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Eco-Friendly Christmas Gifts

Stainless steel snack containers, mulling spices, cookie mix in a jar and a Wally mug; simple, yet useful gifts for the holidays.

Finding the perfect Christmas gifts for friends and loved ones can be a challenge. Especially if you’ve put off your holiday shopping until now.

Because we celebrate Chanukah it seems like we have far less pressure during the holiday season –though that could simply be the mindset I undertake during the holidays when I try to block out everything I can. Feel free to call me Scrooge, as an HSP, I’m simply trying to make it through this over-stimulating time of year.

Here are some of my favorite things. I did a quick search of my home to look for simple items that add value to everyday life and help conserve time, money and environmental resources. Here you go:

What are you giving as holiday gifts this year? Do you have ideas you’d like to share? What is at the top of your gluten-free, eco-friendly wish list for the holidays?

And by the way, did you boycott Black Friday? Or did you occupy your local mall? Has anyone else noticed that Occupy Wall Street has morphed into Occupy Walmart during this holiday season? Enough with the pepper spray already people!


posted on November 27, 2011, 28 comments

  1. Amanda@EasyPeasyOrganic @ easypeasyorganic.com

    I love the idea of packing up cookie mixes or mulling spices in lovely jars for holiday prezzies! Super cute, thoughtful, and not wasteful. I’ve done it with tea blends before, and lemon biscotti … but this gives me some great new ideas!

    Love the stainless steel stuff, too – trying to progressively eliminate plastic from my 4yo’s diet!

  2. Great suggestions Elana…I’ll vote for Gluten Free Cupcakes. If I didn’t have it already that’s the gift I would want! Although I’m going to check out the Paleo book. I trust your taste…

  3. Nicole @ Bake Me Blush @ bakemeblush.blogspot.com

    Thanks Elana for these ideas. I love the bento boxes – I must find and buy them as soon as possible. I also purchased the Paleo Solution just the other day and it’s an eye-opening read… I’m making the change today.

  4. Wendy Bussell

    Love all the ideas, the Wallyworld stuff is great!

    No shopping ever on Black Friday. I used to work retail and know how bad things are as opposed to times gone by. A good load of parents have just stopped teaching their children anything even resembling manners, because they wanted something more than rules and obedience for their kids, and those people have kept up the practice of being rude and crude and greedy. As well, marketing is worse as it keeps the ball rolling, making us all believe that you are nothing of value if you don’t have this or that. Ok, my soapbox just broke.

    I wanted to say that your Almond Joy bars are the best! We made those for Thanksgiving, along with a Vanilla Pumpkin custard.

  5. Great ideas! Thank you Elana for sharing them. – from another HSP!

  6. Robyn Baldwin

    Thanks so much for these terrific ideas. I have a hard time getting gifts for my parents because they don’t really want anything (they are trying to become minimalists). The mulling spices is a perfect idea. as are the tin containers. Those are perfect for carrying their medications in while traveling. Thanks again.

  7. This is so great and you crack me up :-) xoxo

  8. mary janssen @ maryj11@suddenlink.net

    I used a gluten free shortbread cookie mix to make my crust for a pecan pie. It turned out great and everybody loved it.

  9. Francie

    As another HSP (INFJ per Myers-Briggs) I avoid the big box stores and the malls all year if possible, and definitely this time of year. I shop local merchants instead. I also drive more defensively between Thanksgiving and the middle of January, people are even more distracted than usual.

    For gift ideas, as a decent amateur photographer, with a mother-in-law who loves jigsaw puzzles, I have taken an image of one of her favorite places and had it made into a puzzle. For other family, I have had calendars made with a different personal image for each month. Not expensive, lots of options online, and meaningful.

    As a new paleo/low-carb eater your site is wonderful, thanks for all you do!

  10. Judy

    I must be a trend-setter! LOL! I’ve been boycotting Black Friday since they came up with the idea. My gift giving has become smaller and more personal as each year passes. This year if I can’t make it or the gift doesn’t enhance the recipient’s creative spirit it isn’t happening. I love your ideas and will stow them away as possibilities.

    And by the way I am thankful that you have blessed us with your blog. Your recipes have helped my family become healthier.

