In the dark, dreary months of winter, we tend to crave things that intrigue our five senses - sight, sound, touch, taste and smell. Flavorful, hearty food and drinks, warm and cozy sweaters, the pungent smell of christmas trees and candles to fill our homes. That's why items that delight the senses make especially wonderful holiday gifts - Jessica has put together a list of her favorite sensory gift ideas!
SIGHT - Mineral Fusion Nail Polishes
I absolutely adore these nail polishes - with over 50 shades to choose from, there's definitely a color (or more!) for everyone. Mineral Fusion polishes are an alternative to traditional nail polish in that they are free of all the icky stuff (like formaldehyde, ew!) And it doesn't end there - every Mineral Fusion Nail Polish is free of gluten, parabens, SLS, phthalates, artificial colors and synthetic fragrances! From their commitment to environmental sustainability (utilizing wind power, soy inks, and packaging from recycled materials) to their contributions to social wellbeing, to partnering with the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence to support women in need, Mineral Fusion is just a really awesome company. As a self-proclaimed feminist, this partnership is particularly important to me. Many of the strong women in my life will be getting these polishes as gifts this year!
SOUND - Putumayo World Music CDs
Putumayo albums and songs hold a special place in my heart – the first health food store I ever worked in had Putumayo playing all day from open to close. Putumayo CDs are compilations of awesome international music that I really believe supports the company’s motto: “Guaranteed to make you feel good!” Putumayo World Music was established in 1993 to introduce people (including children) to the music of the world’s cultures. I’ll be giving these CDs as gifts this year because they’re not only uplifting to listen to, but they’re beautiful to look at! The gorgeous artwork of British illustrator Nicola Heindl is featured on the CD covers. It's a perfect addition to any world music library – or a great introduction to world fusion. Plus, they've contributed more than one million dollars to non-profit organizations around the world. It’s the perfect gift for any and every one!
TASTE - Republic of Tea
Who doesn’t love to snuggle up with a warm beverage this time of year? Not only can you gift your loved ones with a delicious cup of tea, but one that is also socially and environmentally responsible! The Republic of Tea offers a line of beautifully packaged, nourishing teas that support worthy organizations, including the Prostate Cancer Foundation, Sunny Hills Services and Room to Read, and they're a member of The Ethical Tea Partnership. The specially designed tins contain signature round, unbleached tea bags, free of unnecessary envelopes, strings, tags or staples that not only make sense, but are pleasing to the eye! I know I’ll be gifting many of The Republic of Teas array of flavors, paired with an IamTra positive intentions mug this year!
TOUCH - Bianca Baader Infant Onesies
I am in love with the Bianca Baader onesies – I wish I could wear them myself! Though I suppose the next best thing would be giving them as gifts this holiday season! Luckily, two good friends of mine recently became first time mommies, so I’m truly excited to pick out a funky one-of-a-kind onesies for their littles! The shirts are 100% cotton American Apparel shirts (made sweat shop free in the US) that are appliqued with different “things” - animal, fairy tale creature, letters, object or flowers. Bianca Baader, a mother of two young girls, works from her home in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
SMELL - Now Ultrasonic Diffuser
I’ve had my diffuser for over a year now and I’m still just as obsessed with it as I was on day one. I gifted two last year, and those two friends have had equally great experiences with theirs! So here’s the scoop: “it’s an attractive, essential oil diffuser that uses high-frequency ultrasonic electrical vibrations to create an ultra-fine aromatherapy mist.” This means that there’s no heat involved (cool stream), and since it shuts off automatically (runs for up to 8 hours!), you can “set it and forget it” with no worries! It’s also extremely quiet, which makes it perfect for studying or even sleep. Six rotating LED Lights can be paused (on your favorite color!) or shut off completely. Plus it’s BPA free! I think this diffuser is perfect for daily and year-round use and is a healthy alternative to synthetic room fresheners and scented candles.