Photos by Jeff Padrick
A few years ago, while hastily tossing ingredients for a holiday meal into my shopping basket, I discovered a helpful secret. I didn't need to make several frantic trips to the mall or local boutiques: I could shop for gifts, not to mention stocking stuffers, right there in the natural products store. Practically everyone on my list—coworkers, in-laws, even my 20-year-old brother—would enjoy something from the surprising array of items the store offered. I knew if it were me, I would.
This year, why not shop for groceries and gifts at the same time? Here, we share our favorites—gifts that you can truly feel good about giving. (Guys, are you reading this?) With any luck, they'll inspire life's deepest pleasures for the recipients: to relax, to savor, and to play this season. They're uplifting, healthy, ecofriendly, delicious, and luxurious, and what's more, they may save you time and hassle.
- Flowering Tea Dancing Leaves Teapot from Numi Organic Tea. As aesthetically pleasing as it is warmly comforting, this unique tea set comes with five hand-sewn flowering tea arrangements and a delicate glass teapot. Just add the tea bundles to hot water and watch them blossom.
- Wyndmere Aromatherapy Electric Diffuser fills the air with nose-pleasing, mood-healing essential oils. No pads to refill or candles to burn. To set a seasonal note, include the pine needle essential oil in an aromatherapy gift bag. Or give blends like "Joyful Spirit" or "Relaxing."
- Pharmacopia Natural & Organic Body Care Relaxation Gift Set. Reinvigorate the senses with hand cream, body oil, bath salts, and soap made from rich, all-natural ingredients, such as shea butter, sweet almond oil, aloe vera, vitamin E, and pure essential oils. Choose from four scents: lavender, rosemary, ginger, or citrus.
- Under the Canopy Organic Kimono Robe. Made with 100 percent certified organic cotton and low-impact dyes, this lightweight robe is as easy on the environment as it feels on your skin.
- Living Wisdom With His Holiness the Dalai Lama (Sounds True, 2006). This attractive package includes an audio CD, a set of 37 wisdom cards, plus a travel-size study guide illuminating teachings from one of the world's most renowned spiritual leaders.
- Soyabella Automatic Soymilk Maker. In addition to fresh, on-demand soy milk, this sturdy, kettlelike device makes rice or nut milk, too. It's simple: Just toss in raw ingredients and water, and presto! Add sweeteners and flavors to your liking. Also works as a coffee mill.
- Lolonis 2003 Cabernet Sauvignon. Like Lolonis' other wines, this selection was sustainably produced (with the help of millions of ladybugs) in the Mendocino region of California. Made from organically grown grapes, with notes of plum, blackberry, and cedar.
- True Fabrications Wine Gift Bag. Wrap your sustainably produced wine in a snazzy, ecofriendly wine gift bag and you've got something to toast!
- Agrumato Extra-Virgin Olive Oil Pressed with Lemons. A tradition in the Abruzzo region of Italy, this cold-pressed oil bursts with citrus flavor. Divine over grilled salmon, baked squash, or fresh greens.
- Building Blocks Silk Place Mats from World of Good. These brilliantly hued, hand-sewn place mats add cheer to any holiday table. And they're certified fair trade, too.
- Bodum Milk Frother. Heat milk and gently whip to cappuccino perfection with this slender gadget. Perfect for the café latte addict or for those who like their chai deliciously foamy.
- Green Babies O! Angels Baby Bag and Pull On Hat. These supercuddly 100-percent organic cotton knits are made without the use of harsh chemicals (unlike conventional cotton counterparts). Pure comfort for the littlest tyke in your life.
- Ecolution Market Bag. Stylish totes are naturally hip when they're made from sturdy, ecofriendly materials like organically grown hemp colored with low-impact, plant-based dyes.
- Yoga Now DVD Set from Gaiam. Featuring Rodney Yee and Mariel Hemingway, these three DVDs include two de-stressing routines, a core workout, and a sculpting and strengthening pose series. Perfect for the novice yogi.
- Aletta Tea-Zer from Pacific Cornetta. Loose-leaf tea drinkers will love brewing top-quality leaves on the go with this sleek, stainless-steel travel canister. The built-in tea filter keeps liquid debris free, and a storage compartment lid stashes unbrewed tea for later.
- Ultimate Canine Gift Pack from Cloud Star. Who knows the meaning of "play" better than your best canine friend? Treat your furry companion to a full tote bag of all-natural biscuits, shampoo, and bake-at-home treats.
Radha Marcum is managing editor of Delicious Living.