It’s the holidays and everyone is doing gift guides. I don’t exactly love buying gifts for the sake of buying things (or because television tells me I should get gifts), but I do love treating the people I love to things that might make them light up. I love when I see just the right thing–something that reminds me of our memories together, or that just inspires me with that immediate gut instinct that my friend/family member/loved one/etc will really go over the moon about THAT THING, or whatever. You know–gifts with meaning. Gifts that speak to the ways we live our lives, the conversations we have with each other, the ways we share our lives and our personalities with each other. The most perfect gift ever does not need to be expensive (in fact–one year for Christmas I got my one best friend’s second daughter, who was about 8 months old, a $3 stuffed animal from Target and she spent the next 5 months holding it and sucking on it and needing to have it with her everywhere she went. It was inexpensive, but she loved it so much.)
So–in this spirit–my own gift guide! Broken down the only way I know how. Some of these things may be splurge-worthy and some may be budget-friendly, but many of these are gifts I want, I have given, I have gotten, etc.
(Note: I am not sponsored by anyone. All opinions are entirely my own and will not earn me any money.)
(Another note: As a brand new blogger, I don’t know too much about creating lovely picture collages, and I am still learning to use WordPress well. This post will focus on links rather than images)
For the dedicated runner…
Lululemon Essential Tank ($58): This handles sweat very well and will dry nicely and relatively quickly after you wash it. I love that it’s very lightweight, and it has become my go-to tank top for warm-weather running and for cross-training sessions in my gym. It’s one of my favorite running tops! For the Running Mister in your life, a women’s tank top may not be the best idea, but this mesh short-sleeved top from lululemon is about the same price and seems like it will handle sweat just as well and dry on a rack just as quickly!
Balega ‘Silver’ running socks ($15): Balega is one of my favorite brands of running socks, and while I own many pairs across many of their product lines, I have been gravitating lately towards my pairs of the ‘silver’ socks. They have a lot of the cushioned feel of the popular ‘Hidden Comfort’ socks by the same brand along with silver ions woven into the sock’s fibers to add extra antimicrobial, anti-stink superpowers. In my experience, these socks have not lost their shape or become problematic after multiple washings. While it might seem like socks are not a fun gift to get, technical socks for runners that keep your feet safe from blisters and that are moisture-wicking are expensive and are the kind of gift that any runner would love to get.
Brooks reflective sherpa hat ($30): Whether your favorite running friend lives in sunny warmer climates or deals with ‘a whole lotta weather,’ these moisture-wicking hats are the bee’s knees and Brooks is one of the best, most socially responsible, more in-tune-with-runners-needs brands out there. This hat in particular has a reflective zig-zag design that will add an extra wink of visibility when your friend runs in the dark. I’m obsessed with everything that Brooks makes available for runners, but that’s for another blog post at another time.
Goodr OG sunglasses ($25): Inexpensive, polarized lenses, and frames made with a rubber-coated substance that’s “no slip”? I’m in! For days when I rock the Allie Kiefer Power Bun (this is an official name!) instead of one of my favorite Brooks sherpa hats, I need to do something to increase visibility and protect my eyes from the sun. The runner in your life will even get a kick out of whimsical color names like ‘Flamingos on a Booze Cruise’ and ‘Donkey Goggles.’ And if the runner in your life is all about that #RunMatchy life, these are inexpensive enough to help them have multiple pairs so no matter what colors they’re rocking, they’ve got their eyewear taken care of!
For your friend who loves spin classes…
Bombas Pique Quarter Socks ($12): Cycling shoes tend to be made of thick fabric that can scratch the front of your ankles and the top of your feet if you wear no-show socks. For the spin classes I take and teach, I am obsessed with these Bombas socks–they keep my skin scratch-free and are as comfortable in my favorite sneakers as they are in my spin shoes. I’ve owned mine for a few years now, and they wash and dry well. No holes! Bombas also has great customer service and a business model I can believe in–for every pair of Bombas socks that gets sold, a pair of socks gets donated to a homeless shelter. \
Classpass membership (monthly memberships begin at $45): Anyone who spends a lot of time on a spin bike winds up getting tight hip flexors and sore glutes. Cross-training is important, but if the spin enthusiast in your life spends a lot of money for a Cyclebar/Fly Wheel/Soul Cycle membership OR has chiseled their workout schedule around when spin classes are offered, they might be reluctant to come out of their shell and crosstrain. But strength classes to develop the core strength that will help them be more explosive on the bike, yoga classes to help elongate and gently strengthen the tendons and muscles that get all crunched up–these are necessary to stay injury-free. Classpass will allow your loved ones to try many different classes without feeling extra obligations to one specific yoga/strength and conditioning/etc. studio.
