Without being too heavy handed and preachy, I like to give gifts that inspire happiness and health, that stay true to my values of sustainability, social consciousness, and wellness. Kind of a tall order, eh? Well if you share any of those values, or just want to give your friends and family gifts that will help them live their best lives in the coming year, I’ve done all the work for you. From the kitchen, to the bathroom, to the play mat, our holiday gift guide features my top picks for gifts that will inspire, simplify, and bring joy to those you love!
In thinking about what to give all the ladies out there, I cast a pretty wide net, selecting natural, beautifying and simplifying gifts that are great for moms, single ladies, millennials, and favorite aunts alike.
1. 100% Pure To All a Good Night Kit ($88)
For the woman you want to pamper, this gift set combines three of their anti-aging, beautifying, glow-giving products from one of my all-time favorite natural and organic skincare lines. The three products are a treat for the senses and together create a luxurious and effective nighttime skincare routine, with all three of my healthy skin must’s: a great oil face wash, an antioxidant vitamin C serum, and a rich and reparative night cream. Skincare perfection!
2. Freshly Picked Diaper Bag ($175)
This new line of diaper bags from Freshly Picked almost made me want to have another kid, until I realized that they are super awesome, functional backpacks that anyone would love, baby or not. Made of premium quality, eco-friendly vegan leather, packed to the brim with functional pockets (seriously, there are 10!), lined with 100% wipeable and spill resistant fabric, and super versatile with three ways to wear (backpack, cross-body, and purse), this bag is a must for any mama (or busy lady) on the go. If you’re sick of black and gold (I don’t know how you could be… black+gold forever!), the bag also comes in beautiful stone and butterscotch hues.
3. All-Clad Programmable Slow Cooker ($130)
Slow cookers are all the rage this year, and I have to say, from a nutritionist’s perspective, they are a frickin’ life saver when it comes to getting healthy meals on the table with little to no effort. I am a huge fan of all things All-Clad, and this slow-cooker is no different. This 6.5 quart beauty has an easy to clean (and non-toxic) ceramic insert, is programmable for up to 26 hours, has an automatic keep warm function, and looks so pretty, you won’t want to put it away. Perfect for all those bean soups, bone broths, and curries we’ll be making all winter!
4. Danielle Laporte #Truthbomb Deck ($20)
For the ultimate inspirational gift, priestess of wisdom, Danielle Laporte makes the perfect gift. Her beautiful #Truthbomb deck is gorgeous, printed on thick, creamy card stock with soy ink and REACH-certified gold foil icon embossing. Each of the 134 cards in this deck feature an inspiring message that can be used as a divination deck set your day off on the right foot, and are pretty enough to adorn your house with. But Laporte’s no-bullshit wisdom isn’t your average inspirational drivel.. these messages truly help to break down limiting belief systems and help to create magic in every day life.
5. Cladwell App (monthly, six month, or yearly options ranging from $7.99-$39.99)
The amount of time we spend staring blankly into our closets is astonishing, and kind of demoralizing. This elegant solution is perfect for any busy woman, fashionista, or minimalist in your life that has better things to do than stress about what to wear. I’ve been using it for months and honestly don’t know how I would ever live without it. The app catalogues what you already have in your closet and suggests three daily outfits based on the weather for you to choose from each day. If you don’t like what you see, you can refresh for more options or edit the outfit to customize. The system also helps to track what you actually wear, which simplifies the inevitable new years resolution of decluttering (hello KonMari!). Get a download for yourself and gift another to someone you love!
Poor guys often get the shaft when it comes to gifting — lots of socks and ties, books, and sporting goods, which is all fine and good. But men like a little bit of self-care, relaxation, and creativity too, which is why our Organic Beau gift list breaks the mold a bit. I picked some natural, healthy gifts for every type of guy on your list that will help them take better care of their bodies and minds this coming year, which is the ultimate show of love from you, the wise gifter!
1. Beard Care Kit by Mountaineer ($38)
Lucky for those of us that like a little burliness in our men, it seems like the beard trend isn’t going anywhere. But sadly, growing a beard is only half the battle, and many well-meaning men don’t know how to care for their scruff at all! This all-natural, handcrafted beard care kit comes with everything a guy needs to keep his beard looking and feeling great — a beard wash, beard oil for conditioning, a beard balm for keeping everything in place, and a boar hair beard brush. The whole kit has a yummy, masculine woodsy smell to it, due to cedar wood and fir needle essential oils, so your man doesn’t have to sacrifice a drop of burliness in the name of his well-tended beard.
2. Headspace App ($7.99-12.99 a month for subscriptions)
Dudes get stressed. But sadly, they don’t always have the same support system and general focus on self-care that we ladies to do help them deal with it. Unlike most meditation apps and products out there, that have a bit of a feminine woo-woo bent that we girls love, Headspace is firmly based in science (that will convince even the biggest skeptic), and a fun, playful interface that’s easy to get behind. In addition to decreasing stress and increasing focus, the meditation practices in Headspace also promote awareness and compassion, which are much needed in these crazy times. This is a thoughtful, loving gift the benefits of which will extend far beyond the holiday season.
