Skip to main content
Home > Health Defence Blog > Giving for health – the only Christmas list you need this year!
Health Defence Blog

Welcome to the Health Defence Blog - a blog about health, wellness and a healthier you. Brought to you by the Health Defence team at Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland, you'll find up-to-date information on a range of topics from what's in your food to the latest advice on e-cigarettes!

Annie Anderson

Guest blogger: Professor Annie Anderson - Scottish Cancer Prevention Network

December 15, 2017

Stuck for gift ideas this Christmas? This is a must read! Brought to you from our friends over at the Scottish Cancer Prevention Network (SCPN), our guest blogger Annie Anderson is Professor of Public Health Nutrition at the University of Dundee and Co-Director of the SCPN.

No one can give the gift of health but we can help to support healthy lifestyles – both by giving and sharing and supporting healthful activities. Whether the gift is the promise of a shared mystery walk, a basket of herbal teas or a basket of yummy fruits and nuts – there are some lovely gifts to help get family and friends through the dark days of winter and achieving those health resolutions.

Christmas can leave its mark on our stress levels as we try to please everyone and do all the things that we apparently must do including eating and drinking our way through thousands of excess calories. So before we hit the New Year plans, providing gifts for some calm and relaxing hours seem like a good idea:

  1. Bath oils – a little goes a long way and a bath soak is a wonderful chance to be alone and enjoy some space
  2. A poetry book – humour, garden, romance, children – loads of options
  3. Aromatherapy gifts – turn down the lights, apply aroma therapy hand creams, put on a slow music CD and drift
  4. Sleepy time tea and a hot water bottle – sleep, an amazing therapy for stressful days
  5. Foot massager

And we all have to consume and balance the Christmas onslaught:

  1. Olive oil or Scottish rapeseed oil
  2. Herb vinegars for those winter salads
  3. Nuts
  4. Fruit (and veg!) baskets
  5. Mixed packets of seeds
  6. Spice ranges (who needs salt?)
  7. A large glass jar layered with oats, seeds, dried fruit and nuts for making porridge bowls

And then supporting the New Year resolutions:

  1. Hand or ankle weights
  2. Work out CD
  3. Dance like nobody’s watching CD (e.g. music for the kitchen work out)
  4. Yoga mat
  5. Entry to a race/walk/sporting event
  6. Map with local walks highlighted
  7. A lovely bright brolly for those rainy day walks
  8. Water bottle (no plastic needed!!)
  9. Pedometer or fitness tracker
  10. Tickets for ice-skating in winter wonderland

There are so many alternative gifts to chocs, biscuits and booze – help us enjoy giving for health!

Used with permission from the Scottish Cancer Prevention Network (SCPN). For more SCPN blogs visit

The views and opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not reflect the views and opinions of Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland. CHSS does not endorse any particular health or exercise company.

***Disclaimer: always seek medical advice before starting a new diet, exercise regime or medication. The information in these articles is not a substitute for professional advice from a GP, registered dietitian or other health practitioner.

Share this page
  • Was this helpful ?
  • YesNo