Ah the holidays... where so many of us focus on the acquisition of more 'stuff' for either ourselves or loved ones in the name of fitting into to 'polite' society. It can be stressful and awkward, especially for someone trying to live a more conscious existence and 'opt out' of mindless consumer culture.
There is a middle ground of course, and ways to be thoughtful and conscious about what we consume and what we force others to consume as well (by buying them a gift). Here's a couple of broad strategies.
- Buy gifts from small, domestic, ethical companies. Thankfully in the Internet age, this is not hard to do. Instead of supporting mega-corporations with your dollars, why not a support a smaller company where your money makes a bigger difference? For Natural Movement oriented folks, some of our fav picks are companies like Sweet Skins Hemp, Pansy Co, and Seed Yoga for movement-friendly clothing made from ethically-sourced hemp and organic cotton. For footwear that allows your feet to move like real, human feet should move, Earth Runners sandals and Soft Star Shoes are two of our favs. If you'd like to gift someone incredible, beautiful skincare products, we love FeatherEagleSky and PrimallyPure (their sensitive DO is the best non-toxic deodorant we've ever tried!). Or maybe you want to give someone improved immunity and recovery through the wild-crafted, thoughtfully-procured and curated supplement line at Surthrival. Of course, there are PLENTY more companies out there, doing things ethically & sustainably, these are just a few of the ones that we have used personally and really love.
- Make some a gift! A classic way to opt out of the consumer cult, or uh, culture of the holidays is to make something. This can be a tricky one though because people often don't appreciate handmade items anymore, let alone the time and energy that goes into making them, so perhaps save these for the folks you know who can and will appreciate them. Or make things that don't require so much time or effort. A simple face or beard oil is pretty easy to make and put in a nice bottle for someone- a carrier oil and some drops of essential oils you might already have on hand is all it takes. (And if you don't have the essentials oils, its often only takes a few drops and then you can have these useful, potent oils on hand for your own lotions, potions, creams and salves.) A hand-blended tea or herb-infused oil is also incredibly simple to make and give someone. Save the handmade knitted scarves or hats for the people who can and will appreciate them.
- Don't give a 'thing' at all. A physical item often requires resources to make, store, clean, etc. A gym membership, a movement class, a session with a personal trainer, a dance or movement workshop or certification course, an herbal medicine making or wildfood foraging class- you're only limited by your own creativity here. Research indicates that we remember and value our experiences in life more than the possessions we accumulate so give someone an experience that will enhance their life and health rather than a thing that will all too soon become another time in the landfill. The bonus is that 'experience' gifts are great for last-minute shopping or for those hard-to-buy for people on your list who have everything. And there's nothing to wrap!
In need of a last minute gift? We have a few things that might make a great gift for someone on your list. For local folks, we have an Intro to Natural Movement class starting on Tuesday, January 10, 2017. The 4-week class is just $60 and if you sign up now using the code 'getmoving2017' you can save $10. For friends outside the local area, we are offering an online Primal Reset program (and it's on sale now for Christmas!) starting in January. This 3-week reset program includes a meal plan, shopping list, a MovNat® based workout program you can do at home or in the gym, daily motivational emails and access to our Facebook group for ongoing support. We also have our MovNat® Elements 1-day workshop coming up in May. Gift yourself or a friend. If you gift a friend, let us know if you'd like to send an email to inform them of your gift. (We're happy to send a physical gift certificate as well if you really need something tangible to give them!)
And of course, don't forget to make time to get outside and simply enjoy being with family and friends this season. The best moments are often the simplest ones.