Happy December 1, All! 'Tis the season... and though diabetes might not seem like your typical inspiration for the holidays, there are a surprising number of D-related gifts that actually work — from hilarious T-shirts, to blue jewelry, to various aids for getting healthy. Our second annual DBMine Holiday Gift Guide has plenty of ways to incorporate a little diabetes fun into your gift-giving, and many of these options give yet again by supporting diabetes charities, like the JDRF, ADA, and Diabetes Research Institute (DRI).
Like last year, we encourage y'all to think out of the ordinary gift box.
For... the charitable gift shopper:
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First off, if your priority is to make your Holiday shopping support a diabetes organization, check out the huge selection of gifts through the American Diabetes Association's Gift of Hope catalog. It has all the usual giftie items to choose from: candles, calendars, kitchenware, jewelry and bags, plus holiday decor and greeting cards. But in this case, all the profits from your purchase go to support diabetes research through the ADA.
You can also support the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation with their line of holiday greeting cards, many of which are designed by children with diabetes.
For... the T-shirt collector:
A lot of diabetes products are designed, naturally, for the person with diabetes. Which is why we love the idea behind Type 3 Apparel, a new online clothing store with designs from a father of a child with diabetes for other type 3s (i.e. loved ones of people with diabetes). There are some really cute and clever designs, but I think my absolute favorite is the Wilford Brimley "Obey" Limited Edition tee for $25.
If you're looking for other fun, independently designed diabetes T-shirts and gifts, look no further than the diabetes section on CafePress, where dozens of humorous D-shirts, hats, messenger bags, stickers and pins can be found — even from us here at the 'Mine! Another favorite of ours is a T-shirt that says "Unless your pancreas doesn't work, stop whining!" (it also comes as a pin).
For... the book lover:
We've also spent the past year reviewing and giving away a whole mess of amazing books on living with diabetes. Some of the most popular titles were Phil Southerland's memoir, Not Dead Yet, and Amy Stockwell Mercer's book, The Smart Woman's Guide to Diabetes. And for those of you who have "losing weight" on your New Year's Resolutions, ask Santa to bring you Sam Talbot's new cookbook, The Sweet Life. Good reads!
For... the gadget geek:
Here's a list of the best health and fitness iPhone apps from Lifehacker. Quite a few of them are free, or under $10, so you can look like a great boyfriend/ girlfriend/ BFF without breaking the bank. SparkPeople and TheCarrot.com seem to be especially popular.
For the tech-lover athlete in your life, what about a heart rate monitor or Garmin GPS arm band to track their runs? OK, the Garmin's an investment at $140, but you can also opt for a cheaper alternative like the Adidas Micoach Sport Armband for iPhone 4, at under $19.
If your PWD loved one likes gadgets but needs an extra push to start actually downloading their glucose numbers, consider the new Glooko cable that makes it super-easy to view and share 14 days' worth of glucose data from your iPhone or iPad.
A little lower-tech but still gadget-y are the glucose key chains from ReliOn and Quick Fix. The Walmart/Relion version costs under $2 and holds 4 glucose tablets. The similar Quick Fix comes in 4 different colors and costs $4.50. Lots more quirky medical/health-type products can be found here. Stocking stuffers, anyone?
For... the ladies:
- Etsy retailer and D-Mom Cari has created beaded blue circle crystal necklace that's currently on sale for $22. All proceeds from the necklace go to JDRF!
- D-Mom Tonya Homme launched Tips for Type 1 to raise money for the Diabetes Research Institute. She sells fun nail polish in blue and silver.
- These beautiful blue pendant earrings benefit the JDRF, too.
For... the guys:
We get a lot of inquiries about medic alert bracelets for the men-folk, and we thought this leather cuff would be perfect for any guy in your life looking for something not-too-clinical and not-too-sparkly either, but still effective.
Lots of guys also complain that there aren't any manly glucose meter cases, but Sugar Medical Supply has introduced us to a couple of items in their product line that are sure to help. Amy and I are fans of their bags and chatted with founder Carolyn Jager earlier this fall.
Gifts for the PWD in your life don't have to be directly related to diabetes. Here are some fun, health-inspired ideas:
- Check out the selection of local exercise classes on Groupon or Living Social. Everything from bootcamps to personal training to Zumba sessions are available, and a gift certificate can offer a great introduction to a new fitness routine without the up-front commitment or the cost.
Or you can add these fitness favorites to your wish list: exercise DVDs, like the 30-Day Shred from Biggest Loser trainer Jillian Michael; yoga mat and free weights; or update your workout wardrobe with clothes from Lucy or Lululemon for the ladies, or Nike or Adidas for the men (and women, too).
- Our readers have always been big fans of Healthifeet foot cream, which is especially timely with the cold dry December air.
- There may not be any new albums dropping from our favorite PWD singers, but Crystal Bowersox still has her album, Farmer's Daughter, available, along with Custom Built by Bret Michaels. Or you can support up-and-coming artist Amanda Lamb and her album, Highwire.
This year, we're making it a priority to support small businesses and diabetes charities with our holiday shopping. If you have any other diabetes-inspired gifts to include, feel free to leave a comment!