The holidays are a fitting time to take the focus off yourself and think about passing along the gift of health to someone else. In the spirit of completing the circle, we asked the LLuminari experts to suggest offerings of health for those you care about:
1. Lettuce Rejoice!
Combine a good-looking salad bowl and servers with a cookbook like Michel Nischan's Taste Pure and Simple: Irresistible Recipes for Good Food and Good Health or Sally Schneider's A New Way to Cook. You could also create your own healthy cookbook by gathering tasty recipes—low-fat, low-carb, low-cal, vegetarian, or just generally nutritious—from friends and family. Write the recipes on cards and slip them into sheet protectors, then put the collection into a leather book or three-ring binder.
2. Seasoning's Greetings
Plant a window box of assorted herbs (continual flavor without calories).
3. Poems of the Month
Forget fruit and wine—nourish with spirit. Select 12 poems that speak to a friend or relative's current preoccupation or turn of mind, copy them beautifully, and send one every month.
4. Baby Bail
This will cost you nothing but a bit of sanity, and it's a great gift for a couple. Offer seven nights of babysitting over the course of a year (for the children, pets, or elderly parents) and set your friends free.
5. Personal Cheerleader
Volunteer to be an exercise buddy for three months. Or promise to support a friend's diet efforts by phone or e-mail a few times a week.
6. Home Improvement
Hire an expert to feng shui a friend's living room or office.
7. Journal du Jour
The Strong Women's Journal (Perigee)—by LLuminari member Miriam Nelson, PhD, director of the Center for Physical Activity and Nutrition at Tufts University—includes daily, weekly, and monthly checklists to help you discover exercise and eating patterns, log medical information, and note progress. The LLuminari Health Planner is the work of the whole group. Full of tips and motivating quotes, this has lots of room to record and reflect on a range of behaviors, from what you ate and whether you exercised to how you feel at any particular moment.
8. Flowers on Demand
Find a florist near the home or office of a friend, and buy her a gift certificate. When she needs a lift, she can stop by the shop and pick up some fresh roses or lilies.
9. Heavenly Peace
Put together a small basket filled with bath salts, cozy slippers, a luxurious bath towel—and a handmade DO NOT DISTURB sign.
10. Presents of Mind
The best gift of all may be none—that is, an agreement with a friend or relative not to exchange any gifts this year. By calling off the shopping, you eliminate so much pressure for both of you. Another way to offer relief: When you do give a present (this is only applicable to adults), include the instructions, "No thank-you note necessary. Please."
More Holiday Gift Ideas
From the December 2003 issue of O, The Oprah Magazine
We Hear You!