What I love most about the holidays is the experiences we create around family traditions and new traditions with friends. So I’ve put together a holiday gift guide that offers ideas for experiences and ways to make experiences sweeter and/or easier for you and others.
Health And Fitness
My SPIbelt is my favorite thing that I take running with me. I own three in differing colors to match my running clothes and because sometimes I need two during a race. I can fit my phone, headphones, and fuel like GU in one. I usually bring a second one if I don’t have a pocket for my inhaler or I want to have extra fuel for a long run. They’re so comfy, cute, and useful.
These are my absolute favorite running fuel. They’re organic, sweetened with honey, and I never get sick of eating the Pomegranate Passion ones. If you know a long distance runner, they’ll thank you for sending them some of these to enjoy. Promise.
Give the gift of superfoods disguised as milkshakes by sending a friend a sample pack of Shakeology. It’s packed with nutrients that get your day started right. There are greens, berries, tea, roots, and more but you can’t tell because they’re flavored like chocolate, vanilla, strawberry, and more.
I’ll admit it, I didn’t use packing cubes until I got a set at Bloghouse earlier this year. But now I’m a total convert. My stuff has never been more compact and organized. This is the exact set I have and I adore them. Buy them and your backpacks and suitcases will never look the same again.
This is another product that I discovered thanks to Bloghouse. I love the sport mesh underwear. It’s so comfortable and it dries really quickly so if you’re in a situation where you don’t have a dryer you can still have clean underwear with minimal effort. And that’s important.
I bought one of these in 2008 and I still have the same one. It’s been beat up, dragged around, dropped in the mud, left on the beach, covered in snow, and just all around through the mill. And it still looks almost as good as the day I bought it. It folds up super tiny in the bottom of my other bag, but it’s also big enough that I can pack for 2 nights in just that bag if I do it carefully. I love it. If this one ever meets its maker I’ll be getting another one immediately.
Rent a room in your own town or rent a luxury apartment in Bali. It doesn’t really matter where as long as you are going to spend some quality time with whoever you give this getaway to or you’re covering the costs of giving someone a much needed getaway of their own. Getting out of your element even for just a weekend in a different part of your own city is so refreshing and eye-opening. So check out Airbnb and give the gift of a little something different.
Read a book together
If you and your friends love to read, pick out a book you’ll all like, purchase several copies, and read it all together. Even if you don’t live near each other you can still do this. In fact, it might be even better if you don’t live nearby because it’s a great way to keep in touch. Here are some books I read this year:
For your best running buddy, don’t buy a gift. Give her a card with a promise to pick out and run a race together in 2016. Then go ahead and choose and start planning for that race. You’ll get to look forward to it and train for it together for the weeks or months beforehand and then have the fun of running the race together as well.
If you don’t want to run, but you do want to give yourself and a friend or friends the gift of health this year, choose a workout program to do with them. If you click the link above, you’ll find yourself on my Beachbody coach page where you can browse a variety of workouts you can do from home or your friend’s home or the gym or anywhere you have a DVD player or WiFi.
I know #GivingTuesday is over, but it’s still a touching gift to make a charitable donation, especially if you have a cause with special meaning for you. Here are my three favorites.
I know way too many people whose lives have been derailed for Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. The organization doing the most work to find a cure and improve treatments is CCFA. I donate to them regularly and have run half marathons to benefit CCFA through their Team Challenge program. Check out their website and see if it makes sense for you to donate to this charity.
You can even donate directly to my friends running one of the Pittsburgh Marathon Races (some are running the half or the 5k). All the money will still go to CCFA and you’ll give my friends a great boost of motivation for the race.
Alzheimer’s Disease is another illness that is near and dear to my heart. This year, I lost one of my grandmother’s to the disease. My other grandmother is still living with it. The dementia and Alzheimer’s epidemic is only expected to worsen in the future, which is why we need to find treatments and ultimately a cure for this awful disease.
City of Asylum is a non-profit in Pittsburgh that provides sanctuary to endangered literary writers from around the world. They also host writers, artists, and musicians for residencies and events throughout the year. City of Asylum is in a huge growth phase right now and deserves every bit of support we can give.
Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. If you shop through these links, I’ll get a small commission at no extra cost to you.