I’ve long believed that the fancy candle industry needn’t be limited to the fairer sex. There are lots of great natural candles out there with more masculine, woodsy scents, but Paddywax Library collection takes them a step further, with candles inspired by many of the great writers of our time. This hand-poured soy wax candle features notes of cardamom, absinthe, and sandalwood, and comes in a beautiful gift box with a short biography and photo of the dark and mysterious writer. Poe not your guy’s thing? How about Steinbeck, Emerson, Tolstoy, Twain, or Shakespeare? Each with a unique blend of essential oils evoking the character and time of the writer. SUCH a cool gift!
4. Lodge Cast Iron Combo Cooker ($31)
Reminiscent of camping and outdoorsy vibes, cast iron cookware is a great way to inspire your guy in the kitchen. This set of two pieces includes a dutch oven and a skillet that doubles as a lid, making one-pan meals and rustic flavors a cinch. As an added benefit, cooking with cast iron is non-toxic, naturally non-stick, oven and campfire safe, and adds extra iron to whatever you’re cooking (perfect for those vegetarian dudes in your life!). We almost exclusively cook on cast iron these days, and are totally obsessed.
5. Thug Kitchen Cookbook ($20)
This is one of my favorite cookbooks for two reasons: 1, the food is frickin’ awesome, healthy, and FUN, and 2, the cookbook is hilarious. With a foul-mouthed, hilarious flare, the LA-based duo behind the popular Thug Kitchen website created a cookbook that shows how simple and goddamn cool it is to make healthy, fresh, plant-based food from scratch, instead of relying on processed crap and takeout. They have great instructional sections on kitchen basics like knife skills, dressings, and broth, and the recipes all have kickass, bold flavors that will satisfy even the staunches meat eater. A must-have cookbook for anyone (with a sense of humor), and an especially great gift for guys!
My top natural and non-toxic toy picks this year are admittedly limited to the 5 and under set (cuz that’s what I know), but I did make these selections with an eye on longevity. These are toys your kids will play with from babyhood well into preschool, and they are open-ended enough to inspire creativity and independent play for hours on end.
1. Bla Bla Hand-Knit Eco-Friendly Dolls ($50)
The beautiful hand-knit dolls from Bla Bla are made from all-natural fibers, and are safe for all ages. There is an animal doll for every kid out there, ranging from girly mermaids to dapper fantastic foxes, that will soon become treasured favorites (and even heirlooms!) in your home. I love how cozy these knit dolls are, making them excellent for bedtime snuggles. But fear not, if this doll gets out into the big messy world, it’s machine washable too!
2. Gaston + Antoinette Book Set ($25)
This pair of charming books are destined to be a favorite with your littles for their beautiful illustrations and adorable puppies, and you can feel good about the positive messaging around uniqueness, acceptance, and family. We bought these two books separately, but this beautiful boxed set makes them duo a perfect gift. If you’re feeling particularly generous, there’s also a stuffed Gaston toy to add to the mix for a surefire gift to win over the littles in your life!
Seeding is an awesome startup that makes creative, thoughtful, and experiential toys/projects for littles, and the Farmer’s Market Kit is no exception. The little tote folds out to depict a market, and combined with the plush produce and money, can lead to endless pretend play with themes of counting, matching, and of course, food. Then the whole kit packs up into the tote so you can bring it along for fun on the go! I love that it introduces the concepts of where real food comes from, and can inspire excitement about the farm-to-table process for even the littlest ones.
German-made, non-toxic wooden toys from Grimm’s are a cult-favorite in the Waldorf, natural parenting world, but they usually cost a pretty penny. This super open-ended and beautiful stacking/nesting toy comes at a much more reasonable price point than most of their other toys, and offers endless options for imaginative play for many years. The individual pieces can become bridges, rivers, ramps for toy cars, furniture for dolls, or elements in building block creations. I also love how beautiful they are — these are toys you will want to keep out on display!
5. Hape Cook N’ Serve Wooden Play Kitchen ($127)
In my experience of parenting so far, I can say that a play kitchen is an item that gets the most use for the longest period of time than any other toy. Basically from the time they can pull up to stand, until well into grade school, a play kitchen can provide hours of open-ended fun for littles. This modern, minimalist kitchen from Hape doesn’t take up a ton of space, and has a design that would look great in a modern home. Built with wood sourced from environmentally sustainable forests and non-toxic, child-safe paint, this kitchen is probably one of the most eco-friendly options out there as well. It’s also very space conscious, with an extra shelving/counter piece that slides out for playtime, and can be nested inside the kitchen when put away. The other feature I love are the blackboards on the back, effectively turning the kitchen into a lemonade stand or food truck or any number of cool ideas for truly limitless play.
Wishing you and your loved ones a happy, healthy holiday season!
Natasha (The Organic Beauty)