestimate the power of an hour on the table. Massage has been shown to aid/allay everything from chronic pain to osteoarthritis to post-surgery recovery. It’s the perfect winter (and post-holiday) therapy!
5. Primal Gift Basket
As Primally orthodox or decadent as you want to make it. Think a personalized collection of fresh, raw nuts (or homemade nut butter!), organic dried fruits, homemade jerky or Primal energy bars, gourmet cooking and salad oils, high cocoa content dark chocolate, your favorite red wine, etc. Endlessly variable, definitely irresistible – no matter who’s on your list.
6. Gym Membership/Package
Do you know someone who’s wanted to join but couldn’t afford it? Maybe someone who’s interested in upgrading his/her membership to try some new classes? Whether it’s a full membership, a package of classes, or a session with a personal trainer, consider this gift a boost and show of support for those New Year’s resolutions just around the corner.
7. Relaxation Set
Between the stress of the holidays and the cold of winter ahead, it’s time for some soothing R&R. Think CDs with restful music or guided imagery sessions, herbal teas, bath salts, an inspirational or meditation-focused book, a calming fountain, beeswax or soy candles, or yoga gear. Couldn’t we all use one of these?
Gift don’t always need to be “stuff,” of course. Consider giving (or receiving) an experience. How about tickets to the person’s favorite theater or home team? What about a winter weekend getaway? Better yet, how about using the opportunity to reconnect with a loved one? Offer more than a gift but a commitment of time and togetherness.
9. Flowers and Plants
In the cold winter months, bringing a little nature indoors can perk up everyone’s spirit. (Can we say biophilia?) Cut flowers have been shown to improve subjects’ mood (PDF) in research studies. Plants such as ferns, peace lilies, and snake plants are great toxin absorbers for the home. Some creative and seasonal picks: Christmas roses, Chistmas cactus, terrarium with succulents, or an early spring bulb garden.
10. Charitable Donation
“Human Fund” jokes aside, making a donation to a loved one’s favorite nonprofit in his/her name can be a thoughtful way to show your support and to embrace the more meaningful, less commercial spirit of the season. Many charities (especially if the donation included a membership benefit) will send publications or even personal updates throughout the year, making your donation a lasting as well as meaningful gesture.
BONUS! Primal Nutrition Gift Basket
(Shameless self-promotion, we know….) Maybe it’s a single coveted item to slip in the stocking or a full array of supplemental goodness. Either way, the recipient (whether a loved one or you) will be treated to the very best.
Did we get some ideas rolling? Have more Primal ideas to share? Send ‘em on!