Holiday Gift Ideas for Those Who Have it All

Shopping; for yourself, its pretty easy. When you have to pick out a gift for someone else…not so much. Its a nightmare at the best of times, and, during the holiday season, so much worse. There is only one thing worse than shopping itself during the holidays and that is shopping for people who have everything. Not literally. Unless they’re a celebrity who have the cash flowing faster than water from your faucet, thats a stretch. But, they certainly have everything they want. Good luck getting any ideas from them as to what to buy them for the holidays.

Fortunately, you’re not alone. All you need is a few fresh ideas to keep your head above water. Avoid the hair-pulling, tears of frustration and last-minute gifts that have you cringing with guilt. These ideas will help you with those pesky people who refuse to throw you a bone.

Bring Back Something of Value

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This works best for old friends and family members, even long-term partners. Its simple, too. Find something with sentimental value- make sure it holds significant value to the receiver. The older, the better. And, if you can manage, try to pick out something that ties the two of you or other members of your family or friend circle together. Memories are something more meaningful than any amount of money can buy. Of course, there are the ungrateful few who will look at you gift and think, “how cheap…” so avoid those people. Target the ones you know will appreciate the value of your sentiment and ignore the lack of financial worth.

 

Gift Cards

These are pretty self-explanatory. They’re the got-to gift idea for extended family members or last-minute emergencies. Some people think it shows a lack of thoughtlessness. On the contrary, I couldn’t imagine someone being happier than when they realize they get to shopping for themselves instead of putting on a fake smile and whipping out the best “I love it” impression they can muster. Save yourself the worry. Save them the disappointment. You can’t go wrong with a gift card.

 

Bake Something

Don’t offer your best friend a plate of cookies and expect unending gratefulness. If you know them well enough, you can do better than that. Not even your parents would appreciate a half-assed attempt at something they did for most of your life. Grandparents? Aunts and Uncles? Perfect. They’ll look at the most botched up cooking attempt as think of it as an ultimate act of love. Just remember that sugar and salt have two entirely different tastes.

 Something To Do

This idea takes a little bit more consideration. Depending on the person, it can be really easy or really hard. If you’re unsure, it may be best to take a different route entirely. But, if done right, you can give someone a gift, an experience and a memory to last a lifetime. It can be something as simple as a trip to the local aquarium or zoo. No one is ever too old to point in awe at animals and underwater species. You can also splurge for a rock climbing lesson or a horseback trail ride. Its a perfect idea for anyone with a sense of adventure. Its also easier than hunting around for something you’re not even sure the gift-receiver will like. Keep in min individual personalities, though. It may not be a good idea to buy bungee jumping tickets for someone afraid of heights. Just a thought.

 

A Day At The Spa

This isn’t just for women, though its definitely a more popular gift for women. Spas offer a variety of services depending on the company and location: manicures and pedicures, massages, steam rooms and mud baths are a few of the services most will offer. Its the perfect gift for a parent or a hard worker who would appreciate the alone time and a little bit of pampering. Just remember that reviews count. Don’t send them somewhere off the grid to save a few bucks that will turn their day off into an off-day.

Handmade Items

Whether is jewelry, woodwork or any kind of crafts, handmade items are a perfect gift for anyone. Most of the time, you can save some money and you can let your creativity run wild. Picture frames, scrap books, wood-carvings, simple jewelry, or unique decorations…you name it, you can make it.

Yourself

It sounds a little corny, we know. Truly, the best gift you can give those closest to you is yourself. Time is a precious thing. Sometimes, in the everyday chaos of life, we forget to appreciate the short but important moments we have with people. Appreciate the people you have in your life and let them appreciate you, too.

 

 

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Habits You Need to Break for the Holiday Season

The holiday season has arrived. Its a time of love, joy and the spirit of giving….

Let’s be real, though…the holidays, to most, are about gifts, good food, good company and time off of work. The next couple of months are packed with family gatherings and home-cooked comfort food, late night parties and last minute shopping. In short, the holidays are stressful. We buy things we can’t afford for people we barely see. We buy things for ourselves, we know we shouldn’t (but we can’t resist). We spend more time at the mall or bar than we do at the gym. Our activity bar drops to how far a walk we have to the kitchen and our beds. To make things worse, the holidays are a near-guarantee for weight gain.

