For many people, giving gifts, especially during the holidays, can seem like a chore. This is especially true if you’re driven to give from a place of obligation rather than a place of sincere love and gratitude. If you’ve ever been on the receiving end of what appears to be a completely random gift that has little or no practical application or even any sentimental value, then you know what I mean.
The holiday season, with all its emphasis on consumption and shopping can sometimes feel like an empty exercise in crass commercialism. But gifts are an important way of expressing how we feel about others — it’s a way of showing our gratitude to and for them. And while our gift-shopping and gift-giving gyrations don’t always accurately reflect that intention, I believe that it’s still the driving force behind why most of us give gifts.
Generosity towards others is intrinsic to the heart. Giving usually starts with the people you’re closest to, but helping people you don’t know also has a very profound karmic effect too. If the whole holiday shopping thing leaves you feeling more like Mr. Scrooge or The Grinch than Santa’s little elf … take heart. It’s easy to transcend the superficial and unrewarding aspects of holiday shopping when you focus on giving conscious gifts. There are all sorts of “cool” and interesting gifts you can give that either add value to the recipients’ lives, provide a tangible benefit to a third party, offer intangible benefits for the collective good, and in some cases all three!
I’ve culled 12 of my favorite “conscious” gift ideas below –all excerpted from my new report “50 Conscious Gift Ideas for the Holidays & Beyond” (keep reading to find out how you can grab a copy of this for yourself and use it as a guide for all your gift-giving occasions). The report (and this list) are loosely organized into three categories: Health-Conscious Gifts (i.e. gifts that support people’s needs or desires to be more healthy and fit); Eco-Conscious Gifts (i.e. gifts that promote Green lifestyle choices that have a positive impact on the environment by reducing consumption and waste or conserving energy and natural resources; and Socially Conscious Gifts (gifts that support the work of a variety of organizations in promoting social and economic justice, or environmental and wildlife preservation). I guarantee you that if you choose any of the unique items from this list or the report (or similar items), it will transform the way you look at gift-giving and turn it into a win-win situation every time!
1. Meditation/Hypnosis Audios
Reading books is a great way to keep your mind sharp but so many of us find it difficult to carve out the time to do it on a consistent basis –that’s where audio books, meditation, and even subliminal audios can make a big difference in someone’s life. When it comes to success, we all have habits we’d like to change or get rid of that keep us from achieving our goals and desires –especially when it comes to health and fitness.
If you have someone on your list that is struggling to achieve a goal, then a subliminal audio or meditation that supports them in moving forward would make a great gift! Two of my favorite sources for these types of audios are: www.mindperks.com and www.brainsync.com
2. A High Quality Juicer/Blender
Having healthy tools in the kitchen makes it a lot easier to be healthy. Ever since I successfully completed the Fat Flush Plan diet, protein smoothies and juicing or blending greens have become a daily staple for me. A couple of years ago, I broke down and invested in a High Tec Blender (the same one that’s used by Jamba Juice) and I won’t lie … it was darn expensive! But it’s so easy to work with, can liquefy almost anything in seconds, and super easy to clean up afterwards. It can be used as a juicer (though it won’t filter out the pulp) AND a food processor and it’s safe to use if you want to make your own nut milks.
This is one of the best investments anyone can make to support themselves or their loved ones in adding a healthy dose of fruits and veggies to their daily routines!
VitaMix is the top of the line in this arena (and hands down the most expensive). While I know a few die-hard people who swear by their VitaMix, I have to say I’m VERY happy with my BlendTec which more than meets my needs and was about $100 less than the VitaMix!
If you don’t have the budget for this type of gift, I suggest the Magic Bullet system. This is especially great for people who travel a lot and have an even harder time getting their fresh fruit and veggie fix when they’re on the road!
