There is nothing better than giving a gift that you know will nurture the mind, the body, or the spirit of someone you love. Following are some creative and thoughtful gift ideas from Bread and Honey that promise to nourish those you love this Christmas!
Honey: I call it the eternal syrup! Honey is the best choice for diabetics, great for allergies, a sore throat, softening wrinkles on the face (check online for recipe for a honey mask!), heals wounds under Band-Aids magically, is a potent anti-bacterial remedy, and is nutritionally good for you! Honey both nourishes the body and the soul. Whenever Heaven is mentioned in the Bible, honey plays a starring role!
Rishi Organic Herbal Tea: Serene Dreams: I love nothing more than when one of my closest friends and fellow tea lovers treats me to a new bag of loose tea. I am partial to the white and herbal teas. Tea is chock full of flavenoids, antioxidants, and bears far less caffeine than coffee. I have recommended Serene Dreams because who wouldn’t wish a night of sweet dreams for someone they love!
Healing Oils: I fear we no longer understand what it means to mark our lives as sacred. When we anoint, whether it is in the rite of healing or blessing, we are marking on the outside what we hope to happen at a deeper, spiritual level on the inside. I have seen it time and time again when I mark a forehead, a belly, a child, a house, or a moment in time, an unexplainable peace touches all souls involved. You would be surprised what a little drop of lavender oil does for a child or adult after an especially trying day! It has this mysterious power of reminding us that all will be well. Whole Foods/Body has a tremendous selection of healing oils like peppermint, eucalyptus, lavender and rose, and neat sachets to gift them in. I also recommend this beautiful gift of three oils made by the Magdalene Women for Thistle Farms.
Olive Oil: If I could bathe in the stuff I would! We go through a large bottle of good olive oil every week at our house. If there was ever a gift that you could rest assured would do wonders for the mind, body, and the soul of someone you love, it’s olive oil! The health benefits are staggering. Many of the leading cancer hospitals call for a daily regiment of two tablespoons a day! Olive oil boosts the immune system, is rich in antioxidants, especially Vitamin E, is proven to reduce stress, inflammation in the body, heart disease, and even depression. The phytonutrients in Olive oil, oleocantral, mimic the effects of ibuprofen in reducing inflammation in the body, the greatest culprit of cancer, arthritis, and a host of other ailments! I buy regularly the Italian brand, Lucini Estate Select from Whole Foods, have been known to splurge on the French brand, Nicolas Alziari, and below is a resonably priced and tasty Spanish oil that has gotten great reviews by olive oil connoisseurs! A perfect gift for me would be a fresh baguette and new bottle of olive oil!
The Green Bible: This just might be my favorite gift on the list! The Green Bible is a NRSV translation, green-lined for all passages that speak to God’s vision and hope for creation. There are some truly beautiful excerpts in the foreword written by some of our greatest saints, humanitarians, and scholars like Desmond Tutu, N.T. Wright, Barbara Brown Taylor, and Pope John Paul II. I promise you will cherish this gift in your own stocking too!
Moravian Sugar Cakes: No one can deny the blessings that come from breaking bread with those we love. Growing up, it was Christmas tradition to share the famous Winston Salem Moravian Sugarcakes after opening presents on Christmas morning. These delectable brown-sugared treats symbolize home for me! I promise after one bite, the Moravian sugar cake will become a new Christmas tradition in your home too! You can click on this link to order online or seek them out in the bakery section around the Holidays at Whole Foods and The Fresh Market!
Alma Gloria and the Olive Tree: Who wouldn’t want to escape in a book to a hilltop in France with a cup of hot chocolate, curled on the sofa in front of a blazing fire this Christmas! The story of the La Bastide d’Esperance Cooking school run by Alma Gloria promises to inspire hope to any and all who read it! Not too mention, all proceeds from every book purchased goes to Memorial Sloan Kettering Pediatric Cancer Center in honor of kids fighting cancer this Christmas! You can pick up the book at Amazon.com, Parnassus Bookstore in Nashville, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll sign a book, or two, or three, wrap them up for you for Christmas and mail them out before December 24th!
A Home-Made Love Note: With the recent tragedy of deaths surrounding the Kansas City Chiefs, I heard an interview with the quarterback, Brady Quinn, who poignantly remarked that we now live in a social media culture where texting, “How ya doing?” and hearing back an “Okay,” is enough when it comes to seeing about the people you claim to care about. But so clearly it is not enough! We are so caught up with our own lives, and sadly, technology just encourages this hubris, that we have forgotten what it really means to be present for the people we love. This Christmas, how about you put up your wallet and give the gift of a homemade love note or a phone call or better yet take the time to actually check in on someone in person. For so many, this Christmas will not be all smiles. There will be mourning, loneliness, fear, physical pain, and darkness that will go hand-in-hand with the Christmas cheer. Share a little of the “Live in Hope” message this Christmas!
Live in Hope,