Gift guides galore

I’ve gotten some good ideas from holiday gift guides over the years — and some of the guides have been my own handiwork, with the help of insightful IU health and wellness experts.

climbing wall My most recent IU Health & Vitality media tip sheet included a gift guide with ideas geared toward sustainability. I’d LOVE so many of the suggestions, such as gift certificates for an “excursion or experience,” such as to a climbing gym or the theater, gifts made by local artisans, or a community supported agriculture (CSA) membership.

Here are ideas from some of my previous gift guides:

  • Fuel kids’ creativity with do-it-yourself kits: For example, fill a container with supplies, including a thick pad of heavy white paper for painting, regular paper for drawing and construction paper, as well as glitter markers, puffy paint gel markers, crayons, scissors, glue, pencils and erasers. Don’t forget to add in a few “How to Draw” books tailored to your child’s taste. “Begin collecting items on sale throughout the year and keep them in the container until it is full,” said Marjorie Cohee Manifold, associate professor of art education and curriculum studies in the Indiana University School of Education. “Try to find things that don’t require a lot of fuss to set up and aren’t inherently messy.”
  • A sexuality-themed ‘Don’t-buy-this’ guide: Don’t get lingerie that highlights non-favorite parts. If your partner doesn’t like to reveal her tummy, opt for a slip rather than a bra and underwear. If she likes to highlight her breasts, consider a balconette bra or a corset. “Play with her strengths and help her feel confident,” said Debby Herbenick, co-director of the Center for Sexual Health Promotion in the IU School of Public Health-Bloomington.
  • Active gifts that can be enjoyed together: Skiing or snowboarding lessons.
  • Wellness gifts that can be enjoyed at work: A headlight, so your friend or loved one can still run or cycle outdoors after work, when it’s dark earlier in the evenings (like now).
  • Gifts for older relatives and friends: Adaptive fishing equipment, such as electronic reel or easy cast model, sounds like a great idea that could help people with mobility issues continue enjoying a fun pastime. I also like the suggestion for a pedicure. Lesa Huber, at the IU School of Public Health-Bloomington, says the gift is even better when the giver tags along. “It’s time spent together,” she said. “And for an older person, having their feet cared for and rubbed — they can’t always reach them well — it can be a real treat.”
  • More health and wellness gift ideas: I’m sitting on a stability ball as I write this, so I know this gift idea would be a winner. I also would love a really good knife set, which my husband and I would put to good use in the kitchen.

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