Here are my suggestions for gift giving this year. They stress things you can consume, experiences, and health-related items. I think there’s something for almost everyone. It’s my list for a great “no plastic crap” Christmas.

Check out Episode 58 of Food Smarts where Amie and I detail these picks further. Get Amie’s bonus picks exclusively on the podcast.

Many of these businesses will have post-Thanksgiving sales, so check them out sooner than later. Follow along with me on Facebook as I post great holiday deals. 

Note: This is truly a list of my favorite things, not a list of affiliate links. I do not make any commissions on these purchases except where noted. Amazon links amount to pennies (but I’ll take them.)

The Lodge Legacy Series Fish Pan— Don’t let the fish word throw you off. This is a giant (about 24″ x 12″) rectangular cast iron pan. I got mine this year. I use it to roast large amounts of veggies, roast 2 chickens at once, and even use it on my cooktop. I place this over 2 burners and use it to pan fry items like chicken thighs and pork chops. We are just a family of three, but by cooking larger quantities I can be prepared with leftovers for easy meals later on. This will also be cooking my Thanksgiving turkey. 

Let’s Make Art Watercolor Subscription Box–Having a creative outlet is really important to me and this subscription box has been a great introduction to watercolors for me at a nice price point. Each month’s box includes everything you need for 4 projects and you can paint along with online tutorials.

Local Business Gift Card–Shop Local! As a longtime small business owner, I can tell you it makes a massive difference to families right in your community to have your support. If you would like to support my family’s restaurant, this is the ONLY time a year you can get free La Scala. Our gift card sale is on! Please visit the restaurant for gift cards or give us a call at 765-426-2519 and we will pop them in the mail for you.

Thrive Market Gift MembershipThrive Market is one of my favorite sources for groceries. This is where I stock up on shelf-stable items for my family. There is a yearly membership fee, but regular prices are 25-50% regular grocery store prices. Note: If you follow this link and become a member, my family gets a $25 store credit. 

Alter Eco Chocolate–My favorite chocolate company. They are a Fair Trade, B Corp company and support Amazonian farmers. Their products are organic and non-GMO verified. My favorite is the Blackout bar. For every $24.99 CHOCOLATE MEETS NATURE GIFT BOX sold, they will plant a tree in the Amazon.

Local Meat Bundle or Gift Certificate (and/or a standalone freezer)–This is a very practical and much-appreciated gift for a family working to improve their nutrient density and carbon footprint.  It also helps local farmers have a brighter holiday.  Local, high-quality meat can be a real bargain when purchased in bulk, but buying so much meat at once can be a big financial hurdle for many families.  A standalone freezer is a must-have for a family working on eating local. For example, my family filled 2/3 of a chest freezer this fall with a side of beef purchased at $4.25 a pound.  A great deal, but a sizeable chunk of money to put toward meat at one time.  This would be an amazing gift for the right family.  If you are local, check out (in no particular order) Thistle Byre Farm, Holy Cow Farm, and This Old Farm

Joovv–Joovv is a light therapy appliance. I have been using this for about a year and have seen significant results in improved sleep, energy, skin health, and mood; workout recovery; and significant decreases in fibromyalgia pain. There is a lot of great science behind light therapy and I encourage you to do some research if you are interested in this. Joovv is offering some fantastic financing options for the holidays.

Native Bee Hotel–Any gardener, environmentalist, or outdoor enthusiast will appreciate this gift. Native bees are amazing pollinators, extremely gentle, and NEED our help. I added native bee support to my farm this year and saw improved pollination and loved to keep track of them when I was working outside.  Crown Bees is the place to go for all your native bee education and supplies. Check out Episode 36 (What You Don’t Know About Native Bees) of the Food Smarts Podcast where I interviewed Dave Hunter, owner of Crown Bees and Heather Harvey of Bees Gone Wild

Audible Membership/Gift Card–Audiobooks are a huge part of my life.  I honestly can’t imagine life without them.  This is a great gift for booklovers that are also active.  I listen to audiobooks as I farm, cook, clean, etc.  Save paper and listen instead.  

The Suburban Micro-Farm: Modern Solutions for Busy People-I do love an audiobook, but some books must be owned and this is one of them.  This is the book you need if you are starting to grow some food or are already a seasoned grower.  The author, Amy Stross, farms on a tenth-acre urban lot in Cincinnati.  You do not have to have a ‘farm’ to grow food!  This book breaks it down clearly for everyone.  Both the book and her blog, Tenth Acre Farm, has lots of info on foodscaping–landscaping with food.  Amazon affiliate link.

Oura Ring–This sleep, activity, and heart rate tracker has been a game-changer for me.  Oura has built an amazing ring that can tell you in-depth sleep info and so much more.  Sleep is my absolute health lynchpin and the info I get from Oura has been invaluable.  It helps me know what habits do and don’t have positive effects on my sleep and helps me plan how ambitious to make my days.  This is great info for anyone, but if you are living with chronic/autoimmune disease, I highly recommend it.  

Seed Company Gift Card–This is the perfect gift for the farmer or gardener in your life.  Seed catalogs are starting to arrive so a holiday gift certificate from a seed company makes an outstanding gift.  In January, serious growers will be snapping up the most interesting offerings, so this is a gift your recipient can put to use right away. Two of my favorite seed companies that also offer gift cards are Baker Creek and Territorial

23 and Me–This is my bonus pick.  I know it’s on sale for half price through the end of November.  Not only do you get a lot of really interesting ancestry data, but the amount of health info you get for the price is staggering.  You can also download your raw data for further exploration!  This has given me some peace of mind on possible health issues and brought others to my attention.  Amazon affiliate link.



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