Hi my name is Emily and I love gifting.
I went through a phase in my life where I poo-pooed on the whole holiday presents thing. I don’t love commercialism and the gross excess that often goes into the holidays - the hours and hours of shopping and the overcrowded malls (and the stress that comes along with that!!), the gifts you end up returning and presents just for the sake of presents and omg ALL THE WRAPPING PAPER. So much wrapping paper. I didn’t want to participate in that.
And I kind of didn’t for a few years. I said “let’s just give each other the gift of our presence” and left it at that.
And while presence and quality time are better than any gadget or new item of clothing in my book, I missed gifting.
I enjoy thinking about the people I love and spending time finding a gift that feels true to them and their spirit. And I love that moment when someone opens a gift that you did spend time and energy picking out - the happiness (and sometimes surprise!) on their face is magical.
I realized that just because I didn’t believe in the commercialized Christmas or Hanukah experience didn’t mean I couldn’t participate in the holiday gift giving tradition in a way that felt good and true for me.
So my gift guide this year includes both experiences but also things. My hope is that this list provides you with some intentional ideas and inspiration for gifts you’ll give (or receive!) this holiday season.
PALO SANTO ROLLERBALL
Palo santo is a tree that grows on the coast of South America and is related to Frankincense, Myrrh and Copal. In Spanish, the name literally means “holy wood” and is known to be healing and energetically cleansing. I burn palo santo (the wood) in my apartment regularly to clear the air, but you can’t burn things in all apartments (or offices, or subway cars…) so I was very excited to find this palo santo essential oil.
To be clear: I’ve sampled a number of palo santo oil blends before. I don’t love the blends as I find they smell more like other things, not just palo santo. This “smokeless blessing” anointing oil by Brooklyn-based company Highborn is the real deal.
A SESSION WITH A HEALER OR INTUITIVE
Likely if you’re reading my blog, you’re at least a little bit interested in the “woo woo” things like astrology, tarot and energy work. If you’ve been curious in trying out one of these healing modalities, a session is a great thing to ask for as a gift.
It can also be a fun experience to do with your friends or loved ones as a shared gift. Last year my girlfriends and I decided to book an evening with an oracle as our holiday gift to each other, and it was AMAZING. Not only did we get to spend time together, but we also had an unforgettable experience that we may not have pursued on our own.
Here are a few ideas (plus some personal referrals) for healer experiences: tarot reading, astrological birth chart reading, oracle session, private or small group yoga, Universal Health Principles sessions (contact me for booking).
A book that was meaningful to you
Gifting a book that was particularly meaningful to you, or that you feel would resonate with the recipient is a THING gift that also acts as an experience. You can chat about the book as your loved one reads it.
For some of my favorite books, check out my FAVORITE PRODUCTS page.
A CRYSTAL OR CANDLE
Like a book that has meaning, it can be special to give a crystal with specific properties or a candle that’s meant to be burned with intention. Again with this gift (and with many of the gifts on this year’s list) it shows that you really thought about the person in selecting the items.
My favorite crystals: amethyst (for protection), quartz (for clarity) and citrine (for personal power and creativity). I suggest actually going into a shop to pick out crystals as often specific stones will “speak” to you.
My favorite candles: House of Intuition candles
A Magazine SUBSCRIPTION
Another gift that keeps on giving: a magazine subscription. I’ve been gifted both Yoga Journal and Runner’s World - each month when I received the magazine I would think about the person who gifted me the subscription. So nice!
A PRINT OR PIECE OF ART
Art is not the easiest gift to give because it is SO personal, but I’ve found smaller prints can make lovely gifts. I love Archie’s Press - they have cool prints of major cities. A fun gift, especially for someone who’s just moved. Archie’s Press also has fun prints of body parts, the zodiac and more.
ESSENTIAL OILS + DIFFUSER
Everyone in my family gets essential oils as some part of their holiday gift, and no one complains. But really, essential oils are such a wonderful gift - they feel like a luxury item, but are also super practical since they can be used in so many ways.
If you’re looking for a full gift set, I’d suggest purchasing a few oils and a diffuser so that your gift recipient can immediately enjoy the oils in their home.
If you’re the crafty type, you can purchase a few oils yourself and make custom blends for your loved ones. This is what I do and not only is it super fun, but people love the personalized gifts!