The frenzy of the holiday season is upon us! Many of you are gearing up to face the lines, the crowds, the sales, and the endless search for a parking space at your local mall. Others have decided to hop onto the computer and peruse endless Web sites to conquer your holiday shopping lists.
When it’s all said and done, you end up buying a whole lot of “stuff.” This might be “stuff” people have asked for, “stuff” you think your friends and family could use, or “stuff” you buy because you have to give so-and-so something.
So what if you could avoid the stress of the malls, help a local business and give a thoughtful gift that promotes health and happiness all at the same time?!
You can!!!! And I’m about to make it easy for you! So here is your OPRF Health and Wellness Gift Guide!
1. The gift of fitness: Lucky for us, the Oak Park community is very fitness conscious. There are a number of local gyms, park department exercise programs, and stores that are aimed at keeping people fit and healthy. Here a few ideas for fun fitness gifts:
- Greenline Wheels (www.greenlinewheels.com) offers bike rentals, winter exercise classes and local bike tours. A great gift for a family or individual.
- The Competitive Foot (http://www.competitivefoot.com) is an excellent place to buy running gear and accessories for the fitness fanatic. Trust me, any exercise enthusiast loves a cool new gym bag, fancy new water bottle, or a good pair of running socks!
- Local Personal Trainers, myself included, often offer gift cards. If you know someone who is keen to start exercising, but isn’t sure how to get started, or a fitness enthusiast who wants to take his or her workout to the next level, they might truly benefit (and enjoy) a couple sessions with a personal trainer. Check out my Web site, www.arielacolestraining.com, for more details.
2. The gift of nutritious food: It’s tempting, and easy, to just give someone a box of chocolates or some calorie packed cookies for the holidays. Yes, they are yummy, but they disappear quickly and go straight to the waistline. Instead, think about giving a gift card to a local restaurant where they can enjoy some clean eating with a nice healthy and organic meal. Here are a few of my local favorites:
- Munch (munchrestaurant.net)
- Marion Street Cheese Market (marionstreetcheesemarket.com)
- Blue Max (http://bluemax.me)
3. The gift of relaxation: Oak Park offers countless salons, spas, massage therapists, and yoga studios. All of which offer relaxation-promoting services. A gift card for a massage is a great idea for the over-stressed friend, a gift card for a facial will totally make your wife smile, and what woman doesn’t love a gift card for a mani-pedi?!
4. The gift that helps those in need: One of my favorite gift ideas is to give a donation in someone’s name to a local organization that is close to their heart. There are a number of charitable organizations in the Oak Park area that do great things for others and would truly benefit from a holiday donation.
For example, my aunt is a teacher, so one Christmas I made a donation of school supplies to her classroom through Donor’s Choose (www.donorschoose.org). For the architecture enthusiast there’s the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation, for the animal lover there’s the Animal Care League, and for children in need there are countless youth programs. A quick Google search will lead you to any local charitable organization that you are interested in donating to. It’s a truly meaningful and thoughtful gift that will make the recipient smile.
This gift guide can be applied to any community, not just Oak Park. Remember the holidays are about more than giving someone the lastest new gadget or a sweater that will only be worn to next year’s ‘Ugly Sweater Party.’ You have the opportunity to give a gift that means something this holiday, while helping local businesses in your community. It’s a win-win. Happy Holidays!