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Local Guide to Conscious Giving

by Susan Post

Conscious Giving - Holiday Gift Guide 2013While it may be the most wonderful time of the year, the stress and consumption associated with holiday shopping can push wellness to the back burner and derail efforts to go green. Natural Awakenings’ Holiday Gift Guide, however, can be your resource for that perfect, meaningful gift, and your roadmap to conscious, local shopping.

Don’t be the only person on your holiday list to shop local. Start a new tradition and encourage out-of-town family members to find unique, local items for their gifts. Look for gifts with meaning or make a charitable donation in someone’s name instead of purchasing a present. Try to use the holiday season as a time to make others aware of great local causes.

Get creative with your gift giving. Look for fun themes or start a new tradition. Also, don’t be afraid to give outside the box. Gift cards or prepaid memberships make thoughtful, useful gifts. Finally, for kids try the four-gift rule: one thing they want, one thing they need, one thing to wear and one thing to read.

Local items can be a special gift anytime of year, but use this season of giving as a time to show others all the great businesses located around Central Ohio. Check our holiday gift guide for creative, conscious gifts for everyone on your list and visit the national Natural Awakenings webstore,, for even more ideas.

Accessories with a Conscience

Look for pieces of jewelry that are made of sustainable or recycled materials or that raise funds for a worthy cause. Someone can look at their bracelet or necklace everyday and know that it made an impact on the life of another.

Fair Trade Jewelry

Jewelry with a Cause

Presents that Pamper

With busy calendars and long to-do lists, everyone can use a little pampering this time of year. Check out these local spas and salons with natural, eco-friendly products and relaxing treatments.

For Furry Family Members

Pamper your pup or find the purrrrfect treat for your cat. Several local centers focus on holistic and healthy care for your four-legged companion.

Help at Home

Everyone could always use an extra hand around the house. Whether it’s with clean up or grocery shopping, help at home gives the gift of a little extra time to your loved one.

Charitable Gifts that Keep On Giving

Good things can come in little packages—or no package at all. Consider charitable donations in the name of those on your gift list. You can also consider volunteering or donating together for a great bonding experience while helping others.

Flexible Fitness

Give a healthy gift with a yoga-class pass. Encourage others to get fit and flexible with a relaxing yoga class. A number of studios across Central Ohio offer classes for any level of yogi. Yoga apparel and accessories also make a great gift for the avid practitioner in your life.


Instead of just material presents, engage young ones with an active gift. Trips to the zoo or a visit to the museum can be a fun and educational experience for the whole family.

New to You

Make holiday shopping easier on the environment and the family budget by visiting local consignment and resale shops for gifts or gift certificates.

Local Vendors

For lots of local all in one location, you can check out special holiday shopping fairs, or stores dedicated to all things local and all things Central Ohio.

Susan Post is a freelance writer and editor based in Columbus. She enjoys writing about her city and the people and places that make it special. Contact her at

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