  11. Heather

    It was so interesting to read about blocking things out this time of year. I could also be considered a Scrooge, but it’s all too much for me. Didn’t know you were a HSP; guess I am, too. Thanks for the gift ideas!

  12. Hayden

    How do you purchase? This would be perfect for my newly gluten free stepmom!

  13. anna

    i like to give pomadores – oranges studded with cloves and wrapped in ribbon. they are: 1. adorable 2. keep their smell for years 3. cheap and affordable 4. great to get the kids involved with

    http://www.ehow.com/how_8723201_make-orange-studded-cloves.html

  14. Elizabeth @ elizabethgood.com

    Great ideas! Kudos from another Chanukah-celebrating HSP. I think many HSPs definitely require more “refined”–(meaning unrefined! haha) diets of less or no grains. I will be giving gifts of handmade cards & supporting local independent businesses as much as possible. To me, this is a no-brainer that goes with a sustainable, health-oriented lifestyle. Where we buy and who we support is not separate from what we eat, health-wise.

  15. Lizzie B

    Elana,
    Thanks for the nudge about HSP. I don’t think I had heard of this before, and now things make a lot more sense.

  16. Thanks for the great ideas! I actually just bought your cupcake book through Amazon. It will be perfect for my sister who just went Paleo and happens to be a HUGE cupcake fanatic :)

  17. Anastasia@healthymamainfo.com @ healthymamainfo.com

    Wonderful ideas!

  18. Deb Kinney @ reviveorganizing.com

    Hi Elana,
    I love your Eco-Friendly Christmas ideas. Thanks for telling us about the Kill it All Essential Oil. My daughter suffers from sinus infections at this time of year. I will be getting that for her as an early Christmas present. You are the best!

    Be well,

    Deb

  19. Danielle Mateyka @ cesidmm@pocketinet.com

    I ran across this recipe a few weeks ago. It looks like a perfect holiday cupcake. I’m going to try to adapt it so its gluten free. Just thought I’d share it with you.
    http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/gingerbread-cupcakes-with-orange-icing-recipe/index.html

  20. Katherine

    For a few years now, I’ve bought most of my Christmas presents from local craft fairs. It just feels so much more personal and my gifts are really unique. It’s nice to hear about others who do the same.

  21. Nicole

    FYI: Did you know the metal lids Ball makes are coated in BPA? Tattler sells BPA free lids for Ball jars. (Just thought I’d share this info that I only recently found out about myself.)

  22. Great list! I just posted several handmade gift ideas on my blog. Trying to buy less and make more.

  23. how about giving people the metal water bottles for them to reuse. It could be a traveler’s kit. I travel a lot, and I always take a metal water bottle to refill at a starbucks or drinking fountain instead of buying a water bottle.

  24. Hello Elana,
    Great post… you are a crack up! I love your humor. :-D

    We generally give homemade gifts for Christmas. My homemade soap was so well received that I have recently started a soap business… who would have thought…?! And yes, most people will get… soap – homemade soap!

    Also, each year I have our son make something for each of the grandparents. Shh, don’t tell him he is also learning skills at the same time! One year he wove those great potholders. Remember doing those as a kid… well maybe you aren’t as old as I am. Anyway, they are the best potholders and he makes up his own patterns. Another year he make bookmarks for each person. This year he is making punched tin trivets!
    Blessings,
    ~Mrs. R

  25. Chelsea

    I was thinking of giving my family homemade deoderant…but I don’t want them to think I’m crazy ;)

  26. Peter @ aknepickel.de

    wow, superb.
    it’s just a wondeful list. I espacially like the cookie mix in a jar.
    one gift less to buy.

    thx

  27. I love the idea of offering people cooking mix, especially to friends who have celiac and who don’t yet cook with almond flour. it’s a great way to introduce them to super yummy desserts.

  28. Suzanne

    Elana please help! Have you noticed the trend towards the idea of the portable, measured, lunches? In lunchbots for me, or laptop lunches for others, it’s so difficult to come up with ideas. The laptop lunches folks have a list, which will be below, but their food philosophy is so dangerous for gluten free/grain free folks that I wondered if you had considered making a ‘month of lunches’ for us bento folks? Please?

    Here is the laptop lunches site, and fair warning, on my computer the screen jumps all the time….

    Have you seen this site? http://www.laptoplunches.com/bento-menus-season/Allseasons/

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