I must confess, I’m usually a bit of a bah-humbug. I don’t like decorating or celebrating Christmas until the day after Thanksgiving. (Shopping is another story – I gift shop year round) But this year we all need as much joy and celebration as we can get! So crank up the Christmas carols and break out the tinsel! It’s time for the 2020 Crunchy Christian Gift Guide!
This is the 5th year I’ve done the gift guide so if you need even more ideas for the crunchy granola types on your list (or ideas of what to put on your own wishlist), be sure to check out the previous years’ gift guides:
1.) All Things Sourdough
What started as a quarantine fad, has really caught on as a new home staple. Sourdough bread is easy to make and is much healthier and easier to digest than typical white or whole wheat bread we can get at the store. To make sourdough you’ll need a starter of wild yeast.
If you don’t have a friend that can share their starter, Homestead and Chill offers a dehydrated sourdough starter that will get you going with an endless supply of yummy bread. You’ll also need a jar to put starter in and if you want to really get sourdough serious, a supply kit with all the special tools to be a sourdough pro.
2.) Native Tea and Local Honey
Yaupon Holly is the only native North American plant that contains caffeine. But you’re probably more familiar with its South American cousin, Yerba Mate. Yaupon Brothers out of Florida is working to make this native a household name with their amazing tea made from Yaupon Holly. The flavor is similar to Yerba Mate but smoother with a hint of sweetness. You can order yaupon tea directly from their website, or it’s also available on Amazon.
And of course a cup of native tea needs some local honey. Fall of last year I started drinking my morning tea with a spoonful of local honey from my neighbors Honey Next Door. This past spring was the first time since I was a kid that seasonal allergies didn’t knock me out. For honey to help with seasonal allergies it needs to be from hives as close to your home as possible – ideally less than a mile away. Local Honey Finder has a great database of small apiaries nationwide so you can find the honey closest to you.
3.) Pressed Flower Art
This summer I stumbled across The Pressed Posy on Instagram and was instantly in love. Deb makes the most beautiful pressed flower art all with blooms from her garden.
She now offers prints, greeting cards, shirts, mugs, and stickers with her designs – so many options you could literally do all your Christmas shopping just from her shop! She’s closing up for Christmas on December 12th, so don’t wait to place your order!
4.) Garden Clogs
These clogs were supposed to just be my garden shoes but I’ve loved them so much they’ve become my go-to shoes for just about everything. The cork footbed is supportive yet cushy and manages moisture well. The heel is just enough to keep them on your feet but still super easy to slip on and off. They provide just the right amount of protection with the thick rubber without being too hot or heavy. And they look pretty cute with a pair of skinny jeans if I do say so myself.
5.) Inside Out Umbrella
Personally, I don’t see this as an inside out umbrella, I see it as how they all should have been designed to begin with. It does open backwards to how we are used to umbrellas opening though, so inside out aptly applies. The genius behind this design is that the water stays inside the umbrella when you close it.
No more dripping water all over the back seat when you jump in the car. No more making a mess in the house when you come inside. In addition to the plethora of color options, the vented double layer also prevents wind gusts from taking your umbrella on a ride.
6.) Zikkaron Stones
I’ve sung their praises before but they are worth mentioning again, if you’ve been looking for a crystal jewelry option from a Christian perspective, Zikkaron Stones is it! Mother/daughter team Kayla and Dannett make the most beautiful crystal bracelets all from the highest quality materials.
“Zikkaron” is a Hebrew word that means “memorial, remembrance.” As in Exodus 12:14, 13:9 and 28:12.
We create jewelry that reminds you of God’s truth each time you see it.”
I especially love their monthly bracelets that follow the Hebrew calendar, the bracelet not only features the crystals significant to each month, but also includes beautifully written reminders of the blessings that season holds. Each of their bracelets also have a few lava beads to diffuse essential oils so they are the perfect gift for the oil lover on your list.
7.) Homeopathic Medicine Cabinet
Homeopathy is a gentle way to keep your family healthy and it works best when you use it at the earliest signs of symptoms. If you have to wait for a homeopathic order to arrive, it won’t help as much as it could have by the time you get it. Just like you keep bandaids on hand so you have them as soon as you need them, it’s great to keep some basic homeopathic remedies on hand for immediate use.
This kit from Helios has 18 of the most commonly used homeopathics for everything from bumps and bruises to bee stings. It also includes a newbies guide to teach you everything you need to know to get started using homeopathy and knowing which remedy to use for what. And to really round out your homeopathic medicine cabinet be sure to keep some Oscillococcinum on hand to get you through the seasonal sniffles. It has saved me many a year when I felt like I was coming down with something. Camphora is another individual homeopathic remedy that would be good to have on hand for things facing us this year (wink wink), in addition to the Byronia already in the Helios kit.
