Ah, the holidays.
December is definitely cold as FRAWK here in Ottawa, Canada, eh? But I really can’t imagine being anywhere else this time of year than inside my parents’ overly-decorated log home, surrounded by Mom’s gluten-filled treats and my loud, piss and vinegar-filled family.
And it just wouldn’t be Christmas without us listening to the 90’s pop version of every classic holiday tune on my parents’ CD player (yes, CD player) whilst I warm my giant ass in front of their blazing hot, wood stove. <3
Feel free to hit that “play” button to really get in the mood before reading the rest of this post.
Aside from crowded malls and below freezing temperatures, there really isn’t much that I don’t love about the holidays. Well actually, that’s a lie because I do have a personal vendetta against any person who wears a Santa hat the ENTIRE month of December…
But hear me out. It’s not about the actual hat itself. But haven’t you noticed that the people who wear Santa hats almost always look so… miserable?!? I just think that if you’re going to rock a cheery, joyous, Santa hat, you need to rock that shit. And it should be a requirement that you play the part accordingly and rock a permanent smile on your face too! Right?!?!
Apparently Dwight doesn’t smile when I force him to wear his Santa hat either…
Whatever the case, I’m still a huge Christmas nerd and really veering off-topic.
So for all my fellow vegan meatheads out there (or partners/family/friends of one) I thought I’d share my own personal Christmas gift “wish list” for 2017.
Ho-ho-here we go, kids!
Gift Idea #1: StoryWorth
This is, without a doubt, THE coolest, most thoughtful gift EVER for the person in your life who already owns EVERYTHING and you’ve run out of ideas. Fine, this one isn’t actually vegan-related or meathead-relevant whatsoever. But I’m so frickin’ stoked on this as a gift for loved ones that I really wanted to share with anyone else who struggles to find their parents a worthwhile present that they’ll genuinely love and use. Plus it can be purchased online in two seconds flat AND delivered electronically in an instant. Perfect for all you last-minute shoppers. You’re welcome!
My siblings and I bought StoryWorth as a birthday present for my dad last year and here’s how it works. Each week, my dad gets sent a different question about his life. It’s fast and easy for him to type up his answer to that one question and every week, his response then gets emailed to us kids.
Then, at the end of the year, we receive a hardcover book of ALL his stories!
I just think that it’s such an awesome, sentimental gift to not only my dad but to his children as well. It’s a win-win for all parties involved! Dad’s been loving this as a fun & creative, new hobby. And I’ve been enjoying learning about his life. And the end-product i.e. the hard-cover book will be such an awesome keepsake for us to have forever and ever.
Price: $79. More deets: HERE.
Gift Idea #2: Luxe de Mer Skin Care
Everyone’s always asking what my fave, cruelty-free, high-end, skincare products are. Truthfully, I’m always testing out different lines and brands (plus a bunch of DIY, homemade vegan hippie concoctions that have been hits and fails.) But one of my all-time, tried-and-true, fave vegan skin care companies is definitely Luxe de Mer.
After I read Joseph Pizzorno’s “The Toxin Solution,” I pretty much turned into an obsessive psychopath regarding every product I’d allow in and onto my body. More deets on toxin exposure HERE.
But Luxe de Mer is one of the few vegan skincare lines that passed my OCD vegan hippie beauty test. And it’s now become a regular part of my everyday routine.
Aside from using only organic, all-natural ingredients (no chemicals, perfumes, colours or additives) Luxe de Mer’s products are also SUPER concentrated (a little goes a LONG way!)
I also dig that they’re all about cleansing and moisturizing with oils. For someone like me who a) lives in a frozen wasteland b) has dry skin to begin with and c) is more terrified of wrinkles than death itself, slathering my face with these gentle products has been SUCH a great solution to not only my insecurities and vegan hippie skin woes, but to my severely dry skin too.
I recommend the “Luxe Facial” Travel Set as a holiday gift idea because you’ll get to try a bunch of their products (you get a small bottle of each) and you can see how well they all work together. I loved their products so much, I even asked for a discount code so I could selfishly save some cash (and hook my blog readers up.) 🙂
Discount Code: BEANSTALK for 10% off. More deets: HERE
Gift Idea #3: PetLegz Custom Pet Leggings
If you follow me on instagram or listen to my podcast, then you already know just how much I love these!
And if you don’t yet know what they are, “Pet Legz” is exactly what you think they are:
Custom leggings with pictures of YOUR PET all over them!
All you do is upload some pics of your pet (or pets) to http://www.PetLegz.com and they send you a proof of how they’re gonna look within a day or two and then it’s only a week or so before you receive them.
Seriously, look at the Dwight-filled masterpiece they created for me!!!!!
I think they would make SUCH a good Christmas present for the vegan fitness freak or crazy cat lady in your life aka probably YOU too, the reader. 🙂
Discount Code: JACKED will even save you 15%! More deets: HERE
Gift Idea #4: Local, Organic, Fruit & Veggie Delivery
I’m sure we can all agree that organic produce is a lot more nutritious than your standard, run-of-the-mill, grocery store fruit & veggie selection. And that’s because (in the absence of pesticides and fertilizers) organic plants boost THEIR OWN natural vitamin and phytochemical production in order to strengthen their resistance to bugs and weeds. Not to mention, we OURSELVES are not consuming the many chemical-laden pesticides and fertilizers that get sprayed onto the non-organic fruits and veggies we find at a regular grocery store.
So a few months ago, (also related to my toxin exposure scare) I signed up for a weekly organic fruit & vegetable delivery service and I gotta say, I’ve been loving it! I went with Ottawa Organics because they’re local to me obviously. And I think that ANYONE would love (and make use of) a Christmas gift that entails the delivery of fresh, local produce to their door every week.
Most of these services operate year-round (even in Canada, eh?) And I really dig the surprise and challenge I’m faced with each week as I attempt to get creative and come up with meals that utilize whatever’s leftover in my box.
Bonus points: I find myself juicing more often as another way to use up whatever’s left in my box each week.
Price: I pay $35/week for a medium-sized, organic fruit and veggie box
Gift Idea #5: A Yoga Wheel
Last year, I was introduced to this awesome piece of hip-opening, spine-lengthening equipment and I must say that I’ve been in love with her ever since. 🙂
Now let it be known that I am by no means, a “yogi.” I’ve probably done yoga less than 10 times in my entire life (as shocking as that might sound.) But remember, not ALL vegans do yoga! 😉
I do, however, deadlift like a beast on the regular. And I can honestly say that nothing has been more beneficial for stretching out my tight hips and roughed-up back than the yoga wheel.
Sure, there are a whole bunch of yoga moves you can do with it. But I just position this bad boy under my spine every morning for a couple of minutes and it’s frickin’ AMAZING.
It offers myofascial release similar to foam rolling but we’re talkin’ NEXT LEVEL shizz. Wow, that sentence sounds like pure “bro science” doesn’t it? Nevertheless, I think any bodybuilder (or yogi) should add the Yoga Wheel to their toolbox of home stretching devices. The brand I have is called “Yog Dev.“
Price: $59 More deets: HERE
And that’s it for this year, kids! Thankfully I already own all of these things so if you plan to buy me something for Christmas, please be original as I love a good surprise. 😉
And for those of you who don’t yet own any of these awesome items, I promise your vegan hippie meathead lives will be that much more enriched with ’em in your possession.
Happy holidays and Merry Christmas, vegan fit crew!
-Sam Shorkey, Jacked on the Beanstalk