It’s no surprise and who’s to judge? Between unending errands and the general stress of the holidays, it’s to be expected. We tell ourselves we’ll cheat a bit, then get back in line for New Years. Sometimes we do…sometimes we don’t. Our pennies are scraped and spent, and the family/friends/lover drama begins.

For those of you who have been dreading the upcoming holidays, your significant other (or lack thereof), your empty wallet and your hibernation body, there are a few tips you can follow leading up to and after your holidays celebrations. If you can make these adjustments a habit, they’ll be easier to keep up and, before long, it’ll be second nature to you.

1. Don’t Starve Yourself

I know you’ve got your eye on the prize. You’re waiting for the large meal with the anticipation of fasting to make more room for seconds, thirds and fourths. Or, you’re trying to erase some of the guilt ahead of time. No matter what the circumstances, trying to forgo food altogether is a recipe for disaster. When your body goes into starvation mode it holds onto as much of your body fat as possible. It’s an instinct of survival that you can’t teach your body not to do. If you go long enough without eating, once you start again, a similar issue occurs. Your body doesn’t take into account what you ‘want’ it acts on what you ‘need.’ Healthy eating and activity is a longer process, yes. But, in the long run it’ll have better, long-lasting results.

2. Don’t Snack TOO much…

Snacking is good for your body. Smaller, more frequent portions of food is better  than eating a couple huge meals a day. You’ll be satisfied more often and it’ll keep up your metabolism, BUT that doesn’t mean you should snack excessively. Eating three or fours snacks between each meal isn’t an ideal habit to get into. Balance is key!

 

3. Don’t Bypass Breakfast

This is lot more important than you think. Not only does breakfast jump start your body with some much needed fuel, it also jump starts your metabolism. When lunch or snack time rolls around, you won’t be ready to stuff your face and your will have an easier time digesting your remaining meals.

4. Smoking

The percentage of smokers has significantly decreased in the last few years. The most drastic of those decreases was in  the teenage population. Its a good start, but there is always room for improvement. As corny as it sounds, quitting a habit like smoking can change you life. Sure, when the going gets rough, all you want to do is get that lighter igniting. In our most stressful times, smoking is a saving grace. The power they hold over us makes it easy to forget the disastrous list of side effects. Quit while you can. Learn to cope without. You’ll be doing your body and your mind a favor.

5. Avoid Alcohol

We aren’t saying to avoid it completely. That’d be ridiculous. Most of us are going to need all the help we can to survive these coming weeks. Alcohol included. Just moderate your drinking. You don’t want to spend money you could be using on gifts. And you definitely don’t want to be that poor, passed-out soul that ends up in everyone’s shaming selfies.

6. Being Ungrateful

We spend way to much time worrying about what we don’t have over the holidays. If you’re reading this, you’ve got more than a lot of others. Stop wasting your time whining over the unfairness of the world. Think about the things you do have- the things that should make you grateful. It doesn’t have to be material items. Family, friends, a roof over your head, that is more than enough.

7. Ignoring Your Lack of Sleep

If you’re having trouble sleeping it could be more serious than you think. A few all-nighters for school is one thing, but constantly struggling to get a good night’s rest is like flicking the first domino to a whole line of them. Not making an effort to improve your sleep? Well than don’t say you didn’t expect them all to be crashed to the ground.

8. Getting Hung Up on the Past

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We make stupid decisions sometimes. We can’t go back in time and change it, but we can choose to move forward and learn from those mistakes. Other times, people make stupid decisions that effect us. We wish we could, but we can’t change others. Stop allowing the past to be apart of your present and your future. Leave it where it belongs and move forward.

9. Stop Trying to Be Like Others

You are your best when you are yourself. Its okay to admire someone- to look up to them or aspire to be more like them. Ultimately, though, we can only find happiness when we are true to ourselves. Comparing ourselves to others is only a set-up for heartbreak, for ourselves AND for others. Don’t be that person. Be your person.

10. Don’t Wait for the World to Come to You

It won’t. If you haven’t figured it out yet, opportunity isn’t served to everyone on a silver platter. It takes time, effort and courage. Don’t be scared to make daring jumps towards your desires. The only way to fail, is to try. If you don’t try you can’t fail, but you definitely won’t succeed. Don’t wait for happiness to come to you. Go looking for it. You may find more than you could have imagined.

 

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