It’s that time of year: snow. Cozy sweaters and all the boots. Hot toddies, I mean cider. Twinkle lights. And presents!
I love presents. [insert only child joke here] But all jokes aside, I love finding something for my friends and family that fits them perfectly. Something that reminds me of them when I see it, or reminds me of something we did together. Something that makes them light up the minute they open it and see what’s inside the wrapping.
Finding that something special can be quite difficult. I’ve gotten into the habit of picking those things up throughout the year, rather than waiting for birthdays or Christmas. It’s a nice “surprise and delight.” I also love experiences as gifts. For the last 6 years, my present from my parents has been our family ski trip we take every spring. My close friends and I will usually do a big, fancy dinner together, or even a weekend away. Many of my friends have gone this route with their loved ones as well. But there’s a certain pleasure in giving presents this time of year. Maybe it’s ingrained in me after years of traditional Christmases growing up, but I still love it. Let’s talk gift ideas…
For years, my dad has been on my case about wearing too much black when I’m outside. His commitment to safety in the form of being decked out in orange has rubbed off. My neon orange running jacket has been one of the best purchases I’ve ever made! I got this amazing running jacket in black last year from lulu, and was only wearing it around town. The other color available was a borderline-obnoxious neon orange that I was doubtful of. But my father’s voice in the back of my head made me do it, and I’m so glad I listened to him! It’s the perfect way to feel safe when out running on cold, dark, rainy days, which we have plenty of in Portland.
Patagonia currently has a great running shell available! The Houdini Jacket is super lightweight, and is wind and water resistant. Perfect for heading out into the elements! And it comes in a bright cherry red.
Also big on my runner’s safety kick right now is reflectivity! I know lululemon has made a huge effort to include it in pretty much all of their latest line, including these entirely reflective run pants!
Some of my favorite lulu items to run in with more subtle reflectivity touches are:
- Tight Stuff Tight
- All The Right Places Pant II Reflective (my favorite run tights now come with reflective strips on the side pockets and down the calves!)
- Run With Me Gloves
- Run For Cold Pullover
Lights are a great way to go to stay safe, and make for great stocking stuffers! I use a Black Diamond headlamp when running (or skiing) in the dark and camping.
This light up armband from Runtastic would make for a great stocking stuffer, as would their lights that are to go around the back of the heel.
Probably my favorite running accessory is my AfterShokz wireless headphones. These would make a fabulous gift for the runners in your life! They’re bluetooth (read more about how wireless was a huge game changer here, especially for #stopdropandyoga sessions!), sweatproof, and use bone conduction technology. Meaning they rest outside of your ear canal, allowing you to jam out while hearing your surroundings.
Let’s keep talking accessories… I know this one is definitely on my list: a great running watch! These fitness trackers from Runtastic look awesome! I’ve also heard great things about Garmin from friends, like Courtney. (What’s your vote on this, sweaties?)
Another running game changer for me that I discovered in Colorado is my Nathan handheld running water bottle. A lot of people in Portland seem surprised when they see me with it, wondering its purpose, and they love it when I tell them what it is! I use this insulated and reflective one from Nathan. The new pocket is big enough to fit an iPhone 6 or 7, too. Then you not only stay hydrated throughout your run, but then always have something to prop your phone up against for pictures!
Whether you train to run, or are just a workoutaholic, these pieces of workout equipment should be added to your fitness junkie friends’ home gyms immediately!
The MostFit Core Hammer – This sledgehammer is a lot safer than it’s heavy metal counterpart, and is a lot easier to heft and transport than a huge tire. Or would make for the perfect gift for your Game of Thrones fan friends! hehe Get 10% off with the code MFSW10 at checkout!
ActivMotion Bar – This bar is actually hallow and filled with weighted ball bearings. Your core has to turn on like woah! to balance the shifting weights. Donate to support their IndieGogo campaign for an at-home training program, and receive an ActivMotion Bar! It’ll be a pretty nice discount from retail price.
BYO BOSU – One of our favorite pieces of workout equipment, BOSU, has just launched their new BYO line! So now you can mix and match bladder and rim colors! Can you say “pink and green?!” Get free shipping with the code BYOBFREESHIP!
For years, we’ve given calendars and planners as gift in my family. My aunt always makes a contribution to a Golden Retriever rescue foundation in my dad’s name, and we put the gifted calendar up in our kitchen. My mom and I always get my dad a Golden Retriever puppy weekly planner. I even got Alyse and Jamie these Moleskine planners (the ones I’ve used for years) last year. I love the sleek lines of it; it’s able to fit in my purse! I love being able to see my week on the left while having my to-do list and notes on the right.
I’m exploring some other cool options, too! I’m really curious about The Volt Planner.
I’ve also been seeing a lot about Bulletjournaling lately, which just involves a plain ole notebook. This system still absolutely confuses me, but it seems like once you have it down that it’s life changing! A notebook can always be put to use, with Bulletjournaling or something else, and make for great gifts.
I’ve also used Erin Condren’s LifePlanner before. The level of customization is awesome! You can add a name, cover photos, and choose among beautiful outside designs and interior layouts. There are also tons of fun accessories that can be added.
The biggest thing about giving a planner is knowing the recipient. Choosing what you know will be used and appreciated. Calendars and notebooks are a little safer as they can always be used. I think one of my favorite gifts I ever gave my parents was a simple monthly calendar I had made at Wal-Mart with family pictures for each month. Cheap, easy, but so thoughtful (if I do say so myself), and they loved it!
If you’re anything like me, it’s a rarity to get out of your yoga pants! I don’t dress up all that often right now. And when I do, I have my few favorite outfits I turn to. (Hello, velvet black dress.)
When the holidays come around and you’re dressing up more often, or at least I am, I have to fight to be creative with my style. Thanks to the overabundance of pictures I always take, I don’t want to be reminded by Facebook in the coming years that I wore the same red DVF top to all holiday events. (Yes, I wore it to Christmas two years ago and Thanksgiving this year, thank you very much.)
Even if the person in question has great style (that may or may not include spandex), it can be so hard to pin it down in order to get a gift. And a gift certificate to a store can feel so impersonal. Enter Stitch Fix! It’s like gifting a friend (or yourself!) with a personal stylist. It’s three easy steps to a more stylish closet:
- Fill out a form with your size, style, and price preferences.
- Stitch Fix will send 5 hand-selected items just for you, and deliver them directly to your door. No holiday shopping mania for you!
- You buy what you like and return the rest.
It’s just that easy! It’s up to you to give a friend a gift certificate or even a yearly subscription, and give the gift of style!
For such a crazy time of year, it’s a great idea to help loved ones chill out! A bottle of wine, a massage (thank you, Jamie!), a spa date, fuzzy socks…
Coffee scrub from Frank Body makes for a great stocking stuffer! I personally love the coffee coconut flavor, though it’s a challenge to not spread it over toast or ice cream. It’s a great way to wake up and soothe skin during this time of year with too much eating and drinking, cold and windy weather, and indoor heating systems.
For more ideas, check these gift guides out!:
What gifts are you so excited to be giving? What’s on your Christmas list this year?