We’re in the final stretch of the Christmas gift-buying season, which is especially scary for me since I only started shopping yesterday. Thank goodness Dennis has been keeping on top of certain shopping requirements for the family.
If you’re still searching for last-minute gifts for folks on your list, here are a few suggestions…
For the health nut:
My absolute favorite book related to overall health and wellness — think body, mind, spirit — is Kris Carr’s Crazy Sexy Diet. It’s got a heavy, activist vegan slant, so don’t give this to the carnivore in your life, but I love it even though I’m vegetarian but not vegan. Anyway, I digress. At this time of year, when people are thinking about ways to improve in 2013, this is a fun and inspiring book for jumpstarting your wellness plan. She also has a brand new cookbook, Crazy Sexy Kitchen, which includes an abbreviated course in wellness plus 150 recipes based on that plan.
Does that special someone in your life like to juice? If so, get them the granddaddy of juicers (at least in my book), the Breville Juice Fountain. Having gone from a low-end juicer to this one, I can tell you it is so worth the investment. Juices in a fraction of the time, makes way more juice because it’s so strong, and just better all around. This one’s going to be for someone special because it’s gonna cost you a good chunk of change. If you don’t have time to get it shipped from Amazon, go to a brick-and-mortar Bed, Bath & Beyond, and don’t forget your 20 percent off coupon!
A nice, thick yoga mat. I’m not talking about the mats you find in Walmart. Those may look pretty, with palm trees and lotus flowers imprinted on them, but they’re like doing yoga on a paper towel — at least if you’re practicing on a wood floor. My extra thick yoga mat, purchased a Kripalu satellite shop (which, unfortunately, no longer exists here in the Albany region) is going on 13 years old and is as good as new. Okay, it has suffered minor damage in one area thanks to the cats deciding it was a scratching post. Check online for thick mats or even at places like Marshalls or Tuesday Morning, where you can sometimes find top-of-the-line mats for less money than those cheaper Walmart or Target versions.
For the spiritual seeker:
Any sort of meditative music. Whether you want to go for Gregorian chant, nature sounds, instrumentals, or something else, some nice soothing music can be perfect for calming the mind during work, prayer, yoga, cleaning the house, a morning walk, driving in rush hour, or just about anything else. I will often listen to this kind of music as I write or as I drive to pre-dawn yoga. My favorite CD right now is Advent in Ephesus. Yes, Advent is almost over, but that shouldn’t matter. This CD is so beautiful for any time of year. I’ve got it loaded upstairs and downstairs and I’ve got the actual CD in the car. Chanting everywhere I go. At least when I’m alone. No one else in my family can take that much chant. Or any chant.
Incense, candles, or, my personal favorite, battery-powered candles (the kind with the built-in timer is especially nice.) If you’re going to go for a battery candle, buy one made by Candle Impressions. Everyone will thank you. They look real, smell real, and the battery life is amazing. I’ve had one for years and it’s using the original batteries. I’ve even left it on overnight by mistake (This is why I use battery candles!) and it didn’t kill the batteries.
A book of daily reflections or a subscription to Give Us This Day. Or both. For the past few months I’ve been using Peace in Our Hearts, Peace in the World. It’s an interfaith kind of book. Some days you’ll get Mother Teresa or St. Francis. Other days you’ll get the Dalai Lama or Buddha. So if that’s not your thing, consider something like an annual subscription to Give Us This Day (I recently got myself a two-year subscription). You’ll get the daily readings, a daily reflection, daily saint stories, Morning Prayer, Evening Prayer, and Night Prayer in abbreviated form, and more. If you sign up, you’ll find a reflection from yours truly in there come next December. That alone is worth the price of the subscription. Not really, but I just wanted to say that.
For the foodie:
So many choices in this department. I love anything related to cooking and serving — nice bamboo spoons and spatulas, good oven mitts, pretty pottery dishes that can go from oven to table. I just sent an awesome Italian-made pottery piece in for Dennis’ office gift swap. I’m kind of hoping he comes back home with it (they do one of those nasty swaps where you can steal other people’s gifts.) It’s a beautiful red pottery casserole-type bowl that can be used in the oven, in the microwave, and on a gas stove (which I don’t have). Got it at Marshalls for a song.
I love any cookbook by Mark Bittman. I have How to Cook Everything Vegetarian and The Food Matters Cookbook. Both are great.
Gourmet ingredients: pink Himalayan salt, for example, which can also be found at Marshalls, by the way. (I guess you can tell where I do most of my shopping.) Or gourmet oils or vinegars, special spice blends, good coffee and tea. All of those things are always appreciated by anyone who loves to cook. Or eat.
If you head over to The Catholic Foodie, you’ll find more ideas in this department. Like the pizza baking steel. I’ve never tried this, so I can’t vouch for it, but Jeff swears by it. Check it out HERE.
For the techie:
Dennis should really be writing this part because what do I know about techie stuff? I’ll just throw out some general suggestions. One of those fairly inexpensive gizmos (technical term) to transfer home movies from your video recorder to your home computer. Our kids love watching movies of themselves.
Which leads to our next gift idea: Apple TV. Sounds expensive, but it’s about $100 and will allow you to stream movies, slide shows, photos and more from your iMac or MacBook or whatever Mac thing you use to your HDTV.
How about one of those fold-out keyboards for the iPad. I know as a blogger I won’t take the iPad when I’m traveling because I can’t write without a real keyboard. I bet there are lots of other accessories your tech-loving family member or friend would love to have.
Okay, I need to stop writing and start shopping or my family is going to wonder why I was sitting here giving you gift ideas when I should have been out getting some actual gifts. If I come up with any other great ideas, I’ll share them here. I hope you’ll do the same in the comment section. Happy hunting!