As lovely as the holidays are, they’ve become really over-commercialized over the years. It’s fun to give and receive gifts, but many gifts will go unused. We are a culture of far too much stuff; we don’t need more objects to clutter up our lives.
More than that, it’s nice to be able to give gifts that people actually want and can use: consumables! Gifts that won’t take up too much space, that a person will appreciate, and that you can give without the hassle of trying to scramble last-minute for something. Gift exchanges can be an uncomfortable time if you’re only giving something because you feel obligated to rather than giving a gift because you found something you truly think the other person will love.
The idea here is to take the commercialization out of the holidays, and to replace it by having fun preparing gifts and giving them to your loved ones.
Are you struggling to think of some healthy, budget-friendly holiday gift ideas? Look no further! Here are some easy, inexpensive, personalized gifts that recipients are bound to be pleased with.
Healthy for the Body:
This can be anything—baked treats, savory snacks, or an entire meal. These are nice gifts because everyone needs to eat, so everyone can enjoy them.
But please, please keep in mind your friends who are gluten-intolerant, lactose-intolerant etc. I still feel bad about the time I hosted a wine and cheese and completely forgot about my friend’s gluten intolerance. We ran to the store for some zucchini so that we could slice them up like crackers (because all of the rest of the crackers had gluten in them. Whoops), so the evening was somewhat salvaged. But I definitely won’t make that mistake again!
It’s also not a bad idea to include the recipe (or at least the ingredients list) with your gift so that people know what they’re eating (and so that they can recreate it if they so desire).
Homemade beauty products.
The mother dear asks me to make sugar scrub for her every year. Sugar scrubs can be put together within minutes and look lovely in a pretty jar! You can also put together all-natural cleaning solutions to be kind to skin and to the environment.
Holiday packages and memberships.
Get a month-long membership to a yoga studio for the yogi in your life, or check out an online store such as 1-800-FLOWERS to order a special gift basket which will arrive for them in beautiful packaging. There are also things such as “Peanut Butter of the Month Club,” in which you can set up for your friend to receive a different jar of peanut butter every month for a year. There are many online companies with these sorts of things for just about every food under the sun.
Healthy for the Mind
A great book.
Can you really go wrong with books? Books are heavenly. Depending on where you get them (second-hand bookstores, the bargain section of the bookstore, online), they can be fairly inexpensive, too. I really like second-hand books, myself, because there’s something nice about reading a book that has already been well-loved. Sometimes you can find some really beautiful collector’s items at second-hand bookstores, too. Not everyone likes second-hand, however, so keep your friend’s preferences in mind when you’ll searching for a book.
If you have a friend who is interested in sewing, crafts, painting, writing, knitting, scrapbooking, or something similar, put together a kit for them! One year my parents gave me a huge bag full of different kinds of material to use for sewing. It was fun to see the different materials they picked out for me (all with different textures, patterns and colours). You can do the same by getting a nice pen and ink with paper set for a writer, paints and paintbrushes for a painter, scrapbooking materials for the scrapbooker… you name it. Go to a crafts store, pick out a variety of items, and wrap them up in a nice box. Done!
Provided you choose a nice-smelling incense, this can be a really great gift that people can use for a long time. It’s also small and doesn’t take up too much space. Remember to get an incense holder, too, if you know that your friend doesn’t have one. Choose scents that most people like, such as pine or cinnamon. If you know that your friend loves a particular scent, then you’re golden.
The reason why I’ve included incense here is that if you find the right scent, it can be incredibly calming and relaxing. Certain scents, such as peppermint, also can curb your appetite (which can be a useful trick to incorporate healthy moderation into the holiday season).
What are some of your favorite healthy, budget-friendly holiday gift ideas? What gifts will you be giving this year? Share in the comments section below!
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