Holidays & Entertaining

Top 3 gifts for the mind, body and soul

Get ready, get set, go! This is exactly how a lot of people feel now that the shopping rush is on to find “perfect” gifts for family and friends.

“After years of gift-giving it can become more challenging to find truly meaningful items for loved ones,” says Helen Sherrard, president of the Canadian Health Food Association. “However, gifts that encourage a healthy lifestyle offer long-lasting benefits.”

From CHFA, here are the top 3 gifts of this kind to encourage well-being long after the holiday season is over:A membership to the world of fitness: The gym may not be everyone’s favourite place to exercise, but thinking out of the box and purchasing a package of tennis lessons, golf lessons or even yoga classes let’s your loved one get out and maybe experience an activity they’ve never tried before—stimulating both the mind as well as the body.

The healthy gift basket: Giving a basket of high-fat, sugary goodies looks very appealing, but isn’t great for the waistline. Instead, try putting together a dazzling, healthy gift basket that includes a low-fat cookbook, fruits, organic jams, glutten-free crackers and commonly used natural health products, like vitamins or supplements that can be found at a local natural health retailer (national locations found at These retailers can give you lots of helpful information on items that are safe and effective.

A charitable heart: The stressful question of what do I get the person who has everything? can be easily answered with give a charitable donation in their name. Watch your loved one light up with a smile when you tell them you’ve sent a child-in-need food, clothing or school supplies in his or her name; or that you had a tree planted in their name to help the environment. So many charities have wonderful gift catalogues where you can select a charitable gift in your loved one’s honour and they’ll receive an e-card informing them of the charitable gift you’ve made on their behalf.

“Gifts that help us appreciate the important things in life, like health and compassion, are cherished by everyone who receives them,” says Sherrard.

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