I just returned from Thanksgiving celebration with my family in Northern California. What a wonderful time to share, connect, catch up, and be grateful for all the love and true wealth in our lives! Now, Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanza, Birthday of Guru Gobind Singh, and Winter Solstice/Yule, are all just around the corner. Perhaps you are looking at your gift list and pondering how to best fulfill it. Just about everyone I know and love has plenty of “stuff.” Do we all really need more stuff? Really? I do feel a sort of welling of change happening, where many are seeking to share in more meaningful ways. How can I share a part of myself? What might be truly helpful to or appreciated by my loved one? I have a few ideas and suggestions, and perhaps something in this short list will be the perfect gift for your loved ones.
- One-month Yoga Pass
- Pre-paid Cooking Class(es) – You will find so many options offered online – just google for the type of class you are looking for…. vegetarian, Ayurvedic, vegan, cutlery, Indian, Chinese, etc.
- Mala or Meditation Rosary – Made with love and prayer! Your beautiful mala may be worn as a necklace to enjoy the benefits of semi-precious stones, used for repetitive prayer or meditation, or even as sacred “worry beads.”Bring grace and beauty into the lives of your loved ones!
- Something made by you. I believe something made with love for someone special is the most treasured! Not as daunting as it may sound. Write a poem or a short remembrance that shows your love and appreciation for the person and include a small gift/token such as photo, flowers, etc. Bake some cookies (see From Vegetables with Love for a big selection of recipes for the best cookies ever!). Frame a favorite photo – select your sentimental snap and actually get it printed out and framed. Or, better yet, make a selection of photos (perhaps from a shared trip or event) and make a photo album honoring your loved one and your shared time together. You can do this by hand the old fashioned way, or use one of many online services.
- From Vegetables with Love, Recipes & Tales from a Yogi’s Kitchen (yes, I am plugging my book!) – This wonderful book offers over 350 recipes, a wealth of information about yogic diet and food preparation, and stories from my days cooking for Yogi Bhajan. Anyone who loves to eat, wants to be healthy and happy, and is ready for a little adventure in the kitchen will love and be grateful for this gift!
- Hand Carved Wooden Combs and cedar hearts – I only recently discovered this website and can hardly wait for my new comb! Wooden combs stimulate the scalp and distribute the natural oils throughout the hair. Unlike plastic, wooden combs do not interrupt your electromagnetic field and do not create static in your hair.
I have used only a wooden comb for years and simply love how my scalp feels! Comb your hair/scalp front to back and then back to front in the morning, and at night comb it forward and then back. Sets your energy and feels so great!
- Invite your loved one(s) to join you on a community service project. So many options. Perhaps choose a time to do this that is not around the holidays (when there is always an abundance of volunteers), but off season. Help to serve food to the homeless, garbage clean up along a highway or just in your neighborhood, or check out Points of Light for other great family-oriented ideas. Afterwards, share a meal together and talk about the experience of service and plan your next way to serve together.
I hope something here resonates just right with you for your gift giving, and wish you a most loving and cozy Christmas, Solstice/Yule, Kwanza, Yom Kippur/Hanukkah, or whatever way you choose to celebrate and express your gratitude for the Love, Guidance, Joy, and Lessons in our lives!