My gifts don’t just earn the polite thank you; rather, they become the most memorable and cherished gifts my recipients forever applaud me for. This is because they are personal (but not in a monogrammed kind of way) and timely (but not in a "trending now" kind of way).
It all started with the proverbial “man who had everything.” A world-renowned horticulturalist, artist, international traveler, author, lecturer and highly sought-after landscape architect. After five years in a row of unique, cool, practical and luxurious gifts, he had reserved a spot on his vanity, bathroom counter and closet drawer for my gifts only. The pressure was on. From natural botanical-based skin creams, synthetic non-blister socks and lightweight yet seriously effective cold-weather gear to natural herbal supplements, my gifts became the products he depended on daily to live life fully. Each time he used them, the gifts became more memorable and I received such warm praise and gratitude from him.
So that was an older generation I was catering my gift-giving skills to, and giving unusual “healthy gifts” was my unique advantage. And then my Millennial daughters grew up! We noticed their new adult wish lists were unlike anything we’d ever seen before. The requests for computers, mobile phones, trendy jeans and puppies morphed into requests for things like blenders for smoothies, healthy non-toxic cookware, spa days and massages, spiralizers, custom protein powders, running shoes and wearable health tech. We marveled that this generation was not only embracing a healthier lifestyle as a novelty, but also demanding it and prioritizing it on a daily basis.
Enter: the "health station." A concept, until recently, I never really had a name for, yet I’ve been giving health stations to my friends, coworkers and family for the last couple of years. Depending on their needs, the stations ranged in themes: from all-natural organic gifts for a better night’s sleep (like high-thread count cotton sheets, mattress covers and special pillows) to the most luxurious and chemical-free skin creams and oils that even a male colleague would covet. One year, healthier cooking was a theme, another it was cold-weather workouts, then there was healthy traveling. Oh, and of course the infamous chemical-free mineral-based makeup along with all-natural face cleansing and toning wipes.
So what makes me the product expert? It’s simple: I turned myself into a guinea pig. I would find something that made me look and feel healthier, made my life easier and fit my modern-minded aesthetic, then road test ‘em all. Whatever got an A+ made that year’s gift-giving list. Then I would take those items and package them up with even more personal items and wrapping along with a personalized note on why I loved the product and thought of that person to share it with. In short, I put a bow on it.
For decades, I’ve been dedicated to a gift-giving theme that is truly my own—truly memorable and something that makes me and my gift-getter feel incredibly special and loved. So for 2015, I am formalizing the concept of the LivingHealthy HealthStationTM.
The theme this year is vitamins and supplements. To do this, I ordered my favorite Dr. Schulze products all at once after making a list for each of my eight gift-getters. Once the products arrived, I sorted them into eight bundles with an accompanying container. Each container would be different based upon the person’s taste, style and placement (e.g. kitchen, bathroom and bedroom).
Below are my eight HealthStationTM healthiest gifts ever for 2015. The main thing to note is that each is personalized based on the recipient's needs or interests. The health stations are also complete with personalized containers and wrapping. How did I get all this organized in less than a day’s time? It’s easier than you think.
Healthiest Gift Ever HealthStationsTM: Ready, Set, Give.
Setup with the containers, wrapping and products for my eight HealthStationsTM
1. For the Husband, From His Chief Wellness Officer
The Dr. Schulze’s SuperFood 100 Tablets and Cayenne drops (he puts them in his wine and martinis), Vitamin D, Turmeric and the Magnesium brand recommended by Craig Cooper, author of the newly released, Your New Prime, 30 Days to Better Sex, Eternal Strength and a Kick-Ass Life After 40. I gave him the book as well.
His HealthStationTM container is a woven black tray which, for him, is the most visible on his nightstand. Here is the link to purchase this manly just-his-size tray online. His Dr. Schulze SuperFood 100 tablets (3 per day) and Cayenne drops will go in our kitchen's shared HealthStationTM container featured below.
2. For the Entire Family, With Stackable Options
This HealthStationTM container purchased at The Container Store is called the Small Silver York Open Stack Basket. This particular container was very popular in my home. Our youngest daughter, who is off to college in 2016, asked me to buy several more of these wire baskets for her own use in her bathroom shower, her bedroom and her future college dorm room (it comes in this small size as well as a larger size). Also featured here is our favorite S’well Bottle (it’s hard to keep enough of them in the house, as we all take them with us in our school and work bags). Also featured here is Traditional Medicinals tea. I buy the Traditional Medicinals Best Sellers Variety 6 Pack and give these as gifts—it’s under $30 for six and, without a doubt, this brand is our absolute favorite. With lots of high schoolers coming in and out of this house, and with my husband and I traveling monthly for business, try as we might—and as healthy as we are—fending off colds and flus is our reality. Besides, “Ain’t nobody got time for that.”