3. Subscription to a CSA Farm Delivery Program
Instead of putting your money into a big basket of attractive but unhealthy goodies or one of those expensive fruit of the month type programs, you can give a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) subscription to someone who wants to eat healthy and consciously. Your giftee will receive a box of fresh, local produce delivered weekly during the growing season that also supports their (and possibly your) local family-owned farms. The cost varies depending on the type of subscription you purchase. If it’s a little too costly, consider going in on this gift with several people. Check out LocalHarvest.com to get more info about CSA’s and to locate CSA farms near you or your giftee!
4. Sore Muscle Soother (Warm Wearable Goods)
Another awesome group of products that I can’t live without! I’ve tried a lot of microwaveable herb filled neck and shoulder pillows over the years but none have held up and provided the level of comfort that WarmGoods® have.
Whether you need fast relief from aches and pains or you just want to enjoy the comfort of deep, long-lasting heat; WarmGoods® delivers it and does it in style! Premium fabrics (cotton and hemp), filling (flaxseed and organic herbs), and superior construction (channel stitching), create fluffy soft herbal wraps that can easily bend and twist to be applied or wrapped around almost any part of the body, and hold their heat for a long time.
5. Aromatherapy Handbook for Pregnant Women
Know someone who is pregnant or planning to be very soon? Give them a gift that will help them learn how to easily stay calm and sane during pregnancy and labor using essential oils in a way that naturally supports them without harming their baby. Gift them a copy of my new eBook: Aromatherapy & The Expectant Mom: A Woman’s Guide to the Best Essential Oils for a Holistic Pregnancy. Every pregnancy is different but the one thing they all have in common is that the baby’s emotional health is directly affected by the mother’s emotional state of being. That’s why aromatherapy and essential oils are a key component of any holistic pregnancy, but you need to know which oils are okay to use and which are not. My eBook teaches which essential oils you can safely use to solve the top 5 most common problems pregnant women face, and the best ways to use them with confidence for a smooth transition into motherhood.
6. Stainless Steel Water Bottles/ Commuter Mugs
Do your part to cut back on the 40 billion+ plastic water bottles of all shapes and sizes that end up in our landfills every year by switching to stainless steel bottles and making it easy for others to. Klean Kanteen was one of the first companies to produce a stainless steel water bottle. As they’ve grown, they’ve created a variety of sizes, shapes and colors to choose from. They are still my first choice when it comes to stainless steel water bottles! Find a variety of them here.
As for commuter/coffee mugs, I recently discovered the joys of a Contigo Stainless Steel Vacuum Insulated Tumbler. I tried so many different styles and brands but they all leaked and caused me a lot of trouble especially while driving in my car! I had just about given up on finding one that would work until I found this baby and now I’m never going back! You can also pick up a pair of these at Costco for slightly more than what you’d pay for one somewhere else. Or browse the collection at Amazon.
7. AA Rechargeable USB Cell Batteries or USB Charger
The gift that keeps on giving … this is a revolutionary new rechargeable battery – the USBCELL. An NiMH AA cell that can be used like a normal battery and can be recharged simply by plugging it into a USB port. With over 15 billion Alkaline batteries made and thrown away each year – wasting resources, C02 and creating toxic Landfill – USBCELL offers a eco-friendly alternative that can be re-used hundreds of times as no charge adaptor or cable is needed, saving money, hassle and waste.
Alternatively, try the Rayovac USB Battery Charger that can use any USB computer or device to charge 2 AA or AAA NiMH or NiCD batteries.
Both offer a great and relatively inexpensive companion that adds value to any battery-operated gift. Hell, they would be a great gift by themselves for anyone who uses a lot of small battery-powered gadgets!
8. Envirosax Re-usable Fashion Forward Shopping Bags
You probably don’t need to be convinced of the value of re-usable shopping bags and totes. Everywhere you go these days, practically everyone is using them and every major retailer offers them as an alternative to non-recyclable environmentally damaging plastic bags..
