Simplify the Holidays with These Favorite Gift Ideas from NYC Personal Trainer and Dietitian

What do you give someone who has everything? There are only so many bottles of creams or cute mugs a person can have. And, honestly, so many of the things we give end up cluttering cupboards and, eventually, being handed down to someone else. I’m not Grinching here. I’m being real. So, I’ve decided to give a list of the best of the best – the best gifts for everyone on your list (from teachers and coaches to your mother-in-law to grandmother to your kids and neighbors). This year, for the holidays, give health. Here are 5 unique holiday gift ideas for everyone on your list!

  1. Give time: Give oodles and oodles of time. Don’t underestimate the power of carving out time to spend an afternoon with a child, with your husband, with a friend. Make homemade cards together. Friends of mine have an aunt that, each Christmas, invites each niece to ice cream and Christmas shopping. This has become tradition, and an afternoon with Aunt Gloria has become a favorite Christmas gift.
  2. beijingGive traditions: Share a favorite holiday recipe with your children. Have them make it for their teachers. Tell stories about growing up. Share old family photos. Start a new tradition, like having the family join a jingle jog. Go caroling. Get your kids involved in collecting toys or clothing for a local shelter. Giving traditions is the best way to create a lifetime of memories.
  3. Grow it! You don’t need a huge garden to enjoy the beauty of plants and herbs. There are fun seed subscription clubs for beginner to advanced gardeners. Or, head to your local gardening store to pick out some seeds and pots. These are great gifts for teachers, coaches, and the people involved in your or your children’s lives.
  4. ice-skatingGive activity: This is for everyone! Dance classes, a scuba course, or golf lessons – giving the gift of activity is a great way to not only give health but also time!! Whether you sign a child up for dance class, yoga, or spring league baseball, giving activities and the habit of sports is a gift of a lifetime. Kids that grow up being active are often adults that continue to be active. Basically, developing an activity mentality with kids is giving health.
  5. Give experiences: Instead of exchanging gifts, go somewhere … as a family. Get a CityPass for the family, and become tourists in your own town. Go to the movies. Download the NYC Public Library schedule, and get involved! Explore a nearby hiking trail. Visit the ocean. Climb a mountain. Go to the zoo. Explore a different neighborhood. Go away for a weekend. Go to a baseball game. Go paragliding or scuba diving. Go on a brewery tour or wine walk. There are so many unique things to give for the holidays that can fit every budget.

The holidays don’t have to be a glut of wrapping paper and time-sucks standing in line at the mall. The holidays are the perfect time of year to enjoy one another’s company and create new experiences outside of the consumerism vacuum. I wish everyone a happy holiday and New Year filled with promise, health, laughter and love. We’ll see you in 2018!