If you really know me, you know that I’m going to recommend first and foremost that we shop local and handmade as much as possible at this or any time of year. And I’m going to recommend a number of things that you might gift to yourself. Because exquisite self-care and being resourced is one way that we also give to those around us.
This list touches on all of my favorite categories: Mind, Body, Spirit, and Home. Frankly, several of these items touch on most of these themes, if not all four! I hope that you and those on your gift list will be as delighted and nourished by these gifts as I am.
An alpaca throw makes a lovely and substantial gift to oneself or one’s beloved. Consider Rosemary Hallgarten’s Boucle Blanket. You can order sample size 6” x 6” squares, however, the full-sized pieces are to-the-trade only. So if you see one you like, please contact me as they are carried at one of our preferred showrooms at the SF Design Center.
If you want to learn more about Rosemary’s creative process, you are welcome to watch this video chat we had together recently, posted here: Interview with Rosemary Hallgarten on LMB Interiors’ Instagram.
Warming from the inside: Now, not everyone is going to buy an infrared sauna. Just like those car commercials with the sedan with a big red bow on top. But if you are in the market for a whole-body gift to yourself or someone worthy of an extravagant gesture, I highly recommend one of these. I live in mine: Sunlighten. It has become a sanctuary and a keystone of my self-care practices. If you are planning a remodel, consider making room for one of these!
Care for your mind: Tara Brach; Headspace App… Meditation! There are so many ways to go about it. Tara Brach’s beautiful guided meditations are free on her website, where you can also purchase her books and CDs and audiobooks. If you like your meditation backed-by-science, Headspace offers a simple, direct, and graduated introduction to developing your mindfulness-based practice in just a few minutes a day. Headspace’s mindfulness meditation technique has been shown to increase focus, improve sleep, and increase resilience.
Care for your spirit: Books, Candles, Ritual Items, Treats:
- Organic and eco-friendly Often Wander candles
- Animal Spirit cards from The Wild Unkown
- Tea — any tea they have in stock at the given time, they’re all good! — from The Oaktown Spice Shop
- Choc-Zero (because paleo-friendly, sugar-free, and yet still tasty)
- By Terry’s Baume de Rose nourishing lip balm
- For your coffee table or bookshelf (and for your heart): A must-have exquisite book of photographs and information about the last tribesmen of the world’s most threatened communities — from Papua New Guinea, Kazakhstan, Ethiopia, Siberia — Before They Pass Away by Jimmy Nelson
Speaking of coffee tables… For your coffee or other warm beverage of choice: Coffee Mugs! I simply adore Pawena Studio’s handmade ceramics. Her mugs are everything.
Inside your coffee mugs: Are you putting Lion’s Mane in your coffee? I am. Lion’s Mane is a medicinal mushroom long used in Traditional Chinese Medicine that purportedly provides a brain boost, as well as being a nerve tonic (in a good way) and contributor to a balanced mood, according to those who study these things. I notice a difference myself, and I wouldn’t drink my morning coffee without it. Sun Potion is my go-to brand. For more info about this magic mushroom and to buy, click here.
And RASA! I love RASA. Their adaptogen-packed beverages range from coffee-based to coffee-alternative to cacao, and more. Adaptogens are herbs that are known to promote wellness in ways that adapt to what your body is needing. This time of year more than any other, a hot beverage like this is such a welcoming thing, being both warming and medicinal! Energy-boosting, stress-busting, earthy, plus, of course, sugar-free, organic, Whole30-approved, etc. Plus, the packaging is beautiful. Their sample pack would make a great gift.
For your palate and our community: restaurant gift certificates. One way in particular that we can treat ourselves and others while also boosting a beloved sector of our local economy during this difficult time is to purchase restaurant gift certificates! As a matter of course I’m going to give a shout-out to the restaurants in my portfolio which include my sis and bro-in-law’s spots: The Wolf, Wood Tavern, and Southie Tacos; as well as Brown Sugar Kitchen.
Skincare for gifting to others or yourself: Organic, plant-based, handmade… You might recall my friend, holistic aesthetician, Rebecca Mattice? Her business, Bloom Healing Botanical Spa has just reopened in Arnold, California and you can order her products online. Another great local resource for organic, plant-based, therapeutic, and handmade skin and body care is Karen Holly Essentials. Karen offers a number of targeted blends, as well as a custom-made option. Ask her for “Type-A Neck” — a special blend that she created for me!
Dressing and accessorizing: Well, I can’t promise the matching masks, but Sherri McMullen’s eponymous shop is my go-to for special occasion items and if you haven’t shopped with her yet, you might want to consider this worthy indulgence for yourself or someone special on your gift list. Especially if you always dreamed of shopping in Paris but now you don’t have to because Sherri goes for you and brings Paris to her McMullen flagship store in Oakland, as well as to her more recently opened location in Palo Alto.
Of course, buying nothing, just being together, is also an option. Presence is a gift. Whatever you do, buy, wear, or not-do this holiday season, may your heart and home be filled with love.
A version of this article appeared in the Piedmont Post