When it comes to holiday gift giving, the “most wonderful time of the year” can easily turn into the most stressful time of the year. We (myself included!) spend endless hours googling gift ideas so that we make sure we find the perfect gift for every person on our list. I figured I might help out my readers by putting together a list of some of my favorite gifts bought and received over the past couple of years. Some are for runners/athletes but many can be for anyone!
I feel very strongly about – how should I put this? – not giving lame impractical gifts. Not to sound unappreciative or anything but let me just give you a quick anecdote. Every year my family puts together a “secret santa” exchange. And I really work hard to come up with the perfect gift for my assigned recipient. But for some reason for the past 4 years (yes 4!) I received something coffee related. Now I do love my coffee but this is ridiculous. The first year I received Cold Brew Coffee and some coffee beans. Year 2 – straight up coffee beans (yeah this one sucked!) Year 3 – A to-go coffee mug (Yup! Not even a funny saying on it or anything!). Year 4- You guessed it coffee beans AND a cup! Needless to say, I have lost all excitement hope or expectation for any kind of thrilling gift. Don’t do this to your loved ones!
Below are some less conventional (read: boring!!) ideas to help you find that perfect gift!
Keep in mind no companies are paying me or asking me to endorse their products. I am simply sharing some of my favorite things. Makes me feel kinda like Oprah sharing her favorite things… (as if!)
1. Zeal Optic Sunglasses–I have always had a hard time finding glasses that I can wear running but also on a daily basis. I love these glasses because they are super light and cool looking. I get compliments throughout my day wherever I am. Right now I have the Carson model and love it. It’s unisex and one of my favorite shapes. But truly I have been happy with every pair I have gotten at Zeal.
2. Garmin 920— If you’re ready to shell out a little more money for someone special who is a triathlete, consider the Garmin XT 920. I purchased my first Garmin XT 910 before I started doing triathlons just for all its awesome running features. And it inspired me to start swimming! I use it daily and it is easily one of my favorite GPS watches on the market. Any triathlete would be thrilled with this (Just make sure they don’t already own one!).
3. Oiselle— It is no secret that I love the Oiselle clothing line! Not only is it stylish but it’s amazingly warm and durable for running. Below are some of my favorites. *Runwear Pullover *Tracker Jacket *KG Tights *Lux Earband, Power Stretch Gloves and Feather Spike Bag–Love this combo!
4. Photo&Go— For the person who has everything, this site has the perfect gifts. Because the last thing they want is more stuff. I personally have gifted some friends with these gifts and they are always so happy with it! It is something they will cherish for ever. You literally take their instagram or Facebook photos and turn it into pollards. Then you can purchase Clip line photo display or you can simply purchase a Flip Frame with a smaller amount of pictures displayed. It’s personal and thoughtful and shows that you really made an effort to think about a perfect gift.
5. Massage— Massage therapy is often considered a luxury and is something to which people don’t often treat themselves. When buying someone a gift I always think of it this way–“What does this person really want but would never buy for themselves?” I love gifting people with a massage because it’s not a “thing” and it’s a way for them to have some R&R without feeling any guilt. I had my sister in our secret santa one year and I gifted her a massage with my favorite massage therapist in NYC James Nicholson . If you are located in the NYC area I strongly recommend trying him out. He has helped me come back from a lot of injuries and always keeps my muscles fresh.
6. Ipod Shuffle or Waterproof MP3 Player— I love my iPod shuffle. It is not too expensive (50$) and it’s light and easy to take with me on runs. I can easily download music and take it with me anywhere. But if your special someone is a swimmer I recommend getting them Finis new waterproof MP3 player. It is easy to use, keeps your mind occupied while you swim and, since the “headphones” sit on your cheekbones, you never have to worry about earbuds falling out during our swim.7. JoMalone— Okay guys I am seriously obsessed with this perfume by JoMalone. Perfume can be a tricky thing to buy someone because everyone has a different scent they like. I personally love Wild Fid and Cassis, It’s really earthy and woody – for someone who loves the smell of fresh cut grass (reminiscent of a beautiful spring run!). It comes in a candle, lotion or perfume so you pick!
8. Yoga Mat— This gift is perfect for the runner who just can’t get themselves to a yoga class and needs some motivation. I first got my yoga mat from Lulu Lemon a couple of months ago and I love it! Its not super bulky and it’s sleek and clean. I often find myself using it at home when I want to get in some extra core work!9. Workout Class— This is for the person who can’t get enough of their weekly workout classes. Buy them a gift card to one of their favorite studios and get one for yourself too! This way you can both enjoy an activity while getting your sweat on. Some of my favorite studios in NYC– *SLT *Brooklyn Body Burn *Body Space Fitness *Fhitting Room, *Lyons Den Yoga…just to name a few!10. Fjallraven Kanken Backpack— So I still don’t know how to pronounce the name but I do love my bag! I have a yellow one that fits my 15 inch computer and makes it easy to work while on the go or traveling. It’s really great gift for anyone! Male or female, athlete or not, will enjoy this one. I used it all throughout college and still use it when I travel anywhere and need to lug my computer around. I am even considering getting another one 🙂
11. Kitchen Supplies— Okay I know this sounds like it would be on the “lame” gift list but if you are a kitchen geek like me there is no such thing as too many gadgets…unless you live in New York and simply don’t have space for it all. But even so, you find room! Am I right?!? The best part about this one is it ranges in price so you have some options here. Below are some of my favorite tools. *Cuisinart Food Processor *Vitamix Sprializer *Mini Chop *At home herb garden
12. Magazine Subscription— The gift that keeps on giving! I have several subcribtions to magazines that I truly enjoy reading. It’s an easy gift to send to someone and can be tailored to anyone’s interest! For example I love Runners World and Women’s Running Magazine— I know, I know. I’m a typical runner 🙂
13. Believe Training Journal/Erica Sara Design— I personally gifted myself with this last year. I have loved both items since the minute I got it and then I got the journal for some of my training buddies. It allows you to document your training and other aspects of your life. I love looking back at runs and seeing how I felt, if I improved and how I can work on myself and my running! I think combining a custom necklace or bracelet with this journal is the perfect thing to get that person who is looking a little more motivation.14. Manicure and Pedicure Combo— Runner or not, everyone appreciates some good pampering. And if you are an athlete you most likely are long over due for a pedicure. Missing toe nails? Yes! Keep your feet and hands clean. This is an affordable gift option that every woman (or even man!) would love! Yes that is my feet and you can’t unsee that picture, missing toe nails for the win!
15. Food— Okay, I saved the best (and most obvious) for last. Food! Everyone loves a homemade treat. And this is my personal favorite gift option because I can personalize it and share my healthy homemade recipes with the special people in my life. Here on my blog I have tons of recipes worth making and giving. I love wrapping it up in a mason jar and printing out the recipe on a little card. This way your gift recipient can enjoy the treat and then make it on his/her own. My Quinoa Pumpkin Crunch Granola or Cookies recipe is a great place to start!