When my sister and I were young, we used to exchange money for Christmas. I would give her $5, and she would give me $5 right back. When we hit high school, we transitioned over to buying each other the same clothes (in different colors of course). As adults we now send each other gift cards to each other’s favorite restaurants. How’s that for some originality? As boring as this might be, our predictable gifting tradition ensures that we will give and receive something we actually want.
Something I don’t want to give or receive during the holiday season? Sweets. I know that homemade treats are very thoughtful gifts that take time and effort to make, but you will not receive them from me! Call me a Grinch, but there are enough opportunities during the festive season to eat candy, cakes, and pies to last a lifetime, and I don’t need to add to the excess. It’s hard enough as it is to stick to my own healthy eating plan from November through the end of the year – I don’t want to be responsible for derailing someone else’s diet too.
So what gifts can you give to your friends and family that aren’t candy or sweets? So glad you asked! If you still absolutely must give food in
some form, how about:
- Restaurant gift cards – Find out your friend’s favorite place to dine and treat them to an evening out.
- Cooking classes for two – They can invite a friend or partner to share the experience.
- Infused olive oil – This is super easy to make at home.
- Artisan popcorn or other savory treats. Make them healthier by making them yourself.
- Grocery store gift cards – Places like Whole Foods and local co-ops can be expensive, and shopping there might be a real treat for a friend.
There are plenty of gifts you can give that have nothing to do with food. Perhaps your friend or family member is a fitness fanatic. I’m sure they would enjoy receiving:
- Yoga, swimming, Pilates, or other fitness class passes
- A round of golf on a nice course
- Gear for their respective sport – bike lights, running socks (you can never have enough), hiking shirts, cold weather gear, etc.
- A season pass for skiing or snowboarding
Maybe your friend has another hobby to which they dedicate much of their time. Consider one of the following:
- Crafting supplies for your friends that knit, garden, sew, paint, etc.
- Tickets to a concert, play, sporting event, or the movies
- Books or music
- Annual pass to their favorite museum or nearby national park
- A gift for their pet
I’m sure we all have that token friend that needs to relax more. They might enjoy:
- Candles, scented bath soaps and lotions
- Book a massage or acupuncture session
- Nice plants for their house
- Clean their house or run errands for them for half a day
Once you start to think outside the box, you begin to realize the options are endless. Last year my favorite gift was a wall calendar from a good friend. Each month contained a collage of pictures from the same month of the previous year. It was thoughtful, personal, useful, and it contained not one single sugary calorie.
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