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Goodness Gracious Gifts

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Goodness Gracious Gifts

I always find it difficult to think of the right gift for people, but as life goes on and friends give gifts that truly please me, I think Iâ??m beginning to get the hang of matching the gift to the person. The secret to making an inspired choice.

I always find it difficult to think of the right gift for people, but as life goes on and friends give gifts that truly please me, I think I’m beginning to get the hang of matching the gift to the person. The secret to making an inspired choice: I take a moment to think about what has changed recently in the life of the person I’d like to remember with a gift. During a phone call or email exchange, I try to figure out what’s important for them right now: Have they begun a new relationship or ended a significant one? What are they doing that’s new and might inspire a gift idea? Taking the time to find out what’s happening in the lives of the people on your gift list will make your shopping a lot easier. This article may help, too. I’ve listed the things that I hope will really suit some of the people I plan to celebrate with a gift this season. Their gifts are all based on stages in their lives: my teenage daughter who has decided to eat vegetarian; my new nephew-by-marriage who is also a new parent; my sister who lost her husband this summer and now lives alone; and my wonderful spouse and lover. All of these gift ideas are based on ways to improve their health, because after all, the greatest gift is one that treasures good health. For a New Dad In the daze after baby comes home, every new dad needs a bit of reassurance that, despite the chaos at home, the world still revolves around him. I plan to pamper my new nephew Jeff with men’s all-natural hair and skin care products made with pure botanicals. When his baby snuggles with him, she will smell the scent of plant extracts of rose, quince, and almond, not chemical perfumes and additives–better for him and better for baby. Natural sun care products are also a good choice to keep this commercial fisherman’s skin baby soft; those made with esculin from horse chestnut bark extract and gamma oryzanol from rice bran oil offer natural sun protection. To help keep Jeff’s hands in shape at home, I might toss in a tube of organic diaper relief ointment that contains aloe vera and vitamin E to soothe and comfort, yet is hypoallergenic and fragrance-free. If I want to plump up the gift a bit, I might ask several family members to chip in to buy him a bathrobe made from 100-percent organic cotton terry, organic cotton and hemp terry, or organic cotton and organic flax linen terry. Organic cotton, hemp, and flax linen are grown without the heavy chemical and pesticide use that conventionally grown cotton demands and are processed using cleaner, biologically based enzyme techniques to produce fabric with the same softness and whiteness of regular cotton. And because she’s so cute, I may include an organic cotton baby blanket or baby clothes to pamper Jeff’s new baby’s skin. The organic cotton products will protect from exposure to pesticides, many of which the US Environmental Protection Agency identified in 2002 as “likely,” “probable,” or “known” human carcinogens. Dangerous! For Someone Who Lives Alone When Sue’s husband died suddenly this summer, my highly independent younger sister woke one morning to realize that she was alone for the first time in 26 years. This holiday season I’d like to celebrate her solitude by showering her with gifts that create serenity and healing peace at home. A natural rock-crystal waterfall, meditative CDs, aromatherapy oils, and a room diffuser are all on her gift list. Something else that might make Sue’s home a refuge after a day standing at her new job is a massaging foot bath. We know from the principles of reflexology that our feet are conduits of the body’s energy, and a foot bath with massaging rollers concentrates intense pressure on the soles of tired, aching feet. This gift will bring the wellness spa home for Sue, especially when it comes with a bottle of foot soak made with the invigorating essential oils of peppermint, spearmint, and lemongrass. Delightful! For the Teenage Vegetarian My teenage daughter Kate has been vegetarian for almost two years now, and to celebrate her contribution to a smaller eco footprint, I plan to fill her stocking with animal-cruelty-free body stuff like fresh, handmade, natural cosmetics. I will look for moisturizers, soaps, and cremes that are as pure, natural, and fresh as possible. Most vegetarians like Kate appreciate gifts that recognize their decision to avoid all animal products, including leather, fur, and animal hair. My bet is that she will appreciate makeup brushes made with be-kind-to-animal bristles and handles handmade from ecologically harvested domestic wood. A more substantial gift could be one of the fashion-forward vegan handbags, wallets, and accessories that hip teenagers know and love. Faux-leather is all right with this crowd, so I will find Kate something stylish and colourful that respects her values, maybe a roomy shoulder bag or a case for her ever-present personal music player. She and other veggies will also appreciate a selection of unbelievably delicious raw energy meal replacement bars and vegetarian snacks, such as fair trade organic chocolate, flavoured soy nuts, light and crisp organic chocolate wafers, graham crackers made without honey but with ancient grains like kamut, quinoa, millet, or spelt, and organic walnut, pecan, or macadamia nut butters. Delicious! For Your Significant Other My husband Andy deserves plenty of treats this season, and one special gift for him will be natural products that send a tingle of anticipation down his spine. A bath to share could begin a wonderfully quiet night in, especially if it is perfumed with a bath bomb made with the come-hither fragrance of jasmine and ylang ylang. Follow that with luxury dusting powder to make skin feel smooth as silk. Then an aromatic blend of aphrodisiac essential oils like clary sage, sandalwood, and patchouli in almond massage oil will get things going. Once down to business, traditional lubricants with their petroleum- and silicone-based formulas just will not do. Much better are water-soluble personal lubricants made with aloe vera gel combined with soothing camomile. The lube in his Christmas basket will be loaded with damiana, Siberian ginseng, and guarana. Daring! I’m looking forward to the holidays already, and with my gift list begun, it’s now just a matter of shopping at the health food store to find gifts that contribute to the good health of family and friends. The point is to give products that do not interfere with the body’s natural processes, either in their use or by damaging the environment during manufacture. Why not pursue a few of these natural health gift ideas to present your loved ones with the gift of good health?

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