Do you hate buying a random present that you fear will be unused, unwanted and unappreciated?
We have all had those moments — looking over the holiday shopping list and seeing that one name (only one, if you are lucky) that you have not tackled since you can’t dream up anything to buy. Or you are in a gifting rut, where you have been giving the same type of present for several years running.
How about a gift that is practical, appreciated, will be used and genuinely shows you care? How about some healthy gift ideas?
HAVE A BALL
Physical activity provides many opportunities for gifts for a variety of prices. The gift could be anything from new swim goggles or ski socks to a season’s pass or gym membership.
If your loved one does not have a routine that you can turn to for gift ideas, would he or she enjoy a day pass to a gym, ski slope or pool as a way to break up the winter weekends?
For children, there are endless opportunities, from sleds and other outdoor play equipment to the classic, yet simple, ball.
The ball (bouncy, soccer, basketball, etc.) may not be the gift they will shriek over Christmas morning, but it is sure to be enjoyed long after the electronics are old news.
Nutrition-related gifts tend to be easier because everyone eats. A trendy water bottle or gift card to a grocery store would be appreciated by nearly anyone.
Kitchen tools, like peelers, apple corers, cutting boards or steamers, are inexpensive and make eating more fruits and vegetables more attainable.
MAKE A MEAL
You can also make gift baskets using combinations of purchased and homemade items as gifts. A healthy breakfast basket could include a homemade whole-grain pancake mix with dried berries, a bottle of maple syrup and a potholder. There are many ideas online for mixes you can assemble yourself as a gift, which are easy to dress up with a few complementary items.
Another idea is to actually prepare meals for someone. This is a quintessential way to show you care. You can simply make a “gift card” stating that you will prepare them a meal as part of their gift. If they are not likely to cash in the gift, try setting up a date or series of dates, like “I invite you to dinner on the first Thursday of every month for a healthy homemade meal.”
Though you may think this seems “cheap,” at the time, the work put into preparing food for your loved one and the memories formed in sharing the meals are priceless in comparison to many gifts.
Many wellness-related gifts will be a hit anytime of the year, but be careful what you are choosing and for whom. A treadmill can be like a vacuum cleaner — really practical, but unless your loved one explicitly stated that he or she would love to get a new one, do not expect the other person to be beaming upon unwrapping a purely practical present.
If you feel like you are going out on a limb getting good sneakers for someone who has expressed an interest in starting a walking routine, consider buying two pairs and offering to start a new routine with them. Then the gift of sneakers sends a message that sounds more like “I really enjoy your company and want to spend a lot of time together” versus “I think you should exercise more.”
Jordy Kivett is a nutrition educator at Cornell Cooperative Extension in Clinton County. For more information, contact her at 561-7450.