Holiday gifting can be a thrill when we know we’ve landed a gift that they’ll really love. But it can be a challenge to find that special item, especially for those who don’t love the idea of simply getting more stuff.
Gifts that support our whole-body wellness – our physical, mental and spiritual wellbeing – are gifts that truly keep on giving. And it’s even better when the gift is sustainable or locally sourced, giving back to the planet and our community, as well.
The bottom line: A well-planned holiday gift can be a thoughtful way to help enhance the health, wellness and balance in the lives of our friends and family – and a special way to say we care.
Here are 14 wellness-centered gift ideas to get you started.
How about an espresso maker to brew coffee like the Italians? The iconic Moka is a stove-top coffee maker, invented in the 1930s by Italian engineer Alfonso Bialetti (hence the Bialetti Moka, a standard found throughout Italy). Fill the octagonal base with water, add finely ground espresso beans and heat. In addition to creating a magnificent cup of espresso, there’s zero waste, and the Moka is designed to last for decades. $40.
The Zojirushi travel mug keeps liquids hot for hours – even after hours in the freezer. Available in 12, 16 or 20 ounce brushed stainless steel in a variety of colors, Zojirushi’s lock system also prevents spills and leaks. Satisfying hot sipping when we’re on-the-go. $24 and up.
Books to nourish body and mind
Books for the home chef, baker or mixologist, gift a recipe book paired with ingredients for one of the dishes or drinks. A few of our favorites include "The Ultimate Guide to Keto Baking by Carolyn Ketchum," a brilliant baker well-versed in plant-based sweeteners and gluten-free flours. Also (our books!) "Craft: The Eat Fit Guide to Zero Proof Cocktails" and "The Eat Fit Cookbook" (Molly’s note: I don’t make any money from the Eat Fit book collection; all proceeds benefit the Ochsner Eat Fit nonprofit community initiative). $22-$35.
Books to help us slow down and prioritize: Currently on my nightstand: "Essentialism" by Greg McKeown and "Stillness is the Key" by Ryan Holiday, two books that serve as inspiration and how-to guides to help us focus more on what really matters. $25-27.
For journaling, Scriptura offers an array of gorgeous handmade leather journals ($60 and up); Lionheart Prints has a variety of whimsical notebook-style journals ($18 and up) that can provide the inspiration to capture thoughts from the day, moments of gratitude, and goals and visions for the future.
Raw Chocolate by Fine & Raw Chocolate is 100% organic chocolate made from unroasted cocoa beans with no soy, dairy or gluten. The ingredients are strikingly simple; the flavors are innovative, ranging from Habanero Salt to Ginger Chocolate to Cashew Butter Chocolate. Available locally at Earthsavers, $9.25.
Triple Chocolate Peppermint Biscotti? Yes, please! Especially the low-carb (and naturally gluten-free) recipe by baking mastermind Carolyn Ketchum (see: "The Ultimate Guide to Keto Baking," above). Added bonus: They freeze well, so can be made well in advance for holiday parties and gifting. Find the recipe – along with Carolyn’s detailed explanations and teaching moments – at AllDayIDreamAboutFood.com – just type ‘peppermint biscotti’ in the recipe search feature.
The gift of green
Windowsill herb gardens can work in almost any kitchen size or space. Create your own or gift this mason jar herb kit by Modern Sprout that come equipped with everything you’ll need to start growing – the perfect solution for those with little time and/or green thumb. These vintage-inspired jars use a self-watering system that brings water and nutrients to the herb’s roots, so there’s no guesswork on how much or how often to water. $24.
Support your local farmers market and inspire culinary creativity with a gift certificate to the local farmers market (or wooden tokens for our local Crescent City Farmers Market).
The Acupressure set by Prosource Fit looks like a small mat and pillow – that also happen to be covered with tiny spikes. Don’t worry – they don’t pierce the skin; instead, they provide the relaxation and energizing benefits of acupressure (the mat has more than 8900 pressure points; the pillow has nearly 1800). The mat can be used lying down or sitting up; the pillow can serve as acupressure for the neck or feet. $29.99
TriggerPoint rollers take foam rollers to the next level, helping to release muscle pain and tightness and increase circulation. The dense 3D surface is designed to replicate the feeling of a massage therapist’s hands, a welcome gift to athlete and non-athletes alike. $35 and up.
Relaxation and de-stressing
Essential Oil Candles uplift and add balance. With scents ranging from delicate and light to intense and full-bodied, there’s an essential oil candle for everyone. Available locally at stores like Home Malone and Earthsavers. $19.50-$70.
Aromatherapy oils can help us relax and unwind. Some energize, and others, like lavender, are backed by science showing that they can help us fall asleep and even reduce our perception of pain.
Gift essential oils along with a diffuser to effectively and effortlessly scent your space. Earthsavers offers the Aromatherapy Associates Atomizer that’s elegantly beautiful, cordless and waterless. Oils start around $10; Atomizer is $171.95.
New Orleans Tea Company is a woman-owned tea company with an array organic and fairtrade certified teas. Available through their website and sold locally at Bottom of the Cup, their French Quarter tearoom established by the owner’s grandparents in the 1920s as one of the first tea rooms in the US.
In addition to the familiar green, black, white and rooibos teas, New Orleans Tea Company has a collection of Wellness Teas, including Jet Lag Herbal Tea, Balance Wellness Tea, and Cleanse and Refresh Herbal Tea. $7.98 for 8 two-cup pyramid tea bags.