3. For the Aspiring Artist Who Guards Her Privacy and Stuff
This HealthStationTM container was purchased at The Container Store and was not available online. For similar items like this, here’s the link to purchase a suitable basket online. In the case of teens and twenty-somethings, this gift-getter is in a stage where things are very personal. So a cover for her HealthStationTM gift was an absolute must. At her age, it’s personal and nobody’s business, so an inconspicuous container with a top will do the trick.
4. For the Health-Conscious Young Executive With Style
She’s focused on the "ROI" of college education (as she views it), so we focus on keeping her healthy. She is the health and fitness passionate Millennial and, for that, we are thrilled. When we (Baby Boomers and Generation X) were working our way up the corporate ladder, no one cheered you on for going to the gym, taking a vacation, getting a good night’s sleep or staying home and recuperating if you’d come down with the flu.
But these Millennials have it right with work-life balance at the forefront of their minds, and for fun and their health, they cook, stand at work and meditate. Many of them don't even have a doctor and, if they can provide their own self-care through education and technology, they are doing it.
So giving her the gift of high-quality, non-toxic, chemical-free, all-organic and wild-harvested pure ingredients to ensure she gets nutritional balance and powerful health is truly the gift that keeps on giving. And, for this one, picking out the perfect containers and wrapping was easy as we are well aware of her decorating tastes and storage needs in her itsy-bitsy but charming Greenwich Village, New York, shared apartment.
5. A Decorative Apple Dorm Room Reminder
This HealthStationTM gift-getter is visual. For one of my daughters, just like her mom, out of sight means out of mind. This happy plastic green apple container, along with the "map of the world" wrapping paper, suits this person perfectly. Included in the gift is SuperFood 100 tablets, Super-C Plus tablets and the Cayenne drops. And remember to put in an order every month to replenish your HealthStationTM gifts. I set a reminder on my mobile phone calendar.
6. Establishing "Patterns" for Healthy Habits
This HealthStationTM gift-getter has been drawing patterns all their life. They love nature-inspired things, are intensely crafty and prefer to make their own gifts, cards and wrapping paper. She’d rather call you then text you, and although she’s still a teenager, she’s reading i-d from Vice versus Snapchatting anything. Their gift includes the "Nu Steel Ageless Container Amenity Tray" along with SuperFood 100 tablets, Cayenne drops, Deep Tissue Oil and Cold & Flu Herbal “Shot.” And remember to put in an order every month to replenish your HealthStationTM gifts. I set a reminder on my mobile phone calendar and check with my gift-getter to see how her supply is running.
7. For Family, Friends and Lovers: First Holiday HealthStationsTM
For my kids and husband, I will continue to replenish their HealthStationsTM until they can afford the time and money to create them themselves. For everyone else, I give a set of a month’s worth of products. If they like the results, they can continue to replenish and find exactly what works for their needs. That’s why I would suggest a first HealthStationTM contain very few but key supplements in addition to something from our Best Healthy Gifts Guide for Fitness, Cooking, Wellness and Beauty so it’s easy to replenish.
8. Best Healthy Gift Ever for Your Loved Ones
This is my year-round staple gift: There are many health benefits to SuperFood 100 and Super-C Plus tablets. This bamboo tray is the perfect size and shape. The entire set can be purchased together, as shown below, or each one can be purchased individually. The tray featured in my picture is called the “Stackable Drawer Organizer Bamboo” and measures 6” sq. x 2” h and costs only $4.99. I love them and personally have over 10.
So the days of offending someone with a healthy gift are over. Giving the gift of living healthy does not scream “You’re a fat slob or you are living an unhealthy life!” It simply says “I love you and I value your health and wellbeing more than anything else in the world.” Our lives are filled with too much stress, toxins, packaged foods, erratic moods and impersonal complexity. Think of the concept of helping someone you love and cherish, and establish a little
HealthStationTM of their own in their home or room. And you may very well be helping them establish easy daily habits all wrapped up in a daily reminder of your love for them. Happy Holidays, Happy Birthdays and Happy Healthy Gift Giving.