Holiday Hot Buttons: Don’t Send the Wrong Message With Your Healthy Gift

BlogHer Original Post

It’s that time of year again--any chance you're in dire need of ideas for holiday gifts? Something healthy might be nice, especially if the recipients are your loved ones and you’d prefer them all fit, energetic and happy instead of weak, slothful and depressed.

But even with helpful suggestions and the best intentions, it's still possible to screw up and end up giving a crappy gift. So before sharing some recommendations for healthy gift ideas, here are a few thoughts about what not to do.

Bad Ideas for Healthy Holiday Gifts:

1. The Bullying Gift.  Giving a digital scale to someone you think should lose weight, or a Turbo Kick-Boxing video to someone who shows no indication they are ready to embark on an aerobic fitness regimen, or swapping out a traditional cherished pound of See’s candy for a big box of stevia-sweetened flax and prune granola bars is not a helpful way to spread the joyful habit of health and fitness. Sure, it’s great to encourage and expand someone’s healthy habits with a fun gift. But you can’t create the desire to get healthy in a resistant person by giving them something they don’t want. Serves you right if they retaliate next year with fruitcake.

2. The Self-Absorbed Gift. It’s kind of adorable when a five year old girl gives a package of Barbie stickers to Dad for Christmas because she thinks they’re so cool everyone would want them. But it’s not as cute when a 30 year old woman gives her brother a brand new pair of Nike running shoes because she loves Nike and thinks these are the cutest pair of men’s shoes ever, but he plays tennis, doesn’t run, and has said many times that he thinks Nike sucks.

3. The Unreturnable Gift. Unless you are psychic, or you are crafty and are lovingly fashioning something hand-made, there is always the chance that the recipient is going to want to exchange what you have bought them for something else—even if it’s just a different size or color. So make it easy! Buy from a store they have access to. And it's' even better if you don’t make the giftee ask you for the receipt and force them to come up with tortured explanations of how much they really, really love their present but need to take it back anyway. Scratch out or remove the price, but leave tags on, keep original packing material, enclose a gift receipt, or whatever it takes so that you can preserve the illusion that you bought the perfect gift, but they can actually sneak off and get what they want.

 

My Ideas for Awesome Healthy Holiday Gifts:

Want to know what I want for Christmas?

1. A gift certificate for a lovely massage!

2. Then maybe another massage.

3. And, let’s see… how about one more massage?

4. Heck, I could really enjoy an additional massage if you don’t mind.

5. And lastly, hmm, perhaps a massage?

Massage instruments

Well, that takes care of me!

 

Much Better Health and Fitness Gift Ideas

Fortunately, there are other health and fitness bloggers who are a little more imaginative than I am, and have put together some great healthy gift suggestions.

Mary at A Merry Life compiled 13 awesome weight loss gift ideas, including:

1. A WII FIT.  They're still not giving them away, but if you've been waiting, finally the price has dropped on these a bit.  And they're "great for keeping you active when you could just be sitting." If you don’t know what to buy with it? Mary has, in addition, compiled a helpful list of accessories and fitness bundles.

2. Pedometer or Kitchen scale, or other more modestly priced fitness gadget.  Mary has several good brands to recommend.

3. Books and Magazines: These can include healthy cookbooks, self-help titles, and fitness magazines--Mary has some great suggestions and links. She also reminds us to support our favorite bloggers by buying their books!  For example, there's Half-Assed: A Weight-Loss Memoir or The Amazing Adventures of Dietgirl.

Lisa at Living With Your Heart  has come up with 9 more healthy gift ideas, including:

4.  A “Fitbit.”  This is apparently an extra-fancy pedometer that puts all your information onto your computer or iPhone. Cool!

5. Trail Guides. A great way to encourage hiking!  Especially if you also spring for...

6. A hand-held GPS, or, (and much cheaper), a geocaching app for the iPhone.

Over at Fitness a Journey, not a Destination, Karen offers up her own Christmas Wish-list, which includes:

7. A heart rate monitor to help her track her exertion during cardio, and

8. A medicine ball, which can apparently be used to make already unpleasant exercises like side lunges even more tortuous.

Still want more? Well Laurie at Quips and Tips has 5 additional healthy gift suggestions, like:

9. A few sessions with a life coach, clutter consultant, or energy healer.  (Hmm, I don't know that my energy is broken, but I could sure use one of those first two!) Or,

10. A monthly delivery of a bottle of red wine.  Because in moderation, red wine is good for you!

Be sure to check out the rest of their suggestions; all these gals have lots more information and ideas, and links on where to buy as well.

And hey, got any healthy gift suggestions? Have you blogged about great gift ideas yourself? Let me know; I still have quite a bit of Christmas shopping left to do!

(Note: Crabby McSlacker can generally be found over at the irreverent health blog, Cranky Fitness, along with her fearless cobloggers Jo and Gigi. You can also now follow her on Twitter, though she still hasn't quite figured out what it's for).

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