Padded bike seat cover ($9.99): What do you do when you love spin but your booty is always sore? Padded seat covers help! They might not seem like the most glamorous gift to give or get, but after a few uses, I bet that the spin enthusiast in your life will be so grateful to have one!
For the goal crusher in your life…
Let Your Mind Run: A Memoir of Thinking My Way to Victory by Deena Kastor ($18): Though this is Deena Kastors memoir on developing a mental game to help her in her running career, it’s an amazing and inspiring book that your favorite goal-crusher will love and will be able to apply to whatever part of life they’re trying to totally crush.
Alex & Ani Compass Charm Bangle ($28): The compass charm on this bracelet will serve as a reminder for your favorite goal-crusher to stay their course and to stay focused no matter what challenges, doubts, self-questioning, and obstacles come their way in a subtle, elegant way. And if you’re a man, Alex & Ani–one of my favorite companies in the for-profit universe–has a men’s necklace with this compass charm. Everyone should have a wonderful, subtle reminder to stay their course!
LVP Tea ($26 for 8 oz of loose tea): Even the most ambitious go-getter needs time to themselves to find some calm and just breathe. This tea–a rooibos (red tea) that has no caffeine and is infused with lavender, peppermint, and vanilla–tastes like a warm hug. Encourage your loved one who is always so busy killing it in their loves to make this tea and drink it, hot, on its own or even over ice cubes and mixed with unsweetened almond milk for a refreshing and soothing afternoon or evening drink for a few minutes of “me time.” Added bonus: invite even more calm to refresh, refocus, and revive to open their favorite meditation app for just five minutes of calm.
Healthy Human 20 oz. Cruiser ($26.99): This independent Charleston-based company makes the most amazing and amazingly designed items for the busy person who’s always on the go and can’t seem to sit still long enough to drink their coffee or tea while it’s still hot. My Healthy Human 20 oz keeps my tea hot for many hours and it’s just so pretty to look at (I have the ‘stone gold’ design). I love it. Added bonus: every cruiser comes with a steel straw and a straw brush to encourage you to be kind to the world around you.
Splurge gifts for the active person…
Brooks Dash Hoodie for women and for men ($80): This fabric is silky-soft and this top is worth every penny. It’s loose enough to drape nicely on your body AND to allow room for a base layer beneath in cooler weather and soft enough to handle sweat well. Even as sweat cools and dries, the fabric stays silky-soft. Whether you wear this on a long, meandering walk with your dog or a hike along your favorite trail or to help you crush your 5K–or even for a casual “athleisure” look with leggings and your favorite pair of kicks–you really can’t go wrong with this. I own it in four colors and I am obsessed. It’s worth every penny.
Hyperice Vyper Vibrating Roller ($199): This is really the gift that keeps on giving. It’s expensive, and it might be an amazing gift for your favorite active couple or family. Foam rolling is important for injury prevention, myofascial release, and increasing flexibility, and this is like a dream. I don’t have one and I dream that some day I can afford to splurge on something like this. It’s really the best thing ever.
Hotels.com gift card (price depends on you): want to encourage your loved one to take that trip for that bucket-list 10K or half marathon…or to go to that weekend-long Les Mills Body Pump Instructor Training they’ve been wanting to go to…or to hike that trail or mountain they’ve been dreaming of? A gift card for a hotel-stay will help bridge the gap between what your adventure- and fitness-loving friend has been budgeting for and CAN budget for. The encouragement to see new places and finally take the plunge and make that super special adventure happen. Encourage the people you love to chase their dreams and find avenues for new growth, and you just might encourage stronger, closer, more connected relationships and a world that is extra-inspired by what these people can possibly accomplish!
…gifts don’t have to be expensive to be meaningful. The smallest and most seemingly pragmatic thing can make someone feel so loved. Just make sure that it’s something that taps, somehow, into this person’s passions or that reminds you of some of your best conversations. What you get in return, I promise, will be more amazing than anyone can put into words!