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All I want for Christmas

The bad thing about everyone in my family recommitting themselves to healthy eating is that it makes it harder for me to buy them Christmas presents. In the past I could easily buy some bourbon chocolates or gourmet cheeses. One year I got my brother little chocolate bottles filled with alcohol. But this year those gifts would be as much sabotage as if I’d thrown wooden shoes into a mechanical loom. And what would we do without our mechanical loom? So instead I have to be thoughtful and think on what my loved ones would like. Bummer.

I’m sure there must be some healthy alternative food gifts (which I’m sure you all will tell me about), but I can’t see myself giving my brother a basket of clementines for Christmas. Maybe if I pulled out my Sharpie and drew faces on them, glued on some googly eyes and pinned little Santa hats and beards on the…nah. I think my arts and crafts skills have atrophied since my girl scout years. (I once sold over 200 boxes of girl scout cookies to frat boys when I lived in a small college town. Our googly eyes that year were funded by the freshman fifteen.)

Good health is certainly a better Christmas gift than a pound of walnut fudge. Too bad I can’t wrap it up in a pretty package and stuff it under the tree.

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nita • December 19, 2006 at 10:56 am

If you want to give food there are beverages–nice coffees and teas. There’s schmancy spices (penzeys.com has some lovely gift boxes, and excellent spices). There’s food prep gear–microplane graters, rice makers, immersion blenders. Target sells a body fat analyzer for $15. It’s not super high tech, but might give an interesting ballpark.


psychsarah • December 19, 2006 at 11:19 am

I don’t know how much effort you want to go through, but I’m not crafty either, so I compiled a cookbook of my favourite quick healthy recipes for some of my friends and family as an alternative to chocolates etc.

Also, I have asked my family not to give me sweets for Christmas, so I don’t have the temptation!! Hopefully they will listen…


Mal • December 19, 2006 at 12:36 pm

How about a subscription to a healthy-living magazine? Like Runner’s World or some such. A lot of what goes on in magazines is bull (most of the copy and prose between the advertisements is, of course, also advertising), but sometimes they’re nice for a little motivation pick-me-up once a month.


chaka • December 19, 2006 at 1:08 pm

There’s always the amazon wish list! But I’ll tell you, my number one gift this year was a crock pot.


christie • December 19, 2006 at 3:24 pm

maybe gift cards to clothing stores they like so that they can buy new stuff since they are getting smaller?? or something else along those lines, something that promotes what they are doing?


lme • December 19, 2006 at 3:51 pm

I like the idea that someone mentioned above of giving a magazine subscription. What about Cooking Light? It’s a beautiful magazine, and the recipes are super easy.

The tea/coffee idea’s a good one, too.

Of course, I don’t have any of my own.

Unless there is a hobby or something the person you’re buying for is interested in. A blank book or a sketchbook if they like to write or draw, for example.

Stuff for someone’s room or apartment. Candles are always nice. And so is bath stuff, like nice French soap.

I try to get people little treats (not food, though, heh) of things they wouldn’t necessarily take the time out or spend the money to get for themselves.


GeorgiaGirl • December 19, 2006 at 7:50 pm

I’ve been lurking a while. Your progress is inspirational and I love reading your witty posts. Just thought I’d finally say HI.


Susan • December 19, 2006 at 11:31 pm

Some great suggestions here! I love the idea of fancy coffees and teas, subscriptions to magazines like Cooking Light and Eating Well or kitchen stuff. If your family are into healthy eating, another idea is some healthy cookbooks – the ones from Canyon Ranch and the Golden Door Spa are great. I also love “Conscious Cuisine” by Cary Neff. As you can probably tell, I *love* cookbooks!

Every year my mother gives me a box of chocolates for Christmas. I suspect she’s on a mission to make me fat again.


Andrea • December 20, 2006 at 8:36 am

One year I gave my Mom a gift certificate for a month at our local gym.

My two close girlfriends both have birthdays in January, and I got them both subscriptions to “Women’s Health” magazine.

I did these both intending them to be a “less clutter” kind of present, but they both wound up being very health conscious, too.


psychsarah • December 20, 2006 at 8:48 am

I love the idea of a healthy magazine, I’ve both given and received healthy subscriptions in the past.

A great one that I’ve found very useful is Nutrition Action newsletter. It’s got no advertising and is based on strong science (but is written in very accessible language), and every issue they have a feature where they closely study nutritional values of a certain category of food, and tell you which are healthiest (i.e. best bites) and which are “worst bites” (i.e. unhealthiest). And at Christmas they do a 2 for 1 offer, so you can give it to someone, and get it for yourself, if you so desire! (By the way, I’m just a big fan, I don’t work for them or anything!)


citycat • December 20, 2006 at 10:35 am

Hi! One of my favorite things in the whole world is my mini-chopper. They are only $10-$15, and if you are learning how to cook in a healthy way they are invaluable for garlic, peppers, onions, etc.

Happy Holidays!


K • December 21, 2006 at 8:48 am

I’d second the fancy tea, but then my OH is slightly bemused by all the different sorts of tea I have (he almost invariably drinks good old Teadirect). I’ve given tea to various people, sometimes with a pretty / appropriate mug so they have something to keep too. Although, we are trying to give away 10 mugs that won’t fit in our cupboard because people have given us too many, so that might depend on whether they NEED another mug…

We are giving my father-in-law… gourmet cheese. He’s pretty healthy anyway.

Happy Christmas!


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Jennette Fulda tells stories to the Internet about her life as a smartass, writer, weight-loss inspiration, chronic headache sufferer, and overall nice person (who is silently judging you). She does this at JennetteFulda.com now, but you can still have fun perusing her past here.

Disclaimer: I am not responsible for keyboards ruined by coffee spit-takes or forehead wrinkles caused by deep thought.

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