Envirosax takes the concept to another level with their collection of fashion-forward, graphically hip, chic bags made of lightweight polyester. They’re portable, waterproof, and lightweight (weighing in at just 1.4 oz each), These groovy bags are available individually or as a series of 5 contained within a handy pouch. With reinforced seams, each surprisingly large bag can hold a weight the equivalent of two supermarket plastic bags
9. Smart Klean Laundry Ball
I can’t say enough about this product! Another seemingly unglamorous gift item, the Smart Klean Laundry Ball works astonishingly well! I’ve been using it for about a year now and it’s made doing laundry unbelievably easy! You just toss in your load with the ball and run your washer and VOILA! You get clean, fresh-smelling clothes without the hassle of having to measure liquid or powdered soap. That alone is worth the price tag!
One ball effectively washes 365 loads of laundry without using any soap or detergents which helps to conserve water and energy. The active components inside are derived from Earth minerals and are formulated to leave zero residues behind, making them safe for you and safe for the environment. And now the manufacturers of this nifty product have added a Stain Remover to their product line. I can’t wait to check that out! Find more on the environmental benefits of using this product here.
10. Sodastream Jet Starter Kit
Enjoy the freshness and convenience of homemade soda and protect the environment at the same time! The Sodastream is a table-top unit that allows you to use regular tap or filtered water to create your own carbonated water. It’s like the 21st century version of a soda king, but instead of using a lot of small whippets (which creates a lot of waste), it uses one large (refillable) whippet that can make between 60 to 180 liters of soda water (that’s somewhere between 15 and 45 gallons of the stuff!) depending on how fizzy you like your water.
If the fact that over 40 billion plastic water bottles of all shapes and sizes end up in our landfills every year troubles you, consider how much of a mitigating impact this product could have if every household had one and used it instead of buying sparkling water in plastic bottles!
With a Sodastream, there’s no need to haul heavy bottles, store them at home or throw them away. It’s simple to clean and reuse, and comes in a variety of colors and styles, making it easy to find a soda maker to match any decor. I’d skip the flavors that come with it as they have some questionable ingredients and just add a splash of your favorite juice to your glass of sparkling water. Find a selection of models and accessories here.
11. Support the World Wild Life Fund
The world’s leading conservation organization, the World Wildlife Fund, works in 100 countries and is supported by 1.2 million members in the United States, and close to 5 million globally. WWF’s unique way of working combines global reach with a foundation in science, involves action at every level from local to global, and ensures the delivery of innovative solutions that meet the needs of both people and nature.
Make donations in on behalf of the environmentalists and other do-gooders on your list! Or shop the WWF Gift Center where you can get a Gift Adoption Card or Build Your Own Bucket, which includes an FSC certified wooden bucket filled soft plush versions of your selected animals, a 5″ x 7″ formal adoption certificate, 5″ x 7″ full-color photo, Species spotlight card, full of fascinating information, FREE first-class shipping, and a personalized acknowledgment letter to your gift recipient. A great gift for the youngsters on your list!
12. Buy an eGift Card From TOMS for Shoes or Eyewear
Tom’s unique One for One motto ensures that for every pair of their shoes purchased, they will donate a pair to a child in need. Why shoes you might ask? Because shoes are a fundamental resource for protecting children’s health and the need for them in developing countries is great. To date, Tom’s has given 2,000,000 pairs of new shoes to children in need around the world. Pretty impressive!
On top of that, every week they select one customer to follow their purchase around the world on a TOMS Giving Trip. How cool is that?
And now they’ve expanded their One for One concept to eyewear too. For every pair of glasses sold, through its partnership with the SEVA Foundation, one person in need will receive the eye care they need be it prescription glasses, sight saving surgery, or medical treatment. Shop TOMS for the holidays and support an amazing business with an exemplary business model!
For even more great conscious gift ideas download the full FREE report: 50 Conscious Gift Ideas for the Holidays & Beyond (available on our web site for a limited time)