8.) Tongue Scraper
A tongue scraper is a must have stocking stuffer for everyone on your list! Fresher breath and better overall health are just some of the benefits this Ayurvedic practice offers. You might think you get your mouth clean brushing your teeth, but just one time using a tongue scraper after brushing will have you scraping as diligently as you brush.
They come in copper and stainless steel and for the most part the difference is just preference. Some find that the stainless steel is smoother and bit gentler on your tongue. The added benefit of copper is that it kills bacteria on contact. I have one of each and switch between them. I do prefer the ones with little loops at the end of the handles (as picture above) vs actual handles attached, as they seem to stay cleaner.
9.) Blue Light Filtering Glasses
While I hope you’re spending plenty of time off the computer – Zoom calls and screens in general are just hard to avoid right now. One of the drawbacks to our digital lifestyles is the blue light from screens. Blue light in general isn’t bad; the sun gives off blue light and it helps regulate our circadian rhythms. But the problem is all the blue light we are exposed to after the sun goes down and the eye strain it can cause at any time of day.
Tech features like Night Shift are helpful, but even better is blue light filtering glasses that protect your eyes no matter what screen you’re looking at. If you don’t normally wear glasses there are tons of non-prescription options out there, and if you do, there are plenty of prescription options at well. The lenses have a slightly yellow tint but not so much that it is distracting or a problem for regular wear. Personally, I use the Blokz blue light filtering glasses from Zenni Optical which can be ordered with or without prescription lenses. And Firmoo is a great option on Amazon that also offers nonprescription lenses. And the best part about ordering the prescription blue light filtering glasses is that Zenni don’t require your actual script from the eye doc, they just the need the numbers. So if you’re like me and haven’t made it to the doc this year you aren’t out of luck with an “expired” eyeglass prescription.
10.) Inversion Bench
One of the beautiful gifts of 2020 is that everyone is cleaning like crazy and few people are actually shopping the thrift stores…meaning there are phenomenal finds for those that do go shopping. This inversion bench from FeetUp wins the all time trophy for my best thrift find ever! I get introduced to inversion benches when I did my 200hr YogaFaith training early this year. I didn’t think much of them, didn’t even try the one they had at training, but when I found this one at the thrift store I figured I’d give it a try and ended up falling in love.
Now before I lose you thinking, “there’s not way I could go upside down like that!” One of the amazing things about inversion benches is that everyone can use them! You might not be able to do the more acrobatic looking inversions right away, but even gentle inversions with your feet still firmly on the floor offer amazing benefits. You are not too big, too old, too inflexible, or too out of shape to use an inversion bench.
One of the powerful benefits of inversions is the effect on our circulation. Even just 3-5 minutes inverted allows areas of stagnation in our bloodstream to move again and puts just enough good stress on our heart to mimic the effects of an aerobic workout. In addition to our blood circulation, the lymphatic system also gets kicked into gear by inverting even for relatively short periods of time.
I love starting my morning with a few minutes on the inversion bench to really wake up and feel refreshed. I’ve even found that with regular use, I don’t need to see my chiropractor as often.
There are of course precautions to take before starting inverted exercise, so consult with your doctor before doing so.
11.) Tools to Focus in Prayer
I met Kelly of Getting Still at the same yoga training I learned about inversion benches (see number 10 if you skipped it) and I knew right away we were kindred spirits when we showed up wearing almost the same outfit and exactly the same sweater that we both had found at thrift stores!
The Postures of Prayer cards (available on her etsy and on Amazon) are a beautiful way to lead yourself through a workout while connecting with God through prayer. Each card has instructions and a picture of how to do the posture, a Bible verse that relates, and a prompt for reflection. There are also cards explaining breathing techniques, best practices for using the cards, and a card explaining the gospel.
Prayer beads are often associated with Catholicism, but Protestants can use them too! Kelly’s beautiful beads are a great tangible way to stay focused in prayer. You can simply hold the beads to keep your hands busy, or more intentionally use the beads to remind yourself of people or things you want to pray for. And most of her prayer beads double as a bracelet so you can keep the reminder to pray close.
12.) The Love Lens
Last but certainly not least! The Love Lens is a favorite at my church I’m sure you’ll be seeing everywhere soon! Through a hard season in 2014, Kim began to make engraved lens necklaces as a symbol of the change of perspective and hope God had given her. She used the necklaces to fund raise for a missions trip and they quickly took off as a meaningful symbol for many.
We all see the world for various lenses that have been shaped by our experiences and the people we’ve known. Love lens is a reminder to exchange those damaged lens life has given us for the lens of love God sees each of us through.
Each lens is hand engraved and custom words are available as well as the selection of identity words on the site.