It can be difficult to find the right gift for friends and family — especially ones that can support and promote various health journeys. Whatever your budget, you can find meaningful and special gifts that are sure to brighten the lives of those you care about.
Gifts under $10
- Green tea. Although it comes in small packages, green tea is one of the healthiest drinks out there. It's been linked to lowering the risk of cancer and heart disease and has also been associated with improved brain function. It makes the perfect stocking stuffer when paired with a fun mug.
- Small plants. Plants are beautiful and depending on the type, can be extremely affordable. Not only can they liven up a space, they can also purify your air and promote a healthier mindset.
- Homemade heat pads. If you have excess fabric stashed somewhere, or a clean sock that's missing its twin, this is the perfect DIY. Heat pads are easy to make and are great for soothing cramps, muscle aches and pains. Try incorporating lavender seeds in with rice to add some aromatherapy. Tutorials are easily available online.
- Mini hand sanitizers. Easy and helpful, mini hand sanitizers are sure to be used by anyone you give them to.
- Facial sheet masks. Sheet masks are relaxing, soothing and a great way to provide some self-pampering. Hundreds of options can be found online or lining the shelves at most beauty stores.
- Lip Balm. Easy and useful for anyone in your life — especially since they come in so many varieties — lip balm makes a great stocking stuffer.
- Exercise socks. These kinds of socks are different from others because they can keep your feet dry as you sweat and help protect against infection. Perfect for gym-goers, runners, walkers and anyone who wants to get out and move.
Gifts under $25
- Aromatherapy candle. Aromatherapy can improve sleep quality, reduce stress and help with decongestion. Consider a small aromatherapy candle to bring some of these health benefits to your friends and family.
- Books. Reading is great for the mind and body. Find a fun one for the bookworm in your life, or give one of your favorite books to someone who may be looking to get back into reading.
- Plant mister. If you have plant people in your life, plant misters are simple, fun ways to let them know you care — they're great for adding a little extra moisture (while avoiding over-watering) to plants and home.
- Water bottles. It can't be said enough: most people don't drink as much water as they should. Versatile with unlimited personalization options available, this can be a great gift. It's also a great container to put some smaller things inside, such as green tea packets, face masks, or little treats.
- Wellness journal. Keep track of your fitness journey, physical and mental health and more with a nice journal. They're versatile and can be used for a number of things.
- Multivitamins. Although this may seem simple, during the holiday season and cooler months we could all use a little more vitamin D in addition to other vitamins!
Gifts under $50
- Skincare kit. Most drugstores carry mini skincare items that you can use to put together a skincare kit or bag. Consider adding a cleanser, toner, serum or face mask, moisturizer and sunscreen — an all-in-one gift that's great for anyone in your life that appreciates healthy skin.
- Yoga mat. If you have a yogi in your life, think about gifting them with a new yoga mat in their favorite color.
- House slippers. There's no doubt that wearing shoes are important to your health. House slippers are comfortable and can provide support and protection.
- Workout bag. Workout bags can carry shoes, workout accessories and clothing and make someone's journey to the gym or a workout class easier.
- Cookbook. There are so many cookbooks available, from basic techniques to advanced and gourmet preparations. Find one that promotes healthy, balanced eating.
- Lunch bag. From bento boxes to stylish lunch bags, bringing food from home is typically the healthier option. Find one that's fun and colorful.
Gifts $50 plus
- Sunlight lamp. Cooler months can bring seasonal blues. Sunlight lamps are great to counteract that and bring more "sunlight" into a person's life.
- Workout clothes. Who doesn't love some new clothes? Especially new workout sets and exercise gear.
- Mini skincare refrigerator. If you have someone in your life who loves all things skincare, this is a perfect gift. These mini refrigerators keep skincare products chilled, often an important aspect to skincare routines (i.e. minimizing eye puffiness first thing in the morning).
- Running vest. If you have friends or family members getting into running or walking, you might consider gifting them with a running vest. It's great for holding water bottles, phones, gels and other exercise accessories. They also often provide an extra layer of safety by including reflective stripes.
- Massage device. Handheld massaging devices can be used in a variety of ways; sore muscles, back pain from poor sleep, shin splints and more.
- Water backpack. Water backpacks are great for hikers, runners and walkers. It can make it easier to stay hydrated without having to lug around heavy items.
Gifts to Splurge On
- Air purifier. Constantly leaving and returning home or using a heater or air conditioner can bring dust and other allergens into your house. Air purifiers are a great way to alleviate that and give you cleaner, healthier air.
- Juicer. Fresh juice is a great way to get your fruit and vegetable (and all those nutrients) intake for the day. Not to mention that it's tasty and easy.
- Weighted blankets. Weighted blankets can provide comfort and better sleep quality to those who may suffer from insomnia, anxiety and increased stress. It's the perfect gift for anyone who might be in need of a better night's sleep.
- Humidifier. California's dry climate can cause irritation and intensify allergies, but humidifiers can add moisture to the air and treat dryness that may be affecting the respiratory system.
- Fitness watch. Though there are more affordable options, if you want an all-in-one health tracker, consider splurging on a nice wearable watch and band.
All of these gift suggestions range in price, but at the end of the day, gift giving isn't necessarily about how much you spent, but about the thought you put behind the gift. If you have kids or grandchildren however, gift-giving can be more of a challenge. And with thousands of toys to choose from, how do you know which ones may be safe for use?
In 2020 there were over 198,000 injuries (including some deaths) as a result of toy-related incidents. The United States Consumer Product Safety Commission frequently updates their website with toy safety alerts, fact-sheets and data pertaining to child injuries. Keep your friends and family safe by following these guidelines:
- Avoid anything that might be a choking hazard. Purchase only toddler-approved toys to avoid items that contain small pieces. You can also do an at-home, small-pieces test by trying to push the toy through the core of a toilet paper roll. If the toy can fit, it's too small. Follow toy age recommendations.
- Inspect toys before gifting them. Take a close look at the toys you're considering as gifts before purchasing or giving. Avoid toys that come with ropes, cords, sharp edges, heating elements, lead, or easily breakable pieces. Make sure to only purchase crayons, paint or markers that have a "nontoxic" label.
- Teach road safety and be present. To prevent injuries caused by vehicles, do not let your children play on roads and teach them to look and listen for cars. Have your child wear a helmet if riding a moving toy, and don't let them ride outside after dark. Be present and make sure to be within sight and sound if your child is playing outside.
- Include protective equipment. Remember to include pads, helmets, gloves, and other protective equipment if you purchase sports-related toys for your child.
- Stay up to date on toy recalls. The CPSC frequently updates a list of toy recalls. Keep an eye on potentially harmful products to avoid.
Purchasing gifts for friends and family speaks volumes, so don't worry if you can't splurge on certain items. Have a very happy holiday and keep your family safe, informed and happy by staying toy-safety conscious.
This article first appeared in the December 2021 edition of the HealthPerks newsletter.