The countdown is officially on – just 12 shopping days left until Christmas.

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If your holiday shopping style could be described as ‘last minute,’ this is the post for you! As I’ve found myself rushing to wrap gifts on many a Christmas Eve, I thought I’d do us both a favour this year and brainstorm a few gifts that will appeal to even the hardest-to-buy-for folks on your list.

Gifts:

Winter Activity:

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Gym memberships are great and all, but why not encourage your loved ones to buck the trend, avoid the line-ups at the treadmill and embrace some outdoor adventure? Whether it’s a day pass to the local ski slopes, a pair of snowshoes or skates, or (if you know someone really adventurous) some winter camping/hiking gear, there are plenty of ways to get outside, stay active and enjoy the snowy weather.

A Good Book:

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The golden rule of gift giving: “Get them something they want, something they need; something to wear, and something to read.” I love giving books because they’re the gift that keeps on giving. You keep them to enjoy over and over, or you pass them on to a friend or donate them when you’re finished. Plus, the choices are endless: fiction, nonfiction, biography, cookbook, travel guide, “how-to”s on anything from building a house to bird watching. There’s literally something for everyone.

Massage Therapy Gift Certificate:

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What better way to relax after a hectic holiday season than with a nice, long massage? This would be a great choice for the designated snow shoveller in the family, or for the one who just spent days in the kitchen preparing the family feast.

Kitchen Appliances:

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Ideal for both the seasoned as well as the less-enthusiastic cook, I believe the right kitchen tool can inspire anyone to create an amazing meal. Whether it’s a good set of cast iron pans, a brightly coloured dutch oven, or a 200 horsepower juicer, chances are they’ve had their eye on something.

Gifts in a Mason Jar:

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Layer a favourite recipe’s dry ingredients in a mason jar, tie a cheery bow around it, and voila: thoughtful gift! Some popular ideas include bean & lentil soup, oatmeal, granola, and cookie mix. These make great gifts because they’re unique, inexpensive, and designed to make life just a little bit simpler. Plus, you can never have too many mason jars.

Glass Water Bottles or Containers:

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If you haven’t already, encourage your friends and family to ditch plastic by gifting them some glassware. Not only is glass the environmentally kinder option, it’s also much kinder to our bodies (and wallets). Bisphenol-A (BPA), a chemical used to manufacture plastics and epoxy resins, is found in food containers, plastic bottles and the linings of canned food and beverages. Research has shown BPA to be an endocrine disruptor, and recent animal studies have found that even exposure to low doses of BPA at a young age can affect fertility and sperm production, and cause persistent changes in both the prostate gland and development of breast tissue.[1]

Stocking Stuffers:

All Natural Soaps:

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There are some amazing natural soaps on the market that make terrific gifts. I recently tried a lovely and festive peppermint & oatmeal soap by Barefoot Naturals, made right here in Kitchener. You can find beautifully packaged soaps and lotions that are made with clean ingredients like coconut oil and shea butter. No wrapping required, just toss in the stocking and call it a day!

Essential Oils:

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Both versatile and the perfect size, essential oils make ideal stocking stuffers, especially for the DIY expert in your life. With just a few essential oils, you can make your own chemical-free household cleaning sprays, homemade personal care products, and more. Also, a few drops added to a diffuser can provide an entire room with the mood-boosting and stress-busting benefits of aromatherapy. Lavender, peppermint, cinnamon, and clove are favourites at this time of year.

Herbal Teas:

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There’s nothing quite like curling up on the couch on a snowy night with a mug of warm tea in hand. Nice choices for the season include peppermint, chai, ginger, or a good blend of immune-boosting herbs like Echinacea, goldenseal, and elderberry to keep the winter colds at bay.

Healthy Snacks:

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Not that there is any shortage of food over the holidays, but in between heavy meals it can be nice to have a light, healthy snack on hand. Roasted chickpeas, coconut chips and kale chips are my crunchy snacks of choice when I’m not in the comfort of my own kitchen. There are plenty of tasty brands available but, if you’ve got the time, I recommend making your own batch (so you can add ‘love’ as the main ingredient – hehe).

Cozy socks:

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Socks may not be the most imaginative item for a stocking, but they’re still a winner in my books because everybody needs them. Go with a fun holiday theme or just find the warmest, wooliest pair you can.

Chocolate:

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No stocking is complete without a little something sweet. Instead of picking up huge, cheap bags of the sugar-laden, sickly-sweet stuff, why not spend the same amount on a few quality, handcrafted dark chocolate bars? The recipients will savor the richer taste and their stomachs won’t ache if they sneak a few bites before breakfast.

I hope you’ve found some inspiration on this list. Happy giving!

[1] http://www.cancer.ca/en/prevention-and-screening/be-aware/harmful-substances-and-environmental-risks/bpa/?region=bc

ABOUT THE EXPERT
Kennedy Baker

Kennedy is a Holistic Nutritionist. She oversaw the day-to-day operation of Healthoholics' retail store, working closely with suppliers as Store Manager at Healthoholics from 2015-2017. Kennedy is an avid runner, loves hot yoga, and getting creative